A Cherry on Top of Your Local Calendar

June 12, 2009 at 8:07 am

Rob Gardner

Last week at the farmer’s market I spotted some Michigan sweet cherries with one farmer.  And if one Michigan farmer has cherries, the rest cannot be soon behind.  So, to the taste of strawberries and rhubarb this week, add some cherries.  Another fun product you might see are small white turnips with their greens.  You can cook these Southern style, for a while, with something meaty, but also think simple.  I’ve had great luck steaming these turnips and letting a knob of butter melt across, negating the hippie factor.  I’ve also seen Paul Virant roast them up and dress them with homemade ranch, a version I’m anxious to duplicate.  As always, use the Local Beet’s Market Locator to find a market near you.

Other stuff to fill your days:

I thought this had to do with canning at first, but the other kind of preservation might be other interest too.  Art of Preservation tonight in Pilsen, 1835 S. Halsted.

Via Cathy2 at LTHForum, I learned of a neat sounding event of Wisconsin cheese and Michigan beer at Logan Square’s Provenance on Monday night.  The acclaimed film, Living on the Wedge, on Wisconsin cheesemakers, will also be shown.

Next Tuesday afternoon, I’m going a-shmoozing at the inaugural Chicago Food Trends Summitt at Kendall College.  This event brings together several local food entrepreneurs to discuss emerging trends in the food industry.  Two private equity firms with their hands in the food business, Bradmer Foods and Sherbrooke Capital co-sponsor this gig, so dust off your business plan.

A bit nauseous about nachos for lunch, well did you know that Slow Food has put their long tables together to get better school lunches.  Plus they are tacking other key food policies.  But they also like to eat and enjoy the pleasures of that long table.  Join them next Friday, June 19, for their annual summer solstice pot luck at the Chicago Honey Co-op.

After that, save tummy room for too much lamb at Mado’s next family dinner, week from Sunday (June 21).  Since the rave in the NYTimes, Mado’s phone has been ringing non-stop.  Don’t be left out of this lamb extravaganza.

Take yourself to Mado but your kids to Vie.  Paul Virant is just one of our favorite chefs participating in Kid’s Restaurant Week starting June 20, but Paul’s put together an all local menu for the young-uns that sounds awfully good.  (Actually, my kids love Mado, so take them there too.)

Our friends at Edible Chicago pointed out to us that Ryerson Woods near Deerfield declared 2009 the year of Locally Grown [ed. right on!].  We learned of this a bit late for some of the events at the preserve, but there are plenty more fun and educating activities to come.

No one had to tell us about the Local Food Systems lecture series at Eli’s Cheesecake Factory because the Local Beet is helping sponsor.  If you have free afternoons on Thursdays in June and July, this is a must-go for learning about local. 

So, in the days ahead, will you shop local or cheat?