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Better Than Blaze

June 26, 2019

Last night we were evicted from our home. Maybe evicted is the wrong word. We’re selling the house, and we had to vacate the premisses for a showing around dinner time. Certainly, things could be worse than being forced to go out to eat on on Tuesday night.

And really, things are much much worse for so many people these days. But we’re going to focus on something positive on the blog today.

With my son away at camp, the door was open for us to take a trip to Blaze, which Mrs. Fussy enjoys. Even that might be the wrong word. It’s just that she can get a lot of vegetables and a little bit of cheese on a bespoke pizza, and that’s appealing. What’s less appealing to her is the interminable wait in the line. For me, it’s the noise, filth, and chaos of the place. Well, that and the underwhelming quality of the pizza.

However, I was willing to go for her sake, since our son always vetoes Blaze as an option. But even though we had some time to kill, Mrs. Fussy still wasn’t thrilled about facing the line, and opened up the door for us to grab a light meal from Marisa’s Place instead.

That was a great call.

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Utica Greens: Repetition and Variation

June 25, 2019

The other night I found myself talking about the Cobb salad on some Facebook group. A member had ordered the Cobb and felt shorted, because it didn’t come with what they felt was the full array of traditional toppings. However, when reading her complaint, even she didn’t include all of this salad’s ingredients.

There is a current notion that EAT COBB is good mnemonic device for remembering the salad’s components: egg, avocado, tomato, chicken, onion, bacon, and blue cheese. But there’s an argument to be made that the cheese should be roquefort. And some will say onions were not included in the original. These things get lost to time and are often apocryphal.

So what does it mean to leave one ingredient out of the dish? What are the implications of adding another. How much room is there for variation in a classic dish, which may itself have evolved over time? And what if the variation is even tastier than the original?

These are issues I struggle with all the time. Just last Friday, I found myself in Utica, staring down two plates of greens. One was a traditional preparation, and the other? Well, let’s just say the restaurant took some liberties.

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Driving Through Deliciousness

June 24, 2019

Today, my daughter is an only child. But it’s not just for today. It’s for the next three weeks while her brother is at sleep away camp. Yesterday, I was tasked with the drop off outside Harrisburg, Pennsylvania.

Because we’re gearing up for the move, I made the trip by myself. Besides, Little Miss Fussy wasn’t thrilled about the prospect of spending over twelve hours in the car over the course of two days, for the sake of her brother’s summer fun. Although, I did try to tempt her with promises of listening to the full Hamilton soundtrack multiple times on the drive home. And, of course, the assurance our adventure would be fueled by all kinds of deliciousness.

Still, her answer was no.

So yesterday, left to my own devices, I turned a six hour and twelve minute drive into a seven hour and twenty minute one. What made it a little easier is that there were a lot of stops. All told, fourteen hours elapsed from the time I set out, to the time I finally arrived home. But every stop along the way was filled with deliciousness.

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Utica to Pennsylvania to Delaware

June 21, 2019

You might think that as we’re trying to sell our house and pack up all our worldly possessions, it would be prudent to stay close to home and busy ourselves with the tasks at hand. But sometimes family calls, and you’ve got to hit the road.

So this weekend, I’ll be traveling. Actually the first of my travels start today. Next weekend I’ll spend out of the Capital Region too. Which isn’t to say I don’t have fun plans to share in the 518. I totally do, and in between trips, I’m hoping you will join me.

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Farm Food

June 20, 2019

When I first arrived in the Capital Region, I learned that we were surrounded by farms, and yet precious few of them were represented on local menus. These days, you can read a lot about restaurants who support the idea of using local produce when available, but in many ways that’s a cop-out. And then there’s the other story of restaurants that cite specific farms on their menus, but haven’t purchased anything from that farm in a long long time.

However, it’s encouraging to see the growth of food being prepared and sold directly on the farm. Nine Miles East built its business around seasonally inspired farm-made pizza, but has expanded to weekly dinners at Saratoga Apple. If you haven’t been, you owe it to yourself to go. And Indian Ladder Farms has been slowly and steadily improving and expanding its brewery and dining operations. The beer garden is an amazing place to eat, drink, and relax at foot of the Helderberg escarpment.

But today, I share news from two of my favorites that aren’t even out in the countryside. Forts Ferry Farm and Lansing Farm are right here. Just minutes off the Northway. And if you haven’t been following them closely, you may have missed some exciting news.

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Eat Well and Fight Cancer

June 19, 2019

I am not a doctor. Nor am I a scientist. But when I was in high school, I did volunteer at a cell biology lab which was dedicated to solving one small piece of the cancer puzzle. It was enough of a glimpse into medical research to let me know that the field sounded much more glamorous, exciting, and intellectually stimulating than it actually is.

We live in a vast and complex environment. Our bodies are incredibly intricate and powerful machines. The supply chain of the food that feeds the world is so impossibly long and labyrinthine that one hamburger could be comprised of components from most of the United Nations.

So it is wise to be skeptical of anyone who claims certain diets fight cancer. Which isn’t to say proponents of healthful eating are wrong.

Do you know what does help to fight cancer? Money. Because that research into cancer is expensive. And tomorrow, you’ll have the chance to eat well and fight cancer at the same time.

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Emily L and the Monkfish

June 18, 2019

Once again, the day has gotten away from me. Packing up one’s worldly possessions, and trying to sell a house, while finishing up a job, looking for a new one, and preparing the kids for summer camp, can really take a bite out of the schedule.

Thankfully Emily L sent me a guest post about eating a little outside her comfort zone. And that’s something I can really get behind. People need to be doing more of that. Seriously. But for now, let’s hear Emily’s story.

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