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AskTP – Asserting Independence

July 3, 2017

What is independence if not getting out from under those obligations that hold you down? Tomorrow is July 4, and it’s our national day of independence. But independence doesn’t just happen, you have to work for it.

This seems like a perfect time for me to start the process of getting out from under a heap of reader questions which have gone unanswered since March. What can I say? I’ve been a little bit busy. While I do love my Yelp responsibilities, they take up precious time.

But I made a commitment when this whole thing started that I would answer any question asked in the comments section of the blog, just so long as it included proper punctuation. I’m not going to get to them all today, but let’s get started.

Long time readers of the FLB already know about the mysterious link of the day in Ask the Profussor roundups. Those who are new will surely figure it out on their own. Now without further ado, onto the questions.

Pam C. had a tactical query about the Tour de Seasonal Burger Stands:
The burgers at Ted’s Fish Fry are similar to those at Jack’s. Will you also be sampling the french fries?

French Fries were not part of the official tour, but there were some teams doing it. One thing I found shocking was that more than one place didn’t salt the fries at all. I mean, seriously. What gives?

Jon in Albany found me on the She Brew beer label:
In the back, ijust the right of the expect resistance sign. Are you taking a selfie?

Nope. But I might be striking some kind of pose.

Bob W. also found me on the beer label:
Jon with the eagle eyes has nailed it, I think. Are you wearing a fedora, or is that a trick of the eyes?

I’m not a hat expert. It’s somewhere between a cowboy hat and a fedora. Regardless, it totally didn’t fit. But they were encouraging wearing some kind of costume, and that as the best thing I could find from the dress up bin.

Gabby would like more details on a teachable moment between father and son:
What did you say to your son when you discovered the “bitches” chat?

Whew. This was a long time ago, and the memory is a bit hazy. But most likely I gave him a overly long, and historically detailed analysis on the use of dehumanizing language. And explained that regardless of intent, words have power. Usually, I’ll conclude with a reminder that he should treat others the way he would like to be treated.

Albanylandlord might have blocked out one of my greatest personal failings:
We pull our grill right up to the door and grill standing in the doorway. Great in the rain too. THough it is warm enough now to wander outside. The grill can be used like an oven too if you pay attention to the temps. Maybe yours is charcoal? Thats a bit more of a commitment for dinner.

Nope. Mine is gas. I have no excuses. Except it’s a PITA to schlep things outside. And I’m not going to cook with the door open, because bugs.

Jenny helpfully suggested that I might consider cooking on the waffle iron while I waited on the new stove:
I was going to say crock pot, but that has been taken. But you can do lots of things in the crock pot, including roast chicken. How about the waffle iron? Serious eats did a whole series on things you can cook in the waffle iron.

Man, that’s interesting. And that’s tempting. But it sounds better when making food for one than food for four. I pretty much refuse to do short order cooking for dinner.

Burnt My Fingers is going to extraordinary lengths to defend Timmy’s:
Who was the random person? The guy sitting there with a bowl of chow fun? Obviously he was a hunger-borne hallucination, right? Another rule is to start looking for food before you’re so hungry you get desperate.

I’m going to have to go to Timmy’s with you one day. Maybe your love for the place will be infectious. Because, I’ve now had the beef and parsley soup. Which is good. But I’m just not feeling the raves.

Steve N. took a leap of good faith and I’m going to have to let him down gently:
Who finds tomato sauce on toast depressing to eat? I want to straighten these fools out. Thick cut toasted Italian bread dipped into a bowl of homemade sauce is one of life’s little pleasures.What’s depressing is that you don’t find it worthy of serving to company

Thank you. Good toasted Italian bread is one thing. That’s not what Mrs. Fussy was criticizing. She was nonplussed with the idea of toasted sandwich bread, slathered with tomato sauce. But for the record, I’m still with Steve on this. Even on crap bread, it’s a delicious combo.

EPT was looking for more substance when I started a fight about decaf coffee on the FLB:
So just what is your point? That well made decaf can be very good. BTW, many of us coffee drinkers DON”T drink quarts of it a day, maybe a cup or two, I personally don’t drink coffee after 10 AM, but that’s me. I didn’t see or want to your FB page but how about a topic with some substance?

The entire point of the post was to argue over something without substance. There has been too much sniping online over serious issues of the day. I thought it would be refreshing to fight over something where the stakes were much much lower. And not just refreshing, but possibly important in and of itself.

Boya3706 is going to make me defend chemicals in food:
Who needs more chemicals? Although those cherries are some other disgusting thing.

I need more Parm-Reg. And that means I need more chemicals. Since technically, everything is chemicals. But synthetics, now that’s a different matter entirely. Fake weird cherry goo? No thanks.

Dave asks a question on a subject I’ve long wondered about:
Is there a difference between the “Irish” and the “Jewish” versions of corned beef in the US? The Irish probably started getting their corned beef from the Jewish delis anyhow.

I have no idea, but I too have heard the apocryphal story that the Jewish deli version came first.

Debra missed out on the annual Girl Scouts Cookies & Cocktails fundraiser:
Are there photos posted anywhere? Would love to see some of these interesting concoctions.

This may not help, but I’m guessing pics from this year’s event will show up on the Girl Scouts website when it’s time to promote next year’s event.

-R put two words together that have left me scratching my head:
Mayo on a dog? How about a fried egg? Makes me want to gag – fat overload.

Fat overload? I don’t get it. Because a hot dog wrapped in bacon and slathered with mayo sounds pretty righteous to me. Don’t forget I’ve had deep fried hot dogs smothered in deep fried potatoes with fried onions and fried peppers stuffed into something called pizza bread.

AddiesDad may no longer live in the area, but he still finds ways to torment me:
I jsut saw this on Grubstreet, and wondered what you thought of this Profussor? 

Oh dear god. I can’t even.

mannafam was recalling some of the joys of classic Watervliet institutions:
Does Deacon Blues still have the old booths with which everyone wrote on?

I must confess that I was not looking for writing on the booths. After sampling the seafood pizza, I was just looking for a graceful way out.

David Nardolillo is better about keeping track of beer prices than I am, but this is about something else:
I know not everyone loves the Purple Pub, but it is a regular stop for me after RPI hockey games. I really like their wings under the broiler; a less-guilt inducing option than their fried cousins, and I think their pizza is solid. There were some kinks in the kitchen about a year ago, but it seems to be back up to speed again. Also, cheap beer: where else can you get pints of Sierra Nevada for $3.50?

At taverns I tend to buy beer by the pitcher, so the pint prices generally stay a mystery. But $3.50 is pretty sweet. What I’m not convinced about is that wings under the broiler render chicken wings any healthier than the deep frying method. Just had to put in my two cents.

-R has some deep thoughts on rotini, except for maybe the one that matters most:
Rotini. The bane of my pasta universe. Has anyone discovered a method of cooking rotini that doesn’t leave the tiny wheels all soggy and overcooked, while leaving the axis barely al dente? It seems as if there’s no perfect middle ground to be had with rotini, despite my giggly enthusiasm at its shape and sauce clinging abilities.

All rotini are beautiful. Sure, the outside edges get cooked more than the core. But I’m okay with that.

Ellen had a very specific question about my meat:
I am always curious if you buy your meat at a local grocery store or a specialty butcher?

Most Friday night chickens come from the rotisserie at Hannaford. Cured meats come from Chester’s, Rolf’s, The Cheese Traveler, and Whole Foods. I try to buy as much of our other meat from the farmers market as I can. But when I am bad at planning ahead, we’ll supplement the farmers market with stops at Whole Foods or Roma’s. That said, we don’t eat a whole lot of meat at home.

Jenna L. was asking about animal husbandry practices for the chickens that lay organic eggs:
Any idea if organic means they live a better life?

Yes. It doesn’t. It means they are raised using organic standards. But that largely is about what the birds are fed. So if you prefer eggs from chickens that aren’t fed GMO corn and soy, these are your eggs. But if you want eggs to come from chickens that live outdoors, get to eat bugs, and live full chicken-centric lives you’ll have to find a very small farm that subscribes to the same ideology. And likely they will not be organic, because the paperwork needed to use that label is too arduous for such a small operation.

Ewan may reconsider his enthusiasm for the product once he gets the answer:
OK: where do I find Nellie’s eggs?

Your nearest Price Chopper or Shop Rite. But they are also at The Fresh Market, Target, and Walmart. See?

Deedee made a very generous offer, but I’m just foolish enough to neglect this opportunity:
Matzah balls from a mix? Really? I’m afraid that this does not rise to an appropriate level of fussy. I’m disappointed but am willing to step up and provide you with a tutorial and a recipe. Let me know when and where.

Passover is long since over. But it would be great to learn these ancient Jewish arts. On the other hand, the stuff from the mix is one of Young Master Fussy’s favorite foods. Sometimes it’s not wise to mess with success.


Hey, you made it all the way to the end. We’ll take a break and come back tomorrow. Maybe by then I can be free of these reader questions. If not, at least a great burden will be lifted.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. July 3, 2017 2:19 pm

    In regards to toast and tomato sauce, I’ve been adding some chopped up Calabrian peppers and a little olive oil to my leftover pizza sauce and eating it as a spicy cold soup with a spoon. I guess a gazpacho variation. It’s awesome.

  2. July 3, 2017 10:41 pm

    I will take you up on the Timmy’s challenge, but may insist on a cross-reference visit to Ocean Palace which has impressed me recently. The good news is the two establishments are just a few blocks apart. The bad is both are likely to have long wait times, = beer.

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