AskTP – Spring is Nigh
Yeah. I’m done with winter. As I was harping on this fact, it struck me that perhaps the arrival of Valentines Day in the middle of February is no accident. We need something like chocolate to make us happy and get us through the doldrums of winter. A little bit of additional body heat wouldn’t hurt either.
As inconceivable as it seems, I just saw the first harbinger of spring: the Passover display has gone up at my local area Walmart. Who would have thought that Walmart would have a solid selection of Kosher for Passover matzoh? But while it’s still early, maybe this spring holiday is the thing I need to be the light at the end of this tunnel.
With spring on the distant horizon, this is the time to start thinking about CSAs. Roxbury just released their 2013 Enrollment Form. If you are interested in signing on this year, think about doing so early, because their Capital Region locations fill up.
But now it’s time to answer the questions from the last two weeks. That’s my commitment to you. As long as questions are asked in the comments with a question mark, they will eventually get answered. Usually in these semi-regular roundups. But late is better than never, right?
Okay, without any further ado, onto the questions.
Chad’z Adventures wonders why there’s even an Ask the Profussor in the first place:
Wouldn’t it be easier to just respond to all the question and comments on their respective posts?
Maybe but it wouldn’t be as much fun. Really, I like to throw my words up on the Internet and then have you all engage in some kind of discussion. I’ll jump in if things go off the rails. But I’m not so needy that I feel like I have to reply to every comment. And if there is an urgent, timely question, I’ll address that as quickly as I possibly can.
Michaeline must have mistaken me for someone who thinks there is such a thing as bad words:
What’s with the “c***s*****” comment by Deanna, Daniel? I fail to see the reason you need to post filthy language in a food blog. I’m a bit disappointed in you.
Recently I was at a party with mostly adults and my two small kids. One adult dropped an f-bomb around Little Miss Fussy. The woman realized she let one slip, felt awful, and apologized to me. I explained to her that it wasn’t necessary because my kids listen to pop music. They’ve heard it all before. Just in case you don’t follow these things, below are the first few lyrics to this week’s #1 hit song:
Nah, Walk up to the club like, “What up, I got a big cock!”
I’m so pumped about some shit from the thrift shop
Chad’z Adventures thought I needed a project:
Have you considered homebrewing your own soda? It’s really easy to make and you can do it with the kids.
Nope. Mostly we drink water. If I want to make my kids some kind of sweet bubbly soft drink I’ll get all soda shop on them and cook up some fanciful syrups. That and a little seltzer is how I roll.
squirrelfarts sounds like a hoarder to me, but it takes one to know one:
I also use the Martini & Rossi as an “everyday” vermouth. Been considering buying a case of the 375 bottles and having a fresh one every month, instead of repeated trips to the liquor store (who am I kidding… those trips happen anyway). The unopened ones would prob last for awhile, right?
Probably. It’s fortified wine, so I would think the higher booze content would prolong its shelf life. Still, it’s not that high. And temperature and light can negatively impact the flavor of liquid in a bottle. The vermouth is so cheap that any case discount would be negligible. I like your plan, but I’d skip the case and stick to three bottles. Just make sure to re-up quarterly.
Burnt My Fingers may not have learned that I can justify just about anything:
What are you going to defend next, plastic bags? (that was a question)
It wasn’t part of my plan, but I could do that if you wanted.
irisira is having a hard time thinking like a vegan:
I’m sure there’s got to be some kind of vegan recipe for a hearty winter dip. I assume both potatoes and sweet potatoes are in your diet? Maybe something with potatoes and … seitan bacon? Does Three Smiles even do such a thing? I’m not sure how you pull it together because I would default to cheese, but I am not a vegan so maybe the vegans reading have some thoughts.
I’m eating potatoes and sweet potatoes. Love those roots. And Three Smiles does indeed make a seitan bacon, which incidentally is being used at All Good Bakers. Vegans have vegan cheese. But there are also avocados, coconut milk, and raw nut purees to make things creamy. I guess there is also blended silken tofu, but damn, that makes for some protein-heavy dip.
Rochelle makes me realize that perhaps I’ve taken this vegan thing too far:
What if you took a tofurky and oven fry it? Not sure about taste, but it would be meat free and not deep fried.
Oh dear, why would I want to do that. The seitan is at least made by hand locally, by someone who cares about food. I don’t even care to think about a tofurky. Even saying its name makes me want to stab myself in the eye with a fork.
Jen Gonroff comes off sounding a bit professorial:
Profusser ≠ Professor CBH. Get it – Mr. Fussy is the Pro Fusser, not a Professor. Kinda sucks that you missed that right?
I recently thought of some other “pro” things that describe me. I’m prolific. I’m a proponent of clean food. At night I’m prone. Recently I was accused of being profane. Last year for the FUSSYlittleBALLOT I was proactive in getting people on board. I’ve always considered myself to be a problem solver. This exercise is a good proof text that I’m also a procrastinator. Okay. I’ll stop now.
Jean Patiky doesn’t want me to deprive myself:
Deprivation never works long term. Try moderation, even now. Could you be satisfied with a small piece if fried chicken at party?
I’m not deprived. It’s just that I have to deprive myself of some treats to afford other ones. Like for example I avoided the fried chicken, but then ate almost the equivalent of three cupcakes for All Over Albany. I’ve got this weird “job” that requires me to occasionally eat things, like those chocolate bonbons. If I allowed myself just a little bit of everything during this slim-down phase of my diet, I imagine that it would take me 200 years to take off the next five pounds.
Reba is starting to get political and mull over the constitution:
Humm, since when did one’s partner’s eating preferences null the First Amendment?
As opposed to other food writers in the region, I don’t make it a habit of inviting my family along on trips to restaurants when I’m on-the-clock. And if I did invite other people along, they wouldn’t be able to order their own food anyway. There was some kind of story in the New York Times about this ages ago. Anyhow, because of the spouse of a local restaurant critic, the Capital Region is awash in calamari. If I’m ever in a similar position, I promise to make sure onions stay on the menu.
caravan 70 wishes we had soda as good as they do in Mexico:
I love Mexican Coke, and get it anytime I can – I sometimes wonder why it isn’t the standard here. Perhaps a Mexican ban on HFCS, as in many European countries, or the corn subsidies we in the U.S. so generously extend?
I wish we had cheese as good as they do in France. And by that I’m talking about young raw milk cheeses. Because as talented as American cheesemakers may be, none of them are breaking federal law to provide a tastier product. We are governed by people who have no love for food. I think the real problem is that our government is in Washington D.C. Even if it returned to Philadelphia, I think we would have a much better food policy. It’s what the founders would have wanted. Maybe we can get the Tea Party on the bandwagon.
Reba is trying to figure out how I can work cheese into my new stupid diet:
Have you tried the yogurt cheese from Trader Joe’s? They used to have it in block form, but only carry it in slices now, it’s pretty yummy!
I haven’t. But I am enjoying Parm-Reg and other intensely flavored hard cheese that can be grated and used sparingly with plenty of flavor. Parm-Reg is extra special because it’s partially skimmed. Also, I’ll go to The Cheese Traveler and Eric will give me some nibbles of insanely delicious cheeses. It’s sweet sweet torture. Seriously, I can’t say enough good things about the wheels in his case.
MB should try to hook up with my mom:
Could you update this post in time for Purim 2013 with sources for good hamantashen in the Capital Region? I will not be baking my own. Thanks!
Posts don’t really get updated here. I will write new ones on similar themes though. The only problem with your request is that I won’t personally be eating a lot of cookies around then, and like a good Jewish boy I will tell you that none can compare to the ones made by my mother.
If I were going to get Jewish cookies, I’d call up my friend Regina at the Happy Baker 518-280-5170. Actually, I might do that too. I’ll need some hamantashen this year, and I really don’t want to bake. Plus my kids love everything Regina makes. My favorites are her honey bars.
Burnt My Fingers is asking a loaded question:
I wonder what Mr. Dowd thinks of the current popularity of izakayas in NY and SF… Japanese drinking and eating establishments that serve minimalist but delicious food, often prepared at a simple toaster oven-type setup behind the bar?
You know, you could probably ask him on his blog. Occasionally he would drop by here. But perhaps I’ve pissed him off recently too. It would seem, given his perspective on The Charles F. Lucas Confectionery & Wine Bar in addition to his track record of reviews for the Times Union, that he wouldn’t be into it.
Jeni B has some alternatives to Simply Heinz:
I actually just read someone’s blog post about taste testing four different home made ketchups. Maybe that would be a viable option for you?
I’m actually reasonably happy with Simply Heinz. And given how little ketchup I actually eat at home, it’s unlikely that I’ll put in any work to make something from scratch for the kiddos that they will assuredly not enjoy as much as the store bought product.
Reba’s question makes me think that the ketchup post was less than clear:
Wait, you missed the big yellow banner Hunt’s proudly slathers across the bottle with “No High Fructose Corn Syrup”? What a bummer they are going back to it….
First, since Hunt’s has never really been in my consideration set, the packaging doesn’t even sink into my retina. Second, it is a bummer that they are adding HFCS back into their product. However, to be clear, Hunt’s will continue to sell a brand extension of their ketchup that is HFCS free.
Burnt My Fingers really got an answer from Sarah M. but I thought I’d add my voice:
Farm Washing? (that was a question.)
I thought someone might pick up on that. Really, I had no idea what to call it. Green washing is when something seems environmentally responsible. Local washing is when something from far away is positioned as a product from the region. What would you call the implication that your food was grown by small independent farmers, when in reality its growing conditions and processing resembled more of a factory than anything one would identify as a farm?