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My Year in Food

December 28, 2012

I’ve never done anything like this before. We’ll see how it turns out. I figure it will either be really interesting or perhaps the most boring thing I’ve written in a long long time.

Which does make me wonder which posts I’ve written that have just left readers scratching their heads. But I digress.

Saying that I’m obsessive about food is an exercise in the obvious. But the big contradiction of my food loving life is that I take a lot of pictures of what I eat, yet rarely post any to the blog. I’ve written about this as a modern-day secular blessing for the bounties we receive. But over time these pictures accumulate into a rather interesting archive.

No, I’m not going to share them with you today. I don’t do that sort of thing, and the pictures themselves aren’t noteworthy. What is noteworthy is the story they tell when they are all strung together. At least I think. Let’s see.

January
Danger Milk aka raw milk from Clover Creek Cheese Cellar in Williamsburg, PA.
Split Rail Run Farm free range eggs from Clearville, PA.
Organic egg and cheese on a bagel at Tierra Coffee Roasters
New York style cheese pizza slices that look good but are unidentifiable
My first Fluffalicious cupcake – chocolate on chocolate
Kimchi fried rice topped with a fried egg (made at home)
Dinner at Phoenicians with Albany Jane (not as good as I was led to believe)
Chilaquiles at The Point for All Over Albany
More kimchi fried rice with a fried egg (made at home)
Cornell Farm non-caged range-raised eggs from Hoosic Falls, NY
Bowtie pasta with Korean red pepper paste (made at home)
Disappointing slice of cheese pizza from Prima Pizzeria in Schenectady
Egg and cheese sandwich on a hardroll from Madison Street Cafe with Cap2Cap
Tour de Egg and Cheese Sandwich
Soup Judging at the Schenectady Greenmarket – Congrats to Farmer Boy Diner
Egg and cheese sandwich with potatoes at Quintessence

February
Egg and cheese sandwich from Pepperjacks (not up to par)
Heirloom potatoes from the Troy farmers market
The best part of a disgusting meal at Ruby Tuesday’s was…
A bottle of Torpedo by Sierra Nevada
Brown stew chicken and a Jamaican patty at Orchids for All Over Albany
Rotini in a Buffalo cream sauce (at home)
A breakfast wrap with Albany John at Cafe Caliente
Kimchi fried rice with a fried egg (at home)
A slice of Spinners pizza where the crust left me flat
Small meal at Parivar of an intensely spicy and savory bitter melon dish
Girl Scout cookies, specifically the “Lead” Shout Out
Bella Napoli Boston Creme donuts for All Over Albany
Chipotle soft tacos on corn shells – I was so happy for soft corn tortillas!

March
A slice of Olivia (a delicious olive oil cake) for only $1 at Crisan
Cookie tasting at Bake For You of potential DelSo Cookie contenders
Hot Cross Bun at Bella Napoli
Shanghaiese dim sum at Ala Shanghai for All Over Albany
Tasting of 82%+ fair trade chocolate
Oatmeal and coffee at the counter of the Blue Ribbon diner in Schenectady
Fruited rye bread from Hawthorne Valley Farm for the Chefs Consortium
Coach Farm goat milk (and a bit of goat cream on top) for the Chefs Consortium
Cascade Mountain Vinyard’s Coeur de Lion
The Great Blind Cupcake Tasting of 2012
Butternut squash hash at All Good Bakers
Karl Ehmer Bauernwurst for Chefs Consortium didn’t make the cut
Chatham Brewing’s IPA at AOA’s City Beer Hall Party
Horizontal tasting of Lloyd Spear honey at the Jewish Food Festival
Solid cheese slice at I Love NY on upper Union Street in Schenectady
Summer rolls and beef banh mi and Pho Yum were okay but overpriced
Proud owner of 14 ounces of fennel pollen
Guided cheese tasting by Eric Paul at his church

April
Croissant at Mrs. London’s for All Over Albany with jenh718
Fried fish lunch at Compton’s with Burnt My Fingers
Mystery overcooked Greek omelet at some mystery diner
Vermont Smoke and Cure Summer Sausage for the Chefs Consortium
Crisan Savarina plucked by katerspie and deliver by Albany Jane
South Carolina pulled pork sandwich at Capital Q for All Over Albany
CurrantC currant nectar for the Chefs Consortium
Bialy at Eastern Parkway Price Chopper in Schenectady

May
Egg and cheese sandwich with coffee at Dewey’s Diner
Kimchi fried noodles topped with a fried egg (at home)
Zucchini muffin and coffee at All Good Bakers
Fried oysters at Ted’s Fish Fry for All Over Albany
Taco, tamale, etc at Inca Maya in Schenectady missed the mark
Fava beans
Pheasant eggs and pheasant sausage from Quattro’s Farm for the Chefs Consortium
Soft boiled turkey egg from Quattro’s Farm
Awesome slices from the Pizza King
Soft frozen custard in Schenectady from The Ice Cream Shop
Tlayuda with Leah the Nosher at La Mexicana
Rapacki kielbasa from Lindenhurst, NY for the Chefs Consortium
Sampled a bialy at every local Price Chopper for All Over Albany
Everything Bagel at Bagels and Bakes in Schenectady was not good
Bialy at All Good Bakers
Kimchi fried noodles topped with a fried egg (at home)
Tour de Homemade Hard Ice Cream
Traditional carnitas taco from Bros. Tacos for All Over Albany
Hannaford Nature’s Place rotisserie chicken for All Over Albany
Spacey Tracy’s carrot pickles for the Chefs Consortium didn’t make the cut
SoCo Creamery salted caramel ice cream for the Chefs Consortium

June
A dozen cupcakes from Cupkates Bakery truck in Alameda, CA
Mini tour of taco trucks around International Boulevard in Oakland, CA
My old standby the carnitas torta at Casa Latina in Berkeley, CA
A traditional cappuccino at Peet’s Coffee in Alameda, CA
Piave and Boccalone’s Nduja at casa del Raf in Alameda, CA
Domaine du Gros Nore 1998 with roast lamb and my oldest friends
Chocolate lavender macaron from Miette in SF, CA
A Gibraltar from Blue Bottle Coffee in SF, CA
Killer Sichuan food in SF’s chinatown
El Porteno empanadas made with dry aged organic beef SF, CA
Two sacks of great banh mi with a pressed sugarcane and orange drink
Ethiopian feast taken out from Red Sea in Oakland, CA
ADS makes perfect poached eggs from his backyard chickens
The best strawberries I’ve had in years at the Temescal farmers market
Another Gibraltar from Blue Bottle Coffee in SF, CA
Bun and Vietnamese summer rolls in SF Chinatown
Single origin espresso from Blue Bottle Coffee in SF, CA
Deep fried Buffalo burger from Swiftys
Cupcakes from Bake Me a Cake Next Door
The 518 Burger at The City Beer Hall, which is also fantastic
Ronnybrook drinkable strawberry yogurt for the Chefs Consortium
A private tasting of Brian Bowden’s food at Creo
A local ham, egg and cheese sandwich at Nick’s on Broadway in Providence, RI
Del’s soft frozen lemonade really is refreshing, and a Providence, RI classic
A massive batch of Thai inspired slaw (at home)
A local foods dinner on the sloop Clearwater with the Chefs Consortium
Egg & Cheese sandwich with a side of CBH at Nook & Cranny in West Stockbridge, MA

July
Peach Jack from Harvest Spirits for All Over Albany
Brooklyn Brine spicy maple bourbon pickles for the Chefs Consortium
A beautiful macchiato from Stumptown coffee in the Ace Hotel in NYC
My first slice of Grandma Pizza at Maffei Pizza in NYC
My first visit to Grimaldi’s at their Manhattan address
A surprisingly lackluster espresso from Eataly in Manhattan
A classic chocolate egg cream at Eisenberg’s in Manhattan
A sno cone in Central Park
Cappuccino and a donut at Gimme! Coffee in Brooklyn
Espresso at Oslo in Brooklyn
An amazing porchetta sandwich from Porchetta at the Brooklyn Flea
A Gibraltar from the Blue Bottle Coffee in Brooklyn
Twelve scoops of ice cream from the Ice Cream Man for All Over Albany
Pint of fried clams from Harbor House in Clifton Park
Harpersfield Cheese with Ommegang Ale for the Chefs Consortium
Homefries and coffee from Dewey’s Diner
A slice from Marissa’s pizza
A massive bowl of French fries from Capital City Diner
Burger and fries from Ed’s Steak House in Bedford, PA
Taste off of Gatherer’s vs. Our Daily Eats granola for All Over Albany
A massive stack of my FIL amazing pancakes with local sausages
Clover Creek Cheese Cellar Royer Mountain, Uncle Joe’s & Tussey Mountain

August
Frozen custard from The Meadows in Bedford, PA
A slice of pizza from the Pizza King back in Schenectady
The first bad thing I ever had at Crisan, their vegan Come Along Cake
Some monstrosity of a cookie from the Hudson River Coffee House
Beet Kvass from Hawthorne Valley Farm was not something I’d drink for pleasure
Wan Ja Shan soy sauce made in Orange County New York for the Chefs Consortium
My first visit to LemonDrop frozen yogurt in Colonie
Jumpin’ Jacks and their Jackburger for All Over Albany (skip the shakes)
I found imported bottles of Schweppes Bitter Lemon in Providence, RI
Ice Cream Sandwich Smackdown
Fried clams at Bob & Ron’s continue to be my favorite in the region
Trader Joe’s has a solid ice cream sandwich in light of the recent smackdown
Stoneybrook Wholehearted Foods squash seed oils for the Chefs Consortium
Greek fries at Anton’s
Fiore Sardo comes back into my life thanks to Adventure in Food Trading
Skip the gravy fries at Sutters
I meet the macarons and Chef Paul from TC Bakery for the first time

September
Joe’s Summer Blend from Red Jacket Orchard for the Chefs Consortium
Introduced to The Flying Chicken and eat almost everything there
Judge Baconfest – love the bacon wrapped rib and hate the bacon milkshake
Get more macarons from TC Bakery for All Over Albany
Fried clams at Ted’s Fish Fry
Macchiato at Caffe Vero
SPAC Fall Food and Wine Festival
Chicken and Waffles at The Flying Chicken for All Over Albany
Boston cream pie from Schuyler Bakery
Macaron from The Placid Baker in Troy
I did not love the lobster roll from B-Rad Bistro in Troy
Tour de Cider Donut, round three
Mr. B’s Best Roast Beef Sandwich in Queensbury
Macchiato at Caffe Vero
Slice of pizza at the new Gourmella’s location on Delaware Ave
A deeply flawed slice of Buffalo chicken pizza from Lou-Bea’s
Maybe my favorite egg and cheese sandwich from All Good Bakers
Old Sin sparkling hard cider for All Over Albany
Northwind Farms Kabanosy sausage for the Chefs Consortium

October
Five Guys French fry snack
Eggs in Purgatory with Silly Goose Farm at More Perreca’s for All Over Albany
Mini hot dogs with meat sauce at Anton’s where the onions are chopped to order
Judged the Iron Chef Saratoga competition of John Ireland vs. Max London
Hawthorne Valley Farms granola for the Chefs Consortium
Chicken soup with tatsoi and orzo (at home)
Grits fries at Capital Q with a pulled pork slider and I can die happy
Slice at Jonathan’s in Downtown Albany tastes good, but is underdone
The Cheese Traveler sells me an Olympia Provisions saucisson d’arles
Breakfast at All Good Bakers involved grits, smoked jalapeno and mole
The Cheese Traveler also got me a very special Fiore Sardo
Kimchi fried rice with an egg on top (at home)
TC Bakery has me sample their fruit tart and creme brulee (among other things)
Tried out Nosh, but should have sent back my lean corned beef
Taiwan Noodle feast gets turned into an All Over Albany post
Madison Station has “pizza’ with caramelized onions, blue cheese & bacon

November
Roma has good meat for reasonable prices, but skip their pizza
I premier my version of Tonno del Chianti for Albany Jane and Garnish Marketing
Naples Valley Brand Red Pepper Jazzy Jam for the Chefs Consortium
Romo’s pizza has a nice crisp bottom, and decent flavor, but it’s lacking depth
The Cheese Traveler gets his slicer working – I eat Rosette de Lyon
Mrs. Fussy and I create a flight of IPAs at The City Beer Hall
Also, the “Shephard’s Pie” is made with lots and lots of delicious love
Migliorelli brocoli rabe for All Over Albany
I finally try the much heralded tofu fries from Bombers
Win second place in a cooking contest behind my Tonno del Chianti
Wild Hive Farm stone ground polenta for the Chefs Consortium
The Cheese Traveler officially opens and like everyone I get Gorgonzola Cremificado
LMF loves the cured duck salami from Hudson Valley Foie Gras – thanks Adventure in Food
The Cheese Traveler sliced up some La Quercia Rossa – bye-bye prosciutto
Wings at The Ruck for All Over Albany
A feast of Frank Pepe pies from their original oven in New Haven, CT
The slices at the Pizza King aren’t as good now that he’s not around
Had Tara Kitchen’s amazing Moroccan flatbreads at lunch in Schenectady with Celina
Homemade grilled cheese sandwiches should be illegal

December
I segmented a grapefruit, removing the fruit from its membrane
Tour de Mozz and Melba – so much fried cheese
The Peanut Principle peanut butter didn’t clear the bar for the Chefs Consortium
Partridge Run Farm raw honey from Berne, NY for the Chefs Consortium
10 breaded wings at Hooters – all flats – extra wet (don’t judge me)
Sampled Ironweed bourbon from the Albany Distilling Company & bought a bottle
Back to Tara kitchen with Stanford Steph for All Over Albany
Montreal Poutine got off to a rocky start
Crisan makes great birthday cakes – mine was delicious – and a steal at <$20
Meadow Brook Farms Egg Nog for the Chefs Consortium
Fried clams at Bob & Ron’s
Disco fries, mozz sticks and chicken strips at Junior’s for Chanukah
Trader Joe’s egg nog would be great if not for all the commercial thickeners
There was all that eating in Paris too
TC Bakery gave me a sample of their hazelnut pralines, and I’m in love

-

Okay. Wow. As long as this list is, I realize that it is woefully insufficient. Because it doesn’t include a lot of notable meals and events that I failed to photography. Like all of the Tournament of Pizza or the airlift of Venda Ravioli meatballs from Providence to Albany.

Anyway, if you have made it all the way down here, congratulations. Should you want further illumination on any of the above points, I’m happy to expand my thoughts.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. Randy K permalink
    December 28, 2012 11:35 am

    wow. i should do this. literally 50% of my photos are of food :)

  2. December 28, 2012 7:20 pm

    Kimchi fried rice/noodles sounds good. Care to elaborate on the technique?

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