Skip to content

AskTP – April Fool

May 5, 2015

Not one Ask TP in April? That was foolish. I was busy.

But from the very beginning I committed to answering every question asked of me in the comments, so I created Ask the Profussor. It’s my little way of clearing the slate. Answering questions that have gone unanswered for far too long, and making good on my promise.

That said, I’ve decided not to answer the avalanche of questions and speculation posted to the Unexpected Dangers of Farming. I suspect all of those uncertainties will reveal themselves as the legal process unfolds. Hopefully you understand.

Oh, and don’t forget, almost all of the links below will whisk you away to the mystery link of the day. If you want to find the original post, I’d suggest using Google.

Now without any further ado, onto the questions.

enough already! wanted to plumb the depths of my convenience food dinners:
Have you tried TJ’s frozen Mac & Cheese? Pretty good, and no mystery ingredients.

Nope. I don’t doubt it. But since we still have no microwave, most frozen foods aren’t much of a timesaver.

julieovaltrades raises the alarm that we might have lost another beloved local business:
Is the Mexican Market even open anymore? I’ve tried to go there twice during normal hours and they were closed, and I’ve tried calling…no one picks up!

I heard they were making renovations. After visiting this winter, I could see they were in dire need. The snow must have made an ice dam on the roof, because water was leaking in down the walls. I hope that’s the case. Does anyone have any further confirmation or intel?

KB @ Home-Baked Happiness has finally seen past the misleading marketing:
No wonder Nutella never worked as a protein source. “Why am I so hungry? It has nuts in it!”

Some say sugar makes you hungrier too. But the power of protein is strong. And this Chocolate Haze stuff from The Peanut Principle is really pretty great. You know I’m not inclined to gush. While it’s stiff out of the jar, spreading it on white Heidelberg toast is amazing. Although if you have a sweet tooth, you may need to dust it with powdered sugar. I know, pull your leg. Right?

Mr. Dave is encouraging me to do what I’ve just done… I think:
Why would you not eat a “spread” not spreader on things? That’s dumb. Go get some hazelnuts and some chocolate and eat that.

Well, the spread itself was really thick and stiff. I didn’t think it would, you know, spread. But on hot toast, it softens and melts. The density is really part of its unique character. Even at $12 a jar, it’s totally worth it. When this jar is done, I’m getting another one.

Burnt My Fingers wanted to confirm what I meant by “large form” beer bottles:
If you are concerned about not finishing one of those 24 ounce craft beers (or are you talking about a 40 of malt liquor? That was a question) plug it with one of your wine bottle corks and it should be fine till the next day.

My days of 40s are long behind me. Although, now that you mention it, it might be fun to pick one up for old time’s sake. I’ll be missing my college reunion this year, so perhaps while my school chums are back in Philly, I’ll remember them by sitting out on the porch with a brown paper bag of Old E. As far as the wine corks sealing up precious beers, I’m unconvinced. There was one cider maker at the Nine Pin craft cider festival who had a nifty handheld device that could put bottle caps back on bottles. They’re apparently hard to find in the U.S. but now I have a new impossible-to-find gizmo to desire.

irisira has discovered the folly of wine collecting:
This reminds me that we have quite a few nice reds we bought a few years back in Oregon and California that at one point we were waiting very impatiently for the mid 20-teens to pop open. Where does the time go?

It’s all part of the process. This is why John & Dottie created Open That Bottle Night. Of course that doesn’t help you now since the holiday happens in February. But if you need any help drinking some of that wine, you know how to reach me.

LorreS was not blinded by the science:
About the ginger milk curd: YUM YUM YUUUUUM. Have you tried it with a little turmeric?

I haven’t tried it at all. My cooking exploits these days are modest at best. It seems that everyone in my household has conflicting culinary desires. So until CSA season is here and I’m forced into cooking with food nobody actually wants, I’m buying precious little, and living off cereal, yogurt, fruit, nuts, eggs, bread, convenience foods, roast chicken, and Cuban black beans. Oh, and there’s ice cream. I’m working my way through the Haagen Dazs Artisan line.

Steve N. asked a question to which he knows the answer:
Anyone have suggestions for Phoenix restaurants?

I hear Yelp is pretty good at that kind of thing. Yeah, I know it’s a shameless plug, but Steve set me up for it.

arosoff seems to think that one might find it strange to plan a trip around beer:
One more that’s not local, but worth a trip for any beer hound; Ebenezer’s Pub in Lovell, Maine. Plan a trip around beer? Why not; there’s a lot of great beer in Maine…and other stuff, too!

I would totally plan a trip around beer. Heck, I made a three hour drive for breakfast once. The trick is finding a place to stash the kids while I take a weekend away getting deep into the beer culture of our neighboring states. Are you volunteering?

Matt reminded me of something that should have been on my to do list:
Have you tried Starbucks’ cold brew? It’s spoiled me, now I can’t go back to their regular iced coffee…

When you asked the question, I hadn’t. At least I don’t think I had. But now I’ve totally tried it. And I think you’re right. The Starbucks cold brew makes their iced coffee taste like garbage. Now I’m kind of curious about the Starbucks cold brew that’s sold in the refrigerated case of your local grocery store. It’s there too. That could be a game changer. Of course, it’s still Starbucks, so the coffee has that deep roasted flavor that some people think tastes burnt. I’d love to see the mega brand do a cold brew blonde roast. Dare to dream.

albanylandlord raises a very very interesting question that may require further analysis:
No points for the Brewpubs, I want to love local beer, and some of it is pretty good, but why should I settle for anything less than world class beer?

Ooh. I hear what you are saying. But there is also something to supporting the brewers within your community, even if they aren’t making anything world class. Because even though they aren’t there yet, that doesn’t mean they will never get there. It’s a good skill to be able enjoy something that’s not quite world class for what it is (just so long as it isn’t masquerading as world class when it’s not). That local Imperial Stout may not blow your mind, but it helps to show just how amazing the truly great ones are in comparison.

I do think many craft beer enthusiasts share your perspective. But I think that’s harmful for the craft beer marketplace. It leaves many admirable, if not stunning beers, out in the cold. Maybe it will be good to lose a bunch of breweries. I hear the category is far too oversaturated these days. Or maybe it’s terrible because local breweries can really serve as more than just a business that makes beer and act as more of a social hub for smaller communities.

It’s okay to drink local, even if your local isn’t world class. And you don’t have to pretend it’s something that it’s not. Things can be special for different reasons.

irisira is probably implying “recently” in her questions below:
Have you been to Perfect Blend in Delmar? My mom is nuts about their iced coffee, which they do a true cold brew process, and if they run out, they run out, because it takes 2 days to make. I got her some tools to make concentrate at home, since hardly anywhere else locally, as you noted, has cold brew.

It’s been over five years since I went to Perfect Blend. It only takes a few experiences for me to know if a coffee shop is doing things how I like them done. That said, it’s encouraging to know they make a two day cold brew. Tierra cold brews their iced coffee too. It’s a growing movement. And it’s exciting to see.

LorreS is hot on the subject of pizza and taverns:
Doesn’t one of us have to compose a comprehensive list of Italian eateries and pizzarias plus an appended list of taverns that sell pizza? Not to mention organizing trips to check out each and every one? Just this week (and it’s Monday) I’ve heard of three Italian places I’ve never heard of before and I’ve lived here for over 30 years. And the photo of 9 Miles East pizza looks awfully doggone good – who would have thought “farm pizza” except someone in the Capital Region?

I’m not sure about the list. Perhaps by the end of the Third Thursday Tavern Time series, we’ll have carved a mighty trail through the region’s pizza, wings and beer culture. I’m on top of that part at least. And it was fun to bring a group to 9 Miles East. Gordon is a clever business person. I loved hearing him talk about how he was running the farm. Hopefully those strategies will pay off, and more people will start eating better because he’s made it easier for people to do so.

KB @ Home-Baked Happiness is curious about this year’s big trip:
Beijing? Why are you going there? (By the way, my husband says, “Make sure to eat lots of good dim sum while you’re over there.”)

Mrs. Fussy is going over for work, so I’m her stowaway. Just like our recent trips to Paris, I’ll eat while she works and scope out the city the best I can. Then on her day off, I’ll show her around the city. Everyone wins. My plan was to eat as much duck as humanly possible. But dim sum is probably good to snack on in between duck feasts.

If anyone has recommendations for good duck or dim sum in Beijing, I’m all ears.

Chef Paul may occasionally indulge in junk food, but one item crosses the line:
Mac and Cheese, out of a box? I just can’t get on board with that one.

There’s nothing wrong with dried pasta. So the question really is the powdered cheese. Defatting the stuff and then mixing it with butter and whole milk seems relatively straight forward. Maybe it has something to do with never growing up with the real stuff made from scratch. I’m not advocating this for mass consumption. I’m not going to scream about its deliciousness from the mountaintops. It’s fine. But it’s simple convenience food that’s comforting and reminds me of my youth. For some people, that’s pimento cheese. Different strokes.

Matt is excited about the rising tide of better pizza in Saratoga Springs:
9 Mile Pizza is pretty great. Between it, Harvest and Hearth, and the new place Gennaro’s (which you need to try!) there’s no excuse for eating bad pizza in Saratoga. Can All Over Albany include 9 Mile in the annual pizza tourney? With only 3 pies available at any given time do they qualify?

Sad news. The AOA Tournament of Pizza is over. Done. Kaput. It may come back down the road in some other form. But it got a bit played out when the same shops kept winning over and over and over again. However, even if the AOA TOP was to be held in 2015, as you said 9 Mile wouldn’t have the pies required to compete. It’s a brutal competition, and I’ll miss it dearly. Still, you don’t need a competition to prove 9 Mile is excellent stuff.

Burnt My Fingers and I may have discovered another difference of opinion:
Since cold subs travel well, I’d be happy to bring one or two down to a central location for tasting. Maybe the American Italian Museum on Central?

You mean if you put a piece of wax paper in between the bread and the fillings? Because without that protective layer of intervention, the crumb of the rolls can get soggy and compromise the taste and texture of the sandwich. My big question is how different is Roma in Latham from Roma in Saratoga on the matter of their sub quality and construction.

Maybe we can have a pre-tour showdown. That would be exciting.

5 Comments leave one →
  1. Jack C. permalink
    May 5, 2015 9:11 am

    Regarding the re-capping of beers: http://firstwefeast.com/drink/the-sizzler-is-the-ultimate-beer-tool/

    I really want one…

    • albanylandlord permalink
      May 11, 2015 11:09 am

      Thanks for this! I bought some. From Japan no less… Had to break out the calculator to see if the 1200 yen shipping cost was reasonable (Yes, very). and the sizzlers were only $3 each at Rakuten which is a huge reputable Japanese shopping site. That was an interesting shopping adventure. Daniel – one of these has your name on it, I will let you know when they arrive..

  2. May 5, 2015 11:48 am

    Soggy crumb in a sub is good, not bad. And Saratoga Roma beats the pantaloni off Latham Roma for the Italian mix. Pre tour showdown? Bring it on.

  3. May 5, 2015 12:57 pm

    Re: Mexican Market. I am pretty sure it is closed. But I do not speak Spanish and Manny’s wife does not speak English. A simple call to the second # listed in the yelp listing (see the menu) would help. Not the 5138 number. The 4038 number that you see on the menu in the picture. I do not want to say with certainty that it is closed, but it seems like Albany lost a solid place. One of the readers here can overcome the language barrier and confirm. http://www.yelp.com/biz/mexican-market-albany

  4. Dave S permalink
    May 6, 2015 5:37 pm

    “…had a nifty handheld device that could put bottle caps back on bottles…”
    Was it this?:
    http://www.vermontcountrystore.com/store/jump/productDetail/Home/Kitchen_&_Dining/Kitchen_Gadgets/Gilhoolie_Jar_Opener/66578
    “…And unlike other openers, the Gilhoolie lets you reseal bottle crowns by simply crimping the caps with the adjustable jaws…”
    Stumbled across that today, throwing out catalogs…
    Hard to believe it could work.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: