Category Archives: Spam

Spam and Cheese Omelette and Man, I Hate that Tractor Man!

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“Curious children crowded close, ragged children who ate their fried dough as they watched. They watched hungrily the unwrapping of the sandwiches, and their hunger-sharpened noses smelled the pickle, cheese, and Spam. They didn’t speak to the driver. They watched his hand as it carried food to his mouth. They did not watch him chewing; their eyes followed the hand that held the sandwich. After a while the tenant who could not leave the place came out and squatted in the shade beside the tractor.”  From The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck

This quote is just a little more of the same.  There are some incredible human moments in this book where people have food and they share it with anybody who happens to come by, where strangers meet and become family because one has a bit of meat and the other a sack of potatoes and together they make a meal.  But there are also moments of great selfishness and disregard for human suffering.  Those are the hardest parts to read.

It’s a little hard to post a quote like that and then go on to write about the great meal that I ate afterward.  I’m thankful that things aren’t as bad today as they were back then. I’m thankful that almost all the people I know have steady jobs and all of them eat regularly.  I’m glad I don’t have to eat my lunch in front of hungry children.  I couldn’t see it the way this man sees it.  I see it more as this other man does, when asked whether he was willing to share with his old neighbors, “‘I ain’t got no choice in the matter. ‘ He stopped on the ungracious sound of his own words. ‘That ain’t like I mean it. That ain’t. I mean’—he stumbled—’what I mean, if a fella’s got somepin to eat an’ another fella’s hungry—why, the first fella ain’t got no choice. I mean, s’pose I pick up my rabbits an’ go off somewheres an’ eat ’em. See?'” (There will be rabbit in the future of this blog.  Maybe not fried dough though, but then again, maybe…)

Spam and Cheese Omelette 

1 slice of leftover Spam, diced up small

2 slices of leftover cheese

2 leftover Scallions, snipped into rings 

2 eggs and a little milk

Butter

Heat your butter in a skillet over medium high heat.   Add the spam into the hot butter and fry until it gets nice and crispy.  Lower the heat to medium low and add the scallions.  Beat the milk into the eggs, and pour them over the meat/scallion mixture.  Layer your cheese over one half.  When the eggs are almost all the way cooked and the cheese is starting to melt, flip your omelette in half and cook another few minutes to make sure you don’t get salmonella.  Serve hot and enjoy!

I’m not really sure how you would cut corners on this, maybe use oil instead of butter. I didn’t have to spend any money on this meal.  The scallions were leftover from the pot pie and the spam and cheese were leftover from the spam’which.  The eggs I already had.  Plus, I still have half a can of Spam left.  So let’s all thumb our noses at that mean tractor man; he’s not going to win this round!

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Filed under Books, Cheaper Cooking, Cheese, Cooking and Reading, Food, Grapes of Wrath, John Steinbeck, Literature, Recipes, Spam, The Great Depression

Grilled SLT&C (Spam, Lettuce, Tomato, and Cheese) And Your Three Dollars a Day

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“At noon the tractor driver stopped sometimes near a tenant house and opened his lunch: sandwiches wrapped in waxed paper, white bread, pickle, cheese, Spam, a piece of pie branded like an engine part. He ate without relish. And tenants not yet moved away came out to see him, looked curiously while the goggles were taken off, and the rubber dust mask, leaving white circles around the eyes and a large white circle around nose and mouth.”  From Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck

The tractor driver is the son of a local tenant farmer and says he does this work because its, “three dollars a day. I got damn sick of creeping for my dinner—and not getting it. I got a wife and kids. We got to eat. Three dollars a day, and it comes every day.”   He warns the tenant men that he will get a bonus if “there is an accident” and he knocks a house off its foundation.  Almost makes you feel embarrassed to share a sandwich with the man…

Grilled SLT&C

2 slices of multigrain bread

2 thin slices of Spam

1 small tomato sliced thin (I used 4 slices in the sandwich and ate the rest)

2 slices of American cheese (I used Kraft)

a handful of mixed greens

1 pat of butter

Melt the butter in a skillet over medium heat.  Add the bread slices and the Spam to the pan.  Layer the cheese on top of one of the slices of bread and the tomatoes on top of the cheese.  When the spam starts to sputter and turn brown on both sides, put them on top of the second slice of bread.  When the bread is toasted and the cheese melted, remove your slices from the heat, add your lettuce and slap ‘er together for a “bring you back to your childhood” style sandwich (last time I ate Spam, it was sold with it’s own church key so you could open it!).  

I have to say, I probably enjoyed it a lot better than that mean tractor driver enjoyed his.

Total cost of this meal (I had the lettuce in the fridge and I had the bread in the freezer already) was about $7 and I still have 3/4 of the Spam and most of the package of cheese left.  I was thinking maybe a Spam omelette with the cheese… Also, look for some kind of “branded pie” review soon.

Ways you could cut costs on this one: omit the vine ripe tomato (not too expensive because I only bought the one, but still extravagant in a Northeast winter), omit the mixed greens or just use iceburg lettuce.  Use generic cheese (hard to wrap my mind around even typing it) and use a cheaper bread than a nice Arnold multigrain.

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Filed under Cheaper Cooking, Cheese, Cooking and Reading, Food, Grapes of Wrath, John Steinbeck, Literature, Recipes, Spam, The Great Depression