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A New Take on an Old Promotion

March 12, 2018

Happy Monday! We’re getting further into the unlocking. Can you feel it?

I’m feeling the pressure to finish up my big cooking projects while the garage can still be used as a refrigerator. I’ve got a mega Cuban black bean project, one more quick chana masala, one last batch of chicken stock (hopefully), and just yesterday I picked up a whole pile of lamb necks. Oh yeah. I’m really excited about that last one.

The cooking shouldn’t be all that hard to squeeze into the rhythm of everyday life. The eating, on the other hand, is going to be more challenging. Just because there is so much going on.

And I haven’t even told you about Yelp Restaurant Week.

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The Annual Jewish Food Festival

March 9, 2018

Every year before the Jewish Food Festival, I tell people there’s going to be a Jewish Food Festival. Every year after the Jewish Food Festival, I share my tales of hot sliced pastrami with mustard, schmears of chopped liver, and bites of sweet blintz casserole.

And every year I hear the similar refrain, “I didn’t know there was a Jewish Food Festival!”

Let’s try this once again. And this time with feeling.
The Jewish Food Festival is coming!
The Jewish Food Festival is coming to Schenectady!
The Jewish Food Festival is on Sunday, March 18th!

Hey, isn’t that the day after the Tour de Slice: Schenectady? Yes. Yes it is. There’s been a lot going on in Schenectady recently, and it’s not going to stop. Just wait until you read Monday’s post. But one thing at a time. First let’s talk more about the Jewish Food Festival, including how to win free tickets.

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Tour de Slice: Schenectady

March 8, 2018

Thankfully it still feels a bit like winter, because the FUSSYlittleBLOG’s winter tour is finally here! The name of this tour has been shortened for the headline of today’s post. If I called this the Tour de New York Style Pizza Slice: Schenectady Edition it wouldn’t fit on one line, and we can’t have that.

Plus the word slice should absolutely imply New York style pizza. And if it doesn’t, this probably isn’t the tour for you. Or maybe it’s the perfect tour for you, because this would be a fantastic introduction to thin crust pizza by the slice.

We’ve already had a period of nominations, and readers have weighed in with their thoughts on what this tour should and should not be. I’ve taken it all into consideration, and am looking forward to getting this show on the road.

Now whip out those calendars and write down this date, in pen.

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Between Drinks and Desserts

March 7, 2018

The Humans. It’s a play. It’s a great play. It won a Tony for best play not too long ago. And now it’s at Proctors.

Last night was its first night in Schenectady. I was invited—along with several other members of the Yelp Elite Squad—by the theater for its premiere. Tuesday night at 7:30 could seem like a challenging time to get out to the Electric City in the right mindset to catch a thoughtful production.

But the play itself is just 90 minutes, and it has no intermission. Which is a good thing, because it’s funny at times, but it is also quite intense and thought provoking. Even a day after the experience, I’m still unpacking layers of meaning from the text, subtext and the staging. And I suspect I’ll be thinking about the show for weeks to come.

However, this is a food blog, and nobody comes here for a thoughtful examination of the lighting or a critical evaluation of how the actors interpreted their characters and motivations.

There was one local food that played prominently in the production, and I’m a little surprised that Saratoga Sweets isn’t in the lobby with a table selling its signature confection. They could make a fortune.

Now as a food person, I hold that theater is what happens between drinks and dessert.

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Pots of Fats

March 6, 2018

When two people from very different backgrounds get married, there is always the cross pollination of ideas. Mrs. Fussy has contributed a great deal toward my greater sense of thriftiness and abhorrence of waste. And she has picked up a greater appreciation for some of the finer things in life, including an impressive wine palate that exceeds my own.

Before we were married, I would throw away food with reckless abandon. Which isn’t to say I wouldn’t take home leftovers. I would. They would just sit in my refrigerator until they spoiled, and then I would throw them away.

Since those days I have changed, and now save all kinds of food scraps to work into other dishes. But I also have some hoarding tendencies. So sometimes those two things can result in unintended, if not entirely surprising outcomes.

For example, have you heard about my pots of fats?

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Coffee Confession Number Three

March 5, 2018

Good coffee is one of life’s great pleasures.

I am so grateful that we have more and more small coffee shops that focus on bringing some of the best beans from the best roasters to the Capital Region. And I salute the locals who are roasting their own and sourcing directly from small estates around the world.

The baristas of the Capital Region are also getting better and better. It’s easy to see whenever there is a latte art throwdown. I remember judging one of the first ones out here, and the level of improvement and growth in participation is off the charts.

That said, sometimes I go to Starbucks for black coffee when I’m out and about. And more often than not, at home I drink crappy supermarket coffee. But those are just coffee confessions number one and two, respectively.

Coffee confession number three is worse, for it has broader implications to our food culture.

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16 Hours

March 2, 2018

Two nights in a row I was up until 2am working on the same cooking project. In my heart of hearts I knew it was a bad idea from the get go. But I’m on the Adventure in Food Trading mailing list, and a while back I saw they were running a special on a berkshire pork leg.

For the past several months I’ve wanted to try my hand at making Raf’s Cuban lechon. So when there was an opportunity to get a whole pork leg, I jumped on the opportunity.

Even though it was over twenty pounds. And frozen.

Today’s post is delayed thanks to two nights of too little sleep. But I think it was worth it because this morning I woke up to bites of piping hot overnight lechon. Breakfast pork was never part of the plan, rather it was just a happy accident.

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