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This is The End

June 9, 2022

Here you will find the remains of the FUSSYlittleBLOG.

The only thing that might be surprising is that these words weren’t posted to this page sooner. No blog lives forever. Most just fade away. So let it be with the FLB. We had a good run. Thank you all for reading, sharing, and commenting over the years. I want to offer a special note of thanks for all of you who came out to any of the Fussy Little Tours. It was a pleasure to meet you face to face and eat with you around the Capital Region.

As much as I appreciate all of those guest posts from the final days of the blog, I want anyone who might happen to stumble onto the front page of this thing to have a better sense of what Fussy was all about in its prime. While surely many of the stories are no longer relevant, there are many that are! I personally keep coming back to remind myself of cooking times and temperatures for some of my favorite dishes.

Maybe you do too. Or perhaps you got here from one of the old posts that still draw readers in from around the interwebs. I never intended for them to be click bait, but with the benefit of hindsight that’s exactly what they are:

The Secret To Oddly Tender Chinese Meat
Lindt Truffles are Disgusting
3 Reasons Not To Trust Dunkin’ Donuts

Since I am now in Ann Arbor, Michigan and have not set foot in the 518 for years, I have no business making Albany recommendations. That said, I follow DelSup on IG and am jealous for those of you who are able to pop in and enjoy what they are doing. If you look carefully at the top right corner of the page, you’ll see a tab called Read This. That is where you can find the top 13 posts of all time, the results from most of the Fussy Little Tours, and a few other odds and ends if you are looking for a little more Fussy.

While I have no intention of restarting this blog, and have been generally enjoying my break from social media, that does not mean I wouldn’t love to hear from you. I will still respond to any question asked in the comments section, and of course you can reach out via email too. 

I would be remiss not to mention Zingerman’s (my favorite sandwich is the #1), which has made the transition to life in the Midwest much easier than imagined. They also have an amazing mail order business that can send you some incredibly delicious foods right to your door. Just be forewarned that you will not be able to order my favorite chocolate covered macadamia nuts, at least for the foreseeable future. 

Eat well. Thanks for the memories. Don’t be a stranger. If anything changes, I’ll let you know.

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.

Read more…

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.

Read more…

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.

Read more…

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.

Read more…

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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To Be Continued…

July 23, 2019

Well, we’re in the thick of it. The truck finally pulls out tomorrow.

The car is almost fixed.
The roof repairs are underway.
A new garage door will be coming soon.
And hopefully we’ll find someone to mow the lawn.
It even looks like we’ve got takers for most of our old stuff.
Did I tell you that a reader came and took away the chicken carcasses?

Now we just need someone to buy the house.

“Need” is a big word. Maybe we just keep a house in Albany. There are people who do the same thing in Manhattan but with apartments, when the rent is so cheap they can’t afford to walk away. Hey, maybe I’ll become one of those ne’er-do-well out-of-state landlords I’ve heard so much about. Perhaps the Casa del Fussy could become an Air BNB? Sadly, neither of those options play well to my core strengths.

This past Saturday, I was invited to attend one of Field Notes five course planted dinners, and someone asked me what I would be doing in Ann Arbor. My answer was simple, if perhaps a little unexpected.

I haven’t the faintest idea.

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From Pizza to Pizza

July 19, 2019

So much has happened this week. We’ve got roofers lined up, found someone to replace the garage door, brought the remaining car into the shop to be rebuilt, finalized arrangements with the moving company who will pack up the house, found movers to help us unload in Michigan, joined a reform congregation in Ann Arbor, and signed the kids up for religious school.

Somehow, amidst all the chaos, I went over to Jon in Albany’s house for one last pizza feast.

There’s some good pizza to be found in the Capital Region. I know because I’ve judged a lot of them with Jon in All Over Albany’s Tournament of Pizza. Plus, pizza is one of my favorite foods, and I’ve eaten it extensively around the region. Nothing I’ve had locally beats what Jon is able to crank out these days using the wood fired pizza oven he built from scratch.

Jon’s neighbors are really lucky. As are his friends. And it was incredibly kind for him to invite me over for one last round of pies. It’s good to leave with a taste of what you will miss most on your lips.

I’m told there’s good pizza out in Michigan, but it won’t be the same.

Read more…