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No Drama Avocada

June 14, 2017

Woo hoo! The heat has broken. But no worries, I still have a bunch of “damn it’s hot outside” stories to share with you from the past few days. And one of them has some ties with something that’s been burning up the twitter.

Avocado hand.

It’s apparently a thing. A bad thing. People are accidentally stabbing themselves as they try to remove the pits from and slice their avocados. It’s also not just a millennial thing. Old people are having avocado related injuries too.

As far as I’m concerned, avocado toast is delicious. I’ve been eating it through the heat wave. However, I’ve also been eating it all year long. Avocados are just one of the many things that keep me from living a locavore diet. Remember when that was the big thing?

Maybe part of the problem is just how many terrible instruction videos there are for teaching people how to prepare their avocados. Let’s take a quick look.

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Tour de Hard Ice Cream Nominations 2.0

June 13, 2017

Instead of complaining again today about another scorcher, let’s shift gears and fantasize about ice cream.

But this is more than just fantasy. This is reality. Because soon, I will indeed be leading a group of intrepid eaters into the wilderness in search of some of the best homemade hard ice cream in the region.

Yes, it’s another FUSSYlittleTOUR. We just came off of the Tour de Seasonal Burger Stands, and in the fall we’ll do an epic Tour de Apple Cider Donut: Championship Edition. But now it’s time to think about ice cream. Do you realize that the last Tour de Homemade Hard Ice Cream was in 2012?

That’s five years ago! What have we been doing since then? Well, we had the Tour de FroYo, the Tour de Gelato, and a couple more editions of the Tour de Soft Serve. But on the spring burger tour, Chantelle not only requested we revisit hard ice cream, she also proposed a specific hard ice cream tour for the eastern side of the region.

Now, before we get any further, as is our custom I will open up the floor to nominations.

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Spring Heat Wave Saves

June 12, 2017

It’s too damn hot. Yep. That’s me. Complaining about the weather again.

There seem to be two kinds of people in the Capital Region. Those who delight at complaining about the weather. And those who delight in their aggravation towards those who complain about the weather.

I’m all about letting people speak their mind. Really, who wouldn’t complain when the wind gets so cold that it feels like needles piercing into your eyeballs. Sure, on some level we’ve all chosen to call Upstate New York our home. But that doesn’t mean that we always have to love every little thing about it.

Spring heat waves? They are fundamentally worse than summer heat waves, and here’s why.

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Food, Beer & Music Done Right

June 9, 2017

Man, I’m digging this spring. I’m tempted to call it summer. Because this is the summer side of spring. The winter side of spring is pretty sucky. But now? Now strawberries are in season. The CSA is making deliveries. It’s staying light until late at night. And all the free outdoor concerts have begun.

I can’t keep track of them all, but I was told the Times Union wrote up a summary and put it online somewhere.

Last night was both the first Alive at Five in Albany and the second Brown’s Summer Sessions in Troy. Maybe I did something stupid. I decided to go to both. Of course, that meant I had to miss out on the headliner in Albany. But I really couldn’t tell you anything about the guy who plays sax for the Rolling Stones.

For that matter, I can’t tell you the name of the headlining band at Brown’s Summer Sessions. They came from Philly. I know that. And just like the band that headlined at Brown’s last week, these guys had a ton of energy, a rock star attitude, and a killer sound.

But there’s something else that’s going on in Brown’s backyard that makes this extra special.

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Red, White & Ew

June 8, 2017

June. One of the best things about June is that it’s strawberry season in upstate New York. On June 17 there is even a whole strawberry festival in Schaghticoke. Please don’t make me spell that again, and I’m sure that I’m pronouncing the name of the town wrong. I can’t even say Cohoes correctly.

All you do is head north to Clifton Park, make a right. Head through Mechanicville and just keep going east until you hit the smell of strawberries.

Man, I find that smell to be intoxicating. I love the aroma of strawberries. Actually, I love almost everything about strawberries. Just south of Miami there was an amazing strawberry farm I used to go to with my family as a kid. They made the absolute best strawberry milkshakes I ever had.

What I can’t stand about strawberries actually has less to do with the fruit and more about how the crimes committed by home cooks and professional chefs alike. I’m actually more miffed at the chefs, because they should know better. But after today, hopefully we’ll see some improvements.

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First Day of the CSA

June 7, 2017

Spring is all about rain, but that doesn’t make it any less gloomy. There are some things you can do to make it better. It feels like the perfect season for a bright, tropical, East-Coast-style IPA. Something to bring out the sunshine that we just know is hiding behind those clouds.

Part of me would think that all of this rain is necessary for helping things grow. I see all the pollen that’s been blown around the region buried in the grass, and as these rains help to sink those seeds into the soil, it feels like bearing witness to their natural destiny.

Maybe that’s true, but what do I know. I couldn’t make rosemary grow in Northern California where it’s practically a weed.

This is just one reason why I outsource all my local, sustainable produce growing. I was going to add seasonal to the list of adjectives, but when produce is truly local, it can’t help but be seasonal. Well, except for those people who are doing that hydroponic basil, bless their hearts. But I digress.

Yesterday was the first day of my CSA. Woo hoo! And once again, life has sprung forth from the frozen soils around the Capital Region. So, what did I do with my bounty? Good question.

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The Insanity of Frozen Pizza

June 6, 2017

Pizza is one of my favorite foods. Not all pizza mind you, but good pizza.

Here’s the thing: pizza comes in all kinds of styles, and I try to keep an open mind. I remember the very first time I had Pepe’s coal fired pizza in New Haven. Despite all the hype, it just didn’t wow me. But after the third visit, I definitely became a fan.

I’ve cultivated an appreciation for the oily and rectangular tavern pies of the Capital Region. I have long been a fan of the gravitas found only in Chicago Deep Dish. The cracker crisp crust of Trenton Tomato Pie is a far cry from my favorite NY Style slice shops, but it’s excellent all the same. Those grandma slices, which should never be confused for Sicilian, are absolutely delightful. I even found some pizza in Old Forge, Pennsylvania that I’d eat again.

None of this is to brag about the depth and breadth of my pizza experience. Rather, it’s so that when I tell you that I just can’t wrap my head around frozen pizza, you don’t think it’s because of any kind of close-mindedness to the form.

Because much like frozen burritos, frozen pizza is nucking futs.

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