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Greg Judges Wings

October 11, 2019

Happy New Year! Okay, maybe I’m a few weeks late. Converting the blog from a daily journal to something that’s updated only periodically isn’t quite as easy as I had hoped. I’m falling behind on a lot of stories and totally out of my rhythm. Thankfully, there are more guest bloggers than ever stepping up to help fill the gaps.

So while I was fasting and praying for forgiveness, Greg was writing up his experience judging last weekend’s Schenectady Wing Walk.

There are a lot of things I’m missing about life in the Capital Region. Friends. Friends are right up there. But after that, there are a tremendous number of fantastic seasonal events this time of year. I was sad to miss The Food Pantries for the Capital District’s Harvest Evening Celebration for the first time in several years. I heard great things. The chili from chef Jennifer Hewes of The Point seemed to be a standout dish with the judges.

And of course there was the Schenectady Wing Walk as well. I heard there was a split between the judges and the crowd. The crowd went for 20 North, as crowds will often vote for the hometown favorite. Especially since without being a judge, it’s next to impossible to make it to every single stop.

Thankfully, we have some insight from Greg. And if you don’t know Greg, you are not alone. Today is his first guest post for the FLB, so let’s give him a warm Fussy welcome.

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Emily L Learns to Cook

October 4, 2019

Somewhere, deep in my distant memory, I recall what it’s like to cook.

Despite my better efforts, over time, family dinners have taken a nosedive. Largely, that’s because the kids are growing up and their activities span more into the evening hours than ever before. Getting the entire family around the dinner table is now only possible four nights a week.

Friday is shabbat, and we continue to observe our tradition of a rotisserie chicken, a loaf of challah, and some vegetable on the side. One night, we may have some variation on The Pasta of Infinite Blandness. One night is a dinner of convenience food driven by something canned, boxed, or frozen from Trader Joe’s. And maybe, just maybe, there’s room for one cooked from scratch dinner during the week. But most likely, some sort of unscheduled event has gotten in the way of dinner once again.

Still, I believe in cooking. If we were currently part of a CSA, the sheer number of vegetables would demand it. But this year we’re in a rental kitchen with limited freezer space, and there’s only so much I’m willing to undertake.

I mention this because today I’m pleased to share a guest post from Emily L which has reminded me of the importance of cooking. But it’s also paints an accurate picture of how it’s so easy to avoid cooking at all in these modern times. I’ll let her explain.

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The Sandwich Bread Saga Continues

October 2, 2019

Bread with butter is my favorite thing to eat. Sometimes hot from the oven. Sometimes toasted.

But not all bread.
And certainly not all butter.

Perhaps one of these days, I’ll share a rant about the sorry state of butter in America. However, for the most part, it’s awful. It might be mysterious how we as a society have been able to drain all the flavor from luscious butterfat. But the more closely you look at our industrialized food system, the less mysterious it becomes.

Bread shares a similar fate. Long time readers of the blog may remember the struggle I’ve had finding good bread, and my frustrations about the extruded wheat loaves that are sold as “bread” in most supermarkets. Thankfully, after years of searching and helpful tips from FLB readers, I found a few sandwich loaves that I could live with.

Unfortunately, those trusted brands aren’t available in Michigan, so I found myself back on the hunt. And in looking at the bread aisle, I found a new level of shenanigans from a once trusted bakery.

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Emily L Discovers Albany’s Foot Long Fish

September 20, 2019

Did I mention there was a backlog? This is something that can happen when a daily blog converts into posting just two times a week after a longer than expected hiatus.

Hopefully you remember Emily L. She’s been writing guest posts on the blog for several months, and today’s submission she sent in all the way back in July 17, after my final tour through downtown Albany.

One of the reasons it took so long to share is that there was a factual error in the post. Emily and I talked about it in person, but let’s see if you can find it. I’ll let you know at the very end.

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An Impossible Slider and Improbable Coke

September 18, 2019

Correct me if I’m wrong, but there isn’t a single White Castle in the Capital Region. It’s not that the area is bereft of sliders. Over the years I became a big fan of Slidin’ Dirty, and if you recall, we had them cater my son’s bar mitzvah. Although once when passing through town, Jim Leff insightfully called out Slidin’ Dirty for selling gourmet mini burgers and not actual sliders. However, I’m not here to quibble about semantics.

The year we were on sabbatical New Jersey, I was delighted to find it to be White Castle territory. However, despite my best intentions, I never made it into one of those temples of onions and grease during our time there. It turns out that I’m just more into exploring regional foods than a taste of the past at a national chain.

Well, we have White Castle here in Ann Arbor too, and in fact there is one just down the street from our new credit union. This time, I had a reason more powerful than nostalgia to visit. White Castle is now selling an Impossible Slider. That would be one made from Impossible Foods’ Impossible Burger. Oh yeah, and somehow I got a BOGO coupon in the mail to encourage me to try it.

Who was I to say no?

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Guest Post: Julie on Healthy Snacks

September 12, 2019

Moving can be complicated.

For those who were following the journey, we had a tree fall on our house and smash the windshield of our car. That involved filing an insurance claim, removing the tree, hiring roofers, and replacing the damaged garage door. Then there was a car accident that required the front end of the same car to be rebuilt. Oh yeah, and then the day before we moved, the car also required an unexpected brake job.

Fortunately, things went more smoothly from that point out. Our first day on the road ended in Buffalo, where I got to enjoy two dinners in one night. There was beef on weck from Schwabl’s and then wings at Bar Bill.

After the move is when I realized that there were some things that fell through the cracks.

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Into the Blue

September 9, 2019

Hello Ann Arbor!

The FLB has been on vacation for far too long. It’s time to shake off the dust, and get back to the occasional business of writing about food on the Internet.

For those who are still following from Upstate New York or other places around the world, Ann Arbor is the land of the University of Michigan. Almost everything here is colored maize and blue. The football team is the Wolverines. And “Go Blue” is the local battlecry.

Even though I have spent precious little time in this city on the banks of the Huron River, I thought it might be fun to share some initial impressions. And as I mentioned before signing off in Albany, there is still some unfinished business there as well.

But first thing’s first.

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