Skip to content

Farming Feed Over Food

August 9, 2017

If we’re all still here, it’s a good morning. So let’s take a minute, breathe in the air, and let that sink in a moment. We’ve got another day. Let’s make the best of it.

Last night Mrs. Fussy was saying that apocalypse Twitter was the worst kind of Twitter, and I’m inclined to agree. I’ll try and stay off that platform today as well. Hopefully cooler heads will prevail, and we’ll find some way out of this current predicament without millions–or even thousands–of people dying in the process.

Part of me is very glad I’m on the farm this week, surrounded by my family. But do you know what else we’re surrounded by? Farms. Seriously, there is corn as far as the eye can see. Even still, if civilization were to collapse around us on this trip, we would be completely screwed.

Most likely, we would starve. And here’s why.

Read more…

Farms on Phones on Farms

August 8, 2017

Maybe it’s just all of the farm dinners I’ve been going to lately, but it feels like the local foods movement is picking up steam.

At the Pitney Meadows Fire Feast, I sat with a couple who would rarely spend $100 out for a nice dinner, but decided to make a commitment to this local organization and drop $200 each for the incredible culinary experience DocSconz put together. After the event, they were absolutely glowing, and would do it again without hesitation.

Too often, the farm-to-table ethos espoused by restaurants is more table dressing than substance. And consumers have realized this. Which is why I suspect more of them are skipping the middleman and just going out for dinner at the farm.

Look at Field Notes. These guys are doing 20 person dinners at Lansing’s Farm Market and Greenhouse in Niskayuna. They just had their first dinner, and now it’s going to be a regular thing. And you’ve already heard about the Sunday cookouts at Indian Ladder Farm.

So how do you learn about some of the good things that are happening around the farms of the Capital Region? Well, I’m glad you asked.

Read more…

The King’s Buns

August 7, 2017

At some point a couple of years ago, I actually went to a Burger King for the sake of science to document the classic chicken sandwich. This was one of the beloved fast food items among my circle of friends during the teen years. And I was really curious to taste it again as an adult.

To complete the comparison, I also visited McDonald’s to see what was happening under the golden arches with their chicken.

Neither this story, nor its photos, saw the light of day. The Burger King chicken sandwich was not the stuff of memory. However, I was suspicious that the poor excuse of a chicken sandwich I received was the result of operator error. It would be a tragedy if the brand had let the standards that built a classic erode so badly. Of course, it could also be that as kids we simply did not know any better.

With this experience under my belt, in addition to the awful taste the Burger King burgers literally left in my mouth a few years prior, I figured I was totally done with this chain. That is, until two forces conspired against me:

1) A Family road trip to Pennsylvania
2) BKs new Chicken parm sandwich

Read more…

Milk Punch Revisited

August 4, 2017

One way you know something is truly great, is if you can’t stop thinking about it days after the fact.

That Fire Feast at Pitney Meadow Community Farm earlier this week wasn’t all just about local food, prepared by internationally renowned chefs. It was also about crafting some killer cocktails to go along with the dishes.

And of all the great cocktails, and there were many great cocktails, one stood out in my mind above all others. But even before you learn how it’s made, this was a totally badass drink to kick off a summer night of culinary adventure.

Read more…

The Local Farm for Foreign Foods

August 3, 2017

Farms. I’ve been talking a lot about them recently. Really, I should make our local farms a central part of this blog. But before I can do that, I need to get out of the house and visit more of our regional farms and farmers. Time is the limiting factor. Time has been kicking my ass lately.

Promoting local farms has been on my to-do list for far too long. If all goes according to plan, I should be able to get out and meet a few meat producers in the fall. But regardless of how many stories that trip might produce, it won’t even begin to scratch the surface of what’s out there.

I mention all this because sometimes, farms come to me. Well, kinda.

Recently, I heard from Tierra Farm which is out in Valatie, and they wanted to know if I would be interested in getting a sample of what they produce out in Columbia County. Well, naturally I said yes. And yesterday I got the box in the mail.

Read more…

Fire Feasting on the Farm

August 2, 2017

Remember how I was saying that we’re in peak summer? Well, last night at Pitney Meadow Community Farm was a stunning reminder of just how delicious summer can be.

Three hundred people gathered together under the high tunnel to support the vision for this property to become a hub of small-scale sustainable farming education and training. We also gathered to taste some incredible food prepared by some world class chefs from all over the country, who came up to Saratoga for some live fire cooking of local, seasonal, and sustainable products.

Chef Michael Lapi was behind sourcing the proteins, Josh Coletto designed the fire pits, and John Sconzo worked to secure the culinary talent. And these were just a few of my favorite people who were there.

A play by play of the food would take forever, so instead I’ll just share some of my favorites from the evening. But do yourself a favor. Follow Pitney Meadow Community Farm on Facebook, because if they do something like this again, you’re not going to want to miss it.

Read more…

Butter Fried S’mores

August 1, 2017

I still hate s’mores. Fundamentally, nothing has changed. If you want to read the original rant, you can either go back in the archive to the very first month of the blog in May 2009, or you could just simply click here.

This hatred isn’t new. It’s been around for a long, long time.

Perhaps, in some ways my ire has softened over the years. Perhaps you’ll recall my relatively recent admiration for the s’mores cocktail served at the Cookies & Cocktails fundraiser for Girl Scouts of Northeastern New York.

But it’s summer. Actually, now that it’s August, people are starting to talk about summer coming to a close. Stop it. This is peak summer. Enjoy the hell out of it. Thinking about the end will only diminish the joy the next few weeks can bring.

Invariably, someone will want to make s’mores. So I thought, despite my aversion to this beloved summer treat, that I would share another story from the lake house.

Read more…