Tupper Lake, November 6, 2012 by Jeff Boucher

Thursday, April 28, 2011



Holy crap, the water is high. You'd think being in the mountains, therefore higher than sea level, would make us immune to flooding.

D'oh! Snowmelt, rivers, major rainstorms and saturated ground make this Flood Central.

So I've been here for 50 years, and I've never seen the water this high.

Talking to the Oldtimers today, who are in there 70's and 80's and they're saying the same thing.
It's one of those 100 year events.

The North Country is a mess. Bridges have been dissolved, roads and homes overtaken by high water.

It seems that Mother Nature still has the upper hand.

Here's some pics from around Tupper this afternoon.

The backside of the Municipal Park. On the left of that row of cedars is a walkway, well, that is under water.

Another shot of the Park-That's a skateboard half-pipe, and behind it is the baseball diamond.

Our friends, Mary and Stu have a camp on the Raquette River, just off Lake Simond.
Bring your waders.

Here's the boathouse at their camp. 4 feet of water inside on the floor.

Well, you can definitely arrive by boat!

A shot of the planter. No need to water the flowers this year.

Back side of the camp.

The new marina by Trail's End. Hmmm, looks like the seawall is about a foot or two lower than it should be.

House on Raquette River Drive.
G'Night Kids-Got your life jackets on?

And then, there's Water Street.
Water Street is near and dear to my heart. My grandmother Julia, was born in a house on Water Street in 1913.
It is without a doubt, the lowest street in Tupper Lake in regards to feet above lake level.
Here's a pic about 100 yds. down the street from Main Street. (Main St.? Cue up the Bob Segar, now!)

Never seen anything like it.

The bend on Water Street.

Don't know these guys, but I imagine the conversation is something like this, "You go and get the beer now, I'll get it next week, O.K.?"

O.K. Kids, get your wetsuits on and go outside and play!

So that's it- there are a lot more pics and stories to be seen and told.
I make light of it, but I'm not using a canoe to get in my house like some folks I know.
No, it wasn't a flood of Biblical proportions, but it was a pretty darn good one, and it ain't over yet.
After seeing the damage the tornadoes did in Alabama yesterday where 240 plus lost their lives, I am still grateful to live up here in the sticks, even if we get the occasional 100 year event.
For those that are under water I hope it recedes quickly.
For those down South, may God be with you.

And for everybody that's reading this, be thankful that you're reading it, and not bailing water at this moment.

Pizza of The Week...

So here's this weeks pizza pie.

Here's the dough recipe- it worked well for a week night.

And I made Kenji's NY Style Sauce, an excellent sauce. Wicked good!

Without any further ado's (whatever that means), here's the pie from start to finish.

The Start.

The Finish.

One side plain cheese for me, grated parm, and mozz.
The other side for the girls, onion, 'shrooms, red pepper.

The Cheese Slice.

And that concludes,"This Week In Pizza!"

Eat well my friends!

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Authentic Utica Tomato Pie....

Went to the In-Laws in Utica yesterday for an early Easter.
Today we ate the ham, and corn, peas, mashed taters, asparagus, rolls, and on and on....

But last night, Pop made us Tomato Pie, Utica Tomato Pie.
The Real Deal.

Tomato Pie and Utica are synonymous. It's a regional favorite in Central New York.

Pop grew up in Utica, so he knows a little about local specialties, like Utica Greens, pierogies, galumpkies, and of course, tomato pie.

When we arrived he had the dough on a second rise on the pan, under Saran Wrap. 

He'd started it in the mixer, let it rise, then punched it down, then spread it on the pan. 
Then he covered it with the wrap, I'd guess for an hour or more.

I've never let my dough rise on the pan like this, so I was interested to see how it would turn out.

He pre-baked the crust @375 degrees for about 10 minutes. 
You can see how much it rose in the pan and with  some spring from the oven.

Next, he put his homemade sauce on.

And to top it off, grated parmesan.

Then back into the oven for a few minutes.

The result was the best tomato pie I've ever had.
Pop's sauce was outstanding, sweet, but not too sweet, with a hint of garlic and onion.
The crust was light and airy.

He made two sheets, which was fortunate for me, because, there was enough left over for breakfast!

If  you're ever in Central New York and you have the opportunity, you've got to try the Tomato Pie!

Eat well my friends!

Friday, April 22, 2011

Hey Kids-It's National Grilled Cheese Month!

Therefore I feel compelled to post about the All-American, low-cost, versatile, and scrumptious sammie.

You know those nights, when you get home from work, and it's, "What are having tonight honey?" moments.

Quite often, I end up making grilled cheese on those nights, and rarely the same way twice.

The only constant I'd say is sourdough bread.
Other than that I'd say at least two different types of cheese, bacon, ham, turkey, tomato, onion, etc....
Basically whatever's available in the old fridge.

So the other night, here's what I concocted to honor this culinary mainstay.

Bacon baby.....

Cheese, I ended up not using the cheddar, ran out of room.
Well I could've used the cheddar......I just decided not too.

Grated parm and sliced onion.....

Next, the bacon....

American and tomato......


Top slice and cook away....


Yes, yes......

Eat well my friends!

Getting My Bake On.....

I've been a lazy baker as of late, but this past week saw me back in the kitchen, where I made two different styles of bread.  

One is an old friend, and the other a new recipe.

Let's start with the new one.
This recipe is called Sesame White Bread and comes from Donna Currie's super cooking blog, Cookistry.

While my loaf didn't come out as pretty as Donna's, it wasn't too shabby.
It's a fairly quick bread to make, and as such could be made after work for an evening dinner.

For my first attempt, I was pleased.
Good, hearty white bread, not complicated.
I used the stand mixer for all kneading.

Then last night I made an old favorite, no-knead rustic for an early Easter dinner at the in-laws.
This too, is pretty simple (like the cook).

There's one.....

and the other.

As with Donna's recipe, this bread is easy and great for those just getting aquainted with yeast breads.
For each bread, I used Gold Medal Better for Bread Flour and Fleischman's Bread Machine Yeast that comes in a 4 oz. jar.

Eat well, and Happy Passover/Easter my friends.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

I've Got Your Dogs!

Went to Shaheen's IGA yesterday for who knows what,and while perusing the Hot Dog section, don't I run across a single pack of Fenway Franks.  
Fenway Franks????? 
Is this some kind of cruel joke?

Let it be said, this is Yankee Country kids.
I grew up listening to the Scooter broadcasting on WPIX out of NY and learned early on the Red Sox were the enemy!

I was miffed.
What to do, what to do?
I bought 'em.
For $2.49.

Now I'm figuring there's some poor Red Sox loving bastard out there that special ordered these dogs in complete secrecy, hoping to slide into Shaheen's and escape with the evil sausages under the cover of darkness.

Well, it didn't happen!
I've got your dogs and I'm holding them hostage!

If I don't receive a 5 Dollar Bill in the mail before midnight tonight, I'll eat your dogs!

Monday, April 4, 2011

New York Style Pizza Dough....

I ran across a recipe a few weeks ago on Peter Reinhart's Blog, Pizza Quest, titled  NY Style Pizza Dough.

If you know me, you know pizza is a favorite.
If you've heard of Peter Reinhart, you know that he's one of the Bread Making Gurus in the current rennaisance in home bread making in the U.S.
And finally if you know anything at all about pizza, it's that New York City was and in many senses still is the mecca for pizza here in the states.

Well, Peter's got a Pizza blog, which I read, and there I saw this recipe.

I liked it in that it's fairly simple to make and was really easy to use, just follow his directions.

So here's the pie.

 Dough in the pan.
 The recipe will yield enough for 2 -12 inch pies, but I put the whole ball into my 18" pan.

Into the oven...
The whole pie had shredded fresh parm, mozzarella, basil, garlic, and a touch of salt.
The left side had portobello mushroom and onions, the right had deli sliced pepperoni.

And out of the oven...

Here's a bottom shot.

And on the plate.

If you're new to making homemade dough I'd say give this a shot-it worked for me.
And by golly it tasted great!

Eat well my friends.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Who let the dogs out????

Well, nobody really. 

 We've got 3 mutts, Lila, Mocha, and Red.
Every now and then they like to escape from our fenced in back yard.
We've  got so much snow left that they have perfected the art of jumping over the fence off a snowbank.

This resulted in one of them going to Doggie Jail last week, overnight. Yup, the Dogcatcher got Mocha as she wandered around the downtown environs of the Metropolis of Tupper Lake. 

We sprung her the next day, and since then they've only escaped one more time, but fortunately we rounded 'em up before the law could reel 'em in.

The Poopatraters, Lila and Mocha.  Red's on the sidebar.

But I digress, this is about food, in particular, the All American Hot Dog.
Over at Serious Eats, Hawk Krall does a weekly post about Hot Dogs, that for a Dog Lover like me is simply great.

I could easily subsist on pizza and hotdogs, irregardless of my doctors advice.

So today, inspired by a conversation I had with DM Cavanagh about hot dogs in the North Country I picked up some locally made dogs.

Glazier Dogs, made in Malone, NY.  Probably the first snappy type dog I ever had.
My buddy Mikey eats 'em right out of the package (Hell, they're pre-cooked) and in my youth I could knock back 4 or 5 at a sitting.

I picked up a 4 pack at my favorite store-Shaheen's IGA today.
 They sell them in all sorts of sizes, and for the purposes of this post , 4 was perfect.
$1.97. Not bad.

I put a little vegetable oil in the frying pan, pre-heated it and cooked those dogs.
They're a funky kind of red. Not sure why they dye them like that, but you'll never mistake a Glazier dog for any other type.

Out of the frying pan and into....

my mouth!
It's been a while since I've had Glazier dogs, but I found they're still a very good choice for all of us localmeatavores.
Pleasantly snappy and spicy with some chopped onion, mustard and ketchup on a buttered toasted roll.

I've gone on over the years to discover other high quality franks, but the Glazier dog will always be a very nostalgic experience, even if I can't throw back 4 or 5.

Eat well my friends!