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Playing Catch

September 5, 2012

Maybe one day I’ll try to turn the FLB into a money making enterprise. Then I’ll need to create more pageviews. It’s not hard to do. All I would need is to post a few more interesting food stories every day with a little bit of commentary, and voila, a mass of impressions that are worthwhile for advertisers.

But that’s not what I’m trying to do. For now, I don’t want to dilute my message with a bunch of current food news nonsense. It’s already diluted enough already, and the time I spend talking about food issues I care about is preciously small.

Small, but hopefully powerful. And even more importantly, hopefully effective.

However with only six posts a week, I’ve found recently that I’ve got a backlog of stories piling up. My concern is that they’ll die on the vine. So today is like the lightning round of blog posts. All of these really deserve more attention. Maybe if this trend keeps up I’ll consider multiple posts a day in the fall. But for now, there are a few things you should know.

The Casola Dining Room
The schedule has been set, the menu has been printed. Dinner cooked by the culinary students at Schenectady County Community College is always an adventure. Some things are great, others falter. But the students are so earnest, and the prices are so reasonable that it’s hard to not have a good time. Especially when you bring your own bottles of wine for a virtually nonexistent corkage fee ($3 per bottle).

I don’t really want to share these with you because reservations are hard to get. But share them I shall. And really I’m doing it well ahead of time. I always seem to miss out on the first dinners.

Here is a pdf of the calendar.
Here is a pdf of the menus.

Now don’t let me hear you say that I never gave you anything.

School Lunches
Well, there was a recent piece about school lunches getting healthier in HuffPo. Let’s just say that I am skeptical at best. The optimist in me says that it’s incremental improvement, and any move in a positive direction is a good move. Something along the lines of “The journey of a thousand miles, begins with the first step.”

And a thousand miles sounds about right. There is a long way to go in getting better food on the table. I shudder at the meals prepared by Young Master Fussy’s cafeteria.

To try and get a bit closer to the source of the news I sought out the original document from the School Nutrition Association. It really reveals how low the bar is for healthful school food. And these are the recommended improvements. In my mind, the solution isn’t about grams of this or percentages of that. It’s about a commitment to cook clean, wholesome food from scratch.

In my best Michael Pollan impersonation, “Eat food. Mostly plants. Not too much.” Done.

National News
A small handful of you made it out to the Tour de Hot Dog where we sampled the best of the region’s signature style of mini dogs with meat sauce, onions and mustard. It was a lot of fun, and people were split between Hot Dog Charlie’s and Famous Lunch. It turns out that USA Today must have no taste at all, because it chose Gus’s as its favorite.

Mr. Olmstead also mentions the Greek Burger at Gus’s without the words “Avoid at all costs” which is a complete disservice to anyone who may venture out to Watervliet. Everyone knows that the only other thing to get at Gus’s besides the dogs is the sausage sandwich with onions and peppers.

Small Farmers Can Be Evil
I’ve been saying this for a while too. Just because you are a local farmer doesn’t mean that you are a hippy back-to-the-land type who wants nothing more than to grow clean food and take care of Mother Earth. Well, the HuffPo may have just realized this recently and posted a story on the matter.

This is why it’s important to know your farmer. Not that I do. But I get regular newsletters from Roxbury Farm, and I’m sure they are fighting the good fight.

Food Obsessions
The Saratoga Food and Wine Festival is coming up on Saturday. I hope to see you there. Last year I put one of the tastiest morsels in my mouth at the event. With all the meats, cheeses, wines, spirits, and restaurant dishes, it was an almond that took my breath away.

Yes, an almond. But an almond like no other. This was a Pizzuta D’Avola almond from Sicily. And I’ve started inquiring if Todd at Adventure in Food Trading could bring in a kilo of them for me. They are insanely expensive, but they taste like nothing else, and will change your mind about what an almond can be.

That is, if we ever can get a delivery of them up here. I’ll keep you posted.

# # #

Wow. That’s only a portion of my backlog. But I’m already going too long for today. Looks like I’ll have to do something like this again in the future, or otherwise I’ll just need to start posting more than once a day. Good thing the kids are starting school.

3 Comments leave one →
  1. September 5, 2012 8:50 am

    School lunches will never be healthy as long as they follow the outdated and unhealthy USDA food pyramid.

    My daughter brought her lunch to school from nursery through high school and today my son started middle school with a home made lunch in his back pack. As far as my kids and my family are concerned, I am certain my lunches are healthier than anything approved by the USDA.

  2. September 5, 2012 11:40 am

    So many great tidbits here! If you ever need a lunch date to SCCC, let me know :-).

    I just read something somewhere (so descriptive, eh?) about a public school teacher saying if you want your kids to eat healthy, you have GOT to make them brown bag it (kind of like what @jenh718 is saying). Even if “healthy” options are presented to kids in the lunch room, they aren’t required to take it. It’s a never-ending struggle to get kids to eat healthy, but (in my experience) present them with something that is familiar to them that is nutritious and delicious, they will eat it.

    As to the “bad farmer” story… gosh that is so true. Growing up in an area where every-other parcel of land was a small generational family dairy (or heading west, a vineyard) meant witnessing a whole gamut of farming methodologies. While for the most part it was few and far between, there were some with less-than-savory farming and business practices.

  3. September 5, 2012 5:29 pm

    I think it’s “Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants.” Agree. Although I might eat too much when it comes to plants.

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