Meet Me for Donuts, Oak Park Farmer’s Market, Early Saturday

May 19, 2011 at 10:37 pm

Rob Gardner

I don’t plan on an eat local weekend nearly as exhausting as the last one.  No cooking cholent for 100 (from twenty pounds of plate and twenty pounds of grass fed beef from Butcher and Larder); no buying parsnips and nettles at Green City Market waiting for my wife, no racing to McCormick Place, no time on Mike Nowak’s show on WCPT/820 AM. No just a nice long walk with Molly the Eat Local Dog, and the Local Kid, who spoils me with her company to the Oak Park Farmer’s Market as soon as the dog wakes up.  In other words, early.  Come meet me for a donut.

When I spoke at Green Festival last week, I confessed that donuts enabled me to reach my potential as a locavore.  When I moved to Oak Park, neighbors directed me to the market.  Yet, honestly, back then, back in the beginning, the market did not do much for me.  Of course, these days, the early season crop, with season extension hoop houses and all looks a lot different, but back then, I came away hardly wowed.  Those first market seemed so bare.  Why shop.  I returned, however, because I love donuts.  What the market could not offer me in Spring produce, it could offer me in fat and sugar.

I love the donuts at the Oak Park Market.  They are not, I will also confess, the best donuts.  Not even the best donuts along Lake Street, as Dunk Donuts, several miles west in Melrose Park exceeds the Market donuts.  With donuts, second best hardly matters.  These are fresh, simple, wholesome, and carrying the flavors of all the flowers, spring greens, local cheeses, duck eggs, and everything other aroma wafting through the market.  I will most likely have two.

Then, I will purchase some asparagus, probably some goat’s milk cheese, and even more probably, some radishes.  I may have come for the donuts, but I stick around now for the local food.

The Oak Park Farmer’s Market is at Piligrim Church, on Lake St. just west of Ridgeland.  The market opens at 7.