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Scheduling Events

October 5, 2012

Cocktails are all about proportions. The secret to yesterday’s post was my strong preference for 4:1 with only one minor exception. When I took a cocktail class way back when with Jeff Hollinger, his colleague explained that she didn’t know any recipes, all she knew were proportions.

And I understand that baking is all about proportions too.

These days I’m suffering from the tyranny of inverse proportions. As in, the quantity of things I want to eat over the course of the day is inversely proportional to the number of meal eating opportunities. This was played out earlier this week when I confessed it took over sixty days to finally grab that much anticipated egg and cheese sandwich.

Sometimes the timing of things just works out. Like getting to slip into the new distillery late Wednesday night. But that was only because Matt and John were burning the midnight oil in preparation for their grand opening today. Or scheduling coffee with a new food blogger who was interested in chatting about the community.

But most times, instead of working out, I simply miss out.

Like Friday, October 12 is the Fusion food and wine event at the Lake House in Washington Park. It sounds like a ton of fun. Chefs Ric and Yono will be there. As will Chefs Mark Graham and AJ Jayapal who may not quite be household names around these parts. But Chef Mark has the skills. I have a hard time letting go of what AJ presented at the Wine & Dine for the Arts a few years back. Let’s just say for now that I was unthrilled.

Anyway, Friday nights are virtually impossible for me to go out. Shomer f*ckin’ shabbos.

The following week All Over Albany has scheduled two killer events. One that involves cheese and wine on a train, and the other a local food dinner (complete with farmers and optional wine pairings) at Creo.

There are only a few spots left on the train. And it’s sadly going to pull away from the station without me. That day has been carved into stone as the annual Berman Family Fall Festival Day. Which is to say we’re going to make the kids rake leaves all day, because we have a ton of trees, and our lawn is already a dumpy mess. With some of my other commitments, we can’t move up the date, and pushing it back any further could put as at risk of neighbor retaliation.

Living in the suburbs can be rough, yo.

There is an outside possibility that I can still make the event at Creo. Given that Chef Brian loves to cook fish, I was surprised to not see anything from Local Ocean on the menu. But that’s not the problem. The problem is that I like to spend time with my family in the evenings, and they apparently like to see me too. And that week we already have a lot on the books. Going out yet another night during the dinner hour is going to require a lot of finesse and charm. The big question is can I work hard to smooth it over with the family before the event sells out. We’ll have to wait and see.

Speaking of Local Ocean, that’s just another thing I want to do, but I haven’t had the time to make the trek down to their facility. I think it was Doc Sconz who wanted to come along on that adventure. Working with his schedule should be a piece of cake I am sure. Obviously, I’m joking. But I’d love to find a way to make that happen.

The answer, of course, to other people scheduling events that don’t work with my schedule is to plan my own. And in addition to the next Fussy Little Tour, I’m formulating another dinner, based around a rant from Under the Copper Tree a month ago.

The FLB will be challenging restaurants to go vegetarian.

These dinners will be small, so if you are a person and are interested in being invited, let me know via a comment or email, and I’ll make sure you are in the first round of people alerted. If you are a restaurant and are interested in participating, drop me a line and we’ll talk. Right now the guiding principles are “No salad and no pasta.” Vegetarians have been screwed in this town for far too long.

I’ll save that rant for later. Although if you catch me at the distillery later today or the Saratoga Farmers Market on Saturday, I’ll gladly give you the lowdown.

14 Comments leave one →
  1. October 5, 2012 9:29 am

    Baking is indeed about proportions, and that’s by weight not cup measures. I just did my second miche taste test http://wp.me/p1S3Ig-lp in which I decided to reduce the formula by 25% which was a piece of cake with weights (and a good metric scale) but would have been impossible otherwise.

  2. October 5, 2012 11:12 am

    No salad and no pasta — geez, there’s not much left, aside from beans, and sketchy “meat” products. It’d be interesting to see what places can come up with aside from fourteen iterations of a black-bean burger.

  3. Hollie permalink
    October 5, 2012 12:26 pm

    Hi Daniel, I’d be super interested in a vegetarian challenge. I’m just starting to introduce meatless monday’s into my life and I love to cook, so it would be nice to see what could be inspiration for replication in my own kitchen. I’d also wonder if chef’s would go one step further and not place an egg or cheese on everything. Not saying it must be, but it would be neat to see what could be made without automatic standby replacements.

  4. October 5, 2012 1:39 pm

    Ha! You are like the Don Corleone of Capital Region food blog people —

    Step 1 – Create “Upstate” or “Capital Region” food blog.
    Step 2 – Arrange a “sit-down” with El Fusserino.
    Step 3 – Profit.

    Remember back around circa 2008? There were only a couple “Upstate” or “Albany” or “Capital Region” people writing about our little corner of the world… We had our crappy little Blogspot blogs, crappy pictures, and grammatical errors.

    It is so funny to me to see the outpouring of local pride to be found on the internets in recent years. You have all sorts of shiny well written stuff going down! This is good, it gives old hacks like me some people to hand over the reigns too. Upstate food blogging is a young man’s game, haha.

    • October 5, 2012 1:51 pm

      I sense another 404 event in the offing. Don’t do it, Mr. Dave. Just the introduction to the custard dogs at Stewards, that post along, is worth all effort you have put into it since your return.

      • October 5, 2012 2:05 pm

        Don’t worry, I think I am done with dramatic blog ending tantrums… I think.

        I think I will just post now when I get cranky about something (like the Stewart’s hot dog thing).

  5. Megan permalink
    October 5, 2012 3:20 pm

    I would LOVE to participate in a vegetarian challenge! I can’t tell you how many times at sports tournaments people try to feed me only salad or pasta, no protein. It makes me so angry. I’m pretty accomplished in the kitchen, so eating out happens rarely because of my lack of flexibility on salad or pasta.

  6. October 5, 2012 8:42 pm

    I am ALWAYS interested in the food challenges you pose. But I think you knew that. :)

  7. Jen permalink
    October 5, 2012 8:42 pm

    I’m interested in being on the invite list to a vegetarian challenge!

  8. October 6, 2012 1:00 pm

    I would interested too. Not sure I could make it, but interested.

  9. October 6, 2012 8:01 pm

    Hold on a minute. I’m trying to get my head wrapped around what interest you would have in challenging restaurants to go vegetarian. I’m calling you out on consistency, and it relates to the “Mexican restaurant” argument that you and I always have. [And the tone of this is friendly, not at all contemptuous. Because of the nature of the internet and the written word, I feel it's necessary that I state this up front.]

    Hear out my logic on this. One of the things that you and I disagree on is the state of Mexican food in the Capital Region. My stance is that there are no restaurants making inspired Mexican meals that are more than average street food. For you, it’s acceptable that “the best Mexican food in the area” comes from a grocery store that has nothing more than tacos and tamales. For me, I don’t argue that these types places aren’t good, but I think it’s laughable that the best the area has for authentic Mexican is tacos and tamales. Just 100 miles away in Orange County, the state of Mexican food is much better, and I’m embarrassed to even mention to my friends from Mexico that the best place in the Albany area to get Mexican food is probably a grocery store.

    There are plenty of good vegetarian places in the area, and plenty of chefs who are dedicated to providing inspired vegetarian meals. Not factoring in places like New World Bistro, Mingle, Capital City Gastropub, and numerous others that consistently have evolving vegetarian creations that sometimes look more interesting that the carnivorous selections, I know for a fact you’re big on All Good Bakers. They’re a place with all-vegetarian menu. Following your Mexican restaurant logic, this one place should be all the area needs for people seeking out vegetarian fare. Why push the envelope any further?

    I saw what Rochelle wrote, and having dined with her and M (at a Brazilian steak house no less), and I understand it’s frustrating to be in their shoes, and I agree that restaurants and events shouldn’t be alienating a large portion of diners who don’t eat meat or fish. I just don’t understand where you fit into the equation on this matter; maybe this just means I can count on you to stand by me to challenge the Mexican restaurants in the area to try harder to cater to those who want authentic, inspired Mexican meals…

    [For a basis of reference for those who aren't familiar with our "Mexican Restaurant" argument, what I consider authentic and inspired is pretty well documented in a recent Docsconz post (not so much the worms, though: http://docsconz.com/2012/08/el-mural-de-los-poblanos-curating-the-culinary-traditions-of-puebla-mexico/ ), but I would be more than pleased if a place doing similar foods in a more casual setting popped up in the area.]

  10. docsconz permalink
    October 7, 2012 10:10 am

    It is because of the quality and volume of bloggers like yourself that I have scaled back (though not entirely eliminated) my own local blogging and have focused more on the rest of the world. I can’t keep up around here.

    Yes, sometimes scheduling can really be a bitch and the opportunities lost are too many, but I guess that’s a good thing that the opportunities are there in the first place. Yes, it was I that stated an interest in visiting Local Ocean. I would love to schedule a mutually acceptable time. Let’s talk!

    Thanks for the shout out, derryX. I do agree that the state of Mexican food in the area is seriously lacking. I would love to see more restaurants that highlight the truly world class cuisine that is Mexican, but then I would say that about any cuisine locally.

  11. Mr. Sunshine permalink
    October 7, 2012 5:23 pm

    As a mostly-Paleo eater and believer, I am of course not in the least interested in any kind of vegetarian challenge–or even “meatless Monday.”

  12. suzanne permalink
    October 8, 2012 7:43 pm

    Why are you surprised by strawberries in October? My garden is still producing them and so are tmany area farmers. Raspberries are also available locally–my favorite! Tonight’s temps may put an end to the berries, but not if row covers do their job!

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