Published on The Doomstead Diner on January 29, 2017
Discuss this article at the Pantry inside the Diner
Fast Collapse vs Slow Collapse is always a topic for discussion Inside the Diner. Which one you believe will occur affects many things in how you prep yourself up to try and survive the Collapse of Industrial Civilization.
I myself am in the Fast Collapse Camp, I think at some point we will hit an Inflexion where the problems with the monetary system cannot be papered over, and the TBTF Banks WILL actually FAIL! I remain amazed how really SMART the smartest guys in the room are here to have kept this system operational from 2008 to this day with such Kludges as Quantitative Easing, Zero Interest (ZIRP), Negative Interest (NIRP) and so forth. Truly AMAZING smoke & mirrors going on here! Backed up with a ton of Accounting Fraud, it has served to keep BAU ongoing in at least the central countries such as the FSoA, Germany and China. Places like Greece and Italy and Spain, not doing so good, but still sorta treading water. Places like Venezuela and Egypt, already in the Deep Doo-Doo of Collapse.
Unfortunately I can't make a good prediction of when the "Oh Shit!" moment will come for the FSoA, or even more specifically my neighborhood in Alaska. I'm not even sure if the moment will come before I kick the bucket for more pedestrian reasons of bad health. But, if I AM still alive the day the ATMs Go Dark or the day a Nuke lights up New York Shity, I decided I should plan for my Last Supper.
I am in no shape to survive in a Post-Collapse world. While I have plenty of preps to survive for quite some time, once the shit goes down I'll end up giving them away, lest they be taken from me by force. There will be kids right in my own little complex without food, and I would rather see them eating the preps than eat them myself. I don't have much of an appetite these days anyhow.
Still, even with an ultra-rapid collapse scenario other than something like an earthquake or eruption of the Mt. Redoubt Volcano taking me out nearly instantaneously, I figure I'll have at least a day or two before everyone is going berzerk and running out of food in their own pantries. So I am planning for this, with gourmet meals to eat those last couple of days worthy of a Michelin Guide 5 Star restaraunt. Whether I can actually eat the meals more than a few bites is another question entirely, but I'll enjoy cooking them up anyhow.
This TEOTWAWKI planning idea is actually pretty old for me, going back to 2008 when Lehman Brothers collapsed I bought a bottle of 50 Year Old Glenlivet Single Malt Scotch Whisky, which I still have so it is almost 60 years old now! Cost a fucking fortune. So I have Quality Booze for after dinner, but I never actually drink hard liquor while eating dinner. So I need to pick up some quality wine for the Last Supper, which I haven't done yet. One of the Diners recently recommended some wines, I'll have to go look and see if they are available at the local Brown Jug. I'm generally partial to a Pinot Noir or a Cabernet if I drink wine with Dinner, which I don't generally do unless out at a really expensive restaurant like the Crow's Nest which sits atop the Captain Cook Hotel in Anchorage. It's about the only really quality restaraunt I've found in Alaska since I moved here a decade ago. In New York Shity when I lived there, there were many, including the one I was a Sous Chef at for a couple of years, Capsuto Freres. Capsuto bit the dust after Sandy rolled into town and shut down that neighborhood for several months, close to a full year actually. Some Asian style restaraunt opened up in the location after the cleanup. Really top shelf restaraunts are always super expensive, you can't get out of there without spending Triple Digits, especially when you order a bottle of wine with dinner.
I'll also want some real good Clean Spring Water to wash down the food with, so I need to pick up a few bottles of expensive water, not the cheap filtered stuff at $1/Gallon from Walmart. In addition to your Wine, it's always good to have some pure spring water on ice to cleanse the palate for the next bite of some different part of the meal, so the taste sensation is not confused. I'll have to remember to freeze some ice cubes up from the expensive water as soon as TFHTF so that they'll freeze up within a day and be ready to drop in a fine Glass Tumbler for cooling the Spring Water for the Last Supper.
What got me started thinking about this meal was that about a week ago I was on a Prep Run to 3 Bears, the local Food Warehouse/Grocery store which is less than a half mile from my front door. They have the best Meat selection of all the large groceries around here at the best prices. The rest of their stuff is not such good prices, you do much better on canned and frozen foods at Safeway or Kroger, or even Walmart if you wish to sink that low on the food chain.
Walking along the fridge cabinet for Beef, I spied ON SALE Fillet Mignon PRIME beef, beautifully marbled at the astoundingly low price of $6.99/lb! I don't think I even can REMEMBER the last time I spent less than $10/lb for a Fillet, and usually not Prime but Choice by the USDA rating for this stuff. I never buy Select meats, its like chewing leather and not enough fat embeded to give a real good flavor. So I bought a full almost 3 lb package of these fillets for around $18. Fact of the matter is these days my appetite is so depressed if I can get through even 1/4 lb of meat at a single sitting that is doing good, so this package is probably good for me for at least a full week of eating Fillet Mignon every night the week after TSHTF.
At first I thought I would cook at least one of them immediately, but then I changed my mind and came up with the plan for the Last Supper and vacuum sealed them and wedged them into my already overstuffed and packed freezer to wait for the Judgement Day. Assuming I have time for more than just one or two Last Suppers, there are also numerous Rib Eye steaks and T-Bones in there to consume as well, but I figure to give most of those away to the kids in the neighborhood now. If I can even make it through eating the Fillets I'll be doing good.
So I got the Meat part of the Last Supper in the bag here, which is Prime Fillet Mignon. To go with it, I plan to make a Cabernet Sauce and encrust the steak with peppercorns, and then have fresh sauteed mushrooms in garlic butter with that. However, I can't buy the fresh mushrooms in advance here not knowing precisely when TS will HTF. So as with getting the Spring Water Ice into the Freezer on SHTF Day, I'm going to have to go on a Final Prep Run to pick up the fresh ingredients for the Last Supper.
One thing I can pick up in advance though is some Shellfish to go with the Fillet for a Surf & Turf. I had my first Surf & Turf meal at the Palm restaraunt in NY Shity, shortly after returning from Brazil and also shortly after my parents got divorced. It was I think the one grand fancy meal my Pigman dad treated me to after the divorce, after that he just took me to Tad's Steakhouse for a cheap grilled sirloin. Besides the Filet the platter had on it a massive Maine Lobster Tail as well, with of course the requisite drawn butter and fresh sliced lemon. I'm not sure right now if I want to go with Lobster Tails in the freezer or instead Alaska King Crab. In both cases lately, I haven't been impressed with either the texture or flavor of either of these expensive Shellfish, which are coming in around $20/lb around here these days. But I have great memories of both Lobster meals and King Crab Meals, many of which came not at real classy restaraunts, but budget places like Red Lobster and also cooking them myself, sometimes at Clambakes by burying them, sometimes at home throwing a LIVE Maine Lobster into the pot and listening to it squeal, which was not actually the lobster making the noise but air escaping from under the shell as it heated up and the lobster turned bright red. No live Maine lobsters available around here now though, if I go with lobster for the shellfish part of the Surf & Turf it will need to be a Frozen Tail, likely as tasteless as the King Crab legs seem to be these days also. Tasteless or not though, I will close my eyes and remember back to all those wonderful Surf & Turf meals I had over the years and it will taste just fine. The main problem at the moment is finding room in my freezer to fit either Lobster Tails OR King Crab Legs. It's currently stuffed to the MAX! So they may need to be a last minute purchase on SHTF Day.
With the Fillet and the Shellfish, Wine and Spring Water now in place for the Last Supper, I start to need to think about Side Dishes. Definitely a last minute item is the Veggie dish to go with the meal, and for this I will go with Fresh Asparagus with Hollandaise Sauce. I may keep some frozen asaparagus in the freezer as a backup, if I can find room for that too. Asparagus was my favorite veggie when I was a kid, and unlike many kids I actually LIKED most veggies. Out of a can though, most veggies are total crap, including Asparagus. Too soggy, no real good texture left once canned. Pees are OK out of a can and Beans also, and corn kernels. Not too much else though.
For my carbos, I am torn between doing a twiced baked potato with bacon bits & cheddar cheese and sour cream topper, or Feijon, Rice & Black Beans that was the staple of all meals while I was a kid in Brazil. If I have two nights of Last Suppers, I'll do one of each.
The Main course should look something like this:
Prior to the main meal though, I'm going to need some other courses to really fill this thing out as a grand Last Supper. I'll need a Salad of course to begin the meal, for this I will go with my favorite Greek Salad with Tomatoes and Olives and lots of Feta Cheese crumbles over it. I'll need an Antipasto also, with good Italian Hard Salami, Provolone Cheese, Prosciutto and Fresh Mozzarella balls marinated with Sun Dried Tomatoes. Then also a Head of fresh garlic roasted in Extra Virgin Olive Oil as well. I'll also need a bowl of soup, for this I will go with Jewish Penicillin, a nice bowl of Chicken Soup with two big fluffy Matzoh Balls in it, as well as plenty of celery and diced carrots.
For Desert, I'll brew up some fresh Arabica Coffee beans, and add to that some Bailey's Irish Cream, and a slice of NY style Cheesecake, perhaps with some fresh Strawberries. I'll have to get that at the Bakery though as I am not a terrific Baker, and my cheescake never comes out quite how I like it. I've never figured out the secret to getting a nice fluffy cheesecake, it always comes out too dense no matter what recipe I use.
Of course to get all these ingredients for the Last Supper on SHTF Day, I'm going to need to get out to the grocery store early with my CASH FRNs from inside the mattress Bank of Sealy, then back to the digs to bolt the front door while I do my cooking to keep the Zombies out until I can at least have a few bites before I buy my ticket to the Great Beyond.
Could I possibly eat such a meal these days, with all those courses and mass quantity of food? Hell no, I'd be stuffed before I even finished the soup & salad, much less getting to the main course! But I can fantasize about it, and remember all those great meals I both ate and cooked up in the past. I can also cook it still, even if I can't manage to eat all of it, and I can put the Leftovers in my fridge for the Zombies to consume the day AFTER TSHTF!
After Dinner and consuming the bottle of Pinot Noir, I'll crack open the 50 year old bottle of Glenlivet and pour it straight over the rocks of the frozen expensive bottled spring water and open up a fresh pack of Cancerettes to go with it. Then I will sit down at my new Dell All-in-One Computer with the Big Screen Monitor, and keyboard out my last post on the Diner.
What is on your SHTF Day, Last Supper, Bucket List Menu?