I Don’t Can, but They Do – Excited to Be on FamilyFarmed Panel – March 19

March 15, 2011 at 2:58 pm

Rob Gardner

As I sit on the Advisory Board for the FamilyFarmed Expo, I had a good say in the idea sessions for the Good Food Fair on March 19, 2011.  And then, once we had a list of great topics (truth be told, more great topics than we had time), I had a good say in the session I could participate.  I said just because I don’t can, does not mean I cannot contribute greatly to “Yes We Can”, the panel being held from 11 AM to 12:15 on Saturday March 19.  I firmly believe in the need and ability to eat local year round, and I believed this session most spoke to that. 

OK, truth be told, I know how to can.  Not only have I helped my wife can tomatoes in many forms or be a kitchen hand as she made spiced peaches, but I have been to the Ball factory in Minnestra, Indiana for training at the source.  I just don’t like to can.    It’s all the things I do worst in the kitchen: tons of prep and exact timings and measurements.  I like to have my wife can.  I also like surrounding myself with canning experts. 

I can think of no better advocate of canning than Paul Virant, Chef of Vie Restaurant in Western Springs.  Chef Virant has taught a range of diners not to fear the tyranny of the fresh.  Virant does not shy from serving canned food at a Michelin starred restaurant, perhaps something not generally done since Peach Melba went off the menus.  Our panel Moderator, Vicki Nowicki is no canning slough either, and the final panelist, Terra Brockman can speak greatly to putting up food for year round eating.  In fact, Terra and Vicki will do a great job covering all the methods you need to preserve the seasonal bounty.

Me, like I say, I like to depend on others.  Don’t expect me to teach you how to can, dry, freeze or put things in a root cellar.  Instead, I’m mostly going to tell you how I rely on others.  I’m going to talk about winter markets and what is in season year round.  I’m going to pimp for friends like Cassie and Irv and Shelly who can get you local food in the darkest times.  I’ll be there to testify.  Testify to the Local Family’s ability to eat local all four seasons.  I want you all to be there to hear that message, and I want you all to be there to learn how to do it too.

FamilyFarmed Expo 2011

March 19

9 AM – 6 PM

UIC Forum

The UIC Forum is located at the corner of Halsted and West Roosevelt. with ample parking and public transportation options available.