December 30, 2009

Don't call it a Fat Bag's a pizza roll!

After a short trip into Canton to visit the Brewer Bookstore and one of the few remaining Hacketts stores, we found ourselves back in Potsdam at lunchtime. LSB suggested Sergi's, an Italian restaurant on Main Street famous for their pizza rolls--basically a pepperoni pizza folded into a pouch, with the cheese and toppings on the inside (calzone-like), and then deep fried. Apparently, these things--colloquially known as "Fat Bags"-- are the food of choice for the late-night, post-bar crowd. I guess that's pretty obvious based on the description.

I've craved a Fat Bag for years, but for some reason I've never been able to check this off my North Country Experiences list--which also includes the aforementioned Hacketts, Lounge (a tiny dive bar, aka "The Lounge," next to a Chinese restaurant in a rapidly fading shopping plaza), the Birch Bark (I'll get to this in a future post), CJ's (where you can pick out individual beer bottles to create your own ad hoc sixpack), DeKalb Junction, the Co-op, the Hoot Owl (no checkmark, yet), Stone Valley, and a few others.

Fat Bag: check!

It was the early afternoon of Christmas Eve, and Sergi's was pretty quiet. We ordered a pizza roll to share (I was warned repeatedly not to refer to it as a "Fat Bag" once inside the restaurant, as apparently the family that runs the place is sensative about that). It was greasy. It was heavy. It was really, really good.

The List just got shorter. Anything else I should add?

December 25, 2009

Christmas Mash-up

While I'm in the NoCo currently celebrating Christmas, I thought I'd share a few photos from a recent pre-Christmas, post-dinner (we had the chili and deep-fried hotdogs) walk around our snow-covered neighborhood back in Massachussetts.

Inman Square, straddling the border between Cambridge and Somerville, is home to many Portuguese and Italian immigrant families who have fully embraced the Christmas spirit, taking it to bright, colorful, and tacky new levels.

Season's Greetings from Prancer, Mary
on the half-shell, Mrs. Claus, and Blitzen.

Somerville is a magical land. I wonder what Mrs. Claus and Mary talk about. Do you think there is any resentment between them?

December 23, 2009

Frohe Weihnachten!

What do you give someone who has everything?


You can buy one in Berlin.

December 22, 2009

Crock of Love

It began with the shoulder...

I'm rather fond of my crockpot. It was a gift from LSB last Christmas and we've put it to good, slow use this year. We've made a variety of pulled-meats (mostly pork) in it--including this mango-bourbon-chipotle masterpiece--a few soups, stews, stocks, and, of course, the delicious slow moose.

Filled to capacity with goodness

Recently, LSB documented our latest adventure in slow-cooking: Cassoulet. This remarkable dish somehow manages to incorporate most of my favorite things: pork (in three forms: shoulder, bacon, and sausage), wine, and beans (specifically, these magnificent bastards); not to mention it comes from one of my favorite places--the mountains of Southern France where I tasted my first cassoulet and nearly wept.

Next up, Bigos!

December 12, 2009

Cider Donut Nostalgia

Much easier to pick than the fast ones

Soon after this post, autumn took a bit of a downturn. Now, it is December, the temperature is 31 degrees, the wind is starting to blow, I'm fighting a cold, the Christmas tree is decorated, and The Handel and Haydn Society has taken over our stereo. Before I fully embrace the holiday season, it seems like a good time to look back at one fine day in October, when fried clams and cider donuts--specifically, these cider donuts--were on my mind.

Who doesn't love an old red truck full of pumpkins?
Don't even think about touching it, though.

If I recall correctly, we were looking to get out of town and pick-our-own apples (or at least buy already picked apples from a pick-your-own apples orchard). There are a ton of PYO places around these parts and everyone has their own opinion about the best place to go. Do they have hayrides? Pumpkin patches? Corn mazes? We really didn't care about any of that--we just wanted apples, cider donuts, and the beauty of rural New England. We chose this place, mainly for the delicious cider donuts and the proximity to the ocean.

After several fresh, hot donuts and mulled cider, we selected our pre-picked apples (a mixed bag of big/small, green/red, sweet/tart) and left in search of clam shacks. We drove around Ipswitch and Essex before settling on a small shack sitting on the edge of a marsh.

On the Great Salt Marsh

We ordered waaaay too many clams (my fault) and a couple of Fisherman's Brews, paid by check (they didn't take credit cards and we had about $7.12 between us--not nearly enough for the quantity of clams we intended to order), and sat at the counter. A bit sluggish from overindulging on crispy fried bivalves, we stepped outside and lingered by the a picnic table, gazing out at the Great Salt Marsh.

Now back to December. The RealFeel temperature is 19 degrees....

December 06, 2009

How much for the cute little grey one?

Just up the street and on the gritty side of the Cambridge/Somerville border (that would be Somerville), there is a place where old radiators go to die--or perhaps just hang out until they are adopted by some new family. There they sit--some with badly chipped coats of paint, and others with no paint at all--rusting on the side of Prospect Street. It's a hard knock life for old heating units.

To passersby, A1 New and Used Plumbing and Heating Supplies, near Union Square, is an odd sight. Part supply store, part orphanage, part zoo, and part plumbing museum--hundreds of radiators of all different shapes, sizes, and colors, sit crowded together behind a fence, as if they might escape and take out their vengence on neighborhood residents for upgrading to more modern means of keeping warm through the cold New England winters.

Apparently, they sell replacement toilet tank lids, too. They must keep those inside. Perhaps this is a topic for a future post as fascinating as this one.

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