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The Joy of Troy

March 18, 2013

Sauteed spinach is great. I’m a big fan of kale. Greens and beans have become a favorite since moving to the region. Bok choi, ramps, scapes, claytonia, rocket, and even the ubiquitous romaine lettuce are all green. I’ve got nothing against green. Some of it I even love.

But for the love of God, I hope you didn’t ingest any dyed green foodstuffs yesterday. Yes, beer counts as food. And I hear some people were starting St. Patrick’s Day early this year. What gives? Holidays exist in time and space.

Have you ever considered that by celebrating St. Patrick’s day on March 16 that you are trampling on someone else’s holiday? Yeah, you are. March 16 is Freedom of Information Day. And it’s not celebrated by wearing green hats and drinking beer.

I’ll have to confess that I had a nontraditional Freedom of Information Day. But spending some time in the home of Uncle Sam can’t be the worst way to honor the “Father of the Constitution.”

It all started with a donut.

Young Master Fussy and I have a new pact to spend more time together. Naturally that involves eating. He’s a skinny kid, so he might as well enjoy a few treats while he’s got the metabolism for it.

Among his favorite things to eat are Boston Cream donuts. And dammit, what father would I be if I let him eat an inferior version of the form. So we set out to Troy’s Bella Napoli for the best Boston Cream donut in the Capital Region.

Man, I love that place. I hope it lasts for a thousand years and doesn’t change a bit.

Young Master Fussy didn’t remember ever eating a Fudge Fancy, so we had to split one of those for good measure. I’m looking forward to getting back into a routine where I come to this temple of fat, sugar and refined grains more frequently.

But we weren’t in town just for fun. There was work to be done. We had a chocolate birthday cake to pick up from Sweet Sue’s.

Here’s a pro-tip. Yelp is wrong about her shop. It thinks that the bakery is closed on Saturday. It’s very much open. It’s open until three. And they have other things besides sweets. Recently Young Master Fussy revealed to me his latent love of soup. This was very exciting, because I was looking forward to trying Sue’s soups as well as her sweets.

She has done amazing things with her little Troy shop. It is crazy cute. Young Master Fussy really enjoyed his red lentil soup with carrots. He also had a brioche to go along with it that made his face light up with joy. My chana masala soup was also delicious, and I got to chat with Sue herself about the shop, the challenges of chocolate truffles, and the balance between doing what you do best and giving people what they want.

You probably wouldn’t guess this, but people really want cupcakes. Sigh.

My mother-in-law was very happy with her chocolate blackout birthday cake. She loves chocolate and Sue’s version of this layers espresso-laced chocolate cake with Callebaut 60% chocolate ganache. The ganache is accented with orange zest, and the cake is topped with chocolate shavings. The MIL was particularly impressed that even her birthday greeting was written in chocolate. Sue made me the hero, and she sent Young Master Fussy off with a bonus hamentashen, because he’s cute. He is.

Children sometimes go through growth spurts. In these phases they can eat unconscionable amounts of food.

I know that Young Master Fussy also appreciates a good hot dog. So as we were pulling out of town, I asked if he wanted to stop for a mini dog. The sun was shining and I thought that while it might be cold, an outside bench at Gus’s would hit the spot.

The boy was not that intrepid and wanted to eat his hot dog from the warmth and comfort of the counter inside the box. My jacket still smells like onions. But there we stumbled on the surprise birthday of Steve. He’s always there with a smile behind the counter. Anyhow, the staff got him a cake from Bella Napoli, and they shared slices with all the patrons.

So we started with Bella Napoli and ended with Bella Napoli.

I think James Madison would have approved of us expressing our individual rights to consume a lot of sugar and other less healthful foods over the course of the day. And even if I have that wrong, it doesn’t take away from the fact that Troy is one helluva town.

8 Comments leave one →
  1. March 18, 2013 11:07 am

    Good job Papa Fussy:) Cupcakes, hotdogs and days filled with sun, “these are a few of my favorite things.” More importantly, were any hotdog eating records broken… My personal best was 10 dogs w/ works, 2 Greek Burgers w/ works, 2 chocolate milks and a water (to keep it healthy). I awoke from my food coma 2 days later ;)
    Next time you cross the river try Defazios Fra Diablo Pizza.

  2. Jean Patiky permalink
    March 18, 2013 11:55 am


  3. albanylandlord permalink
    March 18, 2013 1:05 pm

    nice post. The fussiness gets you to the right place, and then we can put it away and just enjoy what unfolds.

  4. March 18, 2013 2:33 pm

    How good was Sweet Sue’s cake? In the market for a really good chocolate cake for next week. (Was thinking I might have to make one.)

    • TroyChic permalink
      March 19, 2013 12:12 am

      She has done the cupcakes for our daughter’s birthdays for the last 3 years. They are AWESOME! You should totally check her out!

    • March 19, 2013 1:00 am

      It was just what my MIL wanted. Chocolate and more chocolate. My FIL loved it too saying that the chocolate ganache was better than his beloved candy bars. I appreciated the use of espresso in the chocolate cake and the hint of orange in the chocolate cream between the layers.

      On the first night I didn’t take the cake out of the refrigerator early enough, so the ganache was a bit firm. But the cake is also really rich. The 8″ could easily feed 10 adults. Given its richness, I’ve been pairing it with something naughty to cut through it all.

      There was just a little leftover sour cream that All Good Bakers made for the Jewish Food Festival. And as far as I’m concerned, a dollop of that leaves whipped cream in the dust. Perhaps that’s heresy. And perhaps I’m killing myself slowly. But what a way to go.

      • maryonhudson permalink
        March 19, 2013 2:24 pm

        Thank you.

  5. March 21, 2013 2:35 am

    I believe it’s Sweet Sue’s truffles that are sold at The Confectionery … my favorite is the chili pepper. It’s delicious, of course, but the heat at the end is just divine.

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