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Mister Dave Cooks The Classics

August 8, 2018

Summer has me all out of my rhythm. Maybe it’s the traveling. Perhaps it’s that each week is different from the next. But there’s just a tremendous amount of stuff happening in every direction.

Somehow I have to find a way to connect with Tim and Brooke from Slidin’ Dirty because they are doing all kinds of crazy things with their mini burger empire and changing their menus. Josh Coletto seems to be killing it over at Nighthawks. I hear there’s a new Jewish deli in Saratoga Springs. The founding chef from Malcolm’s is now at Innovo Kitchen?

Oh yeah. And I heard through the grapevine that there’s even a new legit Filipino food stall inside The Phoenicians on Fuller Road. But before you head over, it’s worth calling, because I haven’t personally confirmed this. That said, my source was excellent.

Needless to say, I’m falling further and further behind on the things I need to eat. But it’s CSA season too. Which means last night I was treated to some great sweet corn, sweet peppers, and tomatoes from Roxbury Farm.

All of this chaos is just one reason why it’s good to have a solid rock with which to hold steady. What better than one of the OG Capital Region food bloggers, Mister Dave. Who, by the way, is back to regular blogging for the first time in forever.

Have you checked out what he’s doing?

Just like Julie & Julia, Mister Dave is committed to cooking his way through a cookbook. But instead of one of the international classics, he’s selected something a bit closer to home. It’s a 1970s cookbook from “The Ladies of St. Thomas Church” in Delmar.

Cleverly, he has established a set of rules to guide this project. One of which involves adjusting the proportions of dishes to minimize food waste.

I salute that.

But more than anything else, right now, I admire the passion and spark that this project has brought to The Ridiculous Food Society of Upstate New York. It’s totally within keeping with his editorial focus, and I love the return of Mr. Dave’s unique voice to our regional food culture.

These days I find myself wondering about what a post-foodie restaurant scene might look like. Because trends don’t last forever, and the culinary landscape was not always populated with people who cared so deeply about their food.

Do you want to hear my complete bullshit prediction based on pretty much nothing? It will be insanely delicious. Super simple. And totally inexpensive. Think about things like baked dim sum buns, or those tin bowls filled with rice, greens, and a little chopped pork. Then expand that beyond the flavors of China.

Time will be short. Money will continue to be tight. Plus I also think we’ll continue to pull away from big corporate food.

There you go.

So what does this have to do with Mister Dave and his current project? Well, I’m glad you asked. Because his latest foray into old time church cooking is with something called Cheese Shorties. And I can’t believe something his passion for crazy cookbooks has resulted in a recipe that I actually want to make.

He sums up the whole experience rather nicely in the paragraph below.

Nobody makes these simple homemade finger-foods anymore. It’s all bags of chips, guac, veg, or assorted other BS you picked up at Trader Joe’s on your way home from work. We’ve lost something here. Salty/fatty three to four ingredient snacks. That is the way to entertain.

I might go one step forward and say it’s also the way of the future. But much like my excitement for the rumored Filipino food stall in a Lebanese restaurant, I might be completely off base. That said, I do keep my ear to the ground, and spend far too much time thinking about such things.

Even if I’m wrong about the future, here’s something I’m right about. If you’ve stopped reading the Ridiculous Food Society of Upstate New York at some point in the past, it’s time to turn that around. Because while it’s no longer just homemade fatty meat snacks and random jewels plucked from the shelf at P-Chops, it’s a whole new category of weirdness, and as good as it ever was. Maybe even a little better.

One Comment leave one →
  1. Deedee permalink
    August 15, 2018 5:59 pm

    Mister Dave should come to my house. I make homemade finger foods all the time including Ina Garten’s Parmesan and Thyme Crackers which might be similar to his Cheese Shorties.

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