Never thought I would live in a part of the …

Comment on How to Make Smoked Beef Brisket by Comet.

Never thought I would live in a part of the workd where the ONLY “briskets” come in a vac bag with a lil pack of “Corned beef seasonings”–but for the past 30+ years I have done just that. Don’t ask. Where I grew up in NJ a brisket WAS whats for dinner–just NOT smoked! IT was Jewish Soul Food and made with Liptons Onion Soup Mix slathered on top; sprinkled with water and coated in a house siding’s worth of aluminum foil. And cooked for hours. And then some more hours! That said-=-it makes its very own yummy gravy and is best served with Kasha–another Jewish thing. And it is GOOD.

FFWD to now and I have learned that there are OTHER ways to cook it. And not with fake liquid “smoke” either! You cannot however find a brisket for love nor money. Yes SOME Walmarts carry it but they are–not exactly. I dunno if they are “injected” or what but they just don’t cook right. And local “Butchers” will order it–but at a very premium price. You would think that now I live in Cow Country they would have some place to ya know BUY this stuff but the few private meat vendors are also extremely spendy and some are–not so good.

So we are very happy that there are now a few good Q places here in the Frozen North. Will have to do until either we decide to go to NJ and INVEST in a brisket lug it home and make a smoker! Or as is the plan–move South! LOL!!!!!

Recent Comments by Comet

Trader Joe’s Grand Opening
Soooo–this is a few ahem YEARS on and we have finally gotten a TJ’s in the Albany NY area. I did not attend the Grand Opening but we have been a few times.

Things we like—they have uncured bacon–the only kind my daughter can eat. I know I am horrifying some here but too bad. They have meringues–no place ELSE around here–and I live an hour and a half ONE WAY from TJ’s!!!!–has these in any form. They have an interesting selection of beers but recently Price Chopper has copied this. They have a small dog? Coyote? Wolf? Named TJ for the kiddos to find and then they get a treat–noticed this changed from a fruit roll up to a lollipop in the past few weeks tho! And the staff is HYSTERICAL. What laughing gas ARE they huffing?????

Things we DON’T like::: the meat section is a huge joke. The prices are INSANE. You might be able to feed one tiny not hungry person for what I have to spend on 7 people every week! Maybe. They do have “Kosher” meat but I have seen no actual people I would suspect of buying this FOR keeping kashrut (And yes I would know they are of my tribe). The prices are high for most things. The produce is pretty but spendy. The flowers were pretty and not that bad. The store is pretty but—-

The frozen Orange Chicken was good. Things like soap and toothpaste were too precious for words–and bank-breakingly spendy. No “Two Buck Chuck” as we live in the weirdest state where you can sell BEER but NOT wine–for wine you have to go to a “regular” liquor store! Sigh. I SO wanted to see what all the Two Buck Chuck fuss was all about! LOL!

Something some people might NOT know—The first time I went to this store (the first time we had been to ANY TJ’s) I said–Oh! This is an upscale ALDI’s!!! Well! They turn out to be owned by the SAME company! And I might be out of place here but I think some of the stuff is the SAME stuff in different packages. Correct me if I am wrong. And I LIKE Aldi’s for some things. I guess they have the best of both worlds–the people who can’t or don’t WANT to pay the TJ’s price and the brown rice and granola crowd who demand that their eggs be free range and their cheese be extra virgin. Altho I WAS surprised that NONE of the food at TJ’s was local–and we HAVE some of THE most precious food sources right here! Flying Pig; Three Corner Field Farm; Battenkill Creamery (I live where I can hear their cows!) and several other locavore havens. Nope. Not at TJ’s.

Wonder why?????

A Comparison of Actual “Banquet” Frozen Dinners with their Box Cover Photographs
Thanks–I have pondered these for easy meals or nights when I just cannot stay up til hubs gets home at 1 AM or later. As I have a handicap I am not able to always stand n stir and cook myself either. But–somehow—I just cannot bring myself to actually BUY them.

OH I do buy frozen–Stouffers has a few he likes and the Pot Pies are very good—and the Michealangelos (I think?) Chicken Picatta is actually GOOD. A bit spendy but way better than some we have tried. We are lucky that the cost is not a major deal here. I DO think tho if I was a student or starting out–or as they say–IN THIS economy!!!—I would try and figure out the best tasting Banquet for the savings.

The Stouffers Stuffed peppers–I can’t even stand the smell of peppers so he is happy when these show up on the “menu”! The mac n cheese is OK also and you can add this to another “meal” and have it be more complete. My son LOVES the French Bread Pizza. The meatloaf–again something I can’t stand altho if i have the time and the energy I do make this from scratch–they do seem to like this one! The giant lasagna is actually good but we do add extra mozz and other cheeses.

Sooo—I dunno if I would still choose to buy these. But I DO admire someone who did this FOR US in the name of SCIENCE.

And ya know you didn’t DIE sooooo——

Malcolm Bedell is co-author of the critically acclaimed "Eating in Maine: At Home, On the Town, and On the Road," as well as Brocavore, a blog focusing on street food culture, and the junk food-centric "Spork & Barrel." His contributions include Serious Eats, Down East, L.A. Weekly, The Guardian, and The Huffington Post and his food truck, "'Wich, Please," was named "Hottest Restaurant in Maine" for 2015 by Eater. Finally, he finds it very silly to be trying to write this in the third person.