Hollow Root Vegetable

The first time I tried hollow root vegetables was at a restaurant with my Dad’s side of the family somewhere in Flushing. It was after a weekend of pizza, bread, and other heavy items, and the lightly cooked greens were a godsend.

Cooked in a little broth with some garlic and ginger, they were salty and refreshing. I like to think they worked as little scrubbing bubbles on the plaque that had accumulated in my arteries over the weekend.

I hadn’t expected to find them in Albany. You know how it goes. We have some Asian stuff up here, but if you want the legit and authentic “good stuff” you gotta go to NYC.

So imagine my surprise when I was walking around the Asian Food Market (Colvin Ave, Albany, NY) and saw “Ong Choy $1.79/lb” for sale. Hmm, what? Hollow, light green stems, and some large leafy greens… maybe this was like what I had in Flushing. They were pre-packaged in bundles, so I grabbed one that was about two hands around.

I didn’t get a picture of the ends, but they’re completely hollow all throughout the stem. In Cantonese they’re known as Tong Choy, and in English you might call it Water Spinach. I tend to like most spinachy kind of greens.

Here are the leaves. They’re kind of shaped like spades, and are thin and tender. They don’t need much cooking, so I chop off the bottom halves and cook them first.

If you don’t know how to cook Chinese veggies, it’s really easy, with no right or wrong method. The way I’ve been cooking my veggies lately has been like this:

Sear chunks of garlic until outsides are browned.
Toss in some of the veggies (like the firmer stem ends) and stir-fry until softened.
Add some water or chicken broth to speed up the process. Once those start to soften up, add in the leafier greens and cook until desired doneness.
Maybe a little salt, white pepper, sesame oil, oyster sauce… whatever other condiments you want can get tossed in, too.


You end up with something like this. A bowl of cooked Chinese veggies. I like the tong/ong choy because it doesn’t need any blanching (I like to blanch some of tougher or bitterer veggies before stir-frying), and has a great light texture. The garlic becomes softer, since the liquid will steam it up and cook it through. Still a lot of garlicky flavor, but it’s mellower and you don’t need to reach for the parsely when you’re done eating.

Are there any stem lovers up in here? I usually go for the stems of vegetables over the leaves or greener parts when they’re cooked like this. Broccoli, bok choy – doesn’t matter. I want the firm crunchy bottoms and not the leaves. It’s like the leaves are too soft for me. I don’t mind it when it’s all one texture, like just spinach leaves, but on the whole, If there’s diced broccoli, I want the stems. I didn’t really have the problem with the tong choy – the leaves and stems were both enjoyable.

I can never get Chinese veggies to taste as buttery and light as they do in Chinese restaurants, but I am guessing that might have something to do with a very flavorful and salty chicken broth, and oil.

Eat it when it’s fresh. I made the mistake of only making half of the amount I’d purchased and letting the ong choy sit in the fridge for a week or so. They stems turned woody, and some of the leaves got a little gooey/melty. Not ideal flavor or texture in the final product.

Happy Birthday A

An Alligator cake for Amy? A crocodile cake? It was birthday time, and one of my friends was planning on going to Wolff’s Biergarten for her birthday boot. She casually mentioned to me that if I wanted to bake something for her, well, that would be okay in her book.

I think she meant cookies or something easy like that, but cookies on a birthday are not nearly good enough in my book. They’re so easy.

So instead I dusted off an old baking mold my neighbor gave me (I’ll never turn down anything free, remember?) and made rum cake (Albany John’s idea “Hello, rum cake to the beer garden”). You can use any recipe you want. Mine called for chopped up cashew bits and rum in the batter. I tossed in a ton of green food dye for alligator authenticity. And then a generous soaking in some buttery, sugary rum liquid overnight.

I need to work on my baking times, but this turned out alright. The rum soak didn’t hurt either. I even made the little cake board with some firm posterboard stuff and a gift bag. And saran wrap over the top.

It looked weird just like that above, so I melted some chocolate to make a little drizzle. My first round had too much liquid, so I ended up with truffle filling… which is still sitting in my fridge some where… oh crap. But the 2nd time was not too bad. Evidently half a bag of chocolate is a lot to melt.
After decorating Mr. Crocodile, I decided to try writing a “Happy Birthday”, which is when my bag split open and I had to decide between re-bagging or continuing to write with hot chocolate on my hand. I am lazy, so I chose the more painful route. And dudes, writing with chocolate is not that easy – props to bakers who make it look all nice and not scrawled out.

Then it was time to head over to the beer garden. Mmmm, fooooood. So good. I’ll take any excuse to go to the biergarten!


Hello schnitzel! We got the one with mushrooms and riesling sauce. So freaking good. At $12.95, the price was just dandy, too. There were two large schnitzel patties slathered in sauce. They were on top of the spaetzel, so the spaetzel got all the saucy goodness from above.

Oh yeah, and Albany John is cracktacularly addicted to the hot saurkraut.

Personally, I’m addicted to the free peanuts. They go so well with a liter of beer.

Tour de Donut

Saturday morning marked the beginning of The Fussy Little Blog’s Tour de Donut. A 9 am call time at Indian Ladder Farms means I arrived just a wee bit late (as usual). I swear I used to be Little Miss 10 Minutes Early, but now it seems like I need a 15 minute buffer tossed in with my RSVPs.

Thankfully I had arrived just in time to get a scoring sheet (check out the geeky goodness above!) and a donut. Woo hoo! Time to munch some donuts with some folks from the internet like Beck and the gang from Vicarious Visions.

Well. Hello. Let me fix my hair, why don’tcha? I would have slapped some more make up on if I’d known I was meeting you here.

The doughnut from Indian Ladder Farms was my favorite. Crispy-crunchy exterior shell, and tons of granulated sugar coating.

And the flavor? It was bursting through with Apple Cider. I’ve never had such a good cider doughnut. I know cider is in them all, but I don’t usually get such a pronounced flavor in the doughnuts. I’ll be back for more.
Great crumb – a little chew, very moist, nice and airy for a cake doughnut.

These were not hot out of the fryer, but they had been made earlier (I’m not sure if it was earlier in the morning or the previous night). I would love to try them super-fresh outta the fryer.

After gobbling and scoring, we popped over to Altamont Orchards.

More pre-made doughnuts.

Golden brown goodness. These were also excellent doughnuts. Completely different from Indian Ladder Farms, but pretty much equally enjoyable. Tons of flavor, great texture.

A tighter crumb, but a hair softer inside. The outside was crisp, but not as crunchy as Indian Ladder Farms.

Then we started a longer haul over to Fo’Castle Farms. The VV folks were awesome and took point on much of the driving/directioning from here on out.

It was part country store, part cafe. The cafe folks advised us to get dougnuts from the country store part, as it would be cheaper. Kudos for that.

JOEY BAG O’ DONUTS! These were serve-yourself doughnuts from a display case. No counter service involved.

A light, golden exterior with granulated sugar. They also had some cider donuts without a sugar topping (but why would you bother?).
The interior was very poofy. An average cider donut.

Then we went to Lakeside Farm. It was getting later in the morning, and this place was packed. It was the first place we had trouble finding parking.

That bodes well. Cute signage and all.

This was the first stop on our Tour of Donuts that had donuts coming fresh out of the fryer! There is a trailer outside of the farm stand with coffee, tea, and some other food, but come on – freshly fried doughnuts!

Look at them coming out of the fryer, in all of their golden glory. These were being freshly made, with more batter made periodically (not some giant endless vat of doughnut batter).

They were all fairly uniform. Soft, no real crunch to them. The judges sat down to score and think things over. This picture might seem a bit ominous, like we’re some strict and frown-y group of donut haters.

But I assure you, we’re all quite friendly. I was smiling behind the camera, promise. And we love donuts.
The interior was incredibly soft and poofy. This doughnut was a little too heavy on the cinnamon for me (and light on the sugar), but I know a few folks who love cinnamon, so I think they would be really happy here.
I also got some really good apple cider here. Really fresh and bright – not too heavy at all.
Our final stop on the tour of doughnuts was Bowman Orchards. This was the most interesting entrance – we drove through the fields to get to the store. There’s a way you can branch off for Pick-Your-Own Apples, and a road directly to the store.

We went directly to the store. Parking was not a problem.

The store was pretty packed with people buying baked goods and such.

Much to our dismay, the doughnuts were kept in racks of pre-packed plastic shells. The inside had condensation on top of it.

They didn’t suffer from sogginess (phew), but they would have been better fresh. But it seemed like this was the favored option for speed. I imagine things might get really backed up if they packed them by hand. I wouldn’t mind a wait, but others might.

The interior was okay, but it was all a uniform texture (soft), and the flavor wasn’t very strong on the apple cider. I would have been fine with this if I had never tasted the goodness inside Indian Ladder Farms, though.

Donut #5 was the breaking point. The Profussor and I left them half-eaten. Did you guys know that five doughnuts before noon isn’t that much, but it is pretty filling? Because they are. And tea totally helps wash them all down.

Winnarz!

The winners are in from the Snow Beverages swag and soda giveaway. And man, you guys like to go big.

Mega Super Cool Winner of the 12 pack of sodas is… Jon, with his comment at 7 pm!

Super Hottie Winner of T-Shirty goodness is DelSo! I hope you flaunt your boobage in there like crazy, lady.

Heather, Lilimonster, LK, and Mer win small prizes!

I’ll email you guys later today (or something).

Also, major props to Anonymous, who said “Nevermind the contest, you are really built.” Haha, yes, like a linebacker (mom’s side of the fam). That was so awesome, and a great way to end the contest. All I have to say is Beefcake. Beefcake!

Enjoy your Friday, and remember, you too can follow your dreams. With Beefcake.

Pig Pit BBQ

I bought an Entertainment book a while ago, and saw that one of the coupons was to the Pig Pit BBQ. Sweet! I headed over and got some ‘cue. Man, I just can’t resist that pulled pork sandwich.

The Pig Pit changed locations fairly recently. It’s no longer on 112th St in Cohoes. It’s still in Cohoes, but just off of the highway. You’ll see it on your right once you start driving in. They have a very nice set up. It’s no longer the bottom part of a house, but its own free standing unit with plenty of parking. There’s indoor and outdoor seating available, and you can even peep into the kitchen thanks to some wide windows.

Albany John got the quarter chicken platter. Sweet potato fries were so crispy, and perfectly salted. I might need to order an extra side of them next time. Never enough! The cornbread muffin was a sweet and fluffy type. More Yankee style than pure cornmeal, and highly enjoyable. The coleslaw wasn’t too mayo-y either. Just lightly dressed and cohesive.

I always assume that quarter chicken usually means the thigh/leg quarter, but we were surprised with a breast and wing! Albany John thought it was a small piece. It was, but their birds are only 3 pounders, so a quarter of a 3 # bird isn’t going to be that big.

It was smoky goodness. If there’s one thing I’d say about Tex’s BBQ it is the real deal in terms of getting some Texas style kick-you-in-the-face smokiness in your food. So while it was a small piece, it was moist and full of flavor. I’d take that over a bigger, less flavorful breast any day (or just order a half chicken).

The pulled pork at Pig Pit also has tons of in-your-face smoky goodness. The sandwiches are so jam packed with pulled pork, it’s hard for me to want to try anything else. I got mine sloppy with coleslaw and then slathered it some more with BBQ sauce (nice – tangy and sweet).

Most of the time I only eat half of the bun and just eat the pulled pork with a fork. So freakin good. One of these days I’m going to give their brisket a try. One day.

I am so glad to have Pig Pit in the area. You know Cap Region, we’ve got two very good, very different BBQ places – Pig Pit and Capital Q. Different in really good ways. I’ve been meaning to try out Brunswick BBQ & Brew, too, but haven’t made it up there yet.

2 Mooncakes

Last night Albany John and I tucked into some mooncakes I bought earlier in the week in celebration of the Moon Festival.

I picked a flaky one, and the one above a flaky one. We were a little busy running some errands and cleaning the place, but I wanted to spend a few minutes outside gazing at the moon before falling asleep.


I cut them in half, and evidently blogger only wanted to upload one of the half slices. WHATEVER. I’ll show you more tomorrow cause I’mma eat the rest of them tonight.

So the more traditional outside looking mini-mooncake turned out to be wintermelon and pineapple flavored.Dense paste-filled stuff. It was sticky, chewy, kind of like candied preserved wintermelon with tons o sugar. I wasn’t crazy about it, but Albany John loved the flavor. I checked the label after and there’s no actual pineapple in it, just pineapple flavour. Oh. Still, it wasn’t that fakey, but still, not really pineappley either.

Third Auntie, you were right! The flaky one has five nuts as the filling. I really liked this one. The exterior was really flaky, although to be honest, I didn’t really think of it as a mooncake, just a dessert. I’ve gotten exteriors like this from Chinese bakeries where they’re usually filled with taro or sweet potato. Still, it was a good pastry. The exterior was flaky and not greasy (the ones from bakeries have a really short half-life. They go from flaky to greasy after a few hours), with a very nice savory note to it.

The Five nuts (almond, black sesame, sunflower, pumpkin, walnut) were densely packed, with a warm and borderline savory finish from maltose and dried orange peel.
I really like nuts in general, so if you’re the same way, you’d probably enjoy this one as well. I would like to see a traditional mooncake skin filled with the five nuts filling.

Oh, and I saw the lady in the moon, and Albany John saw the rabbit. It was cloudy when I went out (it was clear when I was driving around earlier, although Albany John wasn’t a big fan of my erratic driving while I was speeding and staring at the sky), so we had to wait a few minutes for the moon to come out. As you know, down time is the bane of any married couple’s life as it means they actually have to spend time together and talk and enjoy each other’s company. Jeeze, who does that stuff?

Mid-Autum Festival/Moon Festival

Happy Moon Festival! Well if I’m being proper, I should wish you a Happy Mid-Autumn Festival, since this Chinese holiday is about celebrating the end of the summer harvest season. I think it’s pretty nifty this fits in right around the Eat Local challenge.

At any rate, it’s a major holiday in Chinese culture, but here in the US it doesn’t really get that much celebration. I really only found out about it taking Chinese school when I was in elementary school. The first half of school was learning the language but the second half was my favorite – it was all about culture.

Basically, everyone goes and looks at the moon on the Mid-Autumn Festival. There are some stories behind the celebration, too. In Chinese school they told us a couple folk tales about it, and we could try and see one of them in the moon. One is about a beauty who sacraficed herself and ended up on living the moon alone. There’s one about a lovestruck couple who had no hope of being together on Earth and ending up on the moon. Another is about a noble rabbit, or rat, or mouse ending up on the moon. Either way, some kind of struggle and the “good” person or people or animal ending up on the moon. Why don’t you look at the moon and tell me what you see?

I went to the Asian Food Market (91 Colvin Ave, Albany, NY) to buy some mooncakes. I’d been to the Asian Supermarket, and they didn’t really have any. But the one on Colvin is pretty oriented to Chinese-Asians, and not just generically Asian, so I figured I’d have a better shot. Man, did I ever. There’s a few shelves of mooncakes set up just past the registers to the right when you first walk in.
When I was browsing the selection, a little girl came running over and hugged the displays, shouting “MMMOOOOONNNNCCAAAKKKKEEEESSS!!” and I was SO with her there. The only way her parents were able to pry her away from the display was by telling her that Grandma had already bought a bunch for later and she would get some. Later. Mooncakes have been bought. It’s okay.

The sky’s the limit with mooncake prices. This box was only $10.99, but many were in the $25-32 range. They even had some frozen new-wave mooncakes! I really wanted to try them, but it was $30 for 7-8 really small ones. Yikes.

I chose this one not because it was the cheapest (which, it turns out, it was, yay!), but because it was a variety pack of small mooncakes, and none of them had egg yolks. Egg yolks are very traditional mooncake ingredients. And a lot of the larger sized, more traditional boxes of mooncakes contain 1-2 egg yolks. Some can contain as much as 4 egg yolks. There is also usually lotus paste in there too. I didn’t like them growing up, but I might try a nibble of one again. I mean, I also didn’t like cheese was growing up.

BTW, this brand uses the “noble lady does something heroic and ends up on the moon all by herself forever” story. The box should have given it away, but there’s an English print-up on the inside. It’s a really good deal for only $10.99.

And here’s the inside. 8 mooncakes, 4 different varieties (2 of each kind). Now, usually you’d get a tin of 4 larger mooncakes (about 4″x4″), and all of the mooncakes would be the same. But variety is the spice of life, and those larger mooncakes usually have egg yolks that I don’t like. There are also larger/traditional ones without eggs that are either all lotus or all red bean paste.

These mooncakes can fit in the palm of my hand, but are still elaborately decorated. I just love the molds. And they’re easier to eat, too. Mooncakes are dense stuff – I’d have a tough time eating a whole traditional one. And how cute – they even included little forks and a knife to slice and share them!

Here are the varieties: Green tea and lotus paste, pineapple and winter melon, white lotus paste, and Five nuts (almond, sunflower, pumpkin, walnut, black sesame)

I have no idea what is in what, so slicing and cutting open will be a surprise (unless any of my wonderful readers knows what’s what?). I’m excited to try the flaky ones (the white looking dudes) – never had those as mooncakes before (but as really tasty taro puffs from Chinese bakeries).

There are other traditional foods to eat, most of them are sweet. My Dad A) loves the traditional mooncakes packed with egg yolks, and B) says it’s usually fruit like oranges, pomelo, grapes, boiled poi, starfruit, and ling guog which have a black hard shell that looked like two water buffalo horns. Plus there are lanterns and lots of fire for kids to play with.

Happy Moon Festival! Go stare at the big, bright moon tonight!

Update:

Stopped by the Asian Supermarket on Central Ave, and they also have a display of mooncakes, most of which are under $20! It’s a different selection and smaller than at the AFM, but worth checking out if you are in the area. They also have more frozen mooncakes. They had some pomelo, but they were mostly green/unripe.

Snow Beverages

So I don’t know if you guys know this, but I love free stuff. If someone says “Hey, would you like something for free?” I will always say “yes”. This is why I have a skirt two sizes too small, a silicone crocodile cake mold, and two electric sandwich makers.

But it’s also why I have a glass cover that perfectly fits a pan that didn’t have a top. I love it when things work out so well, and when free stuff is actually good.

Well folks, strap on your schwag belts, because we’re in for a ride on something both free (for some of you) and good.

Lemme introduce you to Snow Beverages. They’re the new kid on the block, offering up some naturally made sodas, made by a former Indie rocker from the band Channeling Owen. Well, pshh, sign me up for some indie hipster sodas. I like the back story already.

Well, here’s the deal. They use natural flavorings and colors, toss in some vitamins, and their sodas are lightly carbonated. They have Cranberry Pom Raz, Lemon-Lime, and Cola. They are in the process of making some low-cal sodas, but these 12 oz sodas hang out in the 110-120 calorie range.

And they use REAL SUGAR (“natural cane sugar” per their ingredient list), not high fructose corn syrup. I’m more of a diet kind of gal because I don’t like the viscosity or density of most regular sodas. But the light carbonation and lack of HFCS makes this a regular soda I can get down with.

Another thing I like is that they’re all caffeine free. Sometimes I can get a little sensitive to caffeine, so it’s nice to have an uncaffeinated option.

Cola tastes kind of like a light Coke with lime thing going on, which I am guessing is from the ascorbic acid added for vitamin C. Most uncaffeinated colas tend to suck, but I didn’t notice any off flavors here.
The Lemon-Lime was like Sierra Mist, only a little lighter and less bubbly. I guess the best way to describe it would be to be kind of like a combo of super-flavored seltzer, and lightly flavored regular soda. Albany John liked how refreshing the Lemon-Lime flavor was.

However, my hands down favorite flavor was the Cranberry Pom Raz. Oh man, talk about tasty, tart, and juicy. There were noticeable flavors of cranberry (the main flavor), and kicks of pomegranate and raspberry in the background. This also made one awesome mixer for instant suped up cape codders. Vodka + Cranberry Pom Raz = tart cocktail-y goodness.

Now, on to the free stuff. As you can tell, I got a free T-Shirt. I don’t usually like the free shirts companies include with free stuff. Well, scratch that, I like them, but I don’t usually end up wearing them because they’re a guy’s large and only good as a sleeping shirt for me. Either that, or my husbear takes them since they fit him better than me. But Snow’s shirt has a cute snow flake design on them, and they actually sent me not one, but TWO women’s medium shirts. And you can have one of them! From my Myspace style self-pics and crappy editing (minus the exposed boobage), you can see how cute it looks.

They also sent me some cute “free kiss” coupons, which you can hand out to your friends if you want to kiss them for coupons. Kitchy, but cute, ya know?

AND they also packed in some buy one get one free coupons to boot. And some buttons. But way more coupons than buttons.

I am very refreshilicious. And you can be too.

Which brings me to the giveaway part. Likely, if you comment, you will get something. But maybe you will win the big prize. A free 12 pack of snow sodas (4 of each flavor) shipped to you from Snow Beverages. They are tasty. You want to try these sodas. Especially for free.

The medium prize will be the women’s medium t-shirt (unused, but if you really want my dirty t-shirt…), buy-one-get-one coupons, a button, and kiss coupons. The medium shirt fits like a snug junior’s large. If you wear a medium/large top, it’ll probably fit you.

Smaller prizes will be some buy-one-get-one coupons, kiss coupons, or buttons. They are smaller, but if you like getting a little something in the mail, you’ll like one of these.

Okay, so to win, you should live in the US, have a valid email address in the post, and say what you’re posting for, like this:

“Big PRIZZEEEE!!”

“Omg, Albany Jane, this is so awesome, I want them all, but okay, I’ll go for a small prize”

Hopefully you get the idea. If you win, I’ll send you an email asking for your home address, pin number, and mother’s maiden name.

Contest closes on Thursday evening!! Get to commenting!

Home Ec

I love learning about how different education was for people of different ages and cities. This article from Serious Eats had a summary of what people did in Home Ec. One of the commenters even had a model apartment in their school! Imagine that! Only in NYC, right?

It prompted a trip of my own down memory lane, and my school career with food and Home Ec. Do students still have Home Ec as a class? I remember when I took it they were thinking of phasing it out because it wasn’t considered that relevant. Or money, or why ever schools cut classes.

I think I had 2 classes of Home Ec. In middle school. Or at least I had 2 classes with the Home Ec teacher. I think the first class I took in 7th grade was kind of boring – sewing, menu planning, stuff like that.

For menu planning, Mrs. White (it was always a Mrs. who taught home ec. Never some unmarried hussy – god knows they’d never know how to do laundry) had us look through the weekly grocery store circulars and set us on a budget of $20 for a weekend by ourselves. I love reading sales flyers, and I love a budget. So I forget what I bought other than grapes, and maybe some ham or something, but it seemed like enough stuff to get me through the weekend and under $20. I remember being all proud of myself and telling my mom about how I’d come in under budget in my menu planning. I probably came off like a cocky douche (I mean, most 12 year olds can be braggarts), but I remember my mom and her boyfriend laughing at me like crazy and saying that there was no way it was enough to feed me, didn’t include all the junk food I normally ate, and that I ate way more than $20 a weekend any way. Aw.

The 2nd class was what everyone who took Home Ec the first time was what everyone suffered through the 5 types of stitching and pattern making for. This one focused on baking at the end of the year. Cookies, and pizza, and… MAKING YOUR OWN FOOD AND EATING IT, OMG HOW COULD YOU NOT WANT TO DO THIS?!

I’d already grown up “helping Mommy” bake bread (kneading), and I baked my first cake in 3rd grade (Pillsbury White Confetti cake. I was subsequently banned from the kitchen because of the mess I didn’t clean up for what felt like a while to an 8 year old). So I was looking forward to getting into some more “adult” recipes.

Adult recipes like pizza from a box… wait, WTF? Pizza dough from one of those “just add oil and water” kits? Lame, and the sauce was really bad and there was not enough cheese. Aw man, I made better ghetto pizzas at home with some of the first-rise bread dough.

Okay, so pizza was kind of a bust. But peanut butter cookies. Those had to be good. Peanut butter. Cookies. I looked forward that baking day SO much. I remember my team (we had to cook in groups) came in as early as we could (which was probably 2 minutes) and… opened up our Betty Crocker Peanut Butter Cookies Mix pouch – OH COME ON, ANOTHER FREAKIN’ POUCH?!

Okay, so we all agreed the pouch sucked, but we opened it up, and added some margarine. Now, there were about 4 ovens in the kitchen, but not enough measuring cups or spoons. Why? I have no idea. It’s not like someone couldn’t have gone to a dollar store and bought more. But all of the measuring spoons we needed to use were in use at the moment, so you know what we did? We used the metal teaspoon spoons in the silverware drawer.

My teacher came over later to see how we were doing, and based on her reaction to us proudly telling her how RESOURCEFUL we were, youd have thought we told her we put cyanide in the cookies. She was pissed beyond belief that we would even think to use a metal teaspoonsized spoon instead of waiting for a teaspoon, which would have put us way too far behind to try and bake them. She told us how our cookies were going to turn out horribly, and the recipe was pretty much a failure at that point.

We baked them. They were fine

Dublin’s

Albany John and I went to Dublin’s (121 4th St, Troy, NY 12182 – it’s next to I Love NY Pizza) last night for a few drinks.

Albany John went there about a week or so ago and has not been able to shut up stop talking about it ever since. He told me tales of a Restaurant/Lounge that was working on re-doing their kitchen, but was super nice and told him to come back with food and have a drink at their bar (I mean, most places don’t like outside food to be brought in).

So to Dublin’s we went, and you know what? We had a great time.

I think this is one of the most adorable things about Dublin’s. They have a dress code. It’s pretty much “no ghetto wear” and “no sloppy wear” – no hats, boots, Jerseys, Hoodies, Du-Rags, or Baggy Pants. I think they said they were a bit cagey of the baggier and more pocket-y clothes because of all of the shootings that have been happening around Troy lately.

I’ll be interested to see how the no boots or hoodies rule flys when it turns into winter. Boots and hoodies are pretty popular clothes to wear around here once the weather goes south.

If you can’t tell, we were the only ones in the place when we first walked in. It’s a nice space. Very long, darts to the right, and pool tables further in the back.

And hey, look, you can see my hoodie on a chair! Haha, whoopsie, I brought in some banned clothes! I wasn’t wearing it when I first came in, but I did put it on later when I got cold. I wasn’t told off or kicked out or anything. It was one of those short and not really baggy girl hoodies, though. Maybe they didn’t kick me out because they got to talk with me a little, or maybe it’s the fact that I don’t look terribly threatening or dangerous. Or, y’know, it was dead and I was not a raging asshole.

That’s Adam. He’s a stellar bartender with a knack for details. He was sanitizing his hands like crazy, so I didn’t have to wonder “Uh, when’s the last time this guy washed his hands?”.

He’s also got a great personality for bartending. He remembered Albany John from when he came before, and was just generally fun to talk with and be around.

Thursday night had some drink specials. $3 Heinekens (I probably spelled it wrong) and $5 well pints. We went with the pints. The drinks were well mixed, about 2 shots per drink. I think it goes well with the dress code thing. They’re trying to make a certain place. Casual, relaxed, but not a place you go when you get sloppy drunk or completely blotto.

Adam actually said he sends people who come in a little too far gone over to Troy City Tavern across the street, much to the chagrin of the guys over there. (All in good fun – Industry folks, you know what I’m talking about)

We left right before karaoke, thank gophers I missed that one. We headed over to The Ruck to check out what was going on there, and karaoke was setting up there too… ick, karaoke is like my bar kryptonite. As soon as I see it, I generally get a little queasy and get an overwhelming urge to flee. We walked over to Judges Inn, which also had live music going on. Man, Troy, what’s up with the Thursday night music?

I’d probably have to say the only nit I have to pick is how they reuse glasses and scoop up the ice. I know a lot of places do this. I can be a little germaphobic, but to me it seems like a possible vector for germ transfer. Say the first drinker has a cold sore and the flu, gets a refill with that same cup, and then someone else gets a drink with ice that has maybe touched the herpes and flu ice… science geeks, would it be possible for germs to transfer this way, or would the ice kind of kill germs?