Issue #6 April 14th - April 27th, 2006

Horseradish, Haggling and Beer Ass Chicken
Texas Johnson

Aye, it’s Spring and that means yard sale season is finally here. Plundering garage sales is an active hobby for us black grill boys. We pride ourselves on our haggling technique. Our method for raiding a yard sale is simple and effective. First, having met at a residence close to our chosen target, we stay up all night drinking homemade wine from a gallon plastic jug. We sing sea chanteys by Buffet or Snoop, or read aloud from Penthouse (and other seafaring periodicals) to pass the long hours until daybreak.

They say that it is important to get to any sale early, what goes unsaid is that stumbling out of the darkness with red eyes and red noses can be of great tactical advantage. We tried painting ourselves blue and attacking naked, but negotiating like that was too difficult for even us. Bleary works. Shuffling down the street happy and smiling, but possibly a bit incoherent or irrational has turned many a deal just a little sweeter. Don’t be belligerent or rude; just give off a slight air of not thinking very fast. This will allow you time to rethink your position in the haggle, and lets you pretend that you don’t understand a bad offer. Be sure to make it apparent that you are having a good time, if they think you are dangerous they’ll have you locked up, and jailhouse haggling is an entirely different animal.

Showing up on foot has one great bargaining advantage; people judge you based on your ride. When you roll up in an Escalade on dubs it is hard to talk down the price of an antique bookcase. You obviously don’t mind paying for what you want. If you arrive in a ’77 Granada half made out of Bondo and spit, they’d rather you didn’t get too near the antiques at all. True, when you walk to a sale they usually don’t try to sell you a bookcase, but remember - only the raiding party has to show up ready to talk their way into a $4.00 grill. In most crews, there is a fellow or two that keeps a diurnal schedule for the wife, or kids, or a job, and is getting up just about the time a new washer/dryer combo falls into your lap. If you’re more of a lone scalawag, try befriending the neighbor kid that just got his license and therefore wants to drive all he can.

There are as many ways to haggle as there are things to buy, but really it’s all about deciding what you want for what you have. Our favorite thing to do is to stand at the edge of a sale looking at what they have. Choose the items that you are interested in and give them a cash value in your head. Examine a couple items near you to get a feel for what the seller thinks of the value of their wares against what the condition is. Then say to the proprietor “I’ll give you fifteen dollars for the lamp, the Betty Boop clock, the record player, the picture of a pitcher, the box full of boxes, the grill and both butterflies.”

They will undoubtedly start to add up how much that they want for the motley assemblage of their crap. They will say “fifteen? Well I was asking three for the Betty Boop clock, and the record player doesn’t work…” then, trying to add in their head, they’ll make you a counter offer.

Do not accept this offer, but instead restate your first offer, sweetening the pot with something you got at another sale. “Alright, ye drive a hard bargain, but I’ll give ye fifteen dollars, and a bottle of Old Spice for the lamp, the Betty Boop clock, etc.” Your offer will be coldly refused; after all they’re trying to get rid of crap.

"I don’t want any Old Spice," they will say. Simply inform them you don’t want the butterflies, and stick to your fifteen dollars. This will have them scared, after all they are wasting an entire weekend trying to get rid of the butterflies. If they won’t haggle, move down the street. There are more lamps and clocks out there., and you can have the picture of a pitcher out of the trash on Monday. Only you would want that anyway.

With Fish and Texas on hiatus, the Pope and Splinty stepped to the helm of the galley as it were, to bring you this chicken with a mustard-honey-horseradish sauce.

Here’s what we used:
• One large chicken
• 2 12 oz. bottles of spicy or
dark mustard
• 1 12 oz bottle of honey
• 8 oz horseradish
• Fresh basil (chopped)
• ¼ onion quartered
• 2 oz garlic chopped
• 1 can cheap beer (buy a case)
• salt

Here’s what we did:

• In a small saucepan mix the honey, mustard and horseradish. Heat while stirring constantly; when bubbles appear and the lumps disappear add ½ of the garlic and a little salt.

• Rub the cavity of the chicken with basil and salt; fill the chest half of the cavity with onion and garlic. Crack the beer open and insert it into the cavity, (remember to keep it rightside up,) and stand the chicken on the grill. Spoon the mustard sauce over to make a thick coat (note - you can use any sauce you like).

• Grill on a medium heat, turning every twenty or thirty minutes, until the sauce crusts and browns. Add more sauce if the sauce seems to be cooking faster than the meat is firming. Boiling beer into the chicken will make the meat very juicy, and a bit misleading as to how well cooked it is. When in doubt check it with a thermometer.

Thanks to our exploits at garage sales in Norman (and Phish on vacation) we did manage to acquire a grill large enough to prepare a “40 Ass Turkey.” That will probably come in November...

Well that’s about it for us, so we’ll leave you with this tip. Most things in life are like a garage sale, so stand at the edge, know what you want, know what you’ll pay, know what you’ll take to get what you want, and be prepared to have something you didn’t really want to have in the package. Sometimes the unwanted articles are the most cherished.

Previous Recipe: Rosemary Potatoes
-- Pirates Homepage --
Next Recipe: The Legend of the Shanghaied Ham

©2006 NONCO Media, L.L.C.