Hungry? Out of food? A crafty solution for you

Your domestic dilemma: “I’m hungry.”

Crafty Connie’s Solution: I’m actually really hungry now too. I have no idea what to do. Let’s figure it out together. But really. No. No, I go there all the time. I’m sick of… yeah, actually, screw it. Let’s just go to the Taco Truck. No, the health permit is only expired by a few months. Stray cats? No, I haven’t seen any near there lately. It’s a $3 burrito, man.

Look, there’re really only two considerations at work in resolving this domestic dilemma: time and money. If you are like most college students, both of these luxuries are severely limited. So we’ll be working with the lower end of the spectrum here. First, the S.U.B., a.k.a. “da sub.”  Da sub offers a great deal on food. If you have a meal plan, everything costs exactly 254/832 of what it costs non-meal-plan people. Be wary of these people—they are likely trying to “cook” more often, which generally means “buy pre-made food from places that aren’t da sub.” They may also do other irrational things like go to farmers markets, become involved in community-supported agriculture, and know where their food comes from. Food comes from gross places, like dirt. Treat such outcasts accordingly—you can find them gardening.

Let’s say in a hypothetical scenario that you’ve eaten three burritos over the last two days, and there’s an angry-looking cast at the sandwich station. The fact that everything from the grill is the same color and everything from the “Chef’s Table” is the same consistency is starting to bother you. Maybe you’ve enjoyed an evening with your friends warding off the existential desperation of your fast-approaching graduation and subsequent unemployment, which really can work up an appetite. What options do you have? That’s right, we’re going to give this “cooking” thing a shot.

Three routes here for raw material acquisition and cooking success: The “MacGyver,” the closely related “Bear Grylls,” and the “Met.” MacGyver, you’ll recall, was the master of using whatever he had on hand, like a paperclip, to make a clever escape using basic technology, like a coffin-jet ski.

Pulling off a successful MacGyver requires ingenuity, commitment and a willingness to steal your roommates’ dairy products.  Start with a can of questionable chili. Everyone has a can of questionable chili stored away somewhere on the top shelf. Use your inevitably crappy can opener to get the chili partially open, then attempt the “knife” trick, which should be followed closely by the “duct tape is cheaper than an emergency room” trick. Once the chili is heating on the stove, stir gently to dilute your blood. Season with existential-crisis tears.

A cold glass of milk goes well with chili, along with some shredded cheese and sour cream. There are three milk containers in the fridge, and you own none of them. Choose wisely. By wisely, I mean choose the one that is the most full and least expired. Take “just a splash.” No one would ever say no to that.

There will also be a block of cheese, and no one ever knows how much is left of their block of cheese +/- an inch or so. Go find a cheese grater. Bite marks leave evidence, and are also disgusting. What sort of pig bites directly off a two pound block of Tillamook? A passive-aggressive pig, that’s who. That container of sour cream will be bad, which seems impossible, because it is already sour, but try not to think about how that’s a metaphor for your approaching mid-twenties.

The “Bear Grylls” cooking method combines the creativity of the MacGyver with an even greater willingness to disregard social conventions, plus a wider resource pool. It’s best for those with time on their hands, underlying psychopathic tendencies and poorly developed palates. For your veggie needs, give gleaning a shot. Gleaning, also known as “theft” or “biblical welfare for the lazy,” has enjoyed resurgence recently. Plenty of people have gardens and fruit trees in Tacoma, which are available for public use between 11 p.m. and 4 a.m.

It’s also possible to acquire some protein in the urban jungle. Raccoons at Point Defiance are well habituated to human feeding, making them fat and easy to catch.

Deer occasionally appear in the North End, but stalking the neighborhood with a rifle may raise some eyebrows. The key is using cover effectively, camouflaging well and having an alibi.

Finally, the neighbor’s pets are readily available, but difficult to season and blend. Make sure you wash down whatever you rustle up with Bear Grylls’ special lemonade.

Perhaps the most realistic option for those short on time, ambition and solid on funds or shoplifting abilities is the classic Metropolitan Market. The Met justifies selling the same food as Safeway at higher prices by being pretentious about cheese and lighting their checkout areas more pleasantly. They also have a great selection of late-night goodies such as sandwiches and sushi, as well as a “free” candy aisle.

Hunger is one of the most common domestic dilemmas. In fact, the less domestic you are, the hungrier you might be. Once you resolve your own hunger dilemma, consider helping others do so by bringing some food to Tacoma Rescue Mission, at 425 South Tacoma Way.