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Cooking Is Cleaning

July 20, 2017

Yesterday was about farms. We need farms. Because we need food. But once we get raw ingredients, most of them still need to be cooked.

Cooking isn’t like breathing. It doesn’t come naturally. It’s something that has to be learned. And that means it’s something that has to be taught. I’m doing my best by occasionally bringing my kids in the kitchen so they can see how it’s done. But kids sometimes require a level of patience that I just don’t have, especially when I’m cooking.

Know thyself. Right? There is a reason I send the kids off to school instead of homeschooling them. And God bless those parents who have the patience and temperament to teach their children how to cook.

I wish I could remember the name of the chef who said it, but I once came across a brilliant line about kids and cooking. The gist of it was that if you teach kids how to cook without teaching them to clean up after themselves in the kitchen, all you’ve done is given them a new and creative way to make a big mess.

So today, I want to take a little departure from the block and tackle of the blog and talk a bit about cleaning.

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Farm Parties

July 19, 2017

Farmers. God bless them. I’m serious.

On the one hand, it’s easy to fetishize farmers. I’m guilty of that.
On the other hand, it’s easy to vilify them. I’m guilty of that too.

Regardless of whether a farmer is big or small, conventional or biodynamic, local or abroad, without farmers we would have no food. We would have no beer. We would have no coffee. The physical work is strenuous, the emotional strain is taxing, and the payoff isn’t great. There’s always a tremendous amount of risk and uncertainty. So it’s probably no surprise that their numbers get smaller every day.

But there are bright spots. And there are organizations dedicated to help support farming and farmers. Today, I want to tell you a little bit about two local ones, and share how going to a party or two can improve the state of farming in New York.

To make the deal even sweeter, the parties might provide the best food you’ve had all year.

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The Ice Cream Tour Will Not Be Televised

July 18, 2017

Okay. I finally sat down to look at my calendar. My summer schedule is a mess. The number of days that I can make the Tour de Hard Ice Cream work, is something like one. One day. So dammit, that’s when we’re going to do it.

Saturday, August 19. Save the date.

It’s still too early to announce the stops of the tour. The nomination post is still alive and well somewhere, so when we get closer I’ll put a route together. But there was something else on a related topic that I ran across recently, so I thought I would share it.

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Worse Than Cooking Cooked Shrimp

July 17, 2017

Well, that was unexpectedly fun! Thanks to everyone who left a comment on Friday after watching the Amazon ad for the Dash Wand with Alexa. There was clearly a lot of wrong in that video.

There seemed to be a plurality of people who noticed the cooked shrimp being thrown into the dry pan to cook further, and thought that was the worst offender. Great catch, but the abuse of seafood wasn’t what got me all hot and bothered.

Sure, every adult should know how many ounces are in a cup. But even if you don’t, and even if you are using a dry measuring cup to measure Champagne, so long as you have a cup measure and your recipe calls for a cup, what does it matter? Well, I suppose it’s a nifty trick the Alexa stick can do.

Congrats to PrincesMegE who happened to notice that the seven items in the cart equalled a whopping 47 dollars. But to be fair, it’s clear from the get go that this couple has more money than time or taste.

But I still contend there is one thing that is even worse than all of the above.

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What’s Wrong With This Video

July 14, 2017

Hey, it’s Friday! It’s July. We should play a game, but before we do, let me give you some context.

Last week, Mrs. Fussy came across this ad on YouTube and showed it to me. And there was one moment that I was absolutely horrified. Yes, there are a lot of things that are wrong with this picture. But one really takes the cake.

What I’m wondering is if you can find it. Just to make sure it wasn’t just me, I showed the video below to a few of my friends in the lake house. And one found it almost immediately. Granted, it took her a second viewing.

But once you see it, you can’t unsee it. Which isn’t to say you have to look hard for it at all. The offending action is clear and in plain sight.

For those who don’t want to be exposed to commercial messages on the FLB, I’m embedding the video after the jump. Read more…

The Juicy Middle of Price to Value

July 13, 2017

Let’s look back for a moment. When I first came to the Capital Region ten years ago, there was a lot of complaining about the food scene. Granted, a lot of that was coming from me. Sometimes over the years the nuance of one’s arguments fades away, and all that remains are the echoes.

My long time gripe has never been that there was no good food in the area. My issue was that both the food and overall restaurant experience wasn’t good enough for the prices being charged.

The evaluation of price to value ratios takes up more of my bandwidth than I care to admit.

For example, I consider myself far too sensible to ever buy a new car, or to take a loan to buy a used car. Instead, I went without a car until I could save up enough cash to buy a reliable used car outright. Paying interest on a depreciating asset seems like a terrible idea.

But lately there has been a category that has obliterated my objectivity when it comes to looking at price to value ratios. In part, this has to do with pricing schemes. But the other has to do with where I peg the baseline.

Confused? Well, I’m going to show you some numbers. But first, here’s a story.

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New Cravings in New Haven

July 12, 2017

Typically on these summer vacations, three families rent a house someplace near a body of water, and we take our time exploring the local towns and experiencing some local color. You know, when we actually leave the house.

But we all have kids, and they are growing up. This year the very oldest is starting to look at colleges. So when the unusual suggestion was floated of taking a day trip to visit Yale in New Haven, I jumped on it.

Heck, yeah. Actually, I might want to spend all my future vacations in New Haven. In part because I may have just found my perfect hamburger.

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