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Literally the Restaurant of My Dreams

November 17, 2015

Every now and again, I give readers a peek under the hood of the blog.

This is a project that started out over six years ago, and has become a daily habit. But most of the writing happens late at night, after everyone is in bed, and the world is asleep. It’s not that I’m an insomniac. I actually really enjoy sleep. It’s just that I’ve always found writing to be more productive when all of the distractions of life are stripped away.

That said, I’ve always been a night owl. Before the blog, I used to stay up way too late playing video games. I’ve spent more time on Halo 2 than I would care to mention. But in my defense, it was a great way for me to stay in touch with my friends back in California in those first challenging years after the move to New York.

I mention all of this, because last night I did something differently. I actually went to bed early. Occasionally, the lack of sleep catches up with me and leaves me completely exhausted. So I retired without writing a blog post.

The FLB may be interesting for people to read. But I write it largely to help get all of these thoughts about food out of my head. So perhaps I shouldn’t be surprised that after falling asleep without writing a post, my subconscious would dream about food.

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Sour Cream on Pie: Apple & Pizza

November 16, 2015

Yesterday, I finally made that stupid easy apple pie recipe. It may actually be the first and only pie I’ve made myself from scratch and enjoyed. Sure, the crust was more sandy than flaky, but it had a rich toasted wheat flavor, and a delightful crispness. Plus it required no rolling, made no mess, and barely took any measuring at all. The Golden Delicious apples picked from Indian Ladder Farms, which have lost the little crunch they once had, worked beautifully.

As we’re coming up on the Thanksgiving season, I’d strongly encourage anyone who may be freaked out about making pie to give this a try. It’s not going to be as good as one purchased from a great local bakery, but it will be decidedly better from what you would pick up from a grocery store.

Today I want to talk a little bit more about what we put on top of our pies. Mostly because this weekend was sour cream centric. Not only did I get to have it on the apple pie at home, but Jon in Albany put some on one of the pizza pies he made in an epic pizza parade.

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The Annual Wine Panic

November 13, 2015

Thanksgiving is in thirteen days. If you want to panic, go ahead. I’m not going to stop you. Although, if you’re responsible for cooking the meal, and you’re feeling a bit stressed about it, maybe you should consider ordering a pre-cooked turkey from one of your favorite restaurants.

I’m serious. The holiday should be more about spending time with your family than fretting in the kitchen. That said, fretting in the kitchen is a brilliant way to avoid spending time with your family. Whatever works for you.

Today I wanted to try and get ahead of the inevitable stress that happens every year around this time, when it comes to buying a wine for Thanksgiving. Mostly, because recently two infuriatingly popular pieces of “wine journalism” came across my feed, and I wanted to discuss them. But also this is the first week of a brand new wine store in Troy, and I’m still all aflutter.

The common refrain on Vox and Thrillist are that you shouldn’t be a sucker when it comes to wine. Don’t embarrass yourself and make silly mistakes. And it plays right into people’s fears.

My goal, is to remove fear entirely, but with less disinformation.

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Newton’s Third Law of Food

November 12, 2015

Physics may not be your thing. But the synopsis of Newton’s third law of motion is, that for every action, there is an equal but opposite reaction. I remember learning about this in high school, and having a hard time wrapping my head around the fact that when you push against the wall, the wall pushes back against you. Maybe I have that wrong. Surely, I don’t understand it fully. But go with me for a minute.

I was just reminded of this recently when reading through some of the national food stories of the week, one from The New York Times and the other from The Washington Post.

It would seem that consumer demand for better food is on the rise. But at the same time, the factors that drove consumers away from our industrialized, modernized, food-production system are actually getting worse. And for the the first time, I’m starting to wonder, if the profit pressures that national brands are feeling by the exodus of the “food-aware” are pushing them to cut costs and further weaken the supply chain.

Here’s what I mean.

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Veterans Day Diwali

November 11, 2015

I suppose today isn’t quite the same magical combination of Chanukah and Thanksgiving that we had a few years back. But still, it’s notable that today is both Diwali and Veterans Day.

One is more of an eating holiday. But I think there is a nice little bit of overlap.

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Three Years in Troy

November 10, 2015

I probably should have told you yesterday that last night Lucas Confectionery would be celebrating its third anniversary.


There’s always a lot of stuff going on in the Capital Region, despite what her detractors might say. Last night was no exception. But there was no way that I was going to miss celebrating with Vic and Heather this stunning achievement.

In part because the Troy wine bar’s ongoing success is a reminder of just how wrong I was, and its evolution is nothing short of amazing.

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More Than My Portion

November 9, 2015

Maybe it’s the season, but I’ve been on a bit of an eating bender lately. Fortunately, I monitor the scale very carefully, and so far I haven’t been seeing the ill effects.

When I trimmed up the pork shoulder recently for Tonno del Chianti, I took the scraps and cooked them down in a heavy pot. At the time I was just goofing around, but when the mass ended up taking form, I realized I had inadvertently made a batch of pork rillettes. So naturally, I ate them for breakfast one day this past weekend.

Yes, I’ve been enjoying more than my fair share of grassfed butter, avocados, and other high fat foods. With that context in mind, yesterday I took Little Miss Fussy out for lunch. But in an effort to make sure we had room for dessert, I was inspired to try a momentary experiment with moderation.

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