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Trust and Figs

October 21, 2016

Did I tell you about how I chose my yoga studio? Mrs. Fussy was going to help me get into better physical shape, so she did some research on Yoga classes around the region that I might not hate.

There were a few different yoga studios that made the final list. And one was right next door to The Cheese Traveler. While I had some doubts about that particular class, I was able to put them aside in order to have another excuse to visit one of my favorite shops in the area.

As it turns out, I’m also really enjoying the class. While it may not feel all that physically demanding at the time, I find myself feeling the effects of the practice for days. But in a good way.

Not only that, but I’m getting to spend more time with Eric and his new monger Richard. And for someone who writes about food, just hanging out in the shop provides a treasure trove of inspiration about stories. Here’s one about figs, that I’ve been sitting on for weeks.

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Hope and Change: Immigrants

October 20, 2016

The presidential debates are over! I think I have a way for making them better in the future.

Before each debate, each candidate should submit a concise policy statements on a set of topics. These are published and shared with the American people in advance of the debates. Then, the candidates can actually spend some time trying to convince voters that their specific policies are superior to those of their opponent.

The platitudes. The evasions. The sniping. The theatrics. The self-aware commentary on debate posturing and performance. It’s terrible.

Thankfully, the debates are behind us. I hope the next time we go through this, someone can infuse greater depth into the proceedings.

But this is a food blog, so I want to turn this around to something to be hopeful about. And that’s immigrants. Because I’ve been thinking for a long time that immigrants are one of the best parts about every place I’ve ever lived.

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Hidden Within Troy

October 19, 2016

Man, I seem to be in Troy a lot these days. Can’t say that I mind. Just yesterday I was meeting a friend for lunch at Sunhee’s and dropping off some Yelp Schwag at the Tech Valley Center of Gravity. But while I was there I found a few extra minutes to buy a case of wine from Twenty-Two Second Street, snag an iced coffee at Superior Merchandise Company, and check into the status of a special treat at Collar City Sweets.

That could be a week’s worth of posts right there. I’ll be doing a dedicated post on the case of wine a bit further down the road. And you don’t really need to hear anything more about Superior Merch, except maybe this reminder to check out their slate of upcoming coffee classes. Sunhee’s is hot too, especially coming off of the TroyAsia Night Market.

Believe it or not, but I’m going back to Troy tonight for a demonstration cooking class at the Center of Gravity. The fellow who is teaching the class has been entirely off my radar. So I wanted to share a little bit about this interesting individual. Plus, to sweeten the pot a bit, I’ll share the news about what very special treats can be found at Collar City Sweets.

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Cider Donuts: Broadalbin to Schaghticoke

October 18, 2016

Who has the best cider donuts in the Capital Region? Indian Ladder Farm, Golden Harvest Farms, Hicks-Wilson Orchard, The Carrot Barn, Cider Belly, and Terrace Mountain Orchard. How do I know? Because with the help of countless volunteers, we have pitted the cider donuts from thirty of the area’s most beloved orchards and bakeries against each other and these were the six that rose to the top.

However, this project is far from complete. Last Saturday twelve of us ate our way through five more versions of this regional specialty. This year we focused entirely on the 43rd parallel of the Capital Region, starting out west in Broadalbin and making our way east to Schaghticoke.

This tour was different from all the others, because there were six places on the route, yet we could only stop at five. Reports from the field were that the donuts at both Ellms and Smith’s were underwhelming. So only one of the two was going to make the final cut. Given the size of our group and the uncertainty of everyone being able to avoid the entry fee at Ellms, we chose Smith’s.

For today’s summary I won’t have to bore you with scores, because there was one clear winner. Although, I have a little secret that nobody else knows about the runner up. But before I totally spill the beans, let me tell you how the day played out.

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Picking Fights With New Friends

October 17, 2016

The Seventh Annual Tour de Donut was on Saturday, and it was a great day out. Holy cow, Saturday was gorgeous. It was a perfect day for driving around back roads through the countryside. If the leaves weren’t at peak, they couldn’t have been more than a day or two off.

Those who went on the tour already know the outcome. It was pretty much a slam dunk. Those who didn’t are going to have to wait another day for the official results. It’s not because I want to torture you, it’s just that my in-laws are visiting from Pennsylvania and I didn’t have time to go through all the scoresheets and give you the full analysis.

I do have a story from the tour, although it has nothing to do with donuts. Or fall. Or apples.

Actually, it’s all about a fight I had with a brand new friend I met on the tour. Who, I’m pretty sure, will still be friends with me after today. At least I hope so. But I’ve got to get this off of my chest.

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Fussy Little Bar Fights

October 14, 2016

What do normal people get into fights about in bars? Part of me thinks it’s manners, but that can’t be right. There are often spirited disagreements over sports. Maybe some are about romantic entanglements?

I remember once witnessing a bar fight in a seedy Oakland Irish pub where the bartender walked a dude into a door jamb before throwing him out into the street. If memory serves, the offense there was that this jerk was screwing around with somebody’s hat. True story. Shitty story. But true story.

My bar fights are different. Not that I go out to bars all that often. But last night I popped into Slidin’ Dirty for two reasons. One, to get my 26er card punched. The other was to try Chatham Brewing Company’s Same Day Series beer of the month. They do this crazy thing where they put the beer into kegs, and drive it to bars that very same day, where it is tapped immediately and enjoyed as fresh as fresh can be.

Anyhow, I may have gotten into a teensy little fight about fresh mozzarella.

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View From Judges Table: Chowder

October 13, 2016

Wow. It’s Thursday already. It’s amazing how quickly a week flies by when it contains two holidays. Of course, yesterday was Yom Kippur, which meant I spent the day fasting. Just Monday I was writing about the important work done by The Food Pantries of the Capital District. Let me tell you, spending a day without food makes that work seem even more urgent.

Even after a large break-fast meal of carbs, fat, and caffeine, the lingering effects of effectively just skipping two meals is palpable. And that was with an energy conserving nap in the middle of the day.

So please, check out what they are doing, and think about what you can do to help.

Today, I’m still playing catch up with relatively recent stories. I never did get to tell you what it was like behind the scenes at Troy Chowder Fest this year. In the past I had heard stories from my food blogging friends about the perils of this event. Fortunately, I did not experience any of the ills as my friends did in year’s past. And I think that may be largely attributed to one thing.

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