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June 10, 2014

The endless vacation ends in less than three weeks. Egads. And honestly, I’m just going to have to leave some New Jersey foods uneaten, because I’m already north of my expected ten pound weight gain.

Should you ever get a chance to go on sabbatical, I highly recommend it. The truth is that neither Mrs. Fussy nor I ever stopped working. Work just takes on a different pace. Sure there are some responsibilities both of us left behind in Albany. But when I return, I know that I’ll be ready to pick them up with a renewed enthusiasm.

Or at least that’s my hope.

In the meantime, this relaxed pace of work has taken a toll. I’m feeling guilty about stories I haven’t written, initiatives I haven’t moved forward, and associations I’ve only loosely maintained. Fortunately, the FLB is a great outlet for such things, and if you’ll indulge me for just a few minutes I hope to make it worth your while.

There is a white board on our refrigerator. That’s where we keep the ever changing grocery list in addition to other critical to-do items. “TRANSCRIBE INTERVIEWS” has been on the top of that list for the past two weeks. Do you know how many minutes of tape I’ve gone through?


Earlier this year I met with the distiller and owners of Jersey Artisan Distilling. They were very generous with their time and I’ve got over an hour of material. Before I went, I knew a fair bit about craft distilling, but it was fascinating to learn about their unique approach to growing the business. And it just so happens that I’ve bought both their unaged and aged rums, and I’m truly a fan.

Their stuff is now available outside New Jersey for the first time. The rum is called Busted Barrel and if you happen to find a bottle of the unaged stuff, it’s a clear expression of molasses in the glass. And their dark rum was actually made with whiskey drinkers in mind. More on that when I write this story the way it should be written.

As great as that experience was, sitting down with the owner of the Americana Diner over breakfast may have been even better. Our conversation covered a huge variety of food related topics, and I got to peek behind the scenes and learn how they make amazing steaks from grass-fed beef in a diner setting (and producing at diner volume). But more importantly, I saw how one diner could help expose a community to a new way of looking at food.

It’s an amazing place, and am hoping to get back one last time before I head home to Albany.

One thing I’m trying to get a jump on is helping out my buddies at the Chefs’ Consortium. Maybe you remember, this is a group of Hudson Valley chefs that I had been working with to help promote local foods. Anyway, the group is reorganizing and has been recently reinvigorated.

Presently, the new acting director is trying to build up our reach on Facebook. So I’m trying to do my part. But listen, this isn’t just another, “please like my page” pitch. There’s stuff in it for you. Well, by stuff, I mean links to good content, reminders of events, and inspirational images for those who believe in the importance of good, clean food.

Most recently the Consortium posted the following:

The American food system is a complex and intricate story of change over the past 150 years. This series of graphs, maps and explanations helps illuminate something so large and unwieldy in many enlightening windows to our food system.

You should totally check out that link. Just allow yourself plenty of time, because it’s fascinating stuff. Did you know annual soda production in America is at about 400 cans per person? Holy crap. I drink less than one a week. Maybe the lesson here is that we need to get more people addicted to coffee? I have no idea. I need to pour over those slides a bit longer.

Anyway, here’s the link to the Facebook page. Please consider liking the Chefs’ Consortium and sharing it with your friends and family.

Tomorrow if all goes well, we’ll have the last New Jersey Ask the Profussor. I can’t believe it.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. Jean Patiky permalink
    June 10, 2014 12:31 pm

    There are affordable services that transcribe interviews. You can email them… Check it out with Mark

  2. June 10, 2014 1:33 pm

    i don’t record interviews for the very reason you cite… the opportunity for procrastination. Take good notes, and write it up as soon as you’re done.

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