Saved by the Farmers Market

May 10, 2010 at 8:55 am

Rob Gardner

I appreciate all of the encouragements to my lax locavorism of late.  I will certainly take advantage of the Hat’s generous offer.  Still, nothing gets me back in the mood like a farmer’s market.  OK, I do not even need a farmer’s market.  I need Chad Nichol’s showing up for a Mother’s Day special at Eli’s Cheesecake with huge bags of spinach, radishes (to another customer, “it’s safe to eat one now, it’s a French breakfast radish”), and plenty of needed asparagus.  If that whetted our whistle, the early start of Evanston’s Farmer’s Market set us up for the a while. 

Flush with that first of the season asparagus from Chad, my wife decreed that we shall henceforth eat such food daily until we can no longer eat such food.  The Eat Local Asparagus Challenge of 2010 began.  On Friday, she made two savory tart crusts.  She filled the first with an asparagus quiche.  The next day, she made a Wisconsin cheddar pie with ramps and lamb’s quarters.  Still, as much as I loved that new foods, you know what made me happiest with these dishes.  She made use out of some very old leeks too.  We have much to enjoy in the days ahead with recent purchases and old favorites.  After all, we do have to finish the sunchokes.

Our current inventory is below.  I have listed the inventory two ways.  The remaining larder is still listed by storage medium.  The new stuff is listed by farmer/market.


Nichol’s Farm – Eli’s Cheesecake – Spinach, radishes, asparagus, rhubarb, watercress

Henry’s Farm – Evanston Farmer’s Market – Thyme, tarragon, parsley. lamb’s quarters, nettles

Nichol’s Farm – Evanston – Basil, cippolini onions

Kinnikinnick Farm – Evanston – Green garlic

Larry and Marilyn Wettstein – Evanston – 2 doz. eggs

Stovers – Evanston – Asparagus

Trader’s Point Creamer – Evanston – Creme fraiche

Whole Foods – Chicago – Ramps

Kolatek’s Bakery – Chicago – Michigan apples


Basement Storage

  • Potatoes – Finished the other bag of russets, some Yukon Gold and a few others
  • Winter Squash – acorn, butternut 
  • Canned tomatoes – whole, sauce, puree – Used a few quarts recently (after my wife got done reading the benefits of eating cooked tomatoes)
  • Spiced peaches
  • Peach chutney
  • Dried mushrooms
  • Misc. pickles, jams, jellies, relishes
  • Dried beans
  • Local oats
  • Chestnuts – 1 lb – from attic
  • 25 lb of local corn meal – from attic
  • 5 lb local buckwheat – from attic

Basement Fridge

  • Cauliflower – yes, this cauliflower remains brown but could probably go into a soup – UPDATE: It’s still there
  • Red cabbage – competing with the cauliflower for rotten, un-eaten food, there’s a few old red cabbage
  • Celery root – 2
  • Sweet potatoes – Have not looked in on these, hopefully they have not turned to mold
  • Beets – from attic – Still there!
  • Sunchokes - Still there!!
  • Red onions – found two red onion hidden away and in fine shape

Basement Freezer

  • Frozen fruits – blueberries, grapes, cherries, peaches
  • Frozen veg – peas, corn, greens, pureed squash, tomato puree, dried tomato
  • Local meat – Last meat used, round steaks.  See above

Kitchen Fridge

  • Leek
  • Parsley root (2)
  • Homemade quince-apple membrillo – Man this is good, my wife mets it out in small portions with cheese.
  • Local eggs
  • Assorted cheeses


  • Black walnuts
  • Dried fruits – strawberries, apricots, peaches
  • Shallots
  • Red onion

Root Cellar in the Sky – No Food in the Attic


One Comment

  1. Rob,

    As to the sunchokes, I’ll post a recipe shortly, which turned those knobby roots into good eating.


RSS Feed for comments on this post