Tuesday, June 28, 2011


Yes, Q, I feel the same way.
I'm not gifted when it comes to mathematics, (unless you need to know what 20% of a check is), but, for what I believe to be the only time ever, all three Lilly boys celebrated commencement milestones this month.  First up was Q as he made the big leap from Kindergarten to grade 1.  Naturally, the ceremony was adorable and the kids were so excited to sing their little hearts out.  I was relieved that it wasn't a full out cap and gown extravaganza, and there was a bitter sweetness to the ceremony knowing that my little man was on his way to the numbered grades after his years of classrooms identified by mere letters.  He made some buddies this year and I love having him within walking distance of his school, because in the fall, G, his walking partner, will be making the longer walk to middle school.  Yes, middle school.  
G. Love

Those  of you whom know G, know that he is more than ready socially for college middle school.  The jury is still out to determine if he is going to completely follow in my uneven footsteps academically, or if he will benefit from the wisdom and experience of two parents who want him to use his talents for good rather than mischief.  The middle school years are pretty critical for setting a kid up for high school and further educational endeavors.  I hope that those honors courses he is registered for will hold his attention, and keep him hanging with the right crowd. I am confident that ultimately he will do well, and that undoubtedly he will always look good even if his behavior is less than perfect.

An excited L.
And, my L, off to Albany High in the fall.  It is nearly unbelievable that the boy who didn't walk until he was 17 months old and who has required assistance his entire academic career, is heading to high school where he will be in the Innovation Academy.  Bravo, L.  We're all so very proud of you!  He will continue with his honors level social studies coursework and is ridiculously excited to navigate his way to school using public transportation.  We'll see how that's going in the dark days of January...

Life is a series of beginnings and endings.  It is  wonderful to have three reminders that the celebration of  a chapter's conclusion  is often the best way to prepare for what comes next. Because after all, while commencement generally describes an event acknowledging the completion of a life chapter, commence does, after all, mean to begin.  Perhaps this year, we've all graduated.

Monday, June 27, 2011

I'm all over the internets!

Did I mention that I'm contributing to one of the Times Union's blogs?  You know, I had an extra waking moment or two and I needed something to do with my time.  It is a really cool blog, called Vinoteca, and is about wine (yum) and adventures (sign me up!) and other things which make life an experience to be savored.  I'll probably contribute a piece a week and they'll be focused on wine and food, I imagine.  No worries - Delso will remain closest to my heart, but it is kind of nice to be part of a team.  Come see me there, too!

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Sunday Dinner - Father's Day edition

Family dinners remain an important part of life for all of my family so for Dad's Day the plan was a shared meal on the deck.  And what a spectacular day it was!  The menu was cobbed together (with duct tape! Isn't that how Dads do it?) kind of last minute, but I did have the forethought to take some sausages which were leftover from Sausage Fest 2011, out to thaw. I grilled the sausage and then they were cut into rounds, toothpick speared (doesn't everything taste better when eaten off a toothpick?  So festive!) and served with some spicy mustard as an appetizer.

The meal included both a pork tenderloin and this beautiful piece of wild salmon.  Price Chopper had the fish on sale for cheap and I bought 1.5 lbs of it.  I marinated it for a short while in soy sauce with some coarsely chopped thai basil and then grilled it up.  I must say, it was delicious and I'll probably pick up another hunk of it later in the week.  I rounded out the table with the skinniest asparagus I've ever seen and a bowl of yellow and orange lentils which I had cooked in a quart of chicken stock and then seasoned with garam masala and salt.  As a finishing touch, I chopped some flatleaf parsley and tossed that into the lentils as well.  Do you eat lentils?  I suspect they are going to be my next obsession.  All of this delightful food was washed down with a bottle of Gruet and a '99 Chateauneuf du Pape.  Family, friends, food, wine...yet another lovely Sunday evening.  Hope all you other fathers out there were feted as well.
fish after some grillin'
stunningly beautiful asparagus

Monday, June 20, 2011

Best friggin' whipped cream - ever

Be warned - once you use Meadowbrook Farms heavy cream to make whipped cream you will be ruined for any other whipped cream.  Period.  I don't know where the stuff is available retail, I just add it to my weekly order when I need a fix, but it is in your best interest to find this glorious dairy product.

This time of the year, all it takes for a perfect ending (which often exceeds a happy ending), is some whipped cream, some berries or other fruit, and perhaps an angel food or pound cake.  Simple. 

You do make your own whipped cream, right?  Because it is so easy, there's really no reason to ingest funky chemicals (hello, Cool Whip) when all it takes is heavy cream, sugar and perhaps a few dribbles of vanilla or some other extract or liqueur of your liking.  For no logical or legitimate reason, I don't own a hand mixer so I do my whipping by hand - always using a stainless bowl which has spent a little time in the refrigerator getting cool.  Whip, whip, beat, beat and in a few short minutes you've got yourself a delectable confection ready to be used as dip (fingers allowed), a frosting or the perfect thing to dollop into after dinner coffees.  Make this and be happy with summer's simple delights. 

Sunday, June 19, 2011

My first 5K!

image: Bob Kopac
image: Bob Kopac
This was actually my second 5K if you count the year I did the Freihofer's Run with my friend, Sharon.  I think it was 1998 and I know I had to stop and walk once or twice before finishing in about 38 or 39 minutes.  And, I believe we lubricated our joints at  The Griffin following the race.  Yesterday I started my day with a run across the river as part of the Treetops to Rooftops race.  Yep, the river.  It was a spectacular morning, cool in the early morning fog, yet hot by the time we looped around the east side of the river and headed back across the beautiful Hudson.  There were people of all ages and abilities, teams with matching shirts and even a face or two I recognized from the Capital District and I had a great time.  There were only about four hundred participants and I loved the course and the vibe.  I will definitely do this run again.  Heck - maybe I'll do it just for fun when I'm down that way next.  And, for the record, I finished in 28:10, which is about 10 minutes less than my time from 13 years ago.  Further evidence I have not yet peaked!  Warrior Dash 2011 is next on the agenda...

Sunday dinner

Seems like a long time since I've done a Sunday dinner post.  Last week's dilemma was my indecision about whether I should run or eat.  Because I sometimes have an issue with making choices, I went with all three.  "Three?" you say,  "Weren't there only 2 options?"  Perhaps to those who think in a much more linear fashion than I do. there were only 2 choices.  I went with a light pre-run snack of a fantastically delicious peach and then ran. I followed my run with 2 black bean burritos with cheddar, salsa and Arugula.  Perfect.  The beans are kind of a joke (at the least my former roommate, Rachel would laugh) because they came from a can and I didn't let them cook for days and days until they were so incredibly flavorful one could enjoy them at any and every meal of the day.  Nope, not like Rachel's beans, but these were ok after I doctored them up with cumin, red pepper flakes, a touch of cinnamon and salt. And, following my four mile run they were damned tasty on a warm flour tortilla.  Sunday dinners may not be what they once were, but they still are a great way to wrap up a weekend.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

a weighty subject

In the last week, a minimum of 8 people made comments to me about my weight.  No one was overly critical, but there was a note of concern in more than one voice.  I can only imagine that if 8 people said something to my face, another 5 or 10 had said something behind my "tiny" back, right?  So, let's talk about it.

Yes, I have lost weight and, no, I'm not sick, thankfully.

The usual ways - more exercise, closer attention to what I eat, coffee and emotional energy. Not always in that order.

I feel great!  I am totally clued in to my body and its health.  I went to the chiropractor for the first time in a year and diagnosed the problem prior to walking in to the office - told him I felt my right hip rolling in and my glute stretching, and my foot on the same side, turning in as I ran.  He completely confirmed my assessment and gave me some exercises to help. get me back in alignment.  It was incredibly empowering, to me, to be that tuned in to what was going on with my strong body. Cool.

Speaking of cool, I figured out that abs come from breathing correctly!  I realized that I no longer felt rawness in my lungs because my breath was coming from another, deeper place - my abdomen!  That's how  it works.  Sorry, if I'm a little slow and, by the way, I don't run fast either, but I can run 4 miles and love almost every step of it.

My heart has had quite a workout in recent months, but it is stronger than ever.  The heart is a muscle, isn't it?  That's a factor as well, don't you think?
kind of proud of my ugly toenails...

I was looking for a random older photo on my computer - my iphoto goes back to 2007, just to compare my appearance from then to now.  I was struck by how many photo albums, or events, I had to scroll through before I found a picture of myself.  Wow - I was invisible!  I thought that maybe I had a bit of a  dysmorphic disorder going on, but after reading the definition, I say nope.  I definitely do not feel overly critical of my physical self - ugly toenails or not.  I just don't see the same changes to my appearance that some of you seem to see.  The pictures below help, but I think I look healthy and lean, not thin.
April 2011
June 2007

So often, weight is an indicator of happiness;  up, down, holding steady or coasting.  It isn't about that at all, for me.  It's about gaining control of my body by listening to it. So, when you tell me I'm too thin, I'll smile and listen to you, but  there's no reason to get heavy on me.  My body is speaking even louder.

Lark Street is for Lovers - and art and kids

On Saturday I actually was able to bring my youngest child to an event on Lark Street without fear that he would be visually assaulted by public urination (no, Quinn, it isn't ok for people to pee outside.  Unless they're camping, of course) or intoxicated revelers.  Yes, as you could probably tell by the rainy forecast, it was Art on Lark - remarkably enough being held for  the 15th year. 

hello, awesome t-shirt
Q and I didn't have much of a game plan other than to catch Olivia Quillio's set and do a little tie-dying at the Albany Art Room.  He was a bit miffed that his soccer game had been canceled (go AYSO team Kicking and Screaming!) and promised me he wasn't going to have any fun making art.  I have to tell you, it is amazing what a little one on one time and a hot dog can do to cheer up a frustrated athlete, because he most certainly (and admittedly) did have fun.  We started with a Lark Street lap, beginning at Madison Avenue and going as far as Spring Street, at which point the passionate rage of the poets compelled us to turn around and head back south.  Along the way, we browsed the art offerings, and grabbed the aforementioned hot dog and an order of fresh spring rolls from Kinnaree ($5 for 2!) for me.  I regretted  not bringing more cash with me in my attempt to travel light, but I did buy an awesome shirt and a bar of special, handmade soap.

Olivia Quillio doing her thing
We made it back to Lark Street to catch most of Olivia's set and I was seriously impressed.  I'll be keeping my eyes open for another opportunity to see her, believe me. I totally spaced that Alta Mira was following her and missed my chance to see them, but I imagine there will be another time in the future.

Our final stop was tie-dye central at the Albany Art Room.  For $10 we got a white t-shirt and assistance with creating the masterpiece pictured here.  Seriously, if that's not a well done tie-dye, I don't know what is.  Q must have gotten some sort of latent Grateful Dead gene from his dad or maybe even his godfather.  Either way, I'll be keeping an eye on him as his chronological age catches up to his coolness age, trust me. 

Despite the sporadic rain, it was a great event and I hope the vendors were able to make a little money while they were making this Albanian proud of her city for hosting such a quality event.  It would be wonderful if Albany's elected officials could ensure that more of the city sponsored events were family friendly rather than family repellent.  Because, despite my little man's attempt at being resistant to enjoying himself, he definitely had a good time.  Yep, that's my boy.

Monday, June 13, 2011

running diaries chapbook - part III

I was running the other evening and started thinking about a conversation I had shared earlier with someone to whom I am very close, a person who wants to take care of me in a way I have never known.  I took note of my grey exercise skort and my different shade of grey jersey, and realized I was ridiculously poorly dressed for the dusky conditions, and not being as cautious as I had promised to be.  Damn.  I need to pay better attention.
image from: lh5.googleusercontent.com
Our discussion had been, as it often was, about writing and people and people who wrote, and who reads what people write.  We talked about sickness, and the consistent thread of exercise and healthy eating often tying together those who had been physically challenged, yet had recovered. "Survivors" is a dramatic word, ruined by reality television, but it perfectly describes people who, following serious illness, had begun to experience their bodies, and more than likely their minds and hearts, in new ways.  "Survivor."  Serve I.  I get it - I need to pay better attention.  I was asked if there had been a moment of clarity for me to become more physically fit?  Was it a conscious decision? A resolution?  

No, it wasn't, it was gradual, almost imperceptible. Kind of like that cancerous piece of shit which had taken hold of my thyroid, and later, my parotid gland. Stealth. I experienced a shift in what I was interested in eating, an expansion of my appetite for exercise.  I was more selective about what I ate to maximize my enjoyment - I have no interest in food that doesn't nurture me, regardless of how "good" it tastes. Fruits, veggies and grains became more appealing and I felt great.  I became more patient about preparing my meals and investing the time necessary to obtain quality food. I was worth the effort.  I became more dedicated to a regular exercise schedule.  Working out became a nonnegotiable priority.

Exercise and healthy eating require one to pay attention to their body and to be seriously committed to getting stronger.  It takes time.  I will always wonder if I got cancer because it was a message to pay closer attention to my own body. A body which has been challenged with an illness such as cancer, I think, can teach a person to take ownership of their body with healthy habits. For me, getting fit was a direct, albeit initially subconscious, response to feeling as if I was not in control of my body.

I'm in a very new place in my life these days.  New, however, doesn't feel the slightest bit scary, which is very unusual for me.  I'm paying attention to every moment, patiently waiting for what comes next while loving this exact moment in time.  

Sunday, June 12, 2011

running diaries chapbook - part II

image from: http://1.bp.blogspot.com/
The runs I resist the most, are always the most satisfying.  The unexpected charm of an arid mountain, climbing to the cloudless sky in 85 degrees.  Running along the port on the north side of Amsterdam's Central Station, listening to Bono count to One...a drizzly jog down the west shore of Greenwood Lake, nursing a heartbreak... These are experiences that have stayed with me in some instances, for decades.  The sensations from those runs have been tattooed on my body with invisible ink, leaving permanent marks that only I can see.

A recent run nearly didn't happen.  I came this close to bailing.  But, I changed into my running clothes, plugged into my little eye pod* and began to jog just outside my door and it felt good in the dim light of an early June night.  Here are the songs which shuffled between my ears:

Pump it/Black Eyed Peas (samples Dick Dale's "Misirlou")

Ray of Light/Madonna "And I feel like I just got home"


Own it/Black Eyed Peas "If you've been dreaming all your life this is your chance"

Dog Days are Over/Florence and the Machine "Happiness hit her like a train on the track"

The Time (Dirty Bit)/Black Eyed Peas

Redemption Song/Marley

Changed the Locks/Lucinda Williams

Each song seemed to speak directly to me about the future, and promise and hope and love. More than once, I laughed out loud at a particular lyric and there was a complete permagrin on my face as I adapted my pace to match the beat in my ears, the rhythm in my heart remaining strong and steady.

I can't even describe what a fantastic, magical run it was!  As I passed the tennis courts at Albany Academy I glimpsed the moon, an orangy crescent to my left, and I knew it was going to be a memorable run.  One of those I would remember forever.  There were times when I felt as if my legs wanted to race even faster than my heart or head, and I literally felt them pull me along.  Amazing.  

Go find something which amazes you.  I promise it will be worth the effort.

**thus named because so often the music helps me to see

Saturday, June 11, 2011

running diaries chapbook- part I

Note: I've been writing some stuff which feels more creative than purely autobiographical.  What a relief, huh?  I'll probably post them in a series (running diaries chapbook) as they come to me, and I'll clearly identify them so you can easily skip them. 

This running thing is taking on a life of its own, in a mostly positive, slightly obsessive fashion. As soon as I finish a run and start to cool down, I want to go again.  Just a quick mile, which for me, means 8 minutes, I think.  I don't really time myself unless I'm on the treadmill in the bad weather.  Anyway - I'm loving it.  It is great thinking and feeling and reflecting time.  Hey - maybe that's why I'm loving it so much.  It truly is me time.  Hmmm. 

I was thinking about a blog post I had read recently about the enviable abs runners developed.  In the blogger's example it was female runners participating in a local event that attracts elite runners, the Freihoffer's Race for Women.  So I was thinking about how for the first time in my life, at the age of nearly 45, I would actually consider running without a shirt on.  I think I have abs.  Actually, I know I have abs because my 12 y/o son just told me I was "beast."  That's good, right?

I was less than gracious recently, in a tweet about the blogger who wrote the post that inspired me to consider the condition of my abs.  I've been thinking about how I have 10 years, 3 kids and 2 cancers under my belt, perhaps held in by strong abdominal muscles, and that maybe I might have been perceived as self-absorbed at certain points in my life.  Like now, when I am willing to work harder than ever to have a life which not only looks full, but feels full.

The Van Dyck

Last night, I met a couple of friends in Schenectady at The Van Dyck for beers and a bite to eat.  I've been to the Van Dyck, in its various incarnations, a couple of times over the years and have always thought of it as a cool space not living up to its potential.  After last evening's meal, I'd have to say I still feel the same way.  

A couple of positive things should be noted.  The place was busy which is really nice to see.  There is a lovely looking patio in the back which had a significant wait for a table - good for them.  The service was very pleasant and the beer was damn good.  I completely enjoyed the two hefeweizens I ordered, although oddly enough the first was garnished with lemon, the 2nd was not.  There was the distinctive clove-y taste present that I will always associate with spending time in Munich with my brother in the summer of '92, a very good memory.  I didn't see the check last night so I can't tell you how much the beers cost or how large they were other than "tall."   And, unfortunately for a place trying to build a name as a brew pub, there is no information on their website about the beers - at all. After a little more digging around (or research as we librarians call it), I did come up with this webpage describing their beer selections.  The brewery is new so I guess I can cut them some slack, but don't you think the Van Dyck homepage should have some mention of the brewery's activities and offerings?

I ordered the Van Dyck signature burger asking for it to be cooked no more than medium rare.  As you can see, the plate was prettily presented with fries and a pickle and big burger.  I immediately went for the fries which were...not hot.  I'm sorry, but I don't eat fries all that often and when I have potatoes which have been completely submerged in nearly boiling oil on my plate, I want them HOT.  So, I flagged over the server and asked for some hot fries, a request which seemed to puzzle her a little, but one which she was more than willing to accommodate.  It was only after she left the table that I cut into my too-big-to-manage-without-cutting-in-half burger and realized that it was cooked way more than medium rare.  In fact, it was well done.  I just didn't have the heart to send it back and since it did still manage to be flavorful, I ate it. The balsamic onions added some moistness to the meat and it was a pretty good burger - actually it was as good as a well done burger could be, I bet. The pancetta was a nice salty addition and went well with the char on the burger.  I couldn't eat the entire burger/roll, so I did my best with the beef and sadly left most of the lightly toasted roll on the plate, opting instead to indulge in the hot fries.

So - would I go back?  Sure.  I realized, as I was racing to meet my friends after a delightful Friday afternoon spent at home, that Schenectady really isn't that far and I should make more of an effort to explore the scene there.  The beer was really good, the space was comfortable and I think I could probably get my burger and fries cooked to my liking with really explicit directions, an effort I don't mind making.  I'd definitely be happy to give The Van Dyck another opportunity to achieve their potential - and give myself a chance to try more of the beer offerings.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Mountain Jammin'

me and my Laker guys
A few weeks ago, I got my Groupon and picked up a ticket to the annual Mountain Jam music fest down in Hunter, N.Y.  I've heard tales about the good times to be had - music until all hours, camping, rain as soon as Franti hit the stage...it sounded epic and I wanted in, especially since some of my best friends were also going to attend.  After a morning playing Soccer Mom and my first recreational bike ride of the year (so lame, I know), I jumped into my wagon and headed south, taking the scenic route, of course.

so that's where Santa hangs in the off season
Scenic, actually, could sum up the event.  The setting was beautiful, the weather comfortable and there were lots of interesting people all over the place.  I parked in a satellite lot, for free, and took a comfortable shuttle bus right to the gate where I hooked up with my guys.  I had downloaded a cool Groupon app to my phone and merely had to display a barcode to get my ticket, which, naturally I had to take to yet another window to trade for a wristband.  Whatever - it was still a definite improvement to the days of printing, don't you think?  Especially since I couldn't seem to find the power cord to my printer and was stressing about what to do...  An aside - how much longer until we simply have chips implanted and scan-able? 
a beautiful June evening

this looked fun until the person lost a shoe...bummer

barefoot as usual, Franti
I don't know how many shows, much less "Festivals" you all attend in a year, but I find that there are less and less compelling reasons to go concerts.  I mean, I've seen almost everyone I'm interested in seeing, at this point in time.  I would like to see Adele and I will always see U2 when the opportunity presents, but these days, it's all about the chance to hang out with my friends.  In all honesty, the music is secondary to the laughter we share when we get together.  And, to be able to say that after 30+ years of friendship, is a genuine privilege. 
Government Mule
So, the was music great - Michael Franti put on his trademark upbeat, yet politically aware, show - and it didn't even rain.  He had the hillside audience on their feet the entire set and he created a positive vibe that, for me, contrasted strongly with the next performers, Government Mule.  I've seen Govt Mule before and enjoyed them, but on Saturday I was feeling pretty buoyant and they kind of dragged me down a bit with their weightiness.  I just wasn't feeling it and I had an hour drive to contend with, solo.  I bid farewell to my friends (see you at Treetops to Rooftops!) and headed north.  Satiated by the music, the excellent chicken pita wrap, and a few hours with my besties. 

Monday, June 6, 2011

First Friday

I have a confession - I almost always forget to attend First Friday.  It isn't that I'm uninterested or lacking in a calendar, it's just that by Friday evening I usually feel a little brain dead and, if I go directly home after work, often, I don't leave again.  I had, however, received an email last week from The Albany Art Room promoting the opening of a show called "Hackett Blooms" and I was intrigued.  60 works, created by Hackett students under the instruction of two art teachers, Sandy Smith and Dan O'Brien, would be on display and I was determined to get there.  And just look at the beauty below...

I wish there had been more time (always, more time!) to explore more of the offerings, but I am so happy that I got to see the gorgeous work produced by Albany's very own middle schoolers.  The show is up until 6/12, so get there. 

I'd love to think that this First Friday is a mere precursor to many more First Fridays in my future.  If I could  replicate the sunny weather and the company I enjoyed last Friday, each month, I would be a very happy girl. 

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Sausage Fest 2011!!

A few weeks ago, I got to thinking that I should host my first solo event at Chez Silvia.  The Memorial Day holiday provided the perfect opportunity to gather friends together to celebrate the arrival of summer while also memorializing the events of the past - perfect. As I considered the invite list and the menu, some latent irreverence kicked in and I decided that all women, all sausage, was the way to go and thus, Sausage Fest 2011 was born.  Honestly, it was my easiest birth ever and completely lacked the post-partum ickiness that no one ever tells a woman about anyway.
Troy Farmer's Market bounty

While the star of the grill may have been the medley of sausages, veggies were well represented also.  These beautiful examples came from the farmer's market and were brushed with olive oil and seasoned with salt and pepper and then lightly grilled. 


The sausage were a mix of Italian hot and sweet (hot Italians are, truth be told, a personal weakness), chorizo, andouille and two varieties of chicken.  I think the chorizo may have been my favorite, but all were enjoyable.

cold wine for a hot day

Pretty table, right?  The bucket of flowers came from Lisa's garden downstate and they were magnificent.  I baked a couple of loaves of bread in the morning and, thanks to thoughtful guests and another indulgent expedition to Empire, there was plenty of wine.  I made a salad  of Asian greens with a mustard vinaigrette and fresh corn, a potato salad garnished with chive flowers and tossed together a big bowl of arugula with lemon, olive oil and shaved Asiago.  Mary Lynn contributed a delicious orzo and feta salad which rounded things out perfectly.

salad three ways: Asian greens, potato , orzo and feta
Despite popular belief and false assumptions, this was not a male bashing event.  It was just some women getting together to enjoy good food, conversation and a gorgeous evening on my deck.  Don't take it personally, guys, none of you were  grilled in effigy, after all. I'd be lying if I said we didn't take a cheap shot or two, but the day was much more about having a good time and looking ahead to the future than it was about denigrating males.  Trust me, I'll always be a guys' girl, but it's nice to have a group of interesting, eclectic female friends to share sausage, memories and wisdom with.    Minced meat in a casing has got nothing on that.
Lori and Kerry

Mary Lynn and Lisa

Becky and Kaaren

me and Donna

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Falvo's Meats

If neither time nor money were obstacles, there are a few things I would do differently in terms of indulgence.  I would insist upon having fresh flowers in my home - always.  Nothing fancy, not necessarily a fresh bouquet every day, but I would like there to be flowers in my dining room, bedroom and bathroom.  I also have a thing for clean sheets and would love for my bedding to be laundered daily - heck, I'd settle for just having a clothesline to hang the stuff out on to freshen it up. 

As summer approaches, and my schedule gets a little lighter, I have the luxury of time, which allows me the opportunity to visit smaller specialty purveyors and markets.  Memorial Day weekend provided the perfect excuse for me to go to both the Troy Farmer's Market and to Falvo's Meats out in Slingerlands - two very satisfying shopping expeditions which I hope to include in my regular summer shopping circuit.  Who says women don't like to hunt and gather? 
yep, 5 lbs o'bacon.
Have you been to Falvo's?  It's a lovely drive out New Scotland Avenue to 85A and you're there.  Not too far, yet beautifully rural at the same time.  They advertise in the Times Union and I think their sales pricing is pretty competitive.  I was on a mission to accumulate sausage and they make their own chorizo, andouille and Italian varieties, in house.  They also have really good bacon and often sell it for less than $4 a lb, if you are willing to buy a minimum of 3 lbs.  A three pound minimum on bacon - uh, yeah, sign me up!  And the best part (aside from the deliciousness that is bacon) is the fact that I was able to get my 5 lbs of bacon wrapped in a way that suited my household's eating habits - four 3/4 lb packages for me and 2 1 lb packages for the boys to eat at their Dad's house.  An argument could be made that Falvo's helps to facilitate shared custody arrangements...
lots of meat
All told, I walked with a hefty bag of bacon, numerous pounds of various sausage and about 3.5 lbs of sirloin steak for grilling for less than $60.  The beef had a lovely color, full flavor and a thick edge of fat that grilled up beautifully.  I found the Italian sausage to be a little dry after grilling, but that may have been more a function of the gwui (grilling while under the influence) than the fault of the sausage.  I tossed some in the freezer and I'll try to remember to cook those with a little more care and perhaps a little less wine. And the bacon?  As always, it broiled up nicely in the oven and there wasn't a speck left. 

Giving it away...

image from fly92.com
My friend, Will, made a couple of tickets to this Saturday's Summer Jam available to me and I'd like to give the pair of tickets to you.  Gates open at noon, June 4th and the show is expected to wrap up at about 7 pm.  Performers include Big Time Rush, Jason Derulo, Vanilla Ice (!), The Ready Set, and Runner Runner.  I imagine that Fly 92.3 listeners are familiar with most of these performers and the weather forecast looks perfect for a day in the sun at the beautiful Saratoga Performing Arts Center.  I'll be at Mountain Jam down at Hunter, otherwise I might have ventured to Saratoga myself - my loss is your gain.

If you're interested in having these free tickets, leave me your best (made up)word beginning with DelSo

Example:  DelSolo, DelSoiree, DelSooverit...

Be creative.  Make me laugh and the tickets are yours - this is completely subjective! Contest open until Thursday, 6/2 at 8 pm.