Tuesday, May 31, 2011
Look at the light reflecting off of those Bockwursts! It blinds the eyes! Anyhow, my Memorial Day involved spending time with Goodwife Mrs. Dave, squirting my daughter with hoses/water pistols, drinking brewskies, and feasting on sausages. I attended a duo of BBQs and was plum tuckered by the end of it.
Nothing better than a grill nigh covered with wurst, so I thought I would share the image. Above is a smattering of Rolfs' finest, as well as a pack of the worthy Stewart's Deli Dog (for the Missus, she doesn't hold with "weird" sausages). Oh yeah, see them wee chubby guys? I made those meself.
Been busy enjoying the weather (such as it has been) to post too much. Am acquiring quite the backlog of interesting tidbits. Alas, such is the life of an unpaid, mediocre, regional food blogger of dubious reputation and questionable wit.
Saturday, May 28, 2011
I made some chubby homemade sausages for Monday's expected grill-pocalypse. Fairly standard recipe for these little guys, i.e. 4lbs. pork butt, 1lbs. fatty belly, 3tbspns. salt, 1tblspn pepper, 3tblspns. garlic mince, and a cup of beer. Added a tablespoon of dried Coleman's English for kick. They look pretty good, so I have high hopes.
Not trusting in my abilities as a sauasage-ologist, I bought a bunch of bock, brat, and knockwursts from Rolf's . So either way I should be sorted for sausage.
Anyhow, have a swell holiday.
Tuesday, May 24, 2011
After a pretty good experience with the Macaroni and Cheese Burger (fried desserts too!) at the Wine and Diner on Deleware Ave. (Albany), I decided to give their breakfast a whirl. So I stuffed the somewhat reluctant Mrs. Dave (she likes the Four Corners on Sundays) into the car along with the somewhat less reluctant Giblet and headed over.
There were several interesting breakfast options, but alas my lust for runny yolks made me fixate on one particular menu item. The egg dish of my desire was the "Sunny Side Omelet" which is pictured above in its unadulterated form. Pretty normal looking, workaday omelet, eh? That's what you think! Stab that bad boy with a fork and look at what you get...
You get two good and runny yolks in the middle for toast dipping purposes. I haven't been pleasantly surprised by a breakfast dish in quite some time, so I was fairly tickled. I don't know if this is a Wine and Diner innovation, or if it has been done elsewhere, but I have never seen the concept before. I wholeheartedly approve.
My young one had a short stack of M&M and bacon pancakes.
Giblet wasn't very hungry for brunch, so she only took a few hearty bites. Her loss, I devoured the leftovers. Even though everyone seems to be over the bacon thing, I found these to be well done. Just enough bacon and just enough chocolate. I would order them again.
Anyhow, even Mrs. Dave grudgingly agreed that the breakfast was good. She even said that her bacon and tomato omelet was a little better then the ones at the Four Corners. We will probably go back.
Friday, May 20, 2011
If you don't already know, I have a fondness for creating imaginary stories about strangers based on their food purchases. Fodder for this urge usually comes in the form of the discarded grocery lists that I find laying around (see here and here). Tonight I was at Stewart's purchasing the above half-gallon of iced cream to satiate the wife's ever expanding appetite (she is currently incubating Mr. Dave Junior). The line was moving a little slowly and there were a few people ahead of me in the queue. In other words, I had ample time to be all nosey like and analyze my fellow Stewart's patron's items.
The first kid in line had 1 package gummy bears, 1 package sour patch kids, and 1 box brownie mix. That is it. Not even worth the mental energy to make up a story as he was clearly just baked on reefer and heading back to his abode for snacks. I did, however, decide to call the kid Edward as he really did quite look like an Edward.
The mind-story I made up about the next woman in line nigh brought me to tears (I am prone to attacks of visceral emotion) as her selection seemed a little tragic. In her arms she was cradling 1 Six-Pack of Busch (Tall Boys), 1 half-gallon 2% milk, and 1 loaf of Stewart's bread. When she got to the cashier she further ordered 3 lottery tickets (the big colorful looking shiny ones). Nance (she looked like a Nancy) pulled a few crumpled bills out of her wallet and counted out some change after which the cashier tactfully whispered that she was a bit short. I saw her shoulders tense up a little bit, you all know how embarrassing those awkward little moments can be, and if she hadn't produced a credit card to pay the balance I would have probably insisted on paying for her stuff.
You see, a six-pack of Busch (Tall Boys) seems to me to be medicine to dull some form of pain (you certainly aren't drinking those ones for the taste), be it the drudgery of a miserable occupation, a bad relationship, or one of life's other innumerable nettles. The 2% milk and the Stewart's bread, that is simply affordable substance. I picture our Nance making PB and Js for lunch. Not sloppy PB and Js, neatly spread ones with the slices of bread lined up carefully. Maybe ham and mayo sandwiches sometimes with a little mustard mixed into the mayo... The lottery tickets speak of hope. Hope that maybe one day, in a rainy Stewart's parking lot, Nance will hit it big. No more Busch, no more ham and mayo... Anyhow, I wish it was socially acceptable to just walk up to a stranger and say something nice once in a while.
This is not the first time that I have been thrown into melancholia over the human condition and our lives of quiet tragedy based on the observance of a lonely individual and their foodstuffs. Just ask some of my friends about the "sad lady eating key lime pie under the bright lights at the Denny's counter" incident of circa '97. That scene (the fluorescent green hue of the pie and the quiet desperation) still makes me unspeakably sad.
Anyhow, the gent behind me had a bottle of water and a glint in his eye. When he got up near the hot dog box he expectantly pulled out the bun drawer only to realize that though the steamer was full of sultry and sweaty looking deli dogs, there were no more buns. The maroon clad heros of Stewart's quickly remedied the situation and my friend, Sam (he looked like Sam Elliott sans mustache), fixed himself up two dogs with mustard and onions.
I purchased my iced cream and made my way back to my wife and child and we went home. I reminded myself that going into a Stewart's when I am in one of my ponderous moods is not necessarily the best of ideas.
Well anyways, how about this rain? Sure has been a lot of rain.
Tuesday, May 17, 2011
After a trip to Rolf's Pork Store for some mini-hotdogs bratwurst, whitewurst, mustard, bacon, and Westpahlian schinken a wonderful thing occurred to me. Whilst looking at a glorious mini-dog I realized that it was just about the right size to be enrobed in a large jalapeno, popper style.
Being unskilled in general popper-ology I muddled through the process fairly uninformed in how to manufacture the little suckers. I pretty much sliced the jalapenos down the middle, veined and seeded, spread in a little "spread cheese" (we are talking poppers here, let us not put on airs), and wrapped in some of Rolf's fine bacon. Thusly-
I baked them in the oven at 350 for 25 minutes and then finished on the grill. I was a little disappointed with the outcome. All of the cheese drooled out the sides and the hot dog poppers were, somewhat inexplicably, kind of bland. Good crunchy bacon, good hot dog, spicy jalapeno, but missing was a certain "zestyness" that one has come to expect from a popper. I think I will make these again using either a more copious amount of cheese (possibly pimiento cheese next time) inside. Maybe our indigenous hot dog sauce could save the snack, but that might be over gilding the lily.
If this doesn't work, I might have to stray into the strange world of dippin' sauces.... I don't know though, I don't think I can live at that speed....
Friday, May 13, 2011
As I have stated numerous times before, I have no love for tomato-y things on hot dogs. This includes ketchup, as well as hot dog chilis that contain tomato (our local hot dog meat sauce is decidedly un-tomato-y). So why, do you ask, am I engaged in creating a tomato based hot dog condiment? I don't really know... Probably because I like to muddle about randomly in the kitchen, and I have always wanted to create my own signature condiment.
So anyways, I started off with a bunch of plum tomatoes. I roasted them at 450 for 30 minutes, then peeled, seeded, and chopped.
Into a dish went the tomato chunks with a bit of lime juice (a squeezed half). Does anyone else find limes to be mesmerizingly appealing in their vivid greenness? Maybe that is just me.
Next in was a hearty amount (almost a tube full) of Le Cabanon prepared Harissa,
A bit of Lloyd the Beekeepers finest,
and a bit of salt, granulated garlic, cinnamon, and vinegar. Then we had a little blending with the ol' stick blender to get the hunks smooth. I poured the gloop into a sieve and pressed with a spoon to get out all of the odd bits of seed and skin.
Finally, into a pot to reduce to a ketchup-esque condition and that is all she wrote.
I was pleased with the deep red and thick consistency of the final product.
As of yet, I have only tasted my concoction off of my finger. It was pleasantly tangy, with a sweet/sour flavor and an aggressive spiciness. I have a feeling this will go well with a white hot or white/weisswurst type sausage. In addition, I think it will be delicious on a mustard/ketchup type dog (if that is your thing...). We shall see. I am sure a weeny will be roasted this weekend so that I may have an opportunity to test drive the stuff...
Monday, May 9, 2011
Ever hear of "Cold Cheese Pizza?" Here we have a peculiar animal indigenous to Oneonta, NY. Incidentally, Oneonta is also the home of the Upstate NY institution that is Brooks BBQ. I should probably do a post about that joint (and their church haunting) someday...
Anyhow, today we are talking about Cold Cheese Pizza. I have heard it told that this creation was born at Tino's Pizza on Main St., Oneonta and I have no reason to believe otherwise. Simply stated, a slice of "Cold Cheese" is your standard, work-a-day slice of pizza covered in (surprise) cold cheese (usually a normal pizza cheese, vaguely reminiscent of mozzarella). Ever since hearing about this concept I have been strangely fascinated and made a firm mental note to make a visit to Tino's the very next time I get out that direction.
Well, twern't I just tickled when I spied the "Cold Cheese" offered locally on our very own Murray's Pizza's (Deleware Ave., Delmar) menu. I am not the hugest fan of Murray's but ordered anyway, for science! This is what showed up.
Here we have a small pizza and a bag labeled "Cold Ch." I am sure you have already guessed, but the idea is simply that you heap a bunch of cold mozzarella onto your slice before you go to town.
You know what?, the "Cold Cheese" pizza experience is sort of intriguing. You have a lot going on in your maw when you are chewing away on a big hunk of this crap. You get the salty, cold punch of the pizza cheese along with the warm, crispiness of the slice. It is not an altogether unpleasant sensation. In fact, I could see very good pizza with very good cold cheese being fairly delightful. I always used to scoff at the "salad pizza" craze of a few years ago, but I kind of get the whole cold/warm on the same slice at the same time thing.
I recommend that every resident of Upstate America try this at least one. Everyone else, I don't really care what you do. But you should try this too.
Sunday, May 8, 2011
Come this time of year I tend to get caught up in the nice weather and my drivel-posting pace slows somewhat. This is, of course, before my tendencies for creative grilling kick in and my summer cook-out posting begins. Anyhow, just thought I would share some of the randomness that has collected on the old Droid R2-D2 in the past couple of weeks.
Pictured above is a pile of baby ducks under the whorey glow of a red heat lamp. For my money, nothing much is cuter than a pile of baby ducks. We took the little munchkin to see the baby animals over at Indian Ladder farms today. Fun was had by all and we left pleasantly be-speckled with baby goat spit. Oh yeah, also present was this righteously pissed turkey (notice the little fellar in front of him havin' a dust bath!)
On Saturday we made the obligatory treck to Tulip Festival. We literally strolled up to the Tulips, took some pictures, got the wife a lemonade and left. In my old age (I am 31 now) I have become increasingly intolerant of the crowds of Brosephs who show up at most Albany "events."
Here is Moses throwing up his hands in despair and lamenting the lack of freely swilled beer (and the amount of Brosephs/Brosephinas).
Driving away from the ol' festival of Tulips I spied an interesting store front.
In case you can't see, the sign says "Psychiatry is Social Control" and there are several other anti-Mental Health (i.e. the practice of) slogans. Always refreshing to see a big load of bat shit craziness on your Saturday drive.
Moving on, a while back I ventured over to the Deli Warehouse on Fuller Rd. as I have not visited in years. I generally avoid the Deli Warehouse due to the fact that the piles of pre-cut deli meat gross me out, but sometimes they have big 5 pound jars of honey for cheap (I brew mead sometimes). On the occasion of my visit the joint was closed, but the trip was not a total loss as I spied this.
This is that weird dance studio on Fuller. It is advertising "Exotic Pole Dancing" classes. I haven't signed up yet, I don't think they are ready for my sweet bod.
I spied a CDTA bus on 787 heading towards Troy.
Emblazoned on the back was a full bus ad for Provence Restaurant (Stuy. Plaza, Guild.). While looking at this ad is an improvement from having to stare at James Trauring's ugly mug, I don't know if I agree with it. If you are trying to come off as a (sort of) up market French place, the ass of a bus is not the first place I would think to be desirable for advertising. But what do I know?
Finally, I got over to Target to peruse their new grocery selection. You know, they have "meat" and veg now. Anyhow, look at the below meat.
They have this weird "Sutton and Dodge" brand meat, not much else. Kind of a scanty assortment, and just look at this example. It is all glisten-y, red, and fake "juicy" looking. It is obviously monkeyed with with some form of meat science and not something that I would ever buy. I found Target's "fresh" produce and "meat" selection to be thoroughly underwhelming.
Well there you have, just a quick insight into the doings of a marginally literate and rarely read regional blog writer. You can stop being enthralled now.