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The Keystone of Summer

July 25, 2014

Hello, I must be going. Sure, after returning from New Jersey, I’ve made a series of short trips to Pennsylvania, Rhode Island and Massachusetts. I had hoped to make it down to Brooklyn for the recent book signing, but there was so little time and so much to do up here in Albany.

Now that the kids are signed up for school, doctors visits scheduled, house repairs shored up, boxes unpacked, car tires replaced and realigned, utilities reconnected, shoes fixed, pantries filled, and the grill assembled, it’s time for a vacation from my vacation.

Tomorrow, we’re headed off to Lake Wallenpaupack in northeastern Pennsylvania for a week. There we’ll meet up with two other families. In total there will be six adults and six children. And while all the adults were friends a long time ago in college, this is going to be the longest we’ve all spent together in decades. Decades. With an s at the end.

But that’s not the part I’m worried about.

Do you remember the last time the FLB didn’t publish a post every day? I do. It was August 2009, and I was visiting California. But there hasn’t been a lapse since then. I expect the cabin will have some kind of internet connection, and I can continue my daily rantings from the wilderness. However, I’m far from certain. We’ll just have to wait and see.

The good news is that there are a bunch of promising things to eat nearby.

People seem to love Kundla’s Western Beef Co. It’s a barbecue joint, but it looks like they mostly charcoal grill and have a split chicken that’s their specialty. It could be a Cornell chicken that slid south of the New York border. I don’t know. But I’m looking forward to trying one. That could even hold for takeout on a Friday night (since it’s only open on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays).

Speaking of Friday night, it may be a little further afield, but the Catskills Heimishe Bakery is really no further away than Scranton (just in the opposite direction). Challah, chocolate babka and Boston cream donuts all in one place? And that’s not even mentioning their highly regarded Teiglach, which is one of the sweet treats of my people that I’ve never even heard of before. I’d love to get one in my mouth.

Did someone say Scranton? Because they have good coffee in that town. I’ve been to Zummo’s Cafe only once before, but they take coffee seriously. I’ve missed that place and always regret not stopping in for a cup of something special.

But there will be coffee options closer to the cabin. Jessie’s will be the closest. But Cocoon just a bit further down the road does pour overs and seems to have some kind of incredible view. Honestly, Mrs. Fussy and I are so spoiled by cold brew, we may need to take our bucket rig with us on the trip. I’m not so great at roughing it.

While coffee exists everywhere, I was surprised to find a Mediterranean/Puerto Rican place near the cabin. Can you say pernil y arroz con gondules? Maybe with some papas fritas. Those would be from Harlin’s Place. And they even make their own hummus and tahini sauce for falafel. I’m hoping to give this crazy place a shot while I’m around.

And of course, if I get another hankering for the stuffed broccoli from Arcaro and Genell, Old Forge is just about 45 minutes away.

It’s good to know there are plenty of options in the middle of nowhere for decent sounding meals. Getting twelve people out the door and around a restaurant table won’t be a cakewalk. But cooking dinner for twelve is also a challenge, even with plenty of hands to help. Although pulling it off for this crowd might help to redeem some of the college cooking disasters of the past to which they were subjected.

I have no idea how the trip is going to play out, but I’m planning on being uncharacteristically flexible.

I’ll let you know how that goes. I hope. There has to be wifi right? There just has to be. Well, we’ll see.


2 Comments leave one →
  1. Aron permalink
    July 25, 2014 1:57 pm

    I’m bringing some interesting sausages. Also flexibility.

  2. llcwine permalink
    July 25, 2014 4:26 pm

    You never had a Teglach??? At Rosh Hashanah, sukkot? We used to make it with soup mandlen, honey, maracchino cherries and nuts…mixed in a bowl and then piled high…very very sweet and very very sticky….enjoy!!!

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