UPDATED: The WINNER of 2 Tickets for the Growing Home Benefit

April 26, 2011 at 1:34 pm


Jen Caputo!

We had two tickets to give away to tonight’s annual Growing Home benefit this Thursday, April 28, at the Chicago Cultural Center, and we asked Beet readers to email and tell us about the local food they’ve had during last week. 

We received a response from Jen Caputo, who is a dedicated locavore that eats, grows and cans her food, as well as drinks local!  In her own words: 

We live in the suburbs so unfortunately the Green City Market is a little far for our daily shopping. We do try to make as much from scratch as we can though and live off our frozen and canned produce from last summer.

This week for breakfast we’ve been enjoying yogurt with peaches frozen last summer along with peach jam (our last jar!) that I canned on homemade sourdough bread (I always keep a starter alive in the fridge). Last night I made salmon cakes (salmon is wild caught in the US but not nearby unfortunately) and I added Chives cut fresh from my garden minutes earlier and parsley that is currently enjoying life under my basement grow lights (started from seed 4 months ago). I made a tartar sauce to go with them by dicing some of the pickles I canned from last summer’s cucumber harvest (also from my garden).  I was lucky enough to start my raised beds and salad boxes early this year so we also were able to harvest mixed greens all week for side salads made of arugula, spinach, mache, minzua, red oak, and speckled lettuces.

We’ve also been nurturing quite the basil forest both in the garden window and under the grow lights so dinner the other night was a homemade sourdough baguette, sun-dried tomatoes (that we dried in our oven from 2010′s backyard tomato harvest), garden window basil, burrata cheese, and a sun-dried tomato powder that we made last fall. Our favorite snack is the aged cheddars that we got up at Widmere’s in Wisconsin. Over Christmas we picked up 5 blocks each of their 2 year, 6 year, 8 year, and 10 year and after giving many out as gifts, we still have plenty to provide us with snacking pleasure!

We also love to drink local! Over the weekend we enjoyed a cocktail made from Koval’s white whiskey and a simple syrup we made from the rosemary we’ve been overwintering in our garden window. All week we’ve been enjoying local beers from Goose Island, Three Floyds and Metropolitan. We’ve also been drinking North Shores’ Aquavit, Koval’s Ginger Liqueur (aka, the best stuff ever!), and experimenting with ways to use Koval’s new orange flower liqueur (it’s pretty sweet). We pick fresh mint from our overwintered indoor plants to spruce up our water and cocktails as well.

To summarize, we eat local by preserving as much as we can, mostly from our own gardens, but also from the farmers markets. Keeping our gardens going year round either by overwintering in the garden windows or growing new under the basement grow lights, and ALWAYS drinking local beer and liquors.
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Congrats, Jen!


One Comment

  1. Reeling from our vegan week challenge, we’ve purchased 100% local products. From the Green City Farmers market, we’ve purchased organic chicken & quail eggs, and shallots from my four year old’s buddy, Mike. In fact this year was the first time we decorated organic eggs for Easter.
    A staple in our kitchen are sprouts. Pea sprouts and sunflower seed sprouts are our recent favorites. Since we’ve been meat free, we’ve purchased every mushroom available. From the pickled mushrooms to snack on, to the blooming portabelas for chili and casseroles, we filled a bag just with ‘shrooms. We’ve also made a slew of fritatas and chowders from Nichols Farm potatoes. The kids love the purple ones especially. For our sweet tooth, we picked some cherry preserves and some apple butter. Last but not the least, we have been loving the french radishes and mustard greens from Growing Home.

    If we get really lucky, we might even be able to visit their farm tomorrow.

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