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Ask The Profussor – Where Did November Go?

December 1, 2009

Seriously, the last time I did this was October 21st.  That means I completely missed this feature in the month of November.  How could that have possibly happened?  Well, it was a big month.

November included the biggest week the FLB has seen since its launch seven months ago (thanks to All Over Albany and the Times Union) and drove the site to its biggest monthly volume to date.  We are getting more and more subscribers to RSS feeds, fans on Facebook, followers on Twitter, and most importantly commenters.

I have been trying to be better about answering questions and responding to comments as they are posted.  But these semi-regular columns allow me to catch up on things that somehow fell through the cracks.  Now onto the questions.

Mr. Dave simply wanted to know, “have you had Tiger Sauce?”

I may have a long time ago, when my parents divorced and my father was experimenting with different ways to cook tasty food for himself.  The clearest memory from those days is of Pickapeppa Sauce.  But on your recommendation I really should give Tiger Sauce a spot in the library.  First I need to finish the legion of Mexican sauces that have somehow snuck in while Mrs. Fussy wasn’t looking.


Renee wanted everyone to know, “lollypops have always made my tongue bleed. It can’t just be me…why does no one else ever complain about that?”

I do get nicked by lollypops from time to time. It is unpleasant, but I can’t remember ever drawing blood.  You, my dear, and I say this in the most respectful tone I can muster, must have a very sensitive tongue.


Angela had some advice, “Let me tell you something: if you have never had a frozen Twix, you simply must try it. It was like a little piece of heaven.”

On your recommendation I tried it.  I’m sad to report I did not like it.  To me freezing the Twix negates its primary value, the awesome contrast in textures.  Freezing Snickers, on the other hand, makes them a bit more Twix-like, adding a crispness that is sorely lacking.  Freezing also works to lower the perceived sweetness of candy that is a bit cloying otherwise – the Milky Way Dark is a perfect example – that is, if they still continue to make it.


Phairhead asked, “how much hot sauce are you consuming on a monthly basis? it seems to take us at least 4 months to get through one bottle”

Really, I have no idea.  And that’s probably a good thing.  But I do consider the addition of pepper sauce a tool in healthful eating.  That is probably misguided, sick, and weird, but it’s the truth.


Apparently nobody told Phairhead there are no silly questions, “silly question: is it more economical to purchase produce at Troy Winter Garden or, say, at my local P-Chops?”

I think it depends on what you are buying at the market, and how closely you compare quality.  You can get perfectly fine potatoes at P-Chops for less than $1 per pound.  My potato guy can’t compete with that.  But you can’t buy the same varieties of potatoes at P-Chops either.

It is uncommon for me to shop without regard to how much things cost.  But that is how I approach the Troy market.  Because to me shopping at the market isn’t just about getting a basket of goods, but about supporting local producers and desirable farming practices.

Today was one of the first times I actually felt guilty buying something at Walmart.  I picked up organic carrots for $.88 per pound.  But I really want to make more split pea soup this week, and did not plan my menu well enough to have my favorite Troy market carrots on hand.  I saved money, but lost a little bit of my soul.


Ellen Whitby asked a very insightful question about my response to not seeing my potato people at the Troy market, “Why don’t you ask them if they are coming back? Or you can convince them to do so.”

I generally like to think of myself as more of an observer.  Maybe this comes from watching too much Star Trek as a kid?


Brownie wondered, “is it sacrilegeous to ask for a coffee ice cream malt?”

Even I who professes a love for the chocolate malt draw the line at coffee.  Maybe it’s delicious.  You should try.  I wouldn’t feel comfortable going there – much to my shame.  But I say to you, “Be adventurous.”  As we learned, Jennifer thinks even chocolate malteds are unappealing.  I’m guessing she doesn’t care for porters or stouts either.


Mr. Dave and Jennifer got into a conversation about Carnation malt powder after Mr. Dave queried, “anyone here have a love for Carnation Malted Milk powder?”

I love the stuff too.  Generally I get mine at the much maligned and greatly underappreciated Walmart.


Phairhead had a “quickie question: when you go to Five Guys, do you also purchase a bag o’ fries?”

I could go to In-N-Out burgers and not get fries.  But a place called Five Guys Famous Burgers & Fries insists on selling you fries.  When it’s in the name of the restaurant, how can you not buy it?

The big exception to that, of course, is The Cheesecake Factory, where after being loadeds up with a 1,200* calorie appetizer and a 2,400* calorie entrée, a diner has no choice but to pass on the eponymous dessert.


the-exile wrote in, “I suspect that your opening sentence may have greased the PR wheels into urgent action. Bloggers hold a lot of power in consumer-land.”

On further reflection, I am afraid you might be right.  My intent was not to throw my weight around as an all-powerful blogger.  I have always felt that doing so is bad blog karma.  Rather, I was just trying to establish the depth of my love for the brand.

But even still, five minutes until a personal phone call is crazy fast.


Mr. Sunshine demanded, “Man, you’ve got to stock up on Hendrick’s gin.”

I do really enjoy the Hendrick’s gin.  The cucumber infusion is brilliant.  But while I enjoy it, it’s not what I want to turn to for most of my gin needs.  For that, I turn to the workhorse of the gin world, the classically elegant Tanqueray.


I left Otis hanging when he simply asked, “Is Evan Williams 1783 different from plain ol’ Evan Williams bourbon?”

Yes.  And not just different, but better.  And not just a little bit better either.  It’s a lot better.  So it kills me that distribution is small and kept mostly to the southeastern states.  I suppose if you make something good, you want to keep it where it will be most appreciated.

Oh, and it’s crazy cheap, especially considering its quality.  Mrs. Fussy loves the stuff.


Jonathan advised, “Just don’t make the common mistake and call it Carmen-yair. I did that at first, then a wise fellow pointed out to me. ‘Hey, there’s no Y. It’s Carmen-air’”

The word used to have all kinds of accent marks swooping in all kinds of directions, which have been removed to make it less scary to Americans.  I butcher words all the time, so I try not to squabble on pronunciation.  John & Dottie report, “the official Wines of Chile organization says it prefers car-men-NAIR.”

Unless of course you are a trade professional, in which case I expect you to know what the hell you are talking about.  If a waiter tells me they have a good clar-AY, I know the beverage director hasn’t taught the staff it’s called CLAR-et.  And if the staff hasn’t been trained, that says a lot about the wine program.

Even then, I don’t expect perfection.  I say moe-AY, you say MOE-et, let’s call the whole thing off.


Jennifer was misremembering details of Fussy past, “I know you’ve spoken about not mixing carbs with your meat (is that only with barbeque?)”

Actually, I said, “Sides?  I have no use for sides…I have found most of the sides disappointing.  And I am fine with that.  It means they are putting all of their attention on the meat.  Where it belongs.”

Carbs? That did not occur to us, Dude.
No, Miss Jennifer that had not occurred to me.

I just try to stick to the food that is very good, and avoid the stuff that is less good.  So, if the sides at Hattie’s are worthwhile, I will make a point to try them when I finally make it up there.


Jess with another pithy question asks, “Did you totally love Rolf’s? I sure do.”

I am loving Rolf’s smoked items to be sure.  And my heart went all flitter-flutter when I saw the tub marked “goose lard.”  The Weisswurst wasn’t as good as the ones served at Wolff’s, and I don’t think I would go out of my way for their fresh sausage.  But they have some splendid products.


Finally, Jess was moved to write, “Can I just say I love Sarah M.? Dramatic readings of your Yelp reviews sound like something I need to see!”

I couldn’t agree more.  This is why she and Mr. Dave will be headed with me to Five Guys next week for free burgers.  I just hope the restaurant will have the steel cage set up in time.


* These numbers are completely made up to demonstrate a point

4 Comments leave one →
  1. December 1, 2009 1:24 pm

    hmmmm i’ve been kind of a busy body lately.

  2. Annie permalink
    December 1, 2009 5:33 pm

    candy canes are even worse than lollipops for bleeding tongues!

  3. December 2, 2009 10:04 am

    I go to Rolf’s for the selection, the Haribo candies, the used romance novels and more importantly, the liverwurst. Oh, the liverwurst!

  4. Jennifer permalink
    December 3, 2009 9:40 am

    You guessed correctly, Mr. Fussy. I do not like beer and that would include porters and stouts. Although, I’ve found there are odd exceptions to my rule. I do enjoy the oatmeal stout at Davidson Brothers in Glens Falls which I tried on a lark and there was some fruity tasting blueberry beer that I enjoyed in Maine.

    I don’t know if I can bring myself to go to Walmart for the malted milk powder though. I’d have to do it on the sly, perhaps even incognito.

    I did misremember your issue with sides. I knew there was some quirk. The mashed potatoes at Hattie’s are really good, although a bit salty and very buttery. People seem to like the collards but I prefer the way I cook greens at home, I find them a bit cooked to death there.

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