Skip to content

Jewish Penicillin

January 19, 2017

Today we do Jewish. Because yesterday was a continuation of the coordinated bomb threats phoned into Jewish Community Centers around the U.S.

I don’t know what goes on in Polish Community Centers, or Italian Community Centers, or Irish Community Centers. But the Jewish Community Centers aren’t just rec rooms. They aren’t simply halls where people congregate for big events. Often they are daycares and nursery schools. Sometimes they serve as senior centers too.

So when one has to be evacuated, because someone thinks it would be a good idea to call in a false bomb threat, these are the human beings who are directly affected. Our most vulnerable, and their caretakers.

Yesterday, dozens, literally dozens of JCCs got such calls. Those are in addition to the calls several other JCCs received last week. Two coordinated attacks. That forms a trend line. And it’s not pretty.

The aims of such actions are to intimidate. Part of this makes me sad. Part of this makes me angry. But a bigger part of me knows that anger isn’t going to solve the problem. The answer is love. The answer is compassion. Because people are not born to hate. We’re not.

And there’s no better expression of Jewish love, than chicken soup.

Read more…

There Are No Best Bloggers

January 18, 2017

If you want to call me a self-serving egotist, that’s okay. Sometimes, I act that way. Other times, I offer to do good things for others. It’s true. I’m actually a pretty nice guy.

What I won’t do is help anyone move.

Once I helped my friend Bill move a sleeper sofa up three flights of stairs. The fact that it was a sleeper sofa was kept from me until I was at the bottom of the stairs, trying to push this giant heavy thing up vertically through the stairwell. And now, after his ex-girlfriend stabbed me with a fondue fork, we no longer talk.

Never again. Screw that. This is why God created movers.

Speaking of the past, does anyone remember the FUSSYlittleBALLOT? It had a few different iterations over the years, but the goal was to try and improve the results of the Times Union’s Best of the Capital Region. As it turns out, the thing that had the most impact was the open letter I wrote to the paper.

The bottom line is that for the last few years, the Times Union’s Best of the Capital Region hasn’t been a complete embarrassment. In fact, I’ve been tickled to have been voted as one of the area’s best bloggers. I cracked the top five for the past two years straight, which is pretty impressive for a guy with a complicated history with the paper.

As with many things, 2017 is bringing some major changes.

Read more…

Healthy, Wealthy & Wise

January 17, 2017

Benjamin Franklin said a lot of things. “Laws without morals are in vain” was attributed to him. As was this “Early to bed and early to rise” nonsense. You’re going to miss out on a lot of bar room wisdom if you are habitually early to bed.

But good health requires more than a healthful diet, regular movement, and good genes. It requires attention, early intervention, and professional medical care. I’m very lucky. Very, very lucky. And that in itself makes me sad, because this should not be about luck.

I’ve never been without medical insurance. Before I landed my first job, I was carried on my parents’ plan. Then I was insured through work. When I was laid off and decided to embrace a freelance career, I bought my own policy. Then I purchased a separate policy for Young Master Fussy when he was born.

All by myself. It felt very grown up. Very responsible. Very secure.

Why am I mentioning all of this on a food blog? Good question. Recently, there’s been a tragedy around one of the beloved classic restaurants in our community. And I really couldn’t bring myself to share it without talking about a much larger issue that impacts not just this one business owner, but surely many other entrepreneurs who do great things for the food scene in our area.

Read more…

MLK Days of Yesterday

January 16, 2017

Some people are tough. I’m not one of them. When I have a sniffle, it can seem like the end of the world. And right now I have a full blown head cold. Thankfully, I have good health insurance, so I don’t have to worry if things take a turn for the worse.

Except for trips to the kitchen for chicken soup, and my plan to take a hot shower later today, I’m staying in bed.

Last night I went to sleep early, thinking that today is Martin Luther King Jr. Day. Since it’s a holiday, nobody would be expecting a post. But then I looked through the archive, and came to realize that I have always had new content on the MLK Days of yesterday.

I suppose, for some reason, MLK Day feels more important now than ever. Still, I don’t like to break from precedent, so today I have a little bit of a retrospective.

Read more…

In Defense of Red Sauce Restaurants

January 13, 2017

Man, I’ve been writing this blog for a long time. Back in 2010, I did a bunch of posts in defense of a lot of different things. There was In Defense of Cream in Coffee, In Defense of Fussy Little Portions, and In Defense of Cheap Beer in Cans.

The idea was to stand up for the good in things that people often derided. Some of the things I had scoffed at in the past myself.

Today, I am resurrecting this theme so that I can help spread the joy of old school Italian-American red sauce joints. And perhaps they don’t need defending. If you did a count of the restaurants in the Capital Region, I’m fairly certain a plurality of them would fall within the Italian-American genre.

It’s the ubiquity that seems to bring contempt. My argument has always been a little different.

Read more…

Cooking Stupid

January 12, 2017

Anchors can weigh you down, but they can also keep you grounded. That’s not always a bad thing. Mrs. Fussy was gone for less than forty-eight hours, and during that time, I engaged in more cooking projects than I should have.

The good news is that our chest freezer is packed with all kinds of delicious things to eat. The bad news is that last night I was up past midnight cooking a giant pot of food that we didn’t even remotely need. And really, I could have used the sleep.

But it was my own fault. I did something incredibly dumb.

Read more…

Free Stuff, Good Times & Old Bloggers

January 11, 2017

Yesterday I checked out the new MopCo theater in Schenectady. It’s pretty sweet. And it’s almost right across the street from Perreca’s bakery.

Unfortunately, I wasn’t there for a show. I was there for a meeting. Yelp is a promotional partner with the Storytime Time event this Friday at 8 o’clock. What that means is two fold. For starters, I’m giving away tickets, which are super easy to win. The other is that if you’re at the show, and check-in to MopCo using the Yelp App, you’ll get a free bag of popcorn! Score.

There are rumblings that this weekend is all about supporting the arts and eating delicious food. And I think that’s a great idea. So I’m recommending that on Friday night, you hit up More Perreca’s for dinner, and catch my buddy Ethan Ullman at MopCo. Just make sure to save room for that free popcorn.

Then on Saturday (and I think I may have already mentioned this) there is an awesome pop-up at Saratoga Apple with Nine Miles East. It’s the place where all the real food lovers are going to be that night. I’ve even gotten confirmation that there will be donuts in addition to the cheese and gravy slathered wood oven roasted potatoes. I don’t know if there will be an after party at Hamlet & Ghost, but a man can dream.

Speaking of dreams, I just had a couple of mine come true.

Read more…