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Stocking Up On The Good Wine

October 20, 2017

Happy Friday. First thing’s first. As promised, this morning someone scores a pair of tickets to the port wine tasting and pairing class next Thursday. Random.org picked the winning number last night.

Congratulations to Kayla!

For the rest of you, tickets are still available here. Don’t forget that most of the ticket price goes to support the hurricane relief efforts of the Red Cross. So if you found the idea of pairing port with chocolate, cheese, nuts, and grilled meat tempting, maybe the idea that you can enjoy all of that while helping people in need, will push you over the edge to joining Kayla on your own dime.

Speaking of wine, today marks the end of bar mitzvah week on the FLB. The first religious ceremony of the weekend is tonight. And it will start with a ceremonial glass of wine. The kid who is becoming a man this weekend, will lead the blessing. There will be wine at the luncheon. There will be wine at the after party for out of town guests. And once everybody leaves and returns to their homes around the country, I’ll pour myself a glass of wine and sink into the couch.

Fortunately, I recently stocked up on a case of the good wine from 22 2nd St. Wine Co.

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Home Swine Home

October 19, 2017

Tomorrow it all begins. Actually, scratch that. Today it all starts rolling. Tonight we have our final meeting with the rabbi, we’ll see the table layout in the social hall, and the first out of town guests arrive.

Tonight is also your last chance to enter to win a pair of tickets for the bar mitzvah week giveaway. All entries have to be submitted by 10pm tonight. Details are here.

So much is already handled. The caterers are set. The entertainment is booked. The cookies and donuts have been ordered. The kids have their clothes, or at least they will today once the final alterations are done at the tailor. Even the party favors and centerpieces have all been assembled.

Now I’m working on the afterparty—or should I say after parties—for the out of town guests. And really, afterparty is the wrong word. Because they are less like parties, and more like a chance for my oldest friends and distant family to hang out at Casa del Fussy.

It’s also an excuse to eat the bar mitzvah boy’s favorite foods that are forbidden at temple. That’s right. Saturday night we’re having pulled pork. But that’s not all.

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No Pork, No Shellfish

October 18, 2017

Bar mitzvah week continues. You still have a couple more days to enter to win the present we’re giving away: a pair of tickets to next week’s port wine class and tasting.

Port is just one letter off from pork, which just so happens to be one of my son’s favorite foods. Sure, he likes beef when it comes in the form of burgers. And he can demolish a shocking quantity of chicken when it comes in the form of nuggets. But his two favorite foods are the pork soup dumplings from Ala Shanghai, and the pulled pork from just about anywhere.

It doesn’t matter if the pulled pork is smoked like at Memphis King or braised in cider at Slidin’ Dirty. If it’s soft, rich, and shredded, it’s up his alley.

Our goal was to make the bar mitzvah kid centric. Even though we’re a reform congregation, our temple still has a few rules about the ceremony and the event. One red line is no pork and no shellfish.

Sigh.

So both pulled pork and soup dumplings were off the table. Fortunately there are some other things the kiddo likes. Many of them come from Trader Joe’s. And we briefly considered hiring a cook to warm up some of his TJs favorite in mass quantities. But then we thought better of it, and brought in the catering experts from Slidin’ Dirty.

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Cookies and Donuts

October 17, 2017

It’s bar mitzvah week! Have you already entered the giveaway for the Port wine tasting and pairing class? Bar mitzvah week means that today’s post is going up late because last night instead of writing a blog post, I was working on putting together centerpieces and souvenirs.

Actually, our centerpieces are made out of the souvenirs. So, I’m killing two birds with one stone. Everyone is walking away from the event with a Rubik’s cube of their own. Technically it’s not a Rubik’s cube. It’s a Sheng Shou speed cube. And instead of a 3x3x3 cube, these are the smaller 2x2x2 cubes.

But don’t let that fool you into thinking it’s a dumbed down version of the original. In some ways it’s harder because there is no static center cube which informs you of the color each side needs to be.

If you locked me in a room with one of these cubes, and didn’t let me out until it was solved, I would die in that room. Of course my son can solve it in about ten seconds.

This bar mitzvah is all about the young man who is coming of age, and that’s why instead of a cake, we’re getting cookies and donuts. But not just any old cookies and donuts would do. Naturally, these had to be special. Fortunately, we have some very special places in the Capital Region.

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Ticket Giveaway to a Sweet Little Class

October 16, 2017

This is a big week. Friday, some of my oldest and dearest friends from around the country, and relatives from near and far, will arrive in the Capital Region. Some for the very first time. All to help celebrate my son’s bar mitzvah.

Oy. There’s a lot to do in these last few days. And on top of it all, there’s the business of everyday life. I’ll tell you all about the festivities in the days to come. But I’m full of nachus. That’s a good thing. It’s like I’m bursting with love.

What better way to share my joy than to kick off the week with a fabulous giveaway!

There’s a special wine and food pairing class that’s coming up Thursday, October 26, and it features one of my favorite wine pairings. But maybe calling it wine isn’t quite right. If I were able to go to the class, I might find out. Anyhow, it sounds amazing, and I’m so glad that a reader of the FLB will score a free pair of tickets to this intimate tasting.

Have you figured out what’s being poured?

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The Taco Bell Chronicles

October 13, 2017

One kid doesn’t like pizza. One kid doesn’t like taquerias. I’ve never been able to get into Panera. One kid isn’t crazy about Chinese takeout. Sushi might be fine, but the kids have certain standards. They also have high standards for barbecue.

And then there is the issue of time.

As the Fussy Little Children get older, I’m finding their after school and evening activities have increased. Many of my work activities also tend to fall around dinner time. So while we’re still prioritizing family dinner, those meals around the table together are diminishing. Last night we had our first full family meal in a week. Egads!

When I am eating out with the kids, we’re typically on the road. Either coming from or going to some kind of activity. So time is of the essence. It has to be quick. What I’ve learned is that there is only so many times I can eat at Five Guys and Chipotle.

But there is a recent discovery that put Taco Bell back into the rotation.

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Diner Omelettes

October 12, 2017

When I was growing up as a kid in Miami, there was one place which was central to my high school experience. And that place was Denny’s.

Mostly because it was open 24 hours. And on a Saturday night, I could go there with all of my friends crazy late at night, drink bottomless cups of coffee, order baskets of fries, and settle up the tab without breaking the bank.

Miami didn’t really have a strong diner culture. Or maybe it did, and I just missed it. Sometimes there are great things hiding in plain sight.

Denny’s isn’t inherently a special place. Actually, these days it’s pretty awful. And this is another one of those examples when I don’t know if the chain has gotten worse over time, or if I have just gotten wiser. Maybe it’s a little of both. But those early formative experiences in high school established a deep love of diners.

Except for one thing.

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