This is It on the Local Calendar (Summer That Is) – Also Hot Dog Forum

October 7, 2011 at 7:36 am

The weather outside may have us thinking summer will last forever, but recent market visits have us knowing that our days are very quickly numbered.  We are seeing the last (or have seen the last) of tomatoes, peaches, eggplants, and cucumbers.  Get ‘em soon.

On the other hand, we’ll always have hot dogs, and as long as we’ll have hot dogs, we’ll have arguments over hot dogs.  The Local Beet’s man in the wild, Eric “E-Dog” May, hosts an International Hot Dog Forum on Saturday, October 8.  The International Hot Dog Forum aims to put the hot dog argument to rest by bringing together twelve of the most infamous regional hot dog recipes, not to compare against one another, but to celebrate the nuanced differences and diversity of tubesteak styles.  Arguments commence at 1034 N Milwaukee Ave. (outside Roots & Culture Contemporary Art Center);
$10 Donation suggested.  The Forum will take place from 4 to 7 PM.


We also know that long season of at apples will soon be upon us.  We are desperately trying to eat as much non-apples now as possible.  You may still be able to find berries, grapes, plums (at least the purple variety), pears and even melons.

If you can tear yourself away from the last tomatoes, zukes and cukes; the markets have some great greens, including wild watercress.  There are still plenty of peppers, sweet and hot.


Keep on looking for your favorite apple and potato varieties, including sweet potatoes.  When you find what makes you happy, buy.  For instance, this week in markets we espied some of our favorite apples, macoun, and cox pippins.  We grabbed.


Most of the onions now in the market have been dried and “cured”, allowing for long term-storage.  On the other hand, we see a mix still of potatoes.  There are older potatoes, that is those more than a few weeks old and there are freshly dug potatoes.  The new potatoes are not meant for storage.  If in doubt, ask the farmer.  Also with the apples, if in doubt on a particular variety, ask the farmer if it keeps.


Find a farmer’s market near you with our market locator.

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.


October 8 – Dig up the sweet potatoes at the preSERVE Garden.  10 AM – 2 PM. Details here.

October 11 – October is American Cheese Month, and there are several activities around town to celebrate our delicious local cheeses.  This night, meet Jerry Heimerl of Wisconsin’s Saxon Creamery, one of our favorites, at a dinner sponsored by The Purple Pig and Pastoral -  6:00 p.m. $95 per person, including a four-course dinner and wine pairings. $5 of each ticket sale will be donated to the American Cheese Education Foundation. Purchase tickets at Pastoral Artisan Cheese, Bread & Wine, online at or call 773-472-4781.

October 16 – Crop Mob at Spence Farm – You need to register and purchase tickets here.  A report from last year’s crop mob here.

October 16 – Great Wisconsin Cheese and the Beverages That Love Them – 4:30 p.m – Kendall College, 900 North Branch Street, Chicago- Celebrate the first ever national American Cheese Month with a Wisconsin artisan cheese and beverage pairing event to benefit the American Cheese Education Foundation (ACEF). Hosted by Pastoral Artisan Cheese, Bread & Wine, the Wisconsin Milk Marketing Board (WMMB) and Marion Street Cheese Market, the festivities include a guided tasting featuring cocktails by Death’s Door Spirits, beers by Goose Island Brewery and Wisconsin artisan cheeses such as the award-winning Pleasant Ridge Reserve (Uplands Cheese Company), Bandaged Cheddar (Bleu Mont Dairy), Casa Bolo Mellage (Carr Valley), Dunbarton Blue (Roelli Cheese Haus) and Tilston Point Blue (Hook’s Cheese Company).  For ticket information, contact Pastoral Artisan Cheese, Bread & Wine, or 773-472-4781.

November 7 – Sixth Annual Logan Square Chamber of Commerce Harvest Dinner – Logan Square Auditorium – 6 PM