Holiday Week, a very short calendar

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Posted: December 29, 2011 at 11:45 am

The lucky folks in Elgin, Geneva and La Fox have markets taking place this Saturday. For the rest of us folks, the farmers and vendors are still on a holiday break which means more than ever to support and utilize the stores in Chicago that maintain their pipelines of local produce and products.

WHERE TO FIND LOCAL FOODS

These stores specialize in local foods:

City Provisions Deli 1818 West Wilson in Ravenswood, Chicago

Downtown Farmstand 66 East Randolph in the Loop, Chicago

Green Grocer 1402 West Grand Ave in West Town, Chicago

Dill Pickle Coop 3039 West Fullerton in Logan Square, Chicago

Marion Street Cheese Market 100 South Marion St. Oak Park

Butcher and Larder 1026 North Milwaukee in Noble Square, Chicago

WHAT TO DO NOW

December 31

Elgin - Elgin Winter Market – 166 Symphony Way (right across the street from Centre -Kimball/Douglas) – 8 AM – 2 PM

Geneva - Geneva Green Market – 27 N. Bennett (Geneva Place) – 9 AM – 1 PM

La Fox – Heritage Prairie Farmers Market – 9-1pm 2N308 Brundage Road La Fox

Happy New Year 2012!!!!

SAVE THE DATE!

March 15-17

Chicago Good Food Festival – More soon!




Root Cellar Diary, Part 7: Survival of the Fittest

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Posted: December 27, 2011 at 11:39 am

We find easy ways to use old produce and eliminate vermin

Mina the cat

Last week I reported on the problem we were having with mice.

I’m glad to say that this problem has been solved, in part, by Mina, our aged cat, who last week snared the mouse (or, more likely, one of the mice). This was a very good thing for our old cat, who has been feeling rather tired lately; the thrill of the hunt and kill had a salubrious effect upon her spirit. In the accompanying picture, you can see how she hid her bounty under a pile of New Yorkers before we relieved her of her grotesque and treasured toy. [Note: this is the first time I’ve ever posted a cat picture on the Internet. Honest. And likely the last.]

It’s very satisfying to have nature handle things. It’s somehow much cleaner to have a natural predator take care of a problem that would otherwise have been solved with poison we bought at the store.

It addition to inventory shrinkage due to vermin, we’re seeing a fair amount of apples lost to spoilage, perhaps upwards of 10%. I go through the apple cage a few times every week, weeding out the bad ones, and there usually are bad ones. Because some of the apples are getting soft (due perhaps to the unseasonably warm temperatures we’ve been having), we’ve been cooking them and juicing them, which is a good way to use otherwise less than desirable produce.

I’m glad we decided to periodically replenish the root cellar with local produce from Caputo’s and other places, where it’s been stored by professionals who know what they’re doing and do what it takes to extend the survival rate of fruits and vegetables.

And it’s reassuring that nature is providing controls on further mice incursions into our basement.

So, as of the beginning of the new year, we’re staying one step ahead of root cellar disasters.




A Few Markets Open This Week, Before Christmas

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Posted: December 20, 2011 at 9:04 am

It’s a short local calendar this week, farmers need a rest every now and then and they have families as well and lots of things to do before Christmas. There are a few markets open that you can take advantage of to get fresh local produce! Happy holidays to all.

WHAT TO BUY NOW

Since we are moving into winter, vegetable-wise, look for the last of the cold friendly fall crops like greenscabbagebroccoli, cauliflowerrocketlettucesspinach, and radishes. Continue to stock up for the rest of the winter with potatoesgarliconionssquash and the roots like turnipsbeetsrutabagas, etc.  Other items you may still find include leekssunchokes, and hearty herbs like cilantro, sage, and thyme.

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

WHAT TO DO NOW

December 20

Chicago - The Hide-Out Holiday Sale – 6-9pm 1354 W. Wabansia A chance to buy the Soup and Bread Cookbook by Martha Bayne and Sheila Sachs for that last minute Christmas present. The Hide-Out has a whole line-up of local artisans of food, crafts and more.

December 21

Chicago - Green City Market – Last chance to stock up on local produce and good things before the holidays! You will now find the market in its cheery, winter home at the Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum.  Expect a wide range of cold weather produce, breads, canned goods, pasta, and confections –  8 AM – 1 PM There is an ATM in the building which makes is really helpful since there is such a variety of items available!

Elburn - Heritage Prairie Farm Holiday Market – 9-3pm 2N308 Brundage Road The farm market is home to a variety of products, raw and infused honey, seasonally grown produce, milk, eggs, meat and cheese. During the holidays they offer custom gift wrapping and unique baskets.

December 22

Elburn - Heritage Prairie Holiday Market – 9-6pm 2N308 Brundage Road

December 23

Elburn – Heritage Prairie Holiday Market – 9-6pm 2N308 Brundage Road

December 24

Elburn – Heritage Prairie Holiday Market – 9-6pm 2N308 Brundage Road

Elgin - Elgin Winter Market – 166 Symphony Way (right across the street from Centre -Kimball/Douglas) – 8 AM – 2 PM

Geneva - Geneva Green Market – The market has moved to a new location, 27 N. Bennett (Geneva Place) – 9 AM – 1 PM

SAVE THE DATE!

March 15-17

Chicago Good Food Festival – More soon!




Root Cellar Diary 6, We Have Seen the Enemy

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Posted: December 19, 2011 at 10:25 am

Mice in the root cellar, courtesy David Hammond

Mice in the root cellar, courtesy David Hammond

As far as I can tell, there are three big enemies to root cellars everywhere: dry air, warmth, and mice.

You want some humidity in the root cellar atmosphere because dry air will cause fruits and vegetables to shrivel up. This is not a problem for us as we have a sink in our root cellar (because it used to be a dark room), so we just turn on some water and fill up the sink when it feels dry in there.

You don’t want warmth because the root cellar is functioning like a large refrigerator; the cool air slows down the aging process; warmth speeds it up. Although it was warming up in our part of the  world last week, temperatures are generally cool enough to ensure that it’s pretty much like a refrigerator in our root cellar.

And then there’s mice.

I actually saw a little mouse scurrying fast when I turned on the light in our root cellar last weekend. I also detected evidence of the mouse’s presence here and there.

There’s an area of our darkroom where the wall is chewed at the bottom, and I believe the mice are actually burrowing in from the outside.

We’ve positioned a tray of d-CON at the tiny opening in the wall. We hope that if the mouse eats some of the poison, he will simply crawl outside again and have the good grace not to die and rot away in our root cellar.


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Cold Weather Recipes – Kale

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Posted: December 17, 2011 at 10:00 am


Now I will not deny that the little locavore has some peculiar tastes. Yes, his favorite dish is pizza and most green stuff still gives the willies. But then and again, he’ll declare a dish yum, yum, yummy that I would never in a million years expect. This is one of those dishes.

Disclaimer: I still fish out the greens in Thor’s bowl. All the rest is downed with alacrity.

Polish Sausage, Kale and Dragon’s Tongue Beans
4 servings

4 Polish sausages
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
2 garlic cloves, sliced
1 bunch young kale, hard stems removed
Pinch red pepper flakes
1 cup cooked Dragon’s Tongue or Pinto beans
1/2 cup red wine
1/2 cup water

Brown the sausages in a cast iron skillet over medium-high heat. Remove to a plate. Let the pan cool slightly and add olive oil. When hot but not smoking, add garlic and cook until fragrant approximately 30 seconds. Add kale and stir to combine. Pour in wine and water and return sausages with the beans to the pan with any juices accumulated on the plate. Add a pinch of red pepper flakes and kosher salt and bring the liquid to a simmer and cook until the kale is wilted and most of the juices have evaporated. Serve in a shallow bowl.




The Cookbook Addict: Making a List . . . Checking It Twice . . . Top 10 Cookbooks for Holiday Giving

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Posted: December 16, 2011 at 1:35 pm

In the final countdown to the holiday season can you guess what’s on the Cookbook Addict’s holiday gift list? We’ve got a cookbook for just about everyone.

locavoreway

For a yoga-mate who’s resolved to take the first tentative steps toward local eating in the new year, I’ll wrap up a copy of The Locavore Way: Discover and Enjoy the Pleasures of Locally Grown Food by Amy Cotler. It’s a gently informative introduction to sourcing local food and cooking and eating seasonally. In simple, direct terms Cotler connects the dots between our choices at the market, in the kitchen, and in our communities and gives a novice the tools and information to make decisions that foster a sustainable food system.

grub

For the twenty-somethings on my list, I’ll tuck a copy of Grub: Ideas for an Urban Organic Kitchen under the tree. Like my young friends, authors Anna Lappé and Bryant Terry are by turns serious and earnest about food policy and environment issues, practical and budget conscious about setting up an organic, sustainable kitchen, and adventursome, joyful eaters who love to cook and entertain friends. Their book is filled with practical advice and includes 24 mostly vegetarian menus complete with shopping lists and, of course, a music playlist to cook by.

artofsimplefood

Dedicated locavores know that eating local requires time and effort in the kitchen. While many disciples of local, sustainable eating have admirably high food IQs (thanks to food television, travel, and our city’s endlessly delicious and diverse restaurants) often these same hungry folks find their kitchen skills fall short or they get stuck in a rut once they stand facing the stove day after day. I have the perfect gift for them: Alice Waters’ The Art of Simple Food. Whether a new cook, one who needs to brush up on technique, or one in need of fresh, simple ideas, Waters primer gives us short, easy recipes that deliver deeply satisfying flavors. My sister, a grad student and the busy mom of two teenagers, was was blown out of her rut by Waters’ recipe for “Braised Duck Legs with Leeks and Green Olives.” Someone on your holiday list will be, too.

oddbits

For the carnivore topping my list I’ll choose Odd Bits: How to Cook the Rest of the Animal, by Jennifer McLagan. This smart, engaging, thoroughly-researched, and entirely approachable treatise on snout-to-tail cooking confidently leads the adventursome and the squeamish alike down the delicious path to cooking with offal. Tuck a gift certificate from Butcher & Larder between the covers and your carnivore will have a very happy, meaty holiday.

goodgrain

We all know someone who loves to bake. Surprise them with Good to Grain: Baking with Whole-Grain Flours. Author Kim Boyce, a former pastry chef, began experimenting with whole-grains because she wanted to give her daughters healthy home-baked treats without the refined flour and sugar she once used in professional kitchens. As she worked with unusual grains like teff, kamut, amaranth, and buckwheat Boyce came to appreciate their unique flavors and textures and the surprising depth they lend to quickbreads, cookies, cakes, and tarts. Rather than stop at a simple one-for-one substituion for refined flours in the standard repertoire of home-baked goods, Boyce developed recipes that make the most of each grain’s unique characteristics. Who knew, for example, that teff flour and brown butter are soul mates? (Try Boyce’s “Hazelnut Muffins” and you’ll understand.) Or that rye flour has a “sweet, milky” profile that’s perfect in the crust for a fruit tart? As more local farmers grow and mill grains (Three Sisters polenta and corn meal or Heritage Prairie’s whole wheat and rye flours come to mind) locavore bakers are sure to find more locally grown flours. Our baker friends will be inspired by the new spectrum of flavors and textures in Boyce’s recipes and we, no doubt, will be rewarded with a share of delicious, local, homemade treats.

wholefamily

A thoughtful gift for the young family on your holiday list, Feeding the Whole Family: Cooking with Whole Foods by Cynthia Lair is a classic. First published 15 years ago and now in its third edition, it’s a terrific resource for time-stretched parents who want to cook a local, sustainable, healthy family meal that everyone at the table can enjoy—even babies as young as six-months. Lair, a nutritionist, teacher, chef, and mom, offers solid information on how to source clean, local food, transition infants to solid food, and introduce new foods as babies grow. The book contains strategies for coping with childhood food allergies and finicky eaters, inventive ideas for healthy and delicious lunch boxes, and best of all, terrific recipes and menus that will please picky little ones and the grown-ups who feed them. Generations of healthy happy families will thrive on this book.

oxfordbeer

I know a beer-lover or three who are giddy about publication of The Oxford Companion to Beer, an encyclopedia of all things related to beer. Curated by Garrett Oliver, a Slow Food Founding Board Member and the highly respected Brewmaster at New York’s Brooklyn Brewery, it contains 960 pages and more than 1,100 entries. This impressive work taps the collective brain trust of 166 beer experts of on topics ranging from beer’s ancient and multicultural history to technical aspects of the brewing process, the development of the styles of beer, and the social and cultural impact of beer drinking. The print version weighs a hefty four pounds so I think I’ll e-mail my friends the Kindle edition—a perfect reference to download to a smart phone. They be able to check stats or prove one of the finer points of beer connoisseurship while sitting on a bar stool.

henrys farm

Strictly speaking, The Seasons on Henry’s Farm is not a cookbook (although it does contain recipes). But if the local eating credo exhorts us to “know your food, know your farmer,” there’s not better window into a farmer’s transcendent joys and grim disappointments than Terra Brockman’s lyrical account of a year on her brother’s downstate Illinois farm. It will fill you with admiration and wonder.

To earn a place on my overcrowded bookshelves a cookbook must have a distinctive point of view, one that amplifies or alters my perceptions. I may, for example, own more than a dozen Italian cookbooks, but each offers something unique. So it is with two books I hope to find wrapped in pretty paper under my tree next week.

plenty

Over the last six months, every time I’ve found myself in a bookstore I invariably gravitate to Plenty by London-based food writer, chef, and restaurant owner Yotam Ottolenghi. Now, I have at least a half-dozen vegetarian or vegetable-centric cookbooks at home but here I am, drooling over “Black Pepper Tofu” (this man puts butter on his tofu!), “Quinoa Salad with Dried Persian Lime,” “Cabbage and Kohlrabi Salad” (with dill and dried sour cherries!), and “Celeriac and Lentils with Hazelnut and Mint.” Ottolenghi regards food so familiar to me in a such a completely different light that it seems entirely new. Take celery root—for some reason I can’t seem to get enough of it this year. But I’ve never once thought of it as possessing “an elegant oily smoothness” as Ottolenghi describes it, and this has only heightened my obsession with the gnarly root. Nor has it ever occurred to me to transform a parsnip into a pillowy dumpling afloat in a vegetable broth enriched with prunes. This man has my attention. I hope someone out there takes the hint and drops this under my Christmas tree.

tender

Compare the tables of contents in Chez Panisse Vegetables, a cookbook I own and adore, with that of Nigel Slater’s Tender: A Cook and His Vegetable Patch, and we find they’re virtually identical. This hasn’t stopped me from coveting Slater’s book. Why? I feel a deep affinity for the rustic Mediterranean elegance of Chez Panisse’s food and use their vegetable cookbook more often than any other in my collection. But as I leaf through Tender’s pages, I slip into Slater’s companiable prose as easily as a well-worn sweater. Before I know it I’m swathed in his fragrant curries, soothing roast beef with tomato gravy, and luxurious cauliflower cheese. There’s something seductive, intimate and yes, tender, in the micro-universe of Slater’s kitchen and garden. Chicago’s chill is still flushed with holiday excitement and the luster still glows on winter’s sturdy roots and leaves. But come February, when eating local means mustering the resolve to face down the wilted cabbage and surfeit of beets in the root cellar, I want Nigel in the kitchen with me, braising a “Quick Cabbage Supper with Duck Legs,” and baking “An Extremely Moist Chocolate-Beet Cake with Créme Fraîche and Poppy Seeds.” I’ll happily make a place for Tender on my bookshelf.




I Dreamed About Writing About The Local Tomato I Had Last Week Until I Had One This Week

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Posted: December 16, 2011 at 10:43 am

I compose my best posts walking Molly the Eat Local Dog.  Eat local dog, of course because she is the dog of the Eat Local Family. Still, we gather more eat-local-ness when we commence the thrice a day walks.  We bundle in the tweedy, plaid-ish, LL Bean types of clothes to walk.  We do this for the same way they do it in the source of said look, the UK, to keep warm.  Yet, all that bundled, layered country look also makes us think of bundled layered country cooking; of long wooden tables and a saddle of hare, claret in the decanter as the good dining companion; of long Sunday lunches where that final bite of savory, the anchovy toasties, become a prelude to a crock of home-made soup for supper forthcoming.  City hipsters mostly begat the eat local lifestyle, but don’t most of us aspire to country gentry-hood?  We dream.

I dream and I compose.  Perhaps it is the clarity of thought that comes with the hyper-awareness needed to walk Molly the Eat Local Dog. We must remain vigil that one of her neighborhood enemies, the dreaded mixed Shepard, Piper from down the street, or the seemingly harmless–to us!–Springer, from the next block may appear from around the corner, and much hackles will be raised, teeth bared.  There may be a rabbit hidden to you but all so apparent to the endowed of nose; then the least becomes a cross-fit tool.  I like to think the attire of a prep school English teacher has me thinking like one, and as I walk Molly I compose posts, not just of exquisite detail, but with perfect parallal constructions and exquisite use of the pluperfect tense.  I drop Dublin references without even thinking about it.  Then, I arrive home.  Back in sloppy sweats I get sloppy thoughts.  What did I mean to say.

I compose awesome posts that I forget to enter.  You would not believe the posts left on the Molly walking trails.  Would you believe that only last week I thought about local tomatoes.  I had a glorious post roll around my head about the pleasure of tomatoes saved.  Funny thing happened though.  In waiting for that post to germinate I ate more local tomatoes. Yes.  Really.  I’m eating local tomatoes.  I mean tomatoes.  Not tomatoes as in put away tomatoes or tomatoes processed by my wife’s employer, Tomato Mountain, tomatoes.  Tomato tomatoes.  Last week I went for the last of a platter of fresh tomatoes gently nursed from green-ness to salad worthy over the course of several weeks.  Believe me, what ever was lacking here in tomato flavor, in tomato of summer heat, they made up for in the bittersweet way it comes when you meet up with a friend for what you know will be a long time hence.  See you next reunion and see you next harvest.  Just don’t see you on the pages of the Local Beet.

Besides why compose posts on last week’s tomatoes when I can compose posts on this week’s tomatoes. Monday, was the fog of red-eye arrival from Las Vegas, the wife not quite better, coming airport to pick me up (and that led to a chain reaction with the kids having to be up earlier to walk the dog, etc.).  No one was in a mood for cooking dinner, and we tried Melrose Park Mexican. Tuesday night, my wife tackled a surplus of greens; kales and chards, in her beloved slow cooker.  Wednesday night, what to eat on Wednesday. Surely, the way my wife slow cooks, we could have eaten more greens on Wednesday, but we figured we’d give that a day’s rest.  What.  What forced the issue, some freezer work by my wife.  In knocking some frost off a packaged of Crystal’s sausages, I tore the package.  What better way to cook her sausage than in the Jamie Oliver inspired dish where sausages are combined with cherry tomatoes and oven baked.  Where could there be local cherry tomatoes be in December.  Well, in the garage of the Local Family.  OK, not cherry tomatoes.  I mis-lead you.  They were juliet tomatoes.

Maybe a bit vapid from the temperature swings of the last several weeks, these tomatoes were not the one thing unnecessary to dinner. Moldy. They were in fine, red, oval, shape.  At least fine shape for a dish of Jamie Oliver’s design.  Baked with his necessary glugs of oil, it made for a highly delicious meal, especially when combined with wide Amish egg noodles.  You would think such a meal, in December would be a dream unless I posted about it.




Last Week of Fall, the Weekly Events Calendar

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Posted: December 14, 2011 at 12:39 pm

December 22nd  the official start of winter, is approaching. The Green Grocer’s most recent email update on their produce shares best describes what is available and what the farmers are up to.

Received word from our local farms that now all of their crops are out of the ground and into cold storage. The crops that remain store very well under proper conditions and would be considered the food staples of our recent ancestors who lived pre-refrigeration(or pre-supermarket for that matter.) Here is what is in their produce share for the week, carnival squash, carrots, beets, cabbage, gala apples and granny smith apples. There are still plenty of winter greens, kale, spinach, tatsoi at most of the markets as well.

Seems like a pretty good rendition of what you’ll find on the Local Calendar. Still, we also note that more and more farmers are using hoop houses to extend their growing seasons, so get to the markets and check out all that’s available! See our list below for what we think you can buy this week.

To assist you in your winter farmer’s marketing, we have this guide, and we also have a stocking up list for your to use. We’ve listed, below, the markets for this week, but you can also look at our master list of Chicago area winter markets.

WHAT TO BUY NOW

Since the Local Calendar still says Fall, it also says there’s more produce out there than you might expect Fruit-wise, there may be some pears, certainly Asian style “papples”, and grapes as well as various apples. Vegetable-wise, look for cold friendly fall crops like greenscabbagebroccoli, cauliflowerrocketlettucesspinachradishes, probably a pepper or two, and then continue to stock up on all the storage stuff: potatoesgarliconionssquash and the roots like turnipsbeetsrutabagas, etc.  Other items you may still find include leekssunchokes, and hearty herbs like cilantro, sage, and thyme.

WHERE TO FIND LOCAL FOODS

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

WHAT TO DO NOW

December 15

Chicago - Farmageddon – 6:15 pm Gene Siskel Theater Last chance to see this movie which is a documentary about the story of small family farms trying to provide healthy, good, foods to their communities and the obstacles they face from the government and corporate bureaucracies.

Chicago - Goodgreens.org meeting – 10am – 12pm – (Loop) This group envisions a region in which all residents have access to affordable, locally grown food and appreciate the importance of good nutrition for themselves, their families and their communities. This is a monthly meeting of mettings sponsored by the USDA. If you are interested in attending or want to find out more about it, please contact Alan Shannon of the USDA, his address is on the website.

December 16

Chicago – Ms. Mint’s Holiday Bazaar opens 3-8pm Grossing City Autoplex 1530 N. Dayton (Near Clybourn and North Avenue) Come on out to eat, shop, and share the festivity & fun at the 2nd annual local & fair trade gift bazaar.  Ms. Mint’s Holiday Bazaar is a curated grassroots gift bazaar that brings together incredible regional food artisans, fair trade businesses, designers, authors and community organizations. You will also have the opportunity to make your own artisan gift baskets!

December 17

Chicago - Green City Market – You will now find the market in its fall/winter home, the Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum.  Expect a wide range of cold weather produce –  8 AM – 1 PM There is an ATM in the building which makes it very convenient to stock up!

Chicago - 61st St/Experimental Station – 6100 S. Blackstone – 9AM – 2 PM

Chicago – Crop Mob at Growing Power’s Iron Street Urban Farm 2-5pm 3333 S. Iron St. Growing Power’s Iron Street Farm is located on the Southside of Chicago in a renovated warehouse space. Take a tour of this innovative 2.5-acre farm, help prepare new beehives for next spring, and learn about creating mushroom “chandeliers”.

Chicago – Ms. Mint’s Holiday Gift Bazaar – 11- 6pm Grossinger’s City Autoplex 1530 N. Dayton (Near Clybourn and North Avenue

Chicago - The Publican Seasonal Food Drive to benefit the Greater Chicago Food Depository 1:30pm – 3:30pm The Publican will be providing delicious snacks as well as giving a Complimentary brew to all who donate. In case you were wondering while culling your cupboards, “what to donate?” Here they are: peanut butter, canned vegetables, pasta, rice, cereal, chili, soup, tuna, beans and canned fruit.

Chicago – Empty Bottle 1035 N. Western Ave. hosts A Chili Home Companion It’s only $10 with money going to support Graze, a Chicago-based food-focused literary magazine. Fifteen cooks representing different restaurants including Bite Cafe, Birchwood Kitchen, Jam, Revolution Brewing, Burhop’s Seafood Market and more, will hit the Bottle while live music from local bands Cains & Abels, Angela James and Tin Tin Can will entertain the crowds.

Bolingbrook – Winter Farmer’s Market in Bolingbrook Church of St. Benedick in Bolingbrook 10 – 2pm 909 Lily Cache Lane Sponsored by Faith in Place

Elgin - Elgin Winter Market – 166 Symphony Way (right across the street from Centre -Kimball/Douglas) – 8 AM – 2 PM Here is a list of the vendors that will be there this Saturday.

Evanston – The NEWLY MINTED Evanston Indoor Farmer’s Market, at the Evanston Ecology Center, 2024 McCormick Blvd at Bridge St., (there is a large parking lot across the street), thrown by the Friends of the Evanston Market – Expect many of the vendors found at the summer Evanston markets, see here for a list of vendors and other information on the market – 2024 McCormick – 9 AM – 1 PM

Geneva - Geneva Green Market – Note, the market has moved to a new location, 27 N. Bennett (Geneva Place) – 9 AM – 1 PM

Grayslake – This market in the far north suburb starts early and ends late.  Dress warm as it’s outdoors – Whitney and Center Streets 10 AM – 2 PM

Woodstock – This large suburban market moves indoor this weekend to the McHenry County Farm Bureau building at 1102 McConnell Rd. in Woodstock, just off Route 47 – 8 AM – 1 PM

December 18

Chicago - Logan Square Farmer’s Market – This market moves indoor to the Congress Theater, 2135 N. Milwaukee. Randy Brockway says his Brockway Farms will still have many local vegetables including baby spinach and cauliflower – 10-2pm

Glencoe - Winter Farmers’ Market at the Chicago Botanic Garden – 10-2pm 1000 Lake Cook Road Features seasonal produce, herbs, wreaths, handmade pottery, honey and more.

SAVE THE DATE!

March 15-17

Chicago Good Food Festival – More soon!




The Local Beet’s Gift Guide for 2011

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Posted: December 13, 2011 at 5:56 pm

I’m going to go out on a limb and say that most locavores were not standing in line at midnight on Black Friday for the latest hot gift. Locavores, those strange denizens that avoid the convenience of the supermarket for the rush of finding the perfect, but odd-shaped heirloom tomato, generally favor, well, odd gifts. If you’re like us, then this is your gift guide.

For The Food-Lover

Local cheese. For instance, Uplands Rush Creek Reserve. (Keighty wrote about it here.) A cult favorite, it is released periodically and sells out. My suggestion would be to contact either Marion Street Cheese Market, Provenance or Pastoral and ask about their stock, and maybe request to be put on a list for when the next shipment arrives. It’s worth the wait.

Local Honey. Chicago Honey Co-Op’s honey is made from Chicago bees. As reported recently on the Beet, Chicago Honey Co-Op lost the land for its apiaries, and is soliciting support. This is as good a time as ever to support them.

Sustainable, local caviar from Collins Caviar. Or Jo Snow syrups for coffee, Italian soda, or snow cones. Or canned goods from River Valley Kitchens. How does rum or bourbon-infused local maple syrup sound to you? Then try Burton’s Maplewood Farm. Or some of Lee’s scrumptious local pantry items.

For the meat-lover, The Butcher and Larder is offering gift cards, as well as taking orders for Allie Levitt’s famous Migas Bark and Shortbread (but hurry – orders need to be in by December 18th).

A deck of restaurant discounts from A La Card. This well-curated, Beet-approved, list of restaurants includes many that are focused on sustainable, local cuisine.

For The Home Cooks

As Kim our Cookbook Addict wrote, Martha Bayne’s Soup and Bread Cookbook is a local find. All recipes in the cookbook are for soups brought by volunteers in Martha’s soup-and-bread events at The Hideout in Chicago. (Stay tuned for Kim’s list of locavore-focused cookbooks.)  You might have been following David Hammond’s Root Cellar Diaries or maybe you started a root cellar yourself — Rob suggests this cookbook to help you find recipes for those overwintered vegetables.

For The Local Tippler

For the mixologist, I recommend two whiskeys — both local. I’m really enjoying Lion’s Pride single-barrel, single-grain organic whiskeys, and they’re made in Chicago by Koval, Chicago’s first post-Prohibition distillery. Another favorite is Templeton Rye, made in Iowa.  Check Lush Wine & Spirits (throughout Chicago), Green Grocer, and Binny’s for these bottles.  I’d also recommend one of Koval’s liqueurs, made in  flavors such as chrysanthemum honey, ginger, jasmine, coffee, and my favorite, rosehip. On the other hand, for brunch, nothing beats a bloody mary, and Tomato Mountain has a mix made from organic tomatoes, celery and jalapeños grown on their farm in Wisconsin. (Also sold at Green Grocer in Chicago. Note: Rob’s wife works for Tomato Mountain.)

Ever go to The Violet Hour and covet their eyedropper bottles of housemade bitters behind the bar? For $10 or so, Bittercube Bitters gets you close to having one, as well as a terrific stocking stuffer. Bittercube makes “slow-crafted Midwest bitters” (they’re made in Milwaukee) in unique combinations like cherry bark vanilla, two types of Jamaican-inspired bitters, and Blackstrap (with molasses, clove, sassafras and sarsaparilla aroma and flavors). They are sold at Lush Wine & Spirits, Green Grocer, and most liquor stores in Chicagoland.

For those friends satisfied with a good brew, Tom’s tried all the local, seasonal beers.

For The Outdoorsperson

For the year-round fisherman, how about a “certificate” for a day of fishing at Rushing Waters in Palmyra, Wisconsin (no license required)? Rushing Waters’ fish is served at many Chicago restaurants for a premium (with good reason), and catching them yourself costs only a fraction of the price. Otherwise, you can order fish from them directly. Rushing Waters promises that all orders are filled when placed – so your fish will be swimming at the time you order.

The Gift That Says You Should Eat Local

A CSA subscription! Our full searchable, sortable list from 2011 is a great place to start.

For The Preserver

Most grocery and hardware stores carry starter packs of Ball jars in assorted sizes (I recommend 1/2 pints for jam, pints for canning vegetables, and quarts for juice). But for the more ardent and experienced canner, check out the sleekly-designed Weck canning jars, produced in Crystal Lake.

Just getting started, get them some lessons from the Glass Rooster.

For the Preserver Who Never Gets Around to It

Dried fruits from Seedling Farm.

Jams from Rare Bird Preserves.

For The Marketeer

Consider a membership to the Green City Market for an ardent GCM shopper.

Know a fan of the much-lauded Madison farmer’s market? The market offers signature logo totes.

The Local Foods Wheel will help you eat seasonally even in winter (Rob collaborated with several others on this project).

For The Gardener or the Home

It’s paperwhite and amaryllis time — Green Grocer offers them from Illinois Specialty Cut Flowers, a family owned sustainable flower grower in Huntleigh, Illinois.

Our resident urban gardeners, Ava George Stewart and Peg Wolfe, have weighed in with their suggestions. Ava suggests that Earthboxes would be great gifts for urban gardeners. Here’s a starter kit. Also making great gifts: Heated seed flats or Kneeling cushions.

Peg suggests subscriptions to really good gardening magazines, such as Garden Design, BBC Gardens Illustrated, Organic Gardening, or Horticulture. Ava vouches for Garden & Gun.

For The Charitably-Minded

If you’d like to make a donation to an hyper-local organization in lieu of a gift, may we suggest the Oak Park River Forest Food Pantry (an organization close to the heart of Beet Founder, Rob Gardner), or Purple Asparagus, the organization that Melissa Graham (aka the Sustainable Cook) is dedicated to that brings families back to the table by promoting and enjoying all the things associated with good eating.

Some other worthy organizations that we support:




Root Cellar Diary 5: Opening of the Eyes

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Posted: December 12, 2011 at 2:54 pm

Eyes on potatoes, courtesy David Hammond

Eyes on potatoes, courtesy David Hammond

Using our root cellar regularly for almost a month, we’ve gained some insights into its value, as well as its care and  maintenance.
  • It’s important to visit the root cellar at least every other day. Regular visits are critical because it’s too easy to forget about what you have in there. It’s also necessary to monitor the  produce. The sprouting eyes that have appeared on the potato in the picture popped out within the last three days, and some of the apples develop weird rot rather quickly and have to be removed immediately. Because we had a relatively slow start to winter this year, warmer temps in the root cellar might account for the eyes on the potatoes and the wilting apples.
  • The root cellar is a re-fillable resource. We’re not living in the days before refrigeration when the harvest was put into the root cellar in late autumn and then provided for the household all winter. Given that one can buy local apples and potatoes at Caputo’s right now, there’s no reason why we shouldn’t buy in bulk every six weeks or so and simply replace what we’ve eaten with new stuff.  The food distributors know how to store this food better than we do, so I’d rather let them keep it as long as possible before bringing it into the root cellar.
  • The root cellar is basically a big refrigerator. Now that we think of our old dark room as a place for food storage, we’re expanding our notion of what we can keep in there. For instance, we bought a case of champagne a few weeks ago that I’m storing, as well as a few bottles of white and red wine.  Keeping beverages chilled in the root cellar is a great way to make sure they’re always pretty much ready to drink. Even if the bottles need a few more hours in the refrigerator to get extra cold, at least they’ve had a head start…and we’ve used free energy from nature to get them there.
  • The root cellar is a major convenience. Though initially I thought that storing food all winter would be a chore, it turns out that having a root cellar is really a very convenient way to keep large quantities of food around, which minimizes trips to the grocery store and simplifies the preparation of last-minute dinners.
  • We eat more vegetables because they’re there, in the root cellar. Knowing that we have a sizeable stockpile of produce in the basement is an encouragement to eat more of the stuff…and there are few people who would argue that we don’t all need to eat more of our vegetables.

One downside: mice.  I noticed that one of my sweet potatoes had nibble marks on it, and it looks like a mouse (or, likely, mice) crept in when I had the basement door open to move in some supplies.  Having all this food around is an invitation to pests.

Still, overall, our experience with the root cellar has so far been very good.




’tis the Season for Local Beers (with an update)

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Posted: December 12, 2011 at 5:11 am

Beers really should be seasonal treats. There’s a reason most of the mainstream BudMilCoors products are called “lawnmower beers.”  They’re light, rather flavorless drinks, but can be marginally refreshing on a hot afternoon, if water isn’t readily available. But they rarely have any flavors (despite football ads to the contrary) that you’d like to sip and contemplate.

Lately, though, we’ve turned to the season where all the landscaping firms are attaching snow plows to the front of their pickup trucks, and families are starting to think about how nice it would be to burn a few logs in the fireplace (high-rise denizens … sorry about the lack of real fireplaces).

It’s a time to sip, and a time to contemplate everything the season represents. So, by definition then, it’s a time for winter beers.

What is a winter beer? One easy definition is that it’s anything that has “Winter” or “Christmas” on the label. But typically, they’re darker beers, usually with a higher alcohol content than lawnmower beers – say, 6.0% ABV or higher. (The alcohol content is part of the reason these beers are often called “Winter Warmers.”) And if “Christmas” is in the name, or hinted on the label, the beer may be flavored with some of the same herbs and spices that might also be used for a mulled wine.

Is it just a gimmick to sell some different beers during the cooler months? Maybe, but it does have a historical precedent.

“In New York, and also in some other of the middle colonies, it was customary before the revolution, to have brewed a sufficient time before the holyday season to give it due age and strength, a large quantity of what they called “right strong Christmas beer,” so says The United States Democratic Review, Volume 3 , Making of America Project 1854.

And perhaps the tradition is even older. The holiday tune “Here We Come A-Wassailing” refers to hard cider with spices and herbs. But possibly even prior to that, ”Good King Wenceslas” in the 13th century restricted hops sales outside Bohemia, so brewers found all sorts of other herbs and spices to flavor their beers. (And, of course, beer was a drink of choice then, since, being boiled, it didn’t have the bacterial load that “fresh” water had in those days.) It’s unclear, but Wassail may have referred to beers then, too. (Thanks, beerhistory.com.)

Whatever the history, it’s a trend the craft brew industry has fervently embraced. So, strictly as a public service to you, dear readers, I forced myself to sample a random number of local or regional winter or Christmas beers. A few notes:

L to r Summit Winter Ale, Goose Island 2011 Christmas Ale, Three Floyds Alpha Klaus, Bell's Winter Ale, Leinenkugel Fireside Nut Brown,Goose Island 2009 Christmas Ale, Sand Creek's (Beaver Falls, Wisconsin) Lilja Sasquatch Stout

L to r Summit Winter Ale, Goose Island 2011 Christmas Ale, Three Floyds Alpha Klaus, Bell's Winter Ale, Leinenkugel Fireside Nut Brown,Goose Island 2009 Christmas Ale, Sand Creek's (Beaver Falls, Wisconsin) Lilja Sasquatch Stout

Chicago’s Goose Island’s 2011 Christmas Ale – a brown ale – doesn’t seem to be spiced much, but has a tan, short-lived head, and rich caramel flavors with a big mouth feel. It comes in at 6.2% ABV. According to the bottle, it’s ageable up to five years (which Goose typically puts on its better beers, but many may benefit from even further aging, as I noted here). In the eloquent evaluation of a friend, “Hey, this stuff is pretty good.”

Goose Island 2009 Christmas Ale – “dreams of Christmas past” – is still available at selected stores. It definitely demonstrates the value of cellaring a beer for a couple of years, with its rounded, rich, roasty flavors and light tan, long-lasting head. Goose tweaks its Christmas ale recipe every year, so anyone with four or consecutive five years of Goose Island Christmas Ales should contact tkeith@thelocalbeet.com immediately.

As good as those are, possibly the best of the area’s winter beers is – not surprisingly – from Munster Indiana’s Three Floyds.  Alpha Klaus, described as a seasonal relative of its signature Alpha King, is an Imperial Porter, redolent with American hops, a light brown, long-lasting fine-beaded head, and a roasty finish that might last all night long, or at least until a Mr. Claus falls down the chimney. As a big, dark beer, at 7.5% ABV, it’s no wonder that Ratebeer gives it the rare rating of 100 out of 100 points.

On the other end of the scale, Kalamazoo, Michigan-area’s Bell’s Winter White Ale is a winter ale in a Belgian witbier style. That is, it’s a bit hazy, full of citrus and banana aromas, and relatively light and refreshing at 5% ABV. Worth checking out.

But not all winter beers as impressive as these. For instance, Chippewa Falls, Wisconsin’s Leinenkugel’s  Fireside Nut Brown (“Beer with natural flavor”), now from MillerCoors’ Tenth and Blake subsidiary, has, to its credit, a dark, prune-y flavor, roast burnt aroma, but at 4.9% ABV it’s not enough to support the additional thin, flat, hazelnut character. They’re playing it safe.

Also, as they say, “beyond the Cheddar curtain,” Hinterland Winterland is a porter brewed with a subtle touch of juniper berries. A nice, dark beer without too much spicing (after all, it’s beer, not gin). It’s brewed right across the street from Lambeau Field, so this could well be the beer for fair weather fans who want to jump on the bandwagon of a football team that’s having a particularly good year. (As a life-long Cubs fan, I’m used to struggling through difficult times. I’ll struggle though this year’s Bears season, too.)

A few others … Local Beet fave Metropolitan had a holiday-spiced version of its Dynamo Copper Lager at Michael Diversey’s (670 W. Diversey, Chicago); there might be a bit of it left there, or possibly at other premium beer bars around town.

And, December 16 will see the release of Chicago’s Half Acre’s Big Hugs Imperial Stout. If you can wait in line at their Lincoln Avenue store (4257 North Lincoln Avenue  Chicago), do it, otherwise visit the Blind Robin (853 N. Western Ave., Chicago, for its initial pouring on draft.

big_hugs_2011-desktop-575

Let me know how many local seasonal beers I’ve missed.

UPDATE: Big Hugs Imperial Stout has been a big hit. In three days, over 75 ratings have come into Ratebeer, and raters are using language like “Tasted like crazy layers of citrus and spice, dates, fruits, chocolate of course, coffee, roasted perfectly,”  “Deep roasty aroma with hints of coffee/espresso bean, silky chocolate malt, molasses, caramel, toffee and hazelnut. I’m also picking up some slight lactic cream, burnt toast and subtle hops, “  and  “Overall, this is an intense coffee experience that only becomes thicker and more coffee-like as it warms. An amazing beer, I’m starting to become a big fan of Half Acre…” It’s received a rare rating of 98 out of 100.

I’m also increasingly impressed with what Half Acre is turning out.


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The Inaugural Evanston Winter Market – 12/3/2011

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Posted: December 9, 2011 at 11:14 am

The first session of this new off-season market was held on December 3, on a chilly, rainy day, the sort of day that made both buyers and sellers deeply appreciate being indoors!  Several of the downtown farmers market stalwarts are participating, including Nichols Farm & Orchard (with many late-season apples for holiday baking), Brunkow Cheese, River Valley Ranch mushrooms, and Henry’s Farm.  There are several surprising new additions, such as Pasta Puttana and Salted Caramel, making the market a timely addition for the holiday shopper (a combo of a pack of Salted Caramel’s stout-infused marshmallows and a bag of salted caramel cocoa mix would make a clever and tasty stocking stuffer or office gift).   In addition to these vendors, all kinds of wares are being offered: meat, eggs & poultry by C&D Family farms, Michigan blueberries, baked goods and pastries, honey, jams and preserves, coffee, and even ice cream, plus a handy knife sharpening service, just in time for holiday dinner roast-carving.

Do try and stop by the Crust & Crumb booth, run by market manager and driving force Dennis Clarkson, who needs to be commended for his tenacity, as the market’s first location, the long-vacant former site of Evanston’s late, lamented Oak Street Market, fell through in a last-minute legal tangle over estate probate issues regarding the ownership of the property.   At the proverbial 11th hour, the City of Evanston stepped in and provided the current site, at the city-owned Evanston Ecology Center, located at 2024 McCormick Boulevard, in the Ladd Arboretum.   While the property is very picturesque and leafy, and provides a decent-sized parking lot for shoppers, be aware that the building in which the market is being held is small for the number of vendors, and it can be challenging to move around during the market’s peak time – Henry’s Farm’s organic produce was actually being sold outside, on the small, chilly (but thankfully covered) back patio of the building.  Several sellers are actually located in the hallway leading to the larger great room, which unfortunately creates a bottleneck of shoppers; hopefully, the layout and traffic flow issues will work themselves out in the coming weeks.

Keep in mind that this market begins later than the spring/summer morning markets – the hours are 9:00 am til 1:00 PM, so plan accordingly.  The market will run until April 28, 2012, with no market being held on December 24 or December 31.  Even with the small-space issues, the Winter Market is worth a visit, particularly for north side/North Shore lovers of good food.




What’s Interesting (Apple-wise) at Caputo’s

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Posted: December 9, 2011 at 9:32 am

We keep on saying it, Hammond says it, look to your neighborhood store, especially if your neighborhood store is Angelo Caputo’s for high quality local food, even as winter approaches.  Our sources report that right now, Caputo’s does not just have Michigan apples, but some pretty interesting varieties of Michigan apples.  No, not anything really heirloom-y, your turly winesaps, your northern spies; pearmains or newtown pippens.  Still, beyond red and yellow delicious, this week’s apples include the tart mutsu (the Michigan granny smith!), good for salads and pies; the baked apple, apple, rome (good for other baking too when you expect a soft apple texture), and the nicely nuanced and well kept fall variety, fuji.  All these non-run of the mill apples, could be had for 49 cents/lb.

On a related but un-related note, we all look for these other apples to avoid red delicious apples right?  Well, as innocuous as a red delicious apple can be, the ones from Michigan are, really, not that bad.  Don’t be afraid to mix a few into your winter eating as they are excellent keepers.

There are several Angelo Caputo’s in the Chicago area.  This report was based on the inventory of local apples at the Elmwood Park location, 2400 N. Harlem (at Grand).




Chicago Honey Co-Op Must Move & Asks For Your Support

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Posted: December 8, 2011 at 12:25 pm

As you might have heard, Chicago’s own Honey Co-Op — maker of great things with über-local honey — lost its land after eight years. The land on which their apiaries have stood in the North Lawndale neighborhood is being sold, and Chicago Honey Co-Op must move by winter of 2012. This means that they will have to move their hives this winter (by April, 2012), when the hives are less cumbersome with fewer bees and less honey. Michael Thompson, Chicago Honey Co-Op’s Farm Manager, has said that they don’t expect to find a new plot of land as large as their current one, and need your support to raise $20,000 by February 1st to cover the costs of moving and to rent new space — hopefully three smaller plots. They currently have a few possibilities for a new home base, but nothing is set in stone. They wish to remain in North Lawndale, where they have served that community as not only an urban farm, but as a gathering point and place of learning.

If you would like to donate to Chicago Honey Co-Op, tax-deductible contributions to their pooled fund can be made to the Crossroads Fund, online through this link: https://npo.networkforgood.org/Donate/Donate.aspx?npoSubscriptionId=530 or by check to Crossroads Fund, 3411 W. Diversey, #20, Chicago, IL 60647. Just make sure to note that your gift supports the Honey Co-Op in the notes section of the webpage or on your check.




Moving Into Winter The Local Calendar

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Posted: December 8, 2011 at 9:09 am

Well, we are not quite there yet but we are a couple weeks away from the Winter Solstice, December 22nd and the official start of winter, until then lets still enjoy what’s left of the bounties of the Fall harvest. Saturday and Sunday are predicted to be sunny for all those hustling to the farmers markets across Chicagoland. What we mean is that we want you to continue to search for and consume “fall” in your locavore efforts.  Of course, you should also be making haste in your efforts to put-away for those actual snowy days, but in the next few weeks, think fall: broccoli, brussels spruts, kale and other greens, maybe a stray green pepper.  You’ll have plenty of time to live on rutabagas and other roots from the cellar.

To assist you in your winter farmer’s marketing, we have this guide, and we also have a stocking up list for your to use. We’ve listed, below, the markets for this week, but you can also look at our master list of Chicago area winter markets.

WHAT TO BUY NOW

Since the Local Calendar still says Fall, it also says there’s more produce out there than you might expect Fruit-wise, there may be some pears, certainly Asian style “papples”, and grapes as well as various apples. Vegetable-wise, look for cold friendly fall crops like greenscabbagebroccoli, cauliflowerrocketlettucesspinachradishes, probably a pepper or two, and then continue to stock up on all the storage stuff: potatoesgarliconionssquash and the roots like turnipsbeetsrutabagas, etc.  Other items you may still find include leeks, sunchokes, and hearty herbs like cilantro, sage, and thyme.

WHERE TO FIND LOCAL FOODS

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

As Hammond notes in his root cellar diary, it is possible to buy good quality local food at your neighborhood grocery store.  We see tons of Michigan apples at Caputo’s, and not just plain ones, but interesting varieties like fuji.  Whole Foods has an assortment of stuff, primarily from Wisconsin’s Harmony Valley Farm.  We’ve also spotted Michigan concord grapes at Whole Foods.

WHAT TO DO NOW

December 9

Chicago – Friday 7:30pm Showing of the movie The Greenhorns, a documentary film about the challenges of young farmers across America, at The Plant, 1400 W. 46th Street, Chicago. The Plant is a vertical farm, food business incubator, research and education space in what was the Buehler Brothers packing plant near the old Union Stockyards.

December 10

Chicago - Green City Market – You will now find the market in its cold weather home, the Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum.  Expect a wide range of cold weather produce –  8 AM – 1 PM This Saturday is Free Tote Bag Day, get them while they last!

Chicago - 61st St/Experimental Station – 6100 S. Blackstone – 9AM – 2 PM

Chicago – Screening Farmageddon Gene Siskel Film Center 3pm Green City Market members pay $7 The movie is a documentary about the unseen war on American family farms.

Elgin - Elgin Winter Market – 166 Symphony Way (right across the street from Centre -Kimball/Douglas) – 8 AM – 2 PM Here is a list of the vendors that will be there this Saturday.

Evanston – The NEWLY MINTED Evanston Indoor Farmer’s Market, at the Evanston Ecology Center, 2024 McCormick Blvd at Bridge St., (there is a large parking lot across the street), thrown by the Friends of the Evanston Market – Expect many of the vendors found at the summer Evanston markets, see here for a list of vendors and other information on the market – 2024 McCormick – 9 AM – 1 PM

Geneva – Geneva Green Market – Note, the market has moved to a new location, 27 N. Bennett (Geneva Place) – 9 AM – 1 PM

Grayslake – This market in the far north suburb starts early and ends late.  Dress warm as it’s outdoors – Whitney and Center Streets 10 AM – 2 PM

Woodstock – This large suburban market moves indoor this weekend to the McHenry County Farm Bureau building at 1102 McConnell Rd. in Woodstock, just off Route 47 – 8 AM – 1 PM

December 11

Chicago – The Glenwood Sunday Market – The Glenwood Bar, 6962 N Glenwood, Farmers, Food Artisans, Crafters and More!

Chicago - Logan Square Farmer’s Market – This market moves indoor to the Congress Theater, 2135 N. Milwaukee. Randy Brockway says his Brockway Farms will still have many local vegetables including baby spinach and cauliflower – 10 AM – 2 PM

Chicago – Andersonville Winter Market – The Andersonville winter market is the third Sunday of each month. This month is hosted by The First Evangelical Free Church, 5255 North Ashland, sponsored by Faith in Place. - 1130 AM – 330 PM

Chicago – Countrybelly Pop-Up -10am -2pm Chef Bill Kim will host his second Countrybelly pop-up. Taking place at Belly Shack (1912 N. Western), Countrybelly will focus on classic Southern dishes done with an Asian spin. The main courses, which include fried chicken with corn bread and chorizo gravy; tofu skillet with bok choy, Chinese black beans and potatoes; and challah French toast with bananas, coconut cream and Vietnamese cinnamon caramel, range in price between $9 and $12. Various sides will also be available, but reservations won’t. The first-come, first-served brunch is also BYO.

Chicago – Farmageddon – 5:15pm Gene Siskel Film Center

December 12

Chicago – Farmageddon – 7:30pm Gene Siskel Film Center

Chicago - Food Truck Meetup – 5-8pm Location TBD(check link) Sponsored by the Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce this is a forum to bring together, food truck owners, operators, restaurants, individuals who want to start a food truck, AND fans of food trucks can meet, socialize, and learn about the obstacles and opportunities in this new industry. Many if not all of the food trucks source local as much as possible so this is an opportunity to support this growing niche in street food.

December 14

Chicago – Open House – 4-6:30 Faith in Place 70 East Lake St. Suite 920 Join us for an Open House at our office in the loop!  You’ll have a chance to chat with the staff and meet other friends of Faith in Place as we celebrate the end of another great year. We love to end the year with a little good food, a splash of something warm and celebratory and the company of our good friends. No program, no agenda, we won’t even ask you to donate! Just come and share a little community spirit with us as the year winds down.

December 15

Chicago – Farmageddon – 6:15 pm Gene Siskel Theater

SAVE THE DATE!

Friday December 16 3-8pm Saturday December 17 11-6pm Ms. Mint Local & Fair Trade Gift Bazaar 3-8pm Grossinger Autoplex(near North Avenue and Clybourn) Curated grassroots gift bazaar that brings together regional food artisans, fair trade businesses, designers, authors, community organizations and more!

March 15-17

Chicago Good Food Festival – More soon!




Local Beeter You Gotta Go to Ms. Mint’s Holiday Gift Bazaar Tuesday, December 6th, 2011
Crop Mob Hits Spence Farm Again Monday, December 5th, 2011
Morton Grove Winter Market on Saturday Friday, December 2nd, 2011
The Local Calendar Still Says Fall Friday, December 2nd, 2011