I’m Back and Have Places for You to Go

March 6, 2009 at 8:20 am

Rob Gardner

To you, it may have been one day of no blogging, but to me, it’s been a week of fast food and more fast food.  On one hand, from the Bungalow it is a pretty straight shot to Johnnies Italian Beef, and that served me well twice; on the other hand, when did Popeyes get that bad, and I mean bad.  See, when the media says they want to come film you on the subject of local food, you pretty much destroy your local food habits as you work endlessly to make the house look alright.  But last night we made on-camera, a version of winter salad; and when the crew left, made a pasta dish with my wife’s local beans (flavored with local ham hock).  What really made me feel locked in though was dessert.  I baked up some rome apples (cored, inserted elderflower carmel sauce from Madison) and served the apples with a good dose of Blue Marble Dairy cream.  Go to hell, Popeyes.

Safely back in local, here’s some buying opportunities for you to do the same:

Talk markets, public, permanent and winter with Robin “Winter” Schirmer at two markets this weekend.  On Saturday, they convene in the heart of Chicago’s St. Ben’s neighborhood, St Ben’s Church (2219 W Irving Park Rd).   Beet blogger Vera V will also be there spinnin’ her wool.   On Sunday, the market heads slightly northwest to Park Ridge, to the Park Ridge Community Church (100 Courtland Ave.).  Sunday’s market features a brunch, if you need more convincing.  Both markets run from 9 until approx 1, but stuff can run out; get there early.

The market competition heats up (in a friendly, we’ll all in this together kinda way) this weekend.  Green City has designated March as their (artisanal) cheese month and have promised some guest vendors.  We have so much outstanding cheesemakers in our area, I wonder who the guests will be.  Saturday also has a great line-up of chef demo’s.  Details on the market, including how to RSVP for the demo’s, can be found here.

The warming weather should mean a bit more hoop-house derived produce at Green Grocer.  See what Cassie has.  Or head west to Geneva or Heritage Prairie to see how their stock’s rising.

In between the buying, make time this weekend to read the newly released report from the Illinois Local & Organic Food & Farm Task Force.

My sources tell me it will still be soup weather on Wednesday so head to the Hideout for this week’s event benefiting  the Greater Chicago Food Depository.  See also Martha’s soup blog.

There’s enough buying opportunities, do we need a roadtrip this weekend?  If wanderlust does take hold, you cannot do any worse than last week’s list of public market (believe me, we have not heard the last of public markets on this blog).

Happy hunting.  Do report back on where you went.