Go Slow with the Latest Local Calendar
Our collaborators at Slow Food offer you several forthcoming ways to participate in the good food movement. You have opportunities to meet your fellow travelers and support good causes. As Woody Allen long advised, most of life is about showing up, and with a lot of what Slow Food is doing, all you need to do is show up. Of course, with the Pig Roast at Goose Island on September 11, you need to do is show up after paying for a ticket, but your ticket buys you great food, drink and music and underwrites the other times you just need to show up.
WHAT TO BUY NOW
We continue to urge you to take advantage of local melons. A few farmer’s market melons and we doubt you’ll need a trucked in melon again. While we expected this to be the heart of melon season, early September, we were caught a bit off-guard by it being grape season already. We believe that nothing shows off local food better than some grapes. There may be seeds, but boy is there taste.
Not only are grapes arriving, but you know what we’ve seen in the markets: the first pumpkins and winter squash. Go ahead a buy now, but please, dear God, don’t start eating them now. Continue to eat as much as possible all the eggplant, zukes and cukes; tomatoes, peaches and peppers as summer will allow. Really, need some variety? How ’bout a couple of things that seem like a tomato but are different. We’re seeing both tomatillos and ground cherries in the markets.
WHAT TO BUY SOON (OR LOOK FOR KEENLY)
Each week will bring in new and different varieties of apples. Keep an eye out for your favorite. Same with pears.
Please remember that the seasonal apples, onions and potatoes in the market now are not meant for long term cellaring. In fact, the need to be kept in the fridge or they will spoil easily.
WHERE TO FIND LOCAL FOODS
These stores specialize in local foods:
City Provisions Deli in Ravenswood, Chicago
Downtown Farmstand in the Loop, Chicago
Green Grocer in West Town, Chicago
Dill Pickle Coop in Logan Square, Chicago
Marion Street Cheese Market in Oak Park
Butcher and Larder in Noble Square, Chicago
Pay attention, the local supermarkets continue to advertise local foods.
WHAT TO DO NOW
September 9 – Spence Farm Foundation Benefit Dinner — White Oak Gourmet will cater a 5-course menu featuring local products from Spence Farm, Sabeno Farm, and Faith’s Farm. All proceeds from the dinner will benefit the educational programs of the Spence Farm Foundation. For more information, see here.
September 11 – Slow Food Chicago Presents 3rd Annual Pig Roast at Goose Island – Simply, local chef’s serve local pig. Five area chefs have their way with hogs from Illinois’s Slagel Farm for the benefit of Slow Food Chicago. 2 – 5 PM at Goose Island, 1800 W. Fulton Street, Chicago. Go here for details and tickets.
September 11 – County Fair – Cook is a county too. A county fair will be held to celebrate the agricultural traditions and possibilities on the West Side of Chicago. 11am – 4pm - Garfield Park Conservatory
September 18 – Harvest Celebration in our State’s Capital to benefit Illinois Stewardship Alliance – This local food gala features six fabulous local chefs who will prepare tasting plates featuring fresh, seasonal locally produced foods for another good cause. Diners can peruse a silent auction, enjoy hearing from our compelling guest speakers and sip on Illinois Wine or Springfield’s Rolling Meadows Brewery. Additional information and ticket information here.
September 17 – Yes you can eat local, good, organic food for less than you think. Slow Food set the bar at $5 a person, and we think that’s a bar easily met. On this day, a bunch of people like us who believe in the ability to eat well, without spending much, will gather at the Green City Market. Look forward to additional details soon.
September 18 – Harvest dinner – Hazzard Free Farms – Our friend Lee Greene works with Midwestern farmers to create tasty, value added products at Scrumptious Pantry. Before she became interested in what it tastes like around here, she was wading in the tastes of Italy, spending her formative years in Tuscany. She shares her Tuscan heritage with this multi-course menu, featuring local produce. The day also includes yoga instruction from SKo-Fit and bluegrass music from the Kodiak Farm Boys. Tickets and additional information here.
September 21 – Locavore Picnic and Celebration - Share your success in the Locavore Challenge with Green City Market’s Annual Challenge Completion Party – Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum – 6 – 8 PM – Details and ticket information here.
September 24 – Tomatofest Potluck at the Chicago Honey Co-op – Share in the bounty of local, heirloom tomatoes, see the interesting things being done at the Chicago Honey Co-op and even get your hands dirty picking beans at the preSERVE Garden. Don’t forget wines donated by Candid and beer from Goose Island. A great way to take in some of the last nice weather of 2011. Additional information and tickets here.