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Father’s Day Abstinence

June 15, 2018

Father’s Day is always a struggle. My father lives over a thousand miles away. We don’t talk to each other very much, and we see each other even less. It’s not ideal. Sunday, I will call him. Maybe he’ll pick up the phone. But maybe I’ll just have to leave a message.

It’s Father’s Day, after all. That’s what you do.

The crazy part about getting older is that I’m now a father too. I know that my daughter has been working on some kind of gift for weeks. Most likely it’s made out of paper and tape, and incredibly elaborate. I’m not expecting anything from my son. As it turns out, there’s nothing I want.

Which isn’t entirely true. I want a new pair of sandals, but those I need to buy myself. Looking at the Delaware Supply Instagram feed recently, I realized there was a bottle of beer they brought in that I wanted to try. By now, it’s probably gone.

If I’m lucky, I’ll get a nap. But I’m not sure that’s going to fly. What are you getting your dad?

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Eggs Benny with Emily: The Mission Begins

June 14, 2018

When Emily L approached me about writing periodic guest posts for the FLB I was excited.

Sure, there is the part about encouraging new voices to chime in on the local and regional food scene. But more than that, there was something very specific she had in mind. Emily wanted to chronicle her hunt for the best eggs benedict in the Capital Region.

Now that we’ve gotten to know her a little bit through a few of her earlier posts, I’m thrilled to share the first of hopefully many posts on which eggs benny are worth eating, and which ones are better skipped.

Even if you’re not a fan of poached eggs topped with an egg yolk and butter sauce, there are still some good takeaways from Emily’s brunch experiences. And they can be especially helpful as you start to think about the weekend, and what you might eat for brunch.

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Coffee Confession Number Four

June 13, 2018

Confession is good for the soul. I tend to do it a lot on the blog. For those of you who may be new here, we should probably do a quick review of the coffee confessions to date.

Coffee Confession Number One was how I thought that Starbucks coffee was underrated. Actually, I look back on that one and cringe a little bit. I stand by the sentiment, but with the caveat of sticking to the lighter blonde roasts.

Coffee Confession Number Two was that I drink crappy coffee at home for my first cup. Although this too has changed over the years. Mrs. Fussy no longer wakes me up with a hot cup of coffee in bed. The good news is that now my first cup of coffee is far less bracing.

Coffee Confession Number Three involved me buying into the Starbucksification of coffee. Officially, I have not ordered that drink a second time. But I might. What I will never do is pay for one of those monstrosities.

Which brings us up to date for my latest transgression. I guess the moral of this story is to never say never.

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Spring Greens

June 12, 2018

One year I celebrated the arrival of spring by restocking my bar with greenery. That became an annual tradition. There’s nothing quite like the herbal complexity of green Chartreuse, and if you’ve got the four ingredients on hand to make a Last Word cocktail, you can even go through a bottle of the stuff before summer ends.

Some people define the arrival of spring based on the opening of our seasonal soft serve and burger stands. But when it’s snowing at Snowman, that feels a bit early to celebrate.

And there’s a lot about spring which brings people down. There’s the rain for starters. There’s the arrival of ants, bees, mosquitos, and ticks. But for me the worst might be the first mow of the season. Or maybe the second, or the third. Because soon after the first mow, I realize I have a new weekly chore.

However, while I’m using my few square feet of earth to grow some horrible horrible grass, at farms all around the Capital Region rich soil is giving birth to delicious life.

Today is the day I have been patiently awaiting for months. It’s my very first pick up from the Roxbury Farm CSA, and I think I’ve screwed something up. Maybe a couple of things.

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A Pile Up of Pine Hills Wings

June 11, 2018

Buffalo wings. They are everywhere up in these parts. So how do you even begin to tackle the task of tasting all of them to find the very best?

You break the task down into micro regions. And that’s what we’ve been doing on the FLB for the past few years. We went to the downtowns of Albany, Schenectady, and Troy. But those were just for starters.

On June 2, nine rugged individuals signed up to dedicate their bodies to this ongoing project. Divided into two teams, we went to five different places that made it through the nomination process. And on a beautiful spring day, we ate wings and strolled around the student-heavy corridor of Albany’s Pine Hills neighborhood.

Who came out on top?

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Goodbye Tony

June 8, 2018

Woke up this morning to find that Tony Bourdain is dead. He took his own life somewhere in France. Eric Ripert was the poor soul who discovered the body.

Death is complicated.

I’m not going to speculate why this happened, or succumb to the temptation to plot this as another data point on the list of high profile suicides. My own life has been touched directly by suicide at multiple points in the past. There is just too much that is impossible to know.

Depression, mental illness, and psychotherapy are subjects which which I am very familiar. As are the stages of grief and mourning. This morning people are sad. People are angry. People are in disbelief. And the world has lost a passionate soul.

That said, there is one thing that we need to remember, and one thing to do moving forward.

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Emily L Says Hello

June 7, 2018

Don’t think for a second Emily L has been scared away by life in the blogosphere. She’s just been out of the country. What I didn’t know until reading her guest post below was how much of the world she’s seen.

Foreign travel is a funny thing. When I was young, I had no interest in it whatsoever. It was only once I turned on to food that I had any desire to visit other countries. Not so much to see the world, but rather to eat it.

That said, being a stranger in a strange land can have a profound impact on an individual. Hopefully, the lessons one learns while traveling can be applied to everyday life back at home, and you’ll be better for the experience.

Here’s a good example of how that works.

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