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Eventful Weekends

April 29, 2013

I’m still out of my rhythm. Last night when I should have been writing this post I picked up a guitar and started noodling around instead of writing. Mostly that was inspired by the campfire at Silly Goose Farm this past weekend. So that means today’s missive will not benefit from Mrs. Fussy’s oversight.

Some of you may have figured that out already based on the placement of the commas. I like to use a lot of them, and my dear wife makes me look like a more polished writer by taking most of them out.

Although I may be overcompensating and subconsciously avoiding commas entirely. The brain is really a remarkable thing.

There were other notable happenings this weekend besides the birthday party on the farm. And there are some great things coming up this week. I’m also realizing that there was one notable event which was totally absent from yesterday’s round up of press releases.

First let’s look back to the Cherry Blossom Festival on Sunday. It was my first taste of Giffy’s chicken. It’s more grilled than barbecued. But it’s tasty and juicy enough. Part of me is curious to try it on site when it hasn’t been closed in a clamshell container to see if the skin retains more crispness.

I watched the crew preparing the chicken halves, raking the Kingsford charcoal briquettes, flipping the racks, and basting them with what appeared to be some kind of vinaigrette.

Briquettes aren’t my bag. But that’s a rant probably best saved for later.

Fin the Fishmonger had a tent there and it was good to see Dora and Pete. I reiterated my request for two things. One, a list of restaurants that are buying their awesome fish. Two, house-made sustainable fish sticks for Little Miss Fussy. Mrs. Fussy was watching Dr. Who and LMF overheard something about fish sticks and custard. Since then I haven’t heard the end of it.

Row by Row Farm was there too. They are an upstart in the whole CSA marketplace this year. They are doing sustainably grown vegetables and pastured eggs. And as it turns out, there’s at least an outside possibility that I may get to sit on a panel discussion with them in August. I’ll try to keep you up to speed if that actually happens.

And quite by accident I ended up meeting the executive chef of Dorothy O’Day’s Irish Pub. This really is a small town. Chef DJ Friedman, who graduated from the CIA, was there helping his dad. His dad just happens to be one of the nicest people I’ve met at Gates. And that place is filled with nice people. Who knew? Naturally, I gave him my sympathies for the lack of respect his food was given by the Times Union review.

But that’s all in the past.

I’m getting more and more excited about this beer and game dinner on Thursday. At first I was more excited by the creative menu designed by Dimitrios at the City Beer Hall. Now I’m getting pretty stoked about the beers.

Burnt My Fingers shone a light on my lack of awareness about Firestone Walker. But the more I learn about them the more I’m hoping that these four beers are going to change my life. Honestly, I don’t know if I’ve had barrel aged beers before. It’s going to be a challenge to finish each course in any kind of timely fashion because I’m likely going to want to get lost in the aromas of each glass.

Then there is Saturday.

Don’t go to the Food Truck Festival. I’m serious. I hate lines. Stay home. Let me enjoy all of these trucks in peace and quiet, on what I hope will be a gloriously beautiful spring day in Troy. They are even selling beer, which is good because they are prohibiting coolers (boo) and dogs (yay). However if that beer turns out to be $5 pints of Bud Light I’m going to throw a fit.

The downside to drinking amazing beer at the dinner on Thursday will likely be a diminished tolerance for bad beer, especially expensive bad beer. Now if the Food Truck Festival planned to sell $2 cans of Genny, I could probably still get behind that.

But it’s too early to judge. There will be plenty of time for that later.

8 Comments leave one →
  1. Marilyn B permalink
    April 29, 2013 10:42 am

    Perhaps Mrs. Fussy would like to try this fish stick recipe: This is my family’s favorite Lenten Fridays’ dinner. Although the recipe calls for tilapia, other firm white fish will work too. My fav is Fin’s haddock. I really like the tartar sauce Fin sells as a topping for the fish sticks.

    I love your request for names of restaurants buying their fish. Do you think you’ll be able to share the list?

  2. April 29, 2013 11:30 am

    We were happily surprised to see Fin’s at the festival. Picked up some beautiful arctic char. Wish they were available closer to Schenectady. Can’t wait for them to provide that restaurant list.

  3. April 29, 2013 12:38 pm

    We’re on that list at All Good :) Oysters & Shrimp right now (Fried Oyster Po’ Boy Slider w/ a bacon/buttermilk dressing and Shrimp/Andouille/Hominy Grits with braised Collards). I expect Nick will be changing up the fish dish frequently with other very fine selections from Fin. We started eating fish again when Dora & Pete joined the Sat. Delmar FM! Our daughter likes the swordfish. Everything we’ve ever had from Fin has been fresh and delicious, no exceptions. The fact that they know so much about what they offer, have strict sustainability standards, and are happy to discuss it all rounds out the greatness that is Fin! We’re obviously unabashed fans.

  4. April 29, 2013 3:18 pm

    “more grilled then barbecued …”
    “basting them with what appeared to be some sort of vinaigrette…”

    I guffawed. Are you still so green to Upstate NY food traditions? You are not familiar with NY “church BBQ” type chicken? Giffy’s is a merely a variation on the theme (Brooks, Cornell Chicken, etc…). Chicken halves cooked on big metal grates and marinated/basted in a sauce involving vinegar and served in the forum of a “chicken BBQ” is a tradition as old as the hills…

    Don’t get into the whole cliched bullshit Internet “foody” argument about the strict definition of barbecue. It is a tired argument. Let us call this sort of chicken – “Upstate NY Vernacular BBQ Chicken.” I don’t even think that Giffy’s pretends to be a traditional barbecue restaurant. It is what it is.

    • April 29, 2013 3:27 pm

      See, from the website. It is church chicken.

      “Giffy’s Bar-B-Q chicken recipe was founded in the archives of an old university in Upstate New York. It’s this recipe the Giffords experimented with for years, slightly altering the formula this way and that until perfection was achieved. In 1995, Giffy’s Bar-B-Q was started at the invitation of Jonesville Methodist Church to cater their fundraiser. “

      • April 30, 2013 9:29 am

        Huh. I never knew this was a Thing. I have never been to Giffy’s. I do like Brooks, but rarely get the chicken. This style isn’t one I care for, but then again it holds no nostalgia for me as I grew up Catholic and we didn’t do things like this. Stewart’s coffee and Freihofer’s soft donuts, OTOH, still make me smile, as that was the after-mass staple in Glens Falls growing up. :)

  5. Kerosena permalink
    April 30, 2013 9:28 am

    Cornell Chicken!

    • May 22, 2013 11:45 am

      Whoa. The late professor’s Cornell Chicken recipe has a raw egg in it! I can’t think of a better way to get the church ladies retching behind the pavilion. The sauce gets to percolate on the hot summer days and by the time the square dance is finished there’s a lovely bloom of salmonella that will surely lurk in the nooks and crannies of the wing tip or between the drumstick and the short joint…

      Mr. Fussy: I have had Brooks chicken and I have been to Giffy’s and there is no comparison. Brooks is an uninspired product while Giffy’s has an excellent balance of flavor, crisp skin and tender yet not undercooked meat. Still, it is a perversion to call it BBQ…

      Mr. Dave: to give upstate places a pass on their shameful and embarrasing claims of “BBQ chicken” would be like giving me a pass if I serve you Utica greens but leave out the prosciut and peppers. The reason we have a taxonomy for describing food is that people deserve to have some idea what they are paying for. I will look forward to your article on upstate vernacular chicken and indeed I may match it with another rant on what is and isn’t BBQ.

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