Pork Belly at Home

By
Posted: August 30, 2012 at 6:01 pm


Most people buy their dad a practical gift for Father’s Day, but I’m not so good at those. I just can’t bring myself to go get him another shirt. This year I knew that my gift for my dad would come from Becker Lane – I assumed it would be some of their gorgeous pork chops. But as I got to chatting with the guys there, I decided to be bold and buy a piece of pork belly. It’s always the most succulent item on the menu that you never make at home. He was delighted and surprised by how random I went and we agreed that we would make it together.

I do believe that a piece of pork belly would be excellent smoked on the grill (Labor Day ideas, anyone?), however, we slow cooked it in the oven using Lara Calder’s recipe. It was succulent and juicy and agonizingly sweet yet savory. It was perfect. We served it over lentils, as Lara suggests, but you could roast beets or something similarly earthy to keep it as local as possible. Lara Calder creates this gorgeous glaze with water and apple cider vinegar to start and then honey and mustard brushed over top of the fat as it cooks. You could serve this for company as an alternative to burgers on the grill and most of the ingredients you can find from local people around here. Surprise your loved ones with some pork belly. The shock and awe factor will be excellent and the end result is delicious.

Kelly Hewitt cooks her way through life forcing herself to try new things. Her obsessions include canning and learning how to grow her own vegetables this summer! Kelly loves cooking fairly minimally and buying food from people that she actually knows. Catch up with Kelly’s blogging at Kelly’s Kitchen




Finding Our Everlasting Meal

By
Posted: August 30, 2012 at 4:02 pm

Despite the paucity of posts this summer, myself and my family remains committed to being a Local Family. Each week we get a box from Tomato Mountain Farm*. I add to that with trips to area farmer’s markets. For instance, we get a lot of our fruit from Hardin Farms who sell at the Oak Park Market. I like the Asian variety cucumbers sold by Lucky Duck at Elmwood Park. I’m more than happy finding local food at my neighborhood Caputo’s grocery. And, guiding me all the time, Tamar Adler and her recent book, Everlasting Meal. If I did I blog at all, I blogged about “Tamar-ing.” What I did not tell you that for a good part of the summer, we Tamar’d without Tamar. We lost our Everlasting Meal.

We found our Tamar last week. Fittingly, we found our Tamar as we were finally getting back to Tamar-ing. We lost our Tamar like we lose a lot of things in the Bungalow. We are a Local Family of slobs. We are a Local Family of clutter. We are a Local Family of books, and lots of them. We do, after all, call one of the Family, the Cook Book Addict. The Addict thought she lost the book, but given where a daughter found it, it seems that someone younger than the Addict mis-placed it. See, as the picture shows, we found it packed away with some of the kid’s books. As I’ve said so often, it’s a great book to have, and a great book to refer to often. It really helps you lead a local life.

I said we remained committed to being a Local Family this summer, but you probably guessed also that the paucity of posts had something to do with a lack of actually being a Local Family this summer. At least as the summer wound down. We planned a trip to Memphis and Nashville (of which I plan a post), and before traveling we could not make the usual piles of food. Once back, we moved almost immediately to the process of getting one member of the Local Family off to University, which meant many trips to Target before finally getting her there. Reduced by twenty-five percent, we are getting back in our Local Family stride.

Stride means Tamar-ing. Tamar-ing means tacking large swathes of produce to create tasty, nutritious bases for many meals to come.

To Tamar means to strip leaves of kale from their stems. To Tamar means to then wash those leaves well because kale, like all cooking greens, maintain much grit. To Tamar means melting a few anchovy fillets in olive oil, and adding the we leaves to a nice high side pan. Include a hot pepper, sliced. This bowl of greens makes a fine side or can be used, as Tamar notes, as a base for later dishes like pasta. It goes well scrambled with eggs.

To Tamar means topping and tailing a few quarts of green beans, something necessary even with our modern string-less beans. Ready, I have many ways to go. I like making a green bean salad with local blue cheese and walnuts. I like cooking them in bacon grease, crumbling the crisp bits on the finished dish. I especially like making them as above, suffocated. That is saute an onion, add the beans and several fresh tomatoes, squished (a good use for tomatoes we had gone very soft).  Cover the pan and then let them stew with just this little bit of liquid.  Suffocated.  On top of rice or with some potatoes, this could stand as meal on its own.

When ever I Tamar, I always make a few salads. One of my favorite easy salads is to marinate cucumbers and onions. All it takes is a glob of rice vinegar, a good pinch of salt and my beloved chili’s.

This is what a bunch of Tamar-ing looks like at dinner. Tamar would tell you besides making those cukes, make a point of getting your lettuces washed and ready. She might also lead you to grill a bunch of eggplants, an onion, a few plum tomatoes, and a jalapeno. Peel the tomato and chop all the other stuff. Season, mix with olive oil and lemon juice.

Also on the plate, “kefta”, which is what we call it when I add minced onions and spices to ground meat and a salsa crudo or pico de gallo kinda relish. Not pictured, a potato salad made.

The real purpose of Tamar-ing, however, is not just to have dinner.  It is to have an everlasting meal.  All of the items above have worked their way into other family meals.  It is easy to sit to a delicious meal of local food when you’ve already Tamar’d.

Subsequent to this bout of Tamar-ing, my wife did caponata. She amazed me by whipping up this mix of eggplant, celery, olives, and tomatoes in between a round of shopping and getting out to her job. I also converted yogurt, other cucumbers and garlic into tzediki. Later today, I plan on cooking down a bunch of peppers into peppernata or will it be lecso. Now that we found our book, you should hear a lot more from me again.

*My wife works for Tomato Mountain.




Local Calendar 8/30/12 Enjoy the Last Days of Summer!!

By
Posted: August 30, 2012 at 1:10 pm

            One of the benefits at working at a farm stand is the early rays of the sun in the morning, the Little Prince was right about the beauty of sunrise and sunset. I was lucky to work for Kinnikinnick Farm this past Wednesday so had a different view of the Green City Market. Their tables were full of heirloom tomatoes, Black Russians, Kellogg’s Breakfast, Early Girls and the beautiful Gold Medals(pictured above) that were at their peak of ripeness. Wednesday was a great day to be outside, the market was busy and I have to say, the cantaloupe soda from Seasons Soda was incredible, really light, refreshing and thirst quenching. Wednesday was a great day!! If you missed it, Vince Gerasole from CBS Chicago filmed a live segment with Peter Klein from Seedling Farm here at the Green City Market pretty darn early on Wednesday!

The Green City Market Locavore Challenge 2012 runs Saturday 9/8/12 through Sunday 9/15/12. The market will be offering all sorts of programs and events to be supportive of your efforts, sign the pledge and get more information here.

Lots to do this Labor Day weekend, including the Check Please! Farm To Table Fest, Sunday, in Baroda, MI that will include many Chicago farm to table chefs. More Farm Dinners have popped up on the calendar, so there is a lot to check out below!! You can sign up for a Fall CSA, here is our CSA guide compiled by Beet Associate Editor Wendy Aeschlimann. Green Grocer’s Fall Produce Shares run 9/11 through 12/22. What to buy and where to buy local, Chief Beet Rob Gardner is on top of it all here. Now onto this busy weekend!!!!!!!!

August 30

Chicago – Daley Center Farmers Market

Chicago – Meet the Market Green City Market Junior Board – At Ada Street 1664 N. Ada St. with Kinnikinnick Farm 6pm

September 1

FD!! Champaign  - Prairie Fruits Farm Dinner -”Fish Fry”  4410 N. Lincoln Ave. (Champaign, not Chicago) Meal prepared by Sunday Dinner Chefs Joshua Kulp and Christine Cikowski out of Chicago, 4 course meal BYOB $65. SOLD OUT

Chicago – Green City Market -Southern end of Lincoln Park, 7am to 1pm. Cleetus Friedman of City Provisions will be the guest chef.

Chicago – 61st Market sponsored by Experimental Station –  Go to their website for further details. New vendors include Penny Pastries, look for Axel.

Evanston –  The Downtown Evanston Farmers Market 7:30am to 1pm at University Place and Oak Ave.(just east of Railroad Ave.) behind the Hilton Garden Inn. Free parking is at the adjacent 1500 Maple garage.

Joliet – Mid-America Homesteading Conference

Oak Park –  Oak Park Farmers Market – 460 Lake St just one block west of Ridgeland Ave. 7am – 1pm The Market is much more than a farmers’ market. It is an Oak Park tradition, a Saturday gastronomic event (the donuts have a devoted following), a concert site, a social event and a great place to pick up super-fresh produce, traditional and unusual plants, fresh cheeses, honey, flowers, vinegars, herbs, and much more.

Woodstock – Woodstock Farmers Market 8am – 1pm at historic Woodstock Square

September 2

Baroda, MI – Check Please!Farm to Table Fest at Round Barn Winery A short drive from Chicago, a great list of chefs is already on the docket. Tickets start at $75 and VIP tickets are $150.

Chicago - The Logan Square Farmer’s Market 10-3pm  Logan Boulevard

Chicago – The Glenwood Sunday Outdoor Market 9am – 2pm Glenwood Avenue on the west side of the CTA Red Line between Morse and Lunt Avenues in Rogers Park from June 3 – October 28, 2012

Frankfort – Frankfort Country Market Downtown Frankfort – 10-2.

SAVE THE DATE

September 5

Chicago – The Hideout Veggie Bingo- 1354 West Wabansia 5:30pm – 8 Free hot dogs provided by Hot Doug’s Win fresh produce provided by Irv and Shelleys Fresh Picks. $2 a card, 3 for $5 Callers Jon Langord and Martin Billheimer Proceeds this week benefit Jelly Bean Garden

FD!! Glencoe - Chicago Botanic Garden Farm Dinner Series 5-8pm Cocktail Hour by Death’s Door, Dinner by City Provisions, Bell’s BreweryLynfred Winery

September 6

Chicago – 2nd Annual Local Tap Takeover The Village Tap – 5pm 2055 W. Roscoe All 26 of their draft beers will be from breweries inside Chicago or the suburbs.

Lisle- Get The Buzz On, The Start of Bee Weekend at the Morton Arboretum – Honey Mead Dinner 6pm $50 with Wild Blossom Meadery 4100 Illinois Rte 53

September 7

Chicago – The Start of Chicago Culinary Insiders Weekend – Go the link for all of the “one-of-a-kind” opportunities supported by Les Dames Escoffiers. All proceeds will go towards culinary scholarships.

September 8

Green City Market Locavore Challenge starts today and ends next Sunday. Sign the pledge here.

Chicago – Locally Grown Book Signing – 9:30am – 12pm 11am-11:45am Farmer Feature Panel Discussion All at Green City Market

Chicago – VIP Green City market tour and lunch – 9:30am Part of the Chicago Culinary Insiders Weekend sponsored by Les Dames Escoffier.

FD!! Chicago - City Provisions Farm Dinner - Heritage Prairie Farm & Apiary with Metropolitan Brewing & Templeton Rye$275 This is a mini-vacation, all day affair typically running from 11am to midnight.

Lansing, MI - 5th Annual Great Lakes Cider Festival

Lisle- Honey Expo Morton Arboretum 10:00 am – 4pm 4100 Illinois Rte 53

September 9

Chicago(St. Joseph, MI)- Feast in the Field Farm Dinner  Chef David Dworshak Carnivale Mick Klug Farms – Transportation To/From Chicago included -Noon – 8pm $95 Reservations required

Lisle- Honey Expo Morton Arboretum 10:00 am – 4pm 4100 Illinois Rte 53

Marseilles, IL – Harvest Festival Growing Home – Les Brown Memorial Farm 2539 N 30th Rd 11am – 3pm Named after Growing Home’s founder, the Les Brown Memorial Farm is comprised of 10 acres of USDA Certified Organic farm land, including a residence for the farmers, a native habitat for bees, two large hoophouses, and even organically fed, free-range chickens. Located in Marseilles, Illinois, the farm is about a 90 minute drive from Chicago. Please call 773.549.1336 with any questions, the Facebook information is here.

September 12

Chicago – Can That! Canning Demo with Eric Mansavage of Farmhouse 9:30am -10:15am Green City Market

Chicago – Chicago Gourmet’s Supreme Oyster Shucker Semi-Final at BOKA – 12-3pm 1729 N. Halsted The semi-finalists go head to head for a chance to compete in the final four at the Chicago Gourmet Festival Supreme Shucker event.

September 13

Chicago – Canning (part of the Scrumptious Pantry Heirloom 2.0 event series ) – 6-8pm 3270 West Fullerton This class is going to be taught by Laura McLaughlin of The Glass Rooster. Laura is going to discuss how to identify good canning produce, the best seasons to can, recommended equipment types and brands, and as previously implied, tips on how to make canning less stressful and more fun!$25

September 14

Chicago - The Hideout Block Party – 5pm For all that the Hideout does to support local(their veggie bingo on Wednesdays all summer) nothing much more needs to be said about this. Go to the link for the schedule of who is playing.

September 15

Chicago - 9:30 AM- 12 PM Farmers’ Markets of the Heartland Book Signing, 9:30 AM- 10:30 AM The 2nd annual “Pickle Jam!” tasting and final judging Green City Market

Chicago – Chipotle CULTIVATE Festival – Lincoln Park Chefs, Farmers, Food! 11am-7pm The all day festival, that is FREE and supports all things farm, chefs and fun!! There is so much jam packed you really need to go to the link to find out what it is all about!!

Chicago – Edible Gardens Workshop 9:30am – 10:15am “Growing Locally:Tips for Gardening in Chicago”

Chicago – The Hideout Block Party – 5pm How will it not be incredible. Go to the link here for details.

FD!! Fairbury – Slagel Family Farm Dinner – 2:30pm $75 BYOB 23601 E. 600 Noth Rd. Lots of Chicago chefs involved in this one, Heather Terhune, Sable, John Asbaty Panozzo’s, Matt Troost Three Aces , Zak Dolezal of Dukes Ale House in Crystal Lake and more!

September 17

Chicago - 7 PM- Locavore Seasonal Potluck Celebration featuring Terra Brockman Hull House Museum, 800 S. Halsted
Join Green City Market and your fellow Locavores for a potluck and talk with author and activist Terra Brockman. Bring your favorite market-inspired dish and a few friends! RSVP required

September 22

FD!! Stelle – Mint Creek Farm Dinner and Tour – 2:30pm 1693 E. 3800 N. Road. The guest chef will be Chuy Valencia of Top Chef and Chilam Bilam.

September 28-30

Chicago – Chicago Gourmet Festival presented by Bon Appetit. The “Ground Zero” this weekend of all things culinary in Chicago and the country. Pre-sale tickets already sold-out so you had better keep a watch so you don’t miss out on this action packed weekend of chefs, sommeliers, incredible beverages, food and lots more. You can buy regular tickets here . Do you have your tickets yet?

September 28

Chicago - “I am Your Neighbor” It’s THE Neighborhood Party A Benefit For Common Pantry 7-11pm Architectural Artifacts 4325 N. Ravenswood Ave. All coming together to help their neighbors in need as they launch the new book, “I am Your Neighbor“. $100 Tickets can be purchased online here.

Chicago - The Hamburger Hop – Harris Theater Rooftop Millenium Park – 6-9pm It is a hamburger showdown and the startoff event for the Chicago Gourmet Festival. Top chefs compete to create the city’s best burger. Go to the link for further information and tickets.

September 29

Eureka, Il - Annual Henrys Farm Potluck and Farm Tour

October 12

Chicago - NOURISH Meals on Wheels Annual Celebrity Chef Ball – Dozens of chefs, lots of entertainment Venue One 1044 West Randolph St 6:00pm -12:30pm Purchase tickets here

 

 




Local Food’s Still in Store

By
Posted: August 29, 2012 at 4:21 pm

I cannot really seem to find time (really the concentration and focus) to blog local food.  At a minimum, however, I can tell you that local food still exists in stores.  By stores I mean grocery stores or places not your neighborhood farmer’s market.  So far this summer, I’ve mostly used the papers to tell you what’s in store, but today I have some field experience as well as my pile of inserts, and, by the way, that pile is bigger than usual.

My wife and I went shopping this morning at the Angelo Caputo’s grocery store near us in Elmwood Park.  We were surprised with local food even before we entered, and we were also reinforced with our belief that you’ll never know what’s local until you look.  In this case, my wife espied that the watermelons came from a Michigan farm.  So, into our cart when one melon.

As soon as we entered the store proper, we got a wave of local food; two kinds of peppers and big bushels of tomatoes.  We did not need any of those items.  We continued through the produce area where we found much more local produce including green beans, more types of peppers including green bell, hot banana and Melrose; eggplants, celery, zucchini and cabbage.  As much as we wanted to cheer and appreciate the offerings we did find something to give us pause.

Ever see cucuzza squash at your farmer’s market? Maybe Nichol’s grows this Italian variety of squash. Cucuzza means super-long, which is what this squash is. My wife and I actually know the Padrone of a Harlem Ave coffee shop that grows cucuzza so long they are, really, as tall as he is. The people who know this squash shop at Caputo’s. And a lot of people who shop at Caputo’s, just based on their store signs, are like me, in favor of local food.

Unfortunately, you have too see more than the sign. These sure do not look like they’re local.

With the rest, we just have to see what’s in the papers.

Meijer - This Michigan based grocery store has been promoting local produce for many years, surely before it became a marketing tool.  In addition to highlighting items, Meijer’s ad includes text on “home grown produce now in season.”  They make a big deal again this week in their ad. and report on much more than the few items featured:

  • Watermelon
  • Vine ripe tomatoes
  • Cilantro
  • Zucchini
  • Bi-color sweet corn

Jewel - We’ve local produce here during the summer, both in-store and in the supplements, but this week they advertise none.

Ultra - We don’t spend much time in this store, but maybe we should.  Currently advertised, local produce:

  • Sweet corn
  • Zucchini and summer squash
  • Cucumbers

Dominicks - We remember when this was the dominant store in our area.  Now, we find so many of the stores tired and oddly expensive.  We do like that they see value in promoting local produce, and this week call attention to these items:

  • Sweet corn (Twin Gardens)
  • Michigan cucumbers
  • Michigan green bell peppers
  • Romaine and red leaf lettuces

Super Low Foods - A Centrella stocked company with three stores in the near West suburbs.

  • Illinois sweet corn

Tony’s - This company runs four stores on the Northwest side of Chicago.  Currently, they seem to be appealing to the same crowd that goes out of their way for Baylor melons and Georgia peaches.  Another week without local food.

Aldi’s - In their flyer, Aldi’s does not list the origin of any of the produce.  We’ll grade it as incomplete.

Angelo Caputo’s - As I note above, there appears to be a lot of local produce in this store now.  Their flyer highlights just this:

  • Green beans

Butera – This chain has been around a long time, and currently has locations in the West and Northwest suburbs.  They advertise this:

  • Wisconsin russet potatoes

Food 4 Less - No local food.

A & G – No local food




The Local Calendar 8/24/12 Peppers, Melons, Corks and Crayons and more..

By
Posted: August 24, 2012 at 12:03 pm

     The colors of summer’s end are in full bloom. The pepper bins at the Nichols Farm stand at the Daley Center market yesterday were bursting with oranges, reds, yellows, green, even purple peppers. Melon mania continues.

Lots going on, Harvest Moon Farms continues to look for Drought Aid 2012 support so they can harvest their tomato crops and get them to market. This is the weekend, Sunday Aug. 26 for the 8th Annual Corks and Crayons event at the Greenhouse Loft in the Green Exchange to support Purple Asparagus, the organization founded by longtime Beet Editor, Food Activist, Author Melissa Graham to promote good food for children and families. If you can’t make it to the benefit on Sunday, you can still bid on their online auction which is going on as you read this.

Elizabeth Restaurant, the brainchild of Iliana Regan, who among many talents is an urban forager, opens in September. I loved the description of what the restaurant is about. “It strives to be as local, organic and sustainable as possible. It’s mission is to highlight nose to tail, root to branch and farm to table Midwestern bounty. Elizabeth’s goal is to build community through love of food and nature”. The restaurant will offer 3 choices, the Farm to Table Owl menu 8-10 courses, the Deer Menu 12-14 driven by foraged ingredients and then the Diamond Menu of 20 to 24 course which will include bigger ticket ingredients. Iliana is calling the food, “gatherer cuisine” and will be using the same type of “just-in-time” reservation system as Alinea and Next. Tickets will go on sale September 19th. Your best bet is to sign up for the restaurant’s email list and to check her Facebook page for more information.

September 7-9th is the Chicago Culinary Insiders Weekend sponsored by Les Dames Escoffier and all proceeds going towards culinary scholarships. There are so many intriguing, unique events planned for the weekend(really, there are too many. that I would love to participate in) you have to go the link to check them out. We are close to the “less than 30 day” countdown for Chicago Gourmet Fest, Sept 28 -30 in Milennium Park which will be the Ground Zero of all things culinary in the country that weekend!!

Now on to this weekend and the days ahead, take advantage of the last days of August! Get outside, get to a market, get to a farm dinner, fall is soon approaching!

August 25

Chicago – Green City Market -Southern end of Lincoln Park, 7am to 1pm. Laura Piper of Trattoria No. 10 will be the guest chef.

Chicago – 61st Market sponsored by Experimental Station –  Go to their website for further details. New vendors include Penny Pastries, look for Axel.

Caledonia – Angelic Organics is sponsoring a “Midwest Young Farmers Gathering” (BING Biodynamic Initiative for the Next GenerationTo register go here.

Chicago – Edible Gardens Workshop 9:30am – 10:15am “Keeping a Garden Tidy:Staking, Pruning, Harvesting and Composting”

Evanston –  The Downtown Evanston Farmers Market 7:30am to 1pm at University Place and Oak Ave.(just east of Railroad Ave.) behind the Hilton Garden Inn. Free parking is at the adjacent 1500 Maple garage.

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

Grayslake – The Grayslake Farmer’s Market Centennial Park and Center St. 10:00 Am – 2pm

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

Oak Park –  Oak Park Farmers Market – 460 Lake St just one block west of Ridgeland Ave. 7am – 1pm The Market is much more than a farmers’ market. It is an Oak Park tradition, a Saturday gastronomic event (the donuts have a devoted following), a concert site, a social event and a great place to pick up super-fresh produce, traditional and unusual plants, fresh cheeses, honey, flowers, vinegars, herbs, and much more.

St. Charles – The Saturday Farm Fresh Food Stuffs market is now at Trellis Family Farm 8-4pm 2N492 Kirk Rd.

FD!! Stelle - Mint Creek Farm Dinner and Tour 2:30pm 1693 E. 3800 N. Road – Guest chef will be Viktorija Todorovska, author of The Puglian Cookbook $65 BYOB.

Woodstock – Woodstock Farmers Market 8am – 1pm at historic Woodstock Square

August 26

Chicago – This is it, The 8th Annual Corks and Crayons Benefit- An all ages celebration to benefit Purple Asparagus. The Greenhouse Loft in the Green Exchange 2545 West Diversey 4pm – 7pm It is great for all ages. This year’s event will include Top Chef contestant Heather Terhune of Sable KitchenThree Floyds BrewingCandid Wines and delicious non-alcoholic beverages for kids. Adults are $70, kids 5-15 $15, and children under 5 year olds are free.To register now go here. We hope that all Beet-niks will try to attend this terrific event and support Melissa Graham and the Purple Asparagi!!!!!!!!! The online auction is open now, go here to check out all the nifty local items up for bid.

New!! Chicago – Graze Magazine  From Market to MakeIt – Shop at Logan Square Farmers Market in the morning, share in a pot luck at Bang Bang Pie shop in the evening.

Chicago - The Logan Square Farmer’s Market 10-3pm  Logan Boulevard

Chicago – The Glenwood Sunday Outdoor Market 9am – 2pm Glenwood Avenue on the west side of the CTA Red Line between Morse and Lunt Avenues in Rogers Park from June 3 – October 28, 2012

Frankfort – Frankfort Country Market Downtown Frankfort – 10-2.

August 28

Chicago – The New Generation Farmers Market at Browntrout  5-8pm 4111 North Lincoln Ave. In North Center, near the Irving Park Brown Line stop, this new “micro” farmer’s market sponsored by “Ground Up Chicago” . This is a very unique market that really is a “must shop” and while supplies last Browntrout will be selling its pickled ramps with its “super secret” pickling liquid.

Chicago – Lincoln Square - C & D Family Farms selling their all natural free range meats from 7 to 11 am in the parking lot at Lincoln & Leland.

Woodstock - Woodstock Farmers Market at historic Woodstock Square  8am – 1pm

SAVE THE DATE

August 29

Chicago – Slow Food Chicago Vegetarian Harvest Dinner – Uncommon Ground Devon

August 30

Chicago – Meet the Market Green City Market Junior Board – At Ada Street 1664 N. Ada St. with Kinnikinnick Farm 6pm

September 1

FD!! Champaign  - Prairie Fruits Farm Dinner -”Fish Fry”  4410 N. Lincoln Ave. (Champaign, not Chicago) Meal prepared by Sunday Dinner Chefs Joshua Kulp and Christine Cikowski out of Chicago, 4 course meal BYOB $65. SOLD OUT

Joliet – Mid-America Homesteading Conference

September 2

Baroda, MI – Check Please!Farm to Table Fest at Round Barn Winery A short drive from Chicago, a great list of chefs is already on the docket. Tickets start at $75 and VIP tickets are $150.

September 5

FD!! Glencoe - Chicago Botanic Garden Farm Dinner Series 5-8pm Cocktail Hour by Death’s Door, Dinner by City Provisions, Bell’s BreweryLynfred Winery

September 6

Lisle- Get The Buzz On, The Start of Bee Weekend at the Morton Arboretum – Honey Mead Dinner 6pm $50 with Wild Blossom Meadery 4100 Illinois Rte 53

September 7

Chicago – The Start of Chicago Culinary Insiders Weekend – Go the link for all of the “one-of-a-kind” opportunities supported by Les Dames Escoffiers. All proceeds will go towards culinary scholarships.

September 8

Chicago – VIP Green City market tour and lunch – 9:30am Part of the Chicago Culinary Insiders Weekend sponsored by Les Dames Escoffier.

FD!! Chicago - City Provisions Farm Dinner - Heritage Prairie Farm & Apiary with Metropolitan Brewing & Templeton Rye$275 This is a mini-vacation, all day affair typically running from 11am to midnight.

Lisle- Honey Expo Morton Arboretum 10:00 am – 4pm 4100 Illinois Rte 53

September 9

Lisle- Honey Expo Morton Arboretum 10:00 am – 4pm 4100 Illinois Rte 53

September 12

Chicago – Chicago Gourmet’s Supreme Oyster Shucker Semi-Final at BOKA – 12-3pm 1729 N. Halsted The semi-finalists go head to head for a chance to compete in the final four at the Chicago Gourmet Festival Supreme Shucker event.

September 13

Chicago – Canning (part of the Scrumptious Pantry Heirloom 2.0 event series ) – 6-8pm 3270 West Fullerton This class is going to be taught by Laura McLaughlin of The Glass Rooster. Laura is going to discuss how to identify good canning produce, the best seasons to can, recommended equipment types and brands, and as previously implied, tips on how to make canning less stressful and more fun!$25

September 14

Chicago - The Hideout Block Party – 5pm For all that the Hideout does to support local(their veggie bingo on Wednesdays all summer) nothing much more needs to be said about this. Go to the link for the schedule of who is playing.

September 15

Chicago – Edible Gardens Workshop 9:30am – 10:15am “Growing Locally:Tips for Gardening in Chicago”

Chicago – The Hideout Block Party – 5pm How will it not be incredible. Go to the link here for details.

FD!! Fairbury – Slagel Family Farm Dinner – 2:30pm $75 BYOB 23601 E. 600 Noth Rd. Go to link for details

September 22

FD!! Stelle – Mint Creek Farm Dinner and Tour – 2:30pm 1693 E. 3800 N. Road. The guest chef will be Chuy Valencia of Top Chef and Chilam Bilam.

September 28-30

Chicago – Chicago Gourmet Festival presented by Bon Appetit. The “Ground Zero” this weekend of all things culinary in Chicago and the country. Pre-sale tickets already sold-out so you had better keep a watch so you don’t miss out on this action packed weekend of chefs, sommeliers, incredible beverages, food and lots more. You can buy regular tickets here . Do you have your tickets yet?

September 28

Chicago - “I am Your Neighbor” It’s THE Neighborhood Party A Benefit For Common Pantry 7-11pm Architectural Artifacts 4325 N. Ravenswood Ave. All coming together to help their neighbors in need as they launch the new book, “I am Your Neighbor“. $100 Tickets can be purchased online here.

Chicago - The Hamburger Hop – Harris Theater Rooftop Millenium Park – 6-9pm It is a hamburger showdown and the startoff event for the Chicago Gourmet Festival. Top chefs compete to create the city’s best burger. Go to the link for further information and tickets.

 




OVEN-DRIED TOMATOES: The Easy Preserving Alternative

By
Posted: August 22, 2012 at 10:07 am

Editor’s Note: Francis Lam over at Gilttaste.com is doing oven dried tomatoes this week, so we thought it was a good time to recycle last year’s piece on oven drying tomatoes, because, you know, we did it first! Kidding aside, tomato season is winding up, and if you haven’t had the chance to can tomatoes, oven-drying is an easy, doable alternative to capture this wonderful tomato season for which we have the hot, drought conditions to thank.

*            *          *

Although some tomato farmers are reporting late-season blight, certain crops of tomatoes are still growing strong. One such variety is juliet — a cross between a roma and cherry tomato.

After picking up 25 pounds from Randy Brockway at the Logan Square Market, I decided that the perfect way to preserve them is to dry them. Juliets are small, and not as juicy and certainly not as seedy as a roma. I’ve slow-roasted romas before with great success, but the result was a shrunken, more concentrated tomato; tasty, but a far cry from what you see labeled as “sun-dried tomatoes” in the store.

Drying is perfect for people who are either tired or afraid of canning. (After lots of canning lately, I fall into the former category.) After the tomatoes are dried, they can be portioned out in Ziploc freezer bags or sealed in pouches and stored in the freezer. (Read: You can’t can these even if you wanted to.)

At first, I had these romantic notions of drying these tomatoes in the Indian summer sun, but after reading further, I learned that: One, nobody does that anymore. Producers are allowed to label their tomatoes as “sun-dried” though they weren’t. And two, doing so could take up to two weeks (!). And you have to bring them in every night lest they become snacks for critters.

IMG_0203[1]

The good news is that you can (and should) dry them in the oven. After you halve them lengthwise and lay the halves out in one layer on a cookie sheet, it takes about 8-12 hours in an unattended 200° oven. (The oven temperature should not exceed 200, otherwise they will roast, not dry.) You know things are going well when the tomato begins to shrivel in on itself. Feel free to keep them in the oven overnight. If they’re not as dried as you’d like in the morning, then take them out of the oven and put them back in when you get home after work. This is a very forgiving process. Just make sure that the moisture has evaporated, but that they’re still pliable, like leather (and not brittle).

The result after about 14 hours in the oven:

IMG_0202[1]

I add the tomatoes to bolster braises, pasta sauces, and salads, wherever I would normally use store-bought sun-dried tomatoes.


One Comment



The Local Calendar 8/17/12 Rain Doesn’t Make the Drought Issues Go Away

By
Posted: August 17, 2012 at 9:27 am


Although we have had some rain, the drought issues have not gone away though it is easy to think a little rain solves everything. Drought Aid for Harvest Moon Farms continues so they can get all their heirloom tomatoes to market, checkout The Last Drought Benefit featuring Mr. Blotto  at The Metro taking place this Thursday, August 23. It is beautiful weather for a farm dinner, City Provisions has their Q7 Ranch dinner tomorrow, and you don’t need to drive! Calling all Beetniks! Next week, Sunday August 26th is the 8th Annual Corks and Crayons event from 2-7pm for all ages at the Greenhouse Loft at the Green Exchange to benefit Purple Asparagus.  If for some reason you can’t make it, you can still support the organization by participating in the Corks and Crayons Online Auction that is open right now, go here to check out all the “local” items up for bid.

For what is at the Local Markets check Chief Beet Rob Gardner’s view here. It is that peach and melon time of the year! For a CSA for Fall check here. Do you want to try a new farmer’s market, find a new one here.

This weekend, if the Air and Water Show is not your thing, take advantage of the end of season warehouse sale for JDY Gourmet and food truck roundup this Sunday, from 11-2pm at 370 N. Carpenter St. Did I say “blowout” sale! After the JDY sale you can swing over to the Green Grocer for their annual BBQ, at 1402 West Grand(Grand and Noble) for only $10 you get BBQ, music and brews! The Congregation Band will be playing from 2-4pm! It is the countdown to the Chicago Gourmet Festival which is a month away as well!!

Lots to do, take advantage of all that summer brings before it is over!! On to the week ahead!

The Spence Farm Foundation has ongoing farmer training programs going. Here is their 2012-2013 calendar.

August 15

FD!! Caledonia, Il - Outstanding in the Field Farm Dinner - 4pm Kinnikinnick Farm – Chef Brian Huston, The Publican$200

Chicago – The Green City Market – 7-1pm Southern end of Lincoln Park

Chicago – The Hideout Veggie Bingo – 5:30pm Free Hot Dogs by Hot Doug’s! $2 bingo cards, supports Chicago community gardens!

Chicago - Taste of Andersonville Dinner Crawl 6pm

August 16

Chicago – The Daley Plaza Farmers - 7am – 3pm

Chicago - Eli’s and Wright College Farmers Market – 7am – 1pm 6701 W. Forest Preserve Drive (Near Wilbur Wright College) Every Thursday  until October 25. Eli’s Cheesecake World . A variety of fresh fruits and vegetables from Nichol’s Farm, Chicago High School for Agricultural Sciences’ Farm Stand, Cooper Farm, and more will be here! The Farmers Market also includes vibrant flowers, hand crafts, artisan breads, exciting spices, books, informational lectures and Eli’s famous grilled lunches. Chief Beet Rob Gardner posted about them here.

FD!! Chicago - Outstanding in the Field Farm Dinner – 4pm City Farm Chicago Chef Jason Vincent Nightwood $220 SOLD OUT

FD!! Glencoe - Chicago Botanic Garden Farm Dinner Series – 5-8pm Cocktail hour by Death’s Door Spirits Dinner by City Provisions, Two Brothers Brewing & Illinois Sparkling Co/August Hill Winery $200 For reservations call Chicago Botanic Gardens (847) 835-5540.

August 17

FD!! Caledonia - Wind Ridge Herb Farm “Dinner in the Garden” 466 Quail Trap Road Local produce dinner with instruction of how to use herbs in cooking. Go to the link and contact the farm for more information.

FD!Chicago – Outstanding in the Field Dinner at City Farm – 4pm This dinner is an added event to raise money for City Farm due to the effects of the drought. Paul Virant will be the chef $220

New!!Chicago- Small Bites, Small Bands at Chicago Lights Urban Farm 4:30pm – 6:30pm 444 W. Chicago Ave. The farm is  a collaboration with Growing Power Chicago and is sponsored by Fourth Presbyterian Church. This is a free event and the food will be prepared by Eric Mansavage of Farmhouse Chicago. This is an all ages event and a way or people to find out more about what is going on at the farm.

August 18

No Green City Market this Saturday due to the Air and Water Show!

FD!! Champaign - Prairie Fruit Farms Dinner “Al Fresco Cucina Italiana” – 5pm 4410 N. Lincoln Ave. (Champaign, not Chicago) 3 course meal BYOB $60 SOLD OUT

FD!! Chicago(They provide a bus to/from dinner) - City Provisions Farm Dinner - Q7 Ranch in Marengo, Il  with 5 Rabbit Cerveceria & Few SpiritsFor tickets, please call (773) 293.2489.  $250 This is a mini-vacation, all day affair typically running from 11am to midnight.

Chicago – 61st Market sponsored by Experimental Station –  Go to their website for further details. New vendors include Penny Pastries, look for Axel.

Evanston –  The Downtown Evanston Farmers Market 7:30am to 1pm at University Place and Oak Ave.(just east of Railroad Ave.) behind the Hilton Garden Inn. Free parking is at the adjacent 1500 Maple garage.

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

Grayslake – The Grayslake Farmer’s Market Centennial Park and Center St. 10:00 Am – 2pm

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

Oak Park –  Oak Park Farmers Market – 460 Lake St just one block west of Ridgeland Ave. 7am – 1pm The Market is much more than a farmers’ market. It is an Oak Park tradition, a Saturday gastronomic event (the donuts have a devoted following), a concert site, a social event and a great place to pick up super-fresh produce, traditional and unusual plants, fresh cheeses, honey, flowers, vinegars, herbs, and much more.

Oak Park – Seven Generations Ahead Micro Brew Fest 3-7pm If you are a craft beer lover, this is a “must” event. There are an incredible variety and representation of craft beers here and yonder. The format and the layout make it very drinker friendly!!!!!!

St. Charles – The Saturday Farm Fresh Food Stuffs market is now at Trellis Family Farm 8-4pm 2N492 Kirk Rd.

Woodstock – Woodstock Farmers Market 8am – 1pm at historic Woodstock Square

August 19

Chicago – 5th Annual Green Grocer BBQ – 12-4pm in the parking lot behind the store. $10 donation gets you Gunthorp Farms pasteured pig, Two Brothers Brewery beers, River Valley Mushrooms grilled portobellos, and more. The Congregation who opened for Wilco this summer. Come out and support, one of the ground zero spots for all things local in Chicago and a great time!

Chicago – JDY Blowout Warehouse Sale and Food Truck Roundup 11-2pm 370 N. Carpenter St.  They’ll be selling lots of their gourmet products most from local producers, fancy meats and other goodies while some of Chicago’s finest food trucks are slinging their food.

Chicago - The Logan Square Farmer’s Market 10-3pm  Logan Boulevard

Chicago – The Glenwood Sunday Outdoor Market 9am – 2pm Glenwood Avenue on the west side of the CTA Red Line between Morse and Lunt Avenues in Rogers Park from June 3 – October 28, 2012

Frankfort – Frankfort Country Market Downtown Frankfort – 10-2.

FD!! South Haven, MI – Outstanding in the Field Farm Dinner – 4pm Seedling Farm – Chefs Michael and Patrick Sheerin ofThe Trencherman $200

August 21

Chicago – The New Generation Farmers Market at Browntrout  5-8pm 4111 North Lincoln Ave. In North Center, near the Irving Park Brown Line stop, this new “micro” farmer’s market sponsored by “Ground Up Chicago” . This is a very unique market that really is a “must shop” and while supplies last Browntrout will be selling its pickled ramps with its “super secret” pickling liquid.

Chicago – Lincoln Square - C & D Family Farms selling their all natural free range meats from 7 to 11 am in the parking lot at Lincoln & Leland.

Woodstock - Woodstock Farmers Market at historic Woodstock Square  8am – 1pm

SAVE THE DATE

August 23

Chicago - GoodGreens.org Meeting A collaborative meeting sponsored and held at the USDA Food and Nutrition Service – 77 W. Jackson 10am-Noon A meeting on all things in regard to sustainable food issues in Chicago. Contact Alan Shannon of the USDA for further information and to attend. The meeting is open to the public. ALAN.SHANNON@fns.usda.gov

Chicago – Seed Saving (part of the Scrumptious Pantry Heirloom 2.0 event series ) – 6-8pm 3270 West Fullerton This class, also, taught by Sarah Baumgarten, will teach you how to properly save and store seeds from your garden as well as from nature. $25

Chicago – The Last Drought – 7pm A benefit concert for Harvest Moon Farms featuring Mr. Blotto at The Metro.

August 25

Caledonia – Angelic Organics is sponsoring a “Midwest Young Farmers Gathering” (BING Biodynamic Initiative for the Next GenerationTo register go here.

Chicago – Food Truck Social Returns to West Town – Eater reported on the details here.

Chicago – Edible Gardens Workshop 9:30am – 10:15am “Keeping a Garden Tidy:Staking, Pruning, Harvesting and Composting”

FD!! Stelle - Mint Creek Farm Dinner and Tour 2:30pm 1693 E. 3800 N. Road – Guest chef will be Viktorija Todorovska, author of The Puglian Cookbook $65 BYOB.

August 26

Chicago – This is it, The 8th Annual Corks and Crayons Benefit- An all ages celebration to benefit Purple Asparagus. The Greenhouse Loft in the Green Exchange 2545 West Diversey 4pm – 7pm It is great for all ages. This year’s event will include Top Chef contestant Heather Terhune of Sable KitchenThree Floyds BrewingCandid Wines and delicious non-alcoholic beverages for kids. Adults are $70, kids 5-15 $15, and children under 5 year olds are free.To register now go here. We hope that all Beet-niks will try to attend this terrific event and support Melissa Graham and the Purple Asparagi!!!!!!!!! The online auction is open now, go here to check out all the nifty local items up for bid.

New!! Chicago – Graze Magazine  From Market to MakeIt – Shop at Logan Square Farmers Market in the morning, share in a pot luck at Bang Bang Pie shop in the evening.

August 29

Chicago – Slow Food Chicago Vegetarian Harvest Dinner – Uncommon Ground Devon

August 30

Chicago – Meet the Market Green City Market Junior Board – At Ada Street 1664 N. Ada St. with Kinnikinnick Farm 6pm

September 1

FD!! Champaign  - Prairie Fruits Farm Dinner -”Fish Fry”  4410 N. Lincoln Ave. (Champaign, not Chicago) Meal prepared by Sunday Dinner Chefs Joshua Kulp and Christine Cikowski out of Chicago, 4 course meal BYOB $65. SOLD OUT

Joliet – Mid-America Homesteading Conference

September 2

Baroda, MI – Check Please!Farm to Table Fest at Round Barn Winery A short drive from Chicago, a great list of chefs is already on the docket. Tickets start at $75 and VIP tickets are $150.

September 5

FD!! Glencoe - Chicago Botanic Garden Farm Dinner Series 5-8pm Cocktail Hour by Death’s Door, Dinner by City Provisions, Bell’s BreweryLynfred Winery

September 6

Lisle- Get The Buzz On, The Start of Bee Weekend at the Morton Arboretum – Honey Mead Dinner 6pm $50 with Wild Blossom Meadery 4100 Illinois Rte 53

September 8

FD!! Chicago - City Provisions Farm Dinner - Heritage Prairie Farm & Apiary with Metropolitan Brewing & Templeton Rye$275 This is a mini-vacation, all day affair typically running from 11am to midnight.

Lisle- Honey Expo Morton Arboretum 10:00 am – 4pm 4100 Illinois Rte 53

September 9

Lisle- Honey Expo Morton Arboretum 10:00 am – 4pm 4100 Illinois Rte 53

September 12

Chicago – Chicago Gourmet’s Supreme Oyster Shucker Semi-Final at BOKA – 12-3pm 1729 N. Halsted The semi-finalists go head to head for a chance to compete in the final four at the Chicago Gourmet Festival Supreme Shucker event.

September 13

Chicago – Canning (part of the Scrumptious Pantry Heirloom 2.0 event series ) – 6-8pm 3270 West Fullerton This class is going to be taught by Laura McLaughlin of The Glass Rooster. Laura is going to discuss how to identify good canning produce, the best seasons to can, recommended equipment types and brands, and as previously implied, tips on how to make canning less stressful and more fun!$25

September 14

Chicago - The Hideout Block Party – 5pm For all that the Hideout does to support local(their veggie bingo on Wednesdays all summer) nothing much more needs to be said about this. Go to the link for the schedule of who is playing.

September 15

Chicago – Edible Gardens Workshop 9:30am – 10:15am “Growing Locally:Tips for Gardening in Chicago”

Chicago – The Hideout Block Party – 5pm How will it not be incredible. Go to the link here for details.

FD!! Fairbury – Slagel Family Farm Dinner – 2:30pm $75 BYOB 23601 E. 600 Noth Rd. Go to link for details

September 22

FD!! Stelle – Mint Creek Farm Dinner and Tour – 2:30pm 1693 E. 3800 N. Road. The guest chef will be Chuy Valencia of Top Chef and Chilam Bilam.

September 28-30

Chicago – Chicago Gourmet Festival presented by Bon Appetit. The “Ground Zero” this weekend of all things culinary in Chicago and the country. Pre-sale tickets already sold-out so you had better keep a watch so you don’t miss out on this action packed weekend of chefs, sommeliers, incredible beverages, food and lots more. You can buy regular tickets here . Do you have your tickets yet?




The Weekly Harvest 8/10/12 Sustainable Food Blogs Here and Yonder

By
Posted: August 10, 2012 at 6:38 pm


  I was fortunate to attend an “uber-local” Michigan event at Hickory Creek winery this week. Who knew, when I saw a northern Michigan gelato truck, Palazzolos in the field and they were serving a gelato made out of verjus, that the juice was made from the discarded green grapes from prunng the vines. It seems Palazzolo’s is made in Fenville, Michigan but distributed all over the country. Their gelato, that they make in many, many flavors,  was mighty tasty!

Lots as usual going on in the blogsphere this week, with the Midwest drought taking front and center in the headlines. Grist.org tackled “Farming without water“. Nourishing the Planet talked about “12 innovations to Combat Drought, Improve Food Security and Stabilize Food Prices” ABCnews reported “Obama authorized $30mm more in Drought Aid” Motherjones has a pictorial of how the drought will affect food prices on certain items. In case you missed it, Draughts for Drought is happening at Farmhouse Chicago to help out Harvest Moon Farms. The New York Times just published “US sees Corn Yields Hitting 17 Year Low Raising Prices”

Motherjones reported that “Biotech Giants are Bankrolling a GMO Free for All” Grant Kessler at The 100 Meal Project commented on “GMO Labeling is More than the Label” Grist.org ran a piece, “Food Inc. Chicken Farmer is Free as a Bird” within this link they point out a new site started by the director of Food Inc. Robert Kenner, Fixfood.org.

Grubstreet Chicago did a review of Janine Maclachlan’s book, “Farmers Markets of the Heartland“, “Eat Food You Can Visit“.

There are so many incredible Chicago food blogs, but here are just a few… Sky Full of Bacon, Beauty and Her Feast, Stockyard Palate, MargesNextMeal for just a very few…..

 




The Local Calendar 8/8/12 Drought Aid Continues, The Colors of Summer

By
Posted: August 8, 2012 at 3:34 pm

When I first saw swiss chard at the beginning of the season I was amazed at the colors and I still am. These rainbow chard were on the tables of Lyons Fruit Farm at the Logan Square Market on Sunday.

Have you been out to a farm dinner yet? City Provisions still has seats left for their farm dinner at Q7 Ranch, with Few Spirits and 5 Rabbits Brewery on Saturday August 18th and they even provide a bus to take you to and from the ranch so you can totally unwind and not worry about the drive.

With Drought Aid 2012 for Harvest Moon Farms continuing, this time Farmhouse Chicago is having Draughts for Drought Aid, August 6th – 12th, with 50% of the revenues from 4 beers on tap going towards Harvest Moon Farms need. The Draught for Drought Aid will culminate in a party on Sunday, August 12th from 2-6pm.

Wondering what to buy now, @thelocalfamily, Chief Beet Rob Gardner shows us what is in the grocery stores now, here on the Beet. Still wondering what market is nearest to you, check our market locator. Thinking of getting a CSA for Fall, check our CSA guide. It is the dog days of August, lots to do, here are the weeks ahead!!

*** Outstanding in the Field has created a new farm dinner at City Farm on August 17th as a benefit for City Farm due to the drought. Check the calendar below for further details!!!

WHAT TO DO NOW

The Spence Farm Foundation has ongoing farmer training programs going. Here is their 2012-2013 calendar.

August 8

Chicago – The Green City Market – 7-1pm Southern end of Lincoln Park Guest Chef will be Andrew Hroza of Goose Island Clybourn. 10:30am

Chicago – The Hideout Veggie Bingo – 5:30pm Free Hot Dogs by Hot Doug’s! $2 bingo cards, supports Chicago community gardens!

Chicago – Taste of the Nation – Navy Pier Ballroom 6pm – 10pm An incredible gathering of chefs and mixologists to raise money for the incredible organiztion to fight childhood hunger, Share Our Strength. Buy tickets here.

August 9

Chicago – The Daley Plaza Farmers - 7am – 3pm

Chicago - Eli’s and Wright College Farmers Market – 7am – 1pm 6701 W. Forest Preserve Drive (Near Wilbur Wright College) Every Thursday  until October 25. Eli’s Cheesecake World . A variety of fresh fruits and vegetables from Nichol’s Farm, Chicago High School for Agricultural Sciences’ Farm Stand, Cooper Farm, and more will be here! The Farmers Market also includes vibrant flowers, hand crafts, artisan breads, exciting spices, books, informational lectures and Eli’s famous grilled lunches. Chief Beet Rob Gardner posted about them here.

Chicago – Seedling Farm + Goat Collaboration Dinner – Seedling lost a lot of their apple crop due to the warm weather then frost this Spring. Held at the Underground Goat 6:30pm $195 This dinner is to help the farm and celebrate the fruit that it produces.

NEW!! Chicago- Evening at the GreenhouseKilbourn Park Organic Greenhouse 3501 N. Kilbourn 6-8pm Chef Jeff Adamek and Pastry Chef Jennifer Templeton will create sweet and savory appetizers using fresh ingredients harvested straight from their garden.  The event will also include Half Acre BeerVirtue Cider and sparkling sodas made from fruit from the garden. Hans and LeRoy Bach will perform live jazz guitar.  The silent auction will include garden themed items as well as gift certificates to area businesses. This family-friendly fundraising event will kick off the first phase of their campaign to develop the new Nature’s Playground, a natural play space within the garden, and to improve the infrastructure of the greenhouse. Our goal is to raise enough funds to build an interactive play structure in the Nature’s Playground and to install circulation and exhaust fans in the main greenhouse.  $45 here

August 10

Chicago – Hungry for Change: Growing Faith, Growing Food – Presented by the Chicago Lights Urban Farm in collaboration with Growing Power-Chicago and the Academy for Faith and Life of Fourth Presbyterian Church Keynote Presentation 7pm in the Fourth Church Sanctuary Roger Thurow Senior Fellow for Global Agriculture and Food Policy at the Chicago Council on Global Affairs Appetizers by Eric Mansavage of Farmhouse will be served.

Chicago – Chicago’s Greatest Dive Bars Pub Crawl – Sponsored by the Chicago History Museum 6-8pm

Chicago – Southside Polish Fest

Northwest Michigan – 4th Annual Northwest Michigan Hop Tour and Field Day 8am – 5pm Read about it here in the Beet by Associate Beet Editor Wendy Aeschlimann @aschie30

August 11

FD!! Caledonia/Chicago – Angelic Organics 5th Annual Peak Harvest Farm Dinner- 5pm 1547 Rockton Rd.  Join them for a delicious 5-course seasonal meal prepared by some of the region’s most recognized chefs, set in the beautiful and abundant fields of Angelic Organics at the peak of harvest season. The chefs include Marc Bernard of Big Bowl, Molly Johnson of Calihan Catering, Christine Cikowski and Joshua Kulp of Sunday Dinner, Nathan Chappell of Rushing Waters Fisheries, William Harriman of Angelic Organics They  are offering round trip transportation via bus from Chicago for $25. Guests who join them can take part in a pre-event reception at Big Bowl, 60 E. Ohio St., Chicago from 2:00-3:00 p.m featuring free seasonal appetizers and cocktails. The bus will leave the restaurant at 3 p.m., and return at 11 p.m. Tickets for the dinner itself are $150, purchase tickets and transportation here, all proceeds benefit the Learning Center’s Educational programs.

Chicago – Southside Polish Fest

Chicago – Hungry for Change workshops all day – Chicago Lights Urban Farm

Chicago – Green City Market – The chef demonstration will be Leonard Hollander of Marion Street Cheese Market. The hours are  7am to 1pm and the market is in Lincoln Park, right across from the Farm in the Zoo. Nordic Creamery will now be carrying milk from Sassy Cow Creamery. Bring your paint brush to Club Sprouts at 9:30 am and Danielle Klinenberg of A Muse, “Inside Fruits and Vegetables” , create artwork to take home!

Chicago – 61st Market sponsored by Experimental Station –  Go to their website for further details. New vendors include Penny Pastries, look for Axel.

Evanston –  The Downtown Evanston Farmers Market 7:30am to 1pm at University Place and Oak Ave.(just east of Railroad Ave.) behind the Hilton Garden Inn. Free parking is at the adjacent 1500 Maple garage.

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

Grayslake – The Grayslake Farmer’s Market Centennial Park and Center St. 10:00 Am – 2pm

New!!! Lake Bluff – Boozy Snow Cone Night at North Shore Distillery  -28913 Hersky Drive Unit 308 5-8pm Try some great snow cones made with North Shore spirits and Jo Snow syrups. They are offering a special snow cone tour at 6pm. Email tours@northshoredistillery to reserve a spot.

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

Naperville- Veggie Fest returns 11:30am On the grounds of the Scinece for Spirituality Meditation Center 4S 175 Naperville-Wheaton Rd.

Oak Park –  Oak Park Farmers Market – 460 Lake St just one block west of Ridgeland Ave. 7am – 1pm The Market is much more than a farmers’ market. It is an Oak Park tradition, a Saturday gastronomic event (the donuts have a devoted following), a concert site, a social event and a great place to pick up super-fresh produce, traditional and unusual plants, fresh cheeses, honey, flowers, vinegars, herbs, and much more.

St. Charles – The Saturday Farm Fresh Food Stuffs market is now at Trellis Family Farm 8-4pm 2N492 Kirk Rd.

Woodstock – Woodstock Farmers Market 8am – 1pm at historic Woodstock Square

August 12

Chicago – Frontier’s Second Annual Oyster Shucking Competition(this is a pre-liminary qualifier for Chicago Gourmet Festival’s Supreme Shucker Competition). – 1072 N. Milwaukee Noon The event will be raising money for the Greater New Orleans Foundation $10 suggested donation

Chicago – Street Food Artistry 2012 1-7pm 1029 E. 35th St. $40  Event-goers can look forward to delicious treats from Babycakes, Falafel Brothers, Ice Cubed, Puffs of Doom, and Jo Snow, among others.

Chicago - Southside Polish Fest

Chicago - The Logan Square Farmer’s Market 10-3pm  Logan Boulevard

Chicago – The Glenwood Sunday Outdoor Market 9am – 2pm Glenwood Avenue on the west side of the CTA Red Line between Morse and Lunt Avenues in Rogers Park from June 3 – October 28, 2012

Chicago – North Lawndale Greening Committee Garden Tour 9am – 12:30pm Meet at the Douglass Branch Library Potluck to follow

 FD!! Elkhorn, WI - Outstanding in the Field Farm Dinner - Dietzler Farm, Chef Dan Van Rite, Hinterland Erie Street GastroPub Milwaukee $200 SOLD OUT

Frankfort – Frankfort Country Market Downtown Frankfort – 10-2.

Naperville – Veggiefest Continues

August 13

Chicago – Edible Chicago and Brooklyn Brewery present The Quarterly Carousal at Hopleaf – 5148 N. Clark St. 6-9pm Beer tasting and food samplings. Free RSVP to events@ediblechicago.com

FD!! Elkhorn, WI - Outstanding in the Field Farm Dinner - 4pm Dietzler Farm, Chef Jared Wentworth Longman & EagleChicago $200 This is going to be really good!!!!!!!!!!!!!

August 14

Chicago – The New Generation Farmers Market at Browntrout  5-8pm 4111 North Lincoln Ave. In North Center, near the Irving Park Brown Line stop, this new “micro” farmer’s market sponsored by “Ground Up Chicago” . This is a very unique market that really is a “must shop” and while supplies last Browntrout will be selling its pickled ramps with its “super secret” pickling liquid.

Chicago – Lincoln Square - C & D Family Farms selling their all natural free range meats from 7 to 11 am in the parking lot at Lincoln & Leland.

Woodstock - Woodstock Farmers Market at historic Woodstock Square  8am – 1pm

SAVE THE DATE

August 15

FD!! Caledonia, Il - Outstanding in the Field Farm Dinner - 4pm Kinnikinnick Farm – Chef Brian Huston, The Publican$200

Chicago - Taste of Andersonville Dinner Crawl 6pm

FD!! Glencoe - Chicago Botanic Garden Farm Dinner Series – 5-8pm Cocktail hour by Death’s Door Spirits Dinner by City Provisions, Two Brothers Brewing & Illinois Sparkling Co/August Hill Winery $200 For reservations call Chicago Botanic Gardens (847) 835-5540.

August 16

FD!! Chicago - Outstanding in the Field Farm Dinner – 4pm City Farm Chicago Chef Jason Vincent Nightwood $220 SOLD OUT

August 17

FD!! Caledonia - Wind Ridge Herb Farm “Dinner in the Garden” 466 Quail Trap Road Local produce dinner with instruction of how to use herbs in cooking. Go to the link and contact the farm for more information.

NEW!!! FD!Chicago – Outstanding in the Field Dinner at City Farm – 4pm This dinner is an added event to raise money for City Farm due to the effects of the drought. Paul Virant will be the chef $220

August 18

FD!! Champaign - Prairie Fruit Farms Dinner “Al Fresco Cucina Italiana” – 5pm 4410 N. Lincoln Ave. (Champaign, not Chicago) 3 course meal BYOB $60 SOLD OUT

FD!! Chicago(They provide a bus to/from dinner) - City Provisions Farm Dinner - Q7 Ranch in Marengo, Il  with 5 Rabbit Cerveceria & Few SpiritsFor tickets, please call (773) 293.2489.  $250 This is a mini-vacation, all day affair typically running from 11am to midnight.

Chicago – Slow Food Chicago Vegetarian Harvest Dinner – Uncommon Ground Devon

Oak Park – Seven Generations Ahead Micro Brew Fest 3-7pm If you are a craft beer lover, this is a “must” event. There are an incredible variety and representation of craft beers here and yonder. The format and the layout make it very drinker friendly!!!!!!

August 19

Chicago – 5th Annual Green Grocer BBQ – 12-4pm in the parking lot behind the store. $10 donation gets you Gunthorp Farms pasteured pig, Two Brothers Brewery beers, River Valley Mushrooms grilled portobellos, and more. The Congregation who opened for Wilco this summer. Come out and support, one of the ground zero spots for all things local in Chicago and a great time!

FD!! South Haven, MI – Outstanding in the Field Farm Dinner – 4pm Seedling Farm – Chefs Michael and Patrick Sheerin ofThe Trencherman $200

August 23

Chicago – Seed Saving (part of the Scrumptious Pantry Heirloom 2.0 event series ) – 6-8pm 3270 West Fullerton This class, also, taught by Sarah Baumgarten, will teach you how to properly save and store seeds from your garden as well as from nature. $25

Chicago – The Last Drought – 7pm A benefit concert for Harvest Moon Farms featuring Mr. Blotto at The Metro.

August 25

Caledonia – Angelic Organics is sponsoring a “Midwest Young Farmers Gathering” (BING Biodynamic Initiative for the Next Generation) To register go here.

Chicago – Food Truck Social Returns to West Town – Eater reported on the details here.

Chicago – Edible Gardens Workshop 9:30am – 10:15am “Keeping a Garden Tidy:Staking, Pruning, Harvesting and Composting”

FD!! Stelle - Mint Creek Farm Dinner and Tour 2:30pm 1693 E. 3800 N. Road – Guest chef will be Viktorija Todorovska, author of The Puglian Cookbook $65 BYOB.

August 26

Chicago – This is it, The 8th Annual Corks and Crayons Benefit- An all ages celebration to benefit Purple Asparagus. The Greenhouse Loft in the Green Exchange 2545 West Diversey 4pm – 7pm It is great for all ages. This year’s event will include Top Chef contestant Heather Terhune of Sable KitchenThree Floyds BrewingCandid Wines and delicious non-alcoholic beverages for kids. Adults are $70, kids 5-15 $15, and children under 5 year olds are free.To register now go here. We hope that all Beet-niks will try to attend this terrific event and support Melissa Graham and the Purple Asparagi!!!!!!!!!

New!! Chicago – Graze Magazine  From Market to MakeIt – Shop at Logan Square Farmers Market in the morning, share in a pot luck at Bang Bang Pie shop in the evening.

August 30

Chicago – Meet the Market Green City Market Junior Board – At Ada Street 1664 N. Ada St. with Kinnikinnick Farm 6pm

September 1

FD!! Champaign  - Prairie Fruits Farm Dinner -”Fish Fry”  4410 N. Lincoln Ave. (Champaign, not Chicago) Meal prepared by Sunday Dinner Chefs Joshua Kulp and Christine Cikowski out of Chicago, 4 course meal BYOB $65. SOLD OUT

Joliet – Mid-America Homesteading Conference

September 2

Baroda, MI – Check Please!Farm to Table Fest at Round Barn Winery A short drive from Chicago, a great list of chefs is already on the docket. Tickets start at $75 and VIP tickets are $150.

September 5

FD!! Glencoe - Chicago Botanic Garden Farm Dinner Series 5-8pm Cocktail Hour by Death’s Door, Dinner by City Provisions, Bell’s BreweryLynfred Winery

September 6

Lisle- Get The Buzz On, The Start of Bee Weekend at the Morton Arboretum – Honey Mead Dinner 6pm $50 with Wild Blossom Meadery 4100 Illinois Rte 53

September 8

FD!! Chicago - City Provisions Farm Dinner - Heritage Prairie Farm & Apiary with Metropolitan Brewing & Templeton Rye$275 This is a mini-vacation, all day affair typically running from 11am to midnight.

Lisle- Honey Expo Morton Arboretum 10:00 am – 4pm 4100 Illinois Rte 53

September 9

Lisle- Honey Expo Morton Arboretum 10:00 am – 4pm 4100 Illinois Rte 53

September 12

Chicago – Chicago Gourmet’s Supreme Oyster Shucker Semi-Final at BOKA – 12-3pm 1729 N. Halsted The semi-finalists go head to head for a chance to compete in the final four at the Chicago Gourmet Festival Supreme Shucker event.

September 13

Chicago – Canning (part of the Scrumptious Pantry Heirloom 2.0 event series ) – 6-8pm 3270 West Fullerton This class is going to be taught by Laura McLaughlin of The Glass Rooster. Laura is going to discuss how to identify good canning produce, the best seasons to can, recommended equipment types and brands, and as previously implied, tips on how to make canning less stressful and more fun!$25

September 14

Chicago - The Hideout Block Party – 5pm For all that the Hideout does to support local(their veggie bingo on Wednesdays all summer) nothing much more needs to be said about this. Go to the link for the schedule of who is playing.

September 15

Chicago – Edible Gardens Workshop 9:30am – 10:15am “Growing Locally:Tips for Gardening in Chicago”

Chicago – The Hideout Block Party – 5pm How will it not be incredible. Go to the link here for details.

FD!! Fairbury – Slagel Family Farm Dinner – 2:30pm $75 BYOB 23601 E. 600 Noth Rd. Go to link for details

September 22

FD!! Stelle – Mint Creek Farm Dinner and Tour – 2:30pm 1693 E. 3800 N. Road. The guest chef will be Chuy Valencia of Top Chef and Chilam Bilam.

September 28-30

Chicago – Chicago Gourmet Festival presented by Bon Appetit. The “Ground Zero” this weekend of all things culinary in Chicago and the country. Pre-sale tickets already sold-out so you had better keep a watch so you don’t miss out on this action packed weekend of chefs, sommeliers, incredible beverages, food and lots more. You can buy regular tickets here . Do you have your tickets yet?

 

 

 

 




We Look Again for Local Food in the Local Papers – UPDATED

By
Posted: August 8, 2012 at 11:34 am

UPDATE: – As we thought, we’d find at least one more grocery store advert somewhere, and with that, we found a little more local food.  See Super Low Foods below.

Like so many of you, we don’t get a paper delivered to us every morning anymore. We do, however, love the papers. Well at least the papers on certain days. We love a good, five pound, Sunday New York Times, and we like, at least this time of year, a supplement infested Wednesday edition. We like it because we like looking for the local food. As we told you last week, we firmly believe it’s a good thing that our local grocery stores proudly advertise their local food offerings. We firmly believe there’s nothing wrong in getting your local food at your local grocery. We want you to eat local, and if it means getting your local food at Jewel or Caputo’s, go for it.

As you’ll see below, our spotting this week was a bit limited by the amount of supplements in the paper we bought.  If we run across any more adverts; for instance, a Trib package often shows up at our door, we’ll update.

Meijer – The Chicago Tribune we picked up today did not include a flyer for Meijer, so we cannot tell you what they have.  We can tell you that we were at the Meijer in Niles over the weekend, and there was a full range of local produce including lettuce, radishes, and hot peppers.

Ultra – No supplement in our paper

Jewel – They advertise two local items this week:

  • Sweet corn
  • Zucchini and summer squash

Dominicks – Over the weekend, we saw at a Dominicks, a poster for Illinois corn on a window.  Their current ad advertises corn and a few other local items:

  • Sweet corn (Twin Gardens)
  • Cabbage
  • Blueberries

Super Low Foods – We came across a flyer for this store and found these local foods advertised:

  • Sweet corn
  • Green peppers

Tony’s – No ad in our paper

Aldi’s -No ad in our paper

Angelo Caputo’s – We shop at Caputo’s enough to know they carry a high commitment to local food.  This week they advertise:

  • Extra large tomatoes
  • Celery
  • Green peppers
  • Sweet corn

A&G – We don’t usually see their flyer, but we got one this week.  We’ve always though A&G, on the Northwest side of Chicago, to be a decent grocery, combining low prices with a range of foods from different ethnic groups.  If you want offal, it’s a good place to shop.  Lots of international candies too.  We’ve never seen much emphasis on local fruits and vegetables beyond Michigan apples, and this week’s ad does not advertise any produce as local.




Weekly Harvest 8/4/12 Sustainable food blogs here and yonder

By
Posted: August 4, 2012 at 5:18 pm

Lots going on this weekend including Lollapalooza, which for the 100,000 people in attendance, there was a farmers market! Seedling Fruit was not only selling their smoothies but bags of apples as well. Tiny Greens had their Green Bull and RockNRoll wraps and you couldn’t miss the River Valley Kitchen crew with their yells and whistles when customers left tips. But slowly but surely local food is moving towards the main stream!!! Now on to the active blogsphere this week.

Signs of hope over labeling issues. The New York Times ran this article, “Lawsuit forces General Mills to Defend the Accuracy of its Local Labeling

Forbes ran an interesting piece “Meet the Guys Who Make Local Food Affordable” which is all about food hubs!

New York Times also ran an article on “The Drought and The Farm Bills” Another NYT, “Scorched Earth in the Midwest“. Huffington Post wrote about small farms and the drought. The National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition has been posting daily on national legislature dealing with the Farm Bill and agricultural issues.

The Organic Consumers Association produced this video on “GMO in Your Food Supply:The Seeds of Freedom

The USDA continues to expand their “Know Your Farmer, Know Your Food” with their Food Compass which is an online resource for access and information about local food on a nationwide basis.

For you one minute activists out there, sign this petition on Change.org “to get chemicals out of all food-packaging“. Food and Water Watch has a petition about “You have a right to know what is in your food

Civileats published a post on “How the London Olympics Will Revolutionize Food

Eater had a follow-up to the Food Truck law just passed by the Chicago City Council.

Who knew what a great weekend the Morton Arboretum has planned all centered on honey bees, September 6th -9th.

The Scrumptious Pantry has an Heirloom 2.0 program going on.

Sustylife out of New York had this blog post on Chicago urban gardens.

Well, if you were wondering what Ellen and Grant are doing on the 100MealProject they are making a trip to Monsanto, yes you read that right! Read the post as to why!

From Belly to Bacon writes about Underground Food Collectives Nduja and Goat Sec.

Another local food blog never to be missed, Lottie+Doof. You can never go wrong getting some tasty cooking ideas from them!

 

 

 




The Local Calendar 8/1/12 Melons, Peppers, Farmers Alley at Lollapalooza

By
Posted: August 1, 2012 at 2:09 pm

Melon Mania 2012 has begun on the tables of Seedling Fruit at The Green City Market. The yields are down due to the warm weather then the freeze this Spring. To help make up for severely lost apple crops at Seedling, Chef Stephanie Izard is holding a fundraising dinner for farm owner Peter Klein at the Underground Goat on Aug. 9. Tickets cost $195 a head and you must call 312-602-2588 to reserve a spot.

It is that pepper time of year as well. I found these cherry bomb peppers on the tables of Genesis Growers next to poblano, and hot bananas. For a list of what is in season, and what you can find at the grocers or farmers markets, Chief Beet Rob Gardner describes where he has been shopping for local food and what he has found. Still not decided which farmer’s market is most convenient for you, check our market finder. It is never too late to sign up for a CSA, well, almost never.

With the weather back to a reasonable temperature, there still are lots of farm dinners(Slagel Family Farms), markets, and events outside to take advantage of summer. Lollapalooza will have its Farmer’s Market Alley(next to the Google+ Stage) again this year. Come say hello, I will be at the Tiny Greens booth along with Robert, and Paula. Trying to make Lolla a greener place in mind, body and spirit, we will be selling “Green Bull” aka wheat grass juice again along with yummy, organic sandwiches, Seedling Fruit will be there with their smoothies, River Valley Kitchens and more.  On to the week ahead.

WHAT TO DO NOW

The Spence Farm Foundation has ongoing farmer training programs going. Here is their 2012-2013 calendar.

August 1

Chicago – The Green City Market – 7-1pm Southern end of Lincoln Park Guest Chef will be Rick Gresh of Primehouse. 10:30am

Chicago – The Hideout Veggie Bingo – 5:30pm Free Hot Dogs by Hot Doug’s! $2 bingo cards, supports Chicago community gardens!

August 2

Chicago – Country Financial Chef Challenge Daley Plaza – 11am – 1pm Daley Plaza  The following chefs will compete for this year’s Master of the Market title: John Anderes, executive chef of Telegraph, Sarah Grueneberg, executive chef of Spiaggia and Top Chef season 9 runner-up, Dale Levitski, executive chef of Frog n Snail and Top Chef season 3 runner-up.

Chicago – The Daley Plaza Farmers - 7am – 3pm

Chicago - Eli’s and Wright College Farmers Market – 7am – 1pm 6701 W. Forest Preserve Drive (Near Wilbur Wright College) Every Thursday  until October 25. Eli’s Cheesecake World . A variety of fresh fruits and vegetables from Nichol’s Farm, Chicago High School for Agricultural Sciences’ Farm Stand, Cooper Farm, and more will be here! The Farmers Market also includes vibrant flowers, hand crafts, artisan breads, exciting spices, books, informational lectures and Eli’s famous grilled lunches. Chief Beet Rob Gardner posted about them here.

Kalamazoo, MI - Farm to Fork Dinner featuring Eater’s Guild from Bangor, MI. at Food Dance – 401 E. Michigan Ave. For all you folks taking a summer break in Michigan!!

August 3

Lollapalooza starts – If you go be sure to check out the Lolla Farmers Market(Just south of the Google+ Stage), Seedling FarmsRiver Valley Kitchens, and Tiny Greens will be some of the vendors!

August 4

Chicago – Green City Market – The chef demonstration will be Jared Van Camp of Nellcote and Old Town Social. The hours are  7am to 1pm and the market is in Lincoln Park, right across from the Farm in the Zoo. Nordic Creamery will now be carrying milk from Sassy Cow Creamery. Club Sprouts at 9:30 am will celebrate the Olympics with all sorts of games, foods and even making your own Olympic torch.

Chicago – 61st Market sponsored by Experimental Station –  Go to their website for further details. New vendors include Penny Pastries, look for Axel.

Evanston –  The Downtown Evanston Farmers Market 7:30am to 1pm at University Place and Oak Ave.(just east of Railroad Ave.) behind the Hilton Garden Inn. Free parking is at the adjacent 1500 Maple garage.

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

Grayslake – The Grayslake Farmer’s Market Centennial Park and Center St. 10:00 Am – 2pm

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

Oak Park –  Oak Park Farmers Market – 460 Lake St just one block west of Ridgeland Ave. 7am – 1pm The Market is much more than a farmers’ market. It is an Oak Park tradition, a Saturday gastronomic event (the donuts have a devoted following), a concert site, a social event and a great place to pick up super-fresh produce, traditional and unusual plants, fresh cheeses, honey, flowers, vinegars, herbs, and much more.

St. Charles – The Saturday Farm Fresh Food Stuffs market is now at Trellis Family Farm 8-4pm 2N492 Kirk Rd.

Woodstock – Woodstock Farmers Market 8am – 1pm at historic Woodstock Square

August 5

FD!! Champaign – Prairie Fruits Farm Dinner - “French Country Cooking” 4410 N. Lincoln Ave. (Champaign, not Chicago) Thad Morrow of Bacaro Restaurant in Champaign will be the guest chef and the guest farmers will Trent and Jackie Sparrow of Catalpa Farm in Dwight, IL. 5 course meal $100 BYOB SOLD OUT

Chicago - The Logan Square Farmer’s Market 10-3pm  Logan Boulevard

New!!! Chicago – Pilsen TomatoFest Hosted by Mindful Medicine Worldwide and Clandestino Dining 5-9pm $75 The Convent 1714 S. Racine Ave. Chicago’s finest underground chefs, including Efrain Cuevas from Clandestino, Tuesday Night Dinner, Yo Soy and others are coming out to play for a garden party in Pilsen. Each chef will create a unique dish inspired by delicious local tomatoes  and then serve it with a cocktail pairing using handmade craft spirits from Chicago’s Koval Distillery.

Chicago – The Glenwood Sunday Outdoor Market 9am – 2pm Glenwood Avenue on the west side of the CTA Red Line between Morse and Lunt Avenues in Rogers Park from June 3 – October 28, 2012

Chicago – North Lawndale Greening Committee Garden Tour 9am – 12:30pm Meet at the Douglass Branch Library Potluck to follow

Chicago – Urban Foraging (part of the Scrumptious Pantry Heirloom 2.0 event series ) – 10 am – 1pm 3270 West Fullerton They’re bringing in expert forager/gardener Sarah Baumgarten for this class. You will learn how to hunt down, recognize and safely harvest all sorts of tasty, hidden wild-growing plants in Chicago. Event is kid-friendly, so bring everyone along. Cost for the event is $25.

FD!! Fairbury – Slagel Family Farm Dinner – 2-9:30pm 23601 E. 600 North Rd. Chef Chris Pandel of The Bristol and Balena Chef Jason Vincent of Nightwood – A tour of the farm and animals, butchering demo and dinner, transportation included, BYOB Lemonade and water will be provided $125 To purchase tickets go here.

Frankfort – Frankfort Country Market Downtown Frankfort – 10-2.

August 7

Chicago – Women In Green Monthly Gathering – Uncommon Ground Devon 6-8pm 1401 West Devon A social group for sharing information, support and collaboration of ideas in the green universe.

Chicago – The New Generation Farmers Market at Browntrout  5-8pm 4111 North Lincoln Ave. In North Center, near the Irving Park Brown Line stop, this new “micro” farmer’s market sponsored by “Ground Up Chicago” . This is a very unique market that really is a “must shop” and while supplies last Browntrout will be selling its pickled ramps with its “super secret” pickling liquid.

Chicago – Lincoln Square - C & D Family Farms selling their all natural free range meats from 7 to 11 am in the parking lot at Lincoln & Leland.

Woodstock - Woodstock Farmers Market at historic Woodstock Square  8am – 1pm

SAVE THE DATE

August 8

Chicago – Taste of the Nation – Navy Pier Ballroom 6pm – 10pm An incredible gathering of chefs and mixologists to raise money for the incredible organiztion to fight childhood hunger, Share Our Strength. Buy tickets here.

August 9

Chicago – Seedling Farm + Goat Collaboration Dinner – Seedling lost a lot of their apple crop due to the warm weather then frost this Spring. Held at the Underground Goat 6:30pm $195 This dinner is to help the farm and celebrate the fruit that it produces.

NEW!! Chicago- Evening at the Greenhouse- Kilbourn Park Organic Greenhouse 3501 N. Kilbourn 6-8pm Chef Jeff Adamek and Pastry Chef Jennifer Templeton will create sweet and savory appetizers using fresh ingredients harvested straight from their garden.  The event will also include Half Acre Beer, Virtue Cider and sparkling sodas made from fruit from the garden. Hans and LeRoy Bach will perform live jazz guitar.  The silent auction will include garden themed items as well as gift certificates to area businesses. This family-friendly fundraising event will kick off the first phase of their campaign to develop the new Nature’s Playground, a natural play space within the garden, and to improve the infrastructure of the greenhouse. Our goal is to raise enough funds to build an interactive play structure in the Nature’s Playground and to install circulation and exhaust fans in the main greenhouse.  $45 here

August 10

Chicago – Hungry for Change: Growing Faith, Growing Food – Presented by the Chicago Lights Urban Farm in collaboration with Growing Power-Chicago and the Academy for Faith and Life of Fourth Presbyterian Church Keynote Presentation 7pm in the Fourth Church Sanctuary Roger Thurow Senior Fellow for Global Agriculture and Food Policy at the Chicago Council on Global Affairs Appetizers by Eric Mansavage of Farmhouse will be served.

Chicago – Hungry for Change workshops all day – Chicago Lights Urban Farm

Northwest Michigan – 4th Annual Northwest Michigan Hop Tour and Field Day 8am – 5pm Read about it here in the Beet by Associate Beet Editor Wendy Aeschlimann @aschie30

August 11

FD!! Caledonia/Chicago – Angelic Organics 5th Annual Peak Harvest Farm Dinner- 5pm 1547 Rockton Rd.  Join them for a delicious 5-course seasonal meal prepared by some of the region’s most recognized chefs, set in the beautiful and abundant fields of Angelic Organics at the peak of harvest season. The chefs include Marc Bernard of Big Bowl, Molly Johnson of Calihan Catering, Christine Cikowski and Joshua Kulp of Sunday Dinner, Nathan Chappell of Rushing Waters Fisheries, William Harriman of Angelic Organics They  are offering round trip transportation via bus from Chicago for $25. Guests who join them can take part in a pre-event reception at Big Bowl, 60 E. Ohio St., Chicago from 2:00-3:00 p.m featuring free seasonal appetizers and cocktails. The bus will leave the restaurant at 3 p.m., and return at 11 p.m. Tickets for the dinner itself are $150, purchase tickets and transportation here, all proceeds benefit the Learning Center’s Educational programs.

New!!! Lake Bluff – Boozy Snow Cone Night at North Shore Distillery  -28913 Hersky Drive Unit 308 5-8pm Try some great snow cones made with North Shore spirits and Jo Snow syrups. They are offering a special snow cone tour at 6pm. Email tours@northshoredistillery to reserve a spot.

August 12

 FD!! Elkhorn, WI - Outstanding in the Field Farm Dinner - Dietzler Farm, Chef Dan Van Rite, Hinterland Erie Street GastroPub Milwaukee $200 SOLD OUT

August 13

Chicago – Edible Chicago and Brooklyn Brewery present The Quarterly Carousal at Hopleaf – 5148 N. Clark St. 6-9pm Beer tasting and food samplings. Free RSVP to events@ediblechicago.com

FD!! Elkhorn, WI - Outstanding in the Field Farm Dinner - 4pm Dietzler Farm, Chef Jared Wentworth Longman & EagleChicago $200 This is going to be really good!!!!!!!!!!!!!

August 15

FD!! Caledonia, Il - Outstanding in the Field Farm Dinner - 4pm Kinnikinnick Farm – Chef Brian Huston, The Publican$200

FD!! Glencoe - Chicago Botanic Garden Farm Dinner Series – 5-8pm Cocktail hour by Death’s Door Spirits Dinner by City Provisions, Two Brothers Brewing & Illinois Sparkling Co/August Hill Winery $200 For reservations call Chicago Botanic Gardens (847) 835-5540.

August 16

FD!! Chicago - Outstanding in the Field Farm Dinner – 4pm City Farm Chicago Chef Jason Vincent Nightwood $220 SOLD OUT

August 17

FD!! Caledonia - Wind Ridge Herb Farm “Dinner in the Garden” 466 Quail Trap Road Local produce dinner with instruction of how to use herbs in cooking. Go to the link and contact the farm for more information.

August 18

FD!! Champaign - Prairie Fruit Farms Dinner “Al Fresco Cucina Italiana” – 5pm 4410 N. Lincoln Ave. (Champaign, not Chicago) 3 course meal BYOB $60 SOLD OUT

FD!! Chicago - City Provisions Farm Dinner - Dietzler Farms in Elkhorn, Wisconsin with 5 Rabbit Cerveceria & Few SpiritsFor tickets, please call (773) 293.2489.  $275 This is a mini-vacation, all day affair typically running from 11am to midnight.

Chicago – Slow Food Chicago Vegetarian Harvest Dinner – Uncommon Ground Devon

August 19

FD!! South Haven, MI – Outstanding in the Field Farm Dinner – 4pm Seedling Farm – Chefs Michael and Patrick Sheerin ofThe Trencherman $200

August 23

Chicago – Seed Saving (part of the Scrumptious Pantry Heirloom 2.0 event series ) – 6-8pm 3270 West Fullerton This class, also, taught by Sarah Baumgarten, will teach you how to properly save and store seeds from your garden as well as from nature. $25

August 25

Chicago – Edible Gardens Workshop 9:30am – 10:15am “Keeping a Garden Tidy:Staking, Pruning, Harvesting and Composting”

FD!! Stelle - Mint Creek Farm Dinner and Tour 2:30pm 1693 E. 3800 N. Road – Guest chef will be Viktorija Todorovska, author of The Puglian Cookbook $65 BYOB.

August 26

Chicago – This is it, The 8th Annual Corks and Crayons Benefit- An all ages celebration to benefit Purple Asparagus. The Greenhouse Loft in the Green Exchange 2545 West Diversey 4pm – 7pm It is great for all ages. This year’s event will include Top Chef contestant Heather Terhune of Sable KitchenThree Floyds BrewingCandid Wines and delicious non-alcoholic beverages for kids. Adults are $70, kids 5-15 $15, and children under 5 year olds are free.To register now go here. We hope that all Beet-niks will try to attend this terrific event and support Melissa Graham and the Purple Asparagi!!!!!!!!!

August 30

Chicago – Meet the Market Green City Market Junior Board – At Ada Street 1664 N. Ada St. with Kinnikinnick Farm 6pm

September 1

FD!! Champaign  - Prairie Fruits Farm Dinner -”Fish Fry”  4410 N. Lincoln Ave. (Champaign, not Chicago) Meal prepared by Sunday Dinner Chefs Joshua Kulp and Christine Cikowski out of Chicago, 4 course meal BYOB $65. SOLD OUT

Joliet – Mid-America Homesteading Conference

September 2

Baroda, MI – Check Please!Farm to Table Fest at Round Barn Winery A short drive from Chicago, a great list of chefs is already on the docket. Tickets start at $75 and VIP tickets are $150.

September 5

FD!! Glencoe - Chicago Botanic Garden Farm Dinner Series 5-8pm Cocktail Hour by Death’s Door, Dinner by City Provisions, Bell’s BreweryLynfred Winery

September 6

Lisle- Get The Buzz On, The Start of Bee Weekend at the Morton Arboretum – Honey Mead Dinner 6pm $50 with Wild Blossom Meadery 4100 Illinois Rte 53

September 8

FD!! Chicago - City Provisions Farm Dinner - Heritage Prairie Farm & Apiary with Metropolitan Brewing & Templeton Rye$275 This is a mini-vacation, all day affair typically running from 11am to midnight.

Lisle- Honey Expo Morton Arboretum 10:00 am – 4pm 4100 Illinois Rte 53

September 9

Lisle- Honey Expo Morton Arboretum 10:00 am – 4pm 4100 Illinois Rte 53

September 13

Chicago – Canning (part of the Scrumptious Pantry Heirloom 2.0 event series ) – 6-8pm 3270 West Fullerton This class is going to be taught by Laura McLaughlin of The Glass Rooster. Laura is going to discuss how to identify good canning produce, the best seasons to can, recommended equipment types and brands, and as previously implied, tips on how to make canning less stressful and more fun!$25

September 15

Chicago – Edible Gardens Workshop 9:30am – 10:15am “Growing Locally:Tips for Gardening in Chicago”

FD!! Fairbury – Slagel Family Farm Dinner – 2:30pm $75 BYOB 23601 E. 600 Noth Rd. Go to link for details

September 22

FD!! Stelle – Mint Creek Farm Dinner and Tour – 2:30pm 1693 E. 3800 N. Road. The guest chef will be Chuy Valencia of Top Chef and Chilam Bilam.

September 28-30

Chicago – Chicago Gourmet Festival presented by Bon Appetit. The “Ground Zero” this weekend of all things culinary in Chicago and the country. Pre-sale tickets already sold-out so you had better keep a watch so you don’t miss out on this action packed weekend of chefs, sommeliers, incredible beverages, food and lots more. You can buy regular tickets here . Do you have your tickets yet?

 

 

 

 

 




To Tamar, Tarmar’d, Needing to Tamar Again

By
Posted: August 1, 2012 at 2:02 pm

This is the post I can be writing nearly the entire summer.  I’ve either Tamar’d or need to Tamar again.  In fact, this post started a few weeks ago when I had a refrigerator full of CSA food, including a big bag of the herb, thyme.  Then, it was to be called, “Thyme to get Tamaring.”  Well, I finally got around to tamaring, and now I’m in need, I’m not sure which is more vital, to tamar or to post on tamar-ing.

Those not so familiar with potential 2012 Oxford English Dictionary word of the year, tamar, var. tamaring, – v. the act of taking raw fruits, vegetables, meats or grain from purchase to a state ready for consumption.  Named after author Tamar Adler whose recent book, Everlasting Meal, provides a wholesome guide for household food consumption.  Ms. Adler teaches that is not recipes one needs to be well fed; rather it is engagement.  You tamar.  You wash your lettuces, pick off your leaves of herb; you roast batches of this and saute batches of that.  Or you simply boil.  Much can be left to chance.  If you do the work.  You tamar.

I recently spent a weekend working on foods in the Bungalow.  Over 2 busy days, I created many dishes, some pictured below.  To tamar is not just to apply heat, but to me at least, to apply basic food or flavor combinations.  Tamar Adler talks about this too, the success of a good vinaigrette.  The advantage of selective dousing in herb.  Rob Leavitt, when he had Mado, used to be great at this, simple, fantastic combinations of vegetables.  There’s always a good way to use up what’s in the CSA box; what you bought at the market, or even what you found at your neighborhood grocery store.

The first thing Tamar Adler advises when setting out to tamar is to get a pot of water a-boilin’. I did. For small summer squash, I like to boil, which I think tames some of their harshness while allowing a fresh, sweet flavor to come out. You get much tenderness this way. Oil, vinegar and basil accent real well, and cherry tomatoes add color and acidity.

Waiting for the water to boil, and even thereafter, I did crucial prep work on my large collection of Swiss chard. I needed, firstly, to separate the stems from the leaves, because the latter needs longer cooling, and I needed to snip off the gnarly stem ends from where the plant is cut upon harvest. Chard also needs a good washing as it collects dirt.

I think boiling tames chard too. It also stores well like this. I only add oil and a squirt of lemon when ready to serve. Otherwise the condiments start to breakdown, even pickle the chard.

A principle of tamaring is that the water used to boil carries wonderful flavors to its next use. A related rule of thumb is to boil delicate vegetables first, saving heartier, cabbage family vegetables for last, as they’ll add, perhaps, too much to the water. So, from squash to chard, went broccoli. Finally, with a soft tomato, fennel fronds, an onion, carrot, garlic clove, parsley stems and about an hour more of boiling, there was also stock.

With the pot was boiling, I also got out a big fry pan. Some of that chard I trimmed and cleaned, I did saute. Moving on, I added a bit more oil to my pan. I quickly sliced into chunks, several long eggplants. Over medium heat, with about a half-inch of oil, I cooked the eggplants until soft, flipping as needed. I then placed them in a dish, sprinkled balsamic vinegar and basil, and added some (not very spicy) serrano chile.

My youngest daughter does not really like mayonnaise based cole slaws. She does like my “world famous lemon-y cabbage salad,” which comes about by combining lemon juice, parsley, salt and olive oil, with shredded cabbage until it tastes right. Often I add garlic. I also like to add one or two other vegetables for contrast, here I used sweet banana peppers.

This was another easy salad I made, having as its dressing only salt and rice vinegar. This salad takes advantage of the sweetness of summer onions and the affinity of onions to cucumbers. A little hot pepper only drew out the flavors.

Once I had a burner cleared, I went for another “dish”. I’m known for three things in the kitchen: green sauces (salsa verde), cabbage salads, and roasted peppers. Of the three, roasted peppers are the most work. They exist on the far edge of the cusp between how much I like having them vs how much I don’t like making them. Put it this way, any more difficulty, and they’re off the repertoire. Actually, this round of hot bananas went about as easy as ever. After blasting, sweating in a plastic wrapped bowl, and skinning, I pour a generous amount of olive oil and a miser’s amount of vinegar. I portion my garlic somewhere in between.

Luckily some peppers can be fried, whole, so much less work. The one key element to fried peppers, here shishitos, a healthy hand with the salt shaker.

The last thing I did in the house was marinate some chickens with Aleppo pepper, salt, garlic, lemon and olive oil. The rest of the work was on the grill and it included zukes, corn and that chicken. Needless to say this amount of food lasted at least ten days, with some still around.

And needless to say, it’s time to get tamar-ing again. Because we have in the house, local celery, I’m trying to off-load, a bit of tamaring to my wife. What I am to peppers, she is to caponata, a dish of celery, eggplant and other summer vegetables. For a change, we don’t have greens to process. We do have plenty of carrots, some beets, much onions, and a whole lot o’ purslane. Make your meals everlasting meals with some good tamaring.




This Time of Year, We Read the Papers to Find Local Food

By
Posted: August 1, 2012 at 9:50 am

All year, we find local food, I mean find out about local food, several ways. We get reports of CSA boxes from April all the way through December. We know people selling at farmer’s markets, and now, selling at markets year-round. We visit various markets. We shop grocery stores from Whole Foods to Caputo’s, and starting around the end of July, we read the papers.

We go to the papers for their advertising supplements. We look at the inserts from Jewel, Dominicks, Ultra, Meijers, Caputo’s. We look at them all, even Aldi. We look to see what kind of local produce they are currently offering. We know from experience, that this time of year, nearly all of them offer some produce that is locally grown.

We love you buying your local food from Jewel. Of course, we love you buying your local food from the farmer’s market. We do not necessarily want you to forsake the market for the grocery store. You cannot beat the varieties offered at the farmer’s markets. You cannot beat the ability to meet your farmer. Still, we cannot always make it to the farmer’s market. And we all make decisions how we allocate our food budgets, and maybe if we spend more at the grocery store we also have more to spend at the farmer’s market. In other words, what we save plum tomatoes may allow us to buy more heirloom tomatoes. On the other hand, what’s often interesting about shopping the flyers, we see many instances where farmer’s markets prices very much compete with supermarket prices. To us, all local food is good, even if some is more good.

So, think of what kinds of local foods you can find around the Chicago area right now.

Meijer – This Michigan based grocery store has been promoting local produce for many years, surely before it became a marketing tool.  In addition to highlighting items, Meijer’s ad includes text on “home grown produce now in season.”

  • Cabbage
  • Roma tomatoes
  • Eggplant
  • Green beans
  • Radishes
  • Zucchini and summer squash
  • Hot peppers
  • Sweet corn
  • Romaine lettuce

Jewel – We’ve seen a bit of local produce already at Jewel including muskmelons and cucumbers.  In their current flier, they advertise the following:

  • Watermelon
  • Green beans

Ultra – We don’t spend much time in this store, but maybe we should.  Currently advertised, local produce:

  • Sweet corn
  • Zucchini and summer squash
  • Cucumbers

Dominicks – We remember when this was the dominant store in our area.  Now, we find so many of the stores tired and oddly expensive.  We do like that they see value in promoting local produce, and this week call attention to these items:

  • Sweet corn (Twin Gardens)
  • Zucchini and summer squash
  • Blueberries

Super Low Foods – A Centrella stocked company with three stores in the near West suburbs.  We suspect there’s a bit more local than what is currently advertised:

  • Roma tomatoes

Tony’s – This company runs four stores on the Northwest side of Chicago.  Currently, they seem to be appealing to the same crowd that goes out of their way for Baylor melons and Georgia peaches, as their flyer shows the things available local at some places like tomatoes and romaine lettuce, Tony shows as being from California.  Aside from Aldi, Tony’s is the only place that did not advertise local produce this week.

Aldi’s – In their flyer, Aldi’s does not list the origin of any of the produce.  We’ll grade it as incomplete.

Angelo Caputo’s – We shop often at the Elmwood Park location of this company that has five other locations in Chicago’s west and northwestern suburbs.  We know from our frequent visits that Caputo’s carries a strong committment to local produce.  A visit this week found plum and slicing tomatoes local, Melrose peppers, cabbage, green peppers, green beans and more.  Their flyer highlights only these things:

  • Pickles
  • Plum tomatoes – note, Caputo’s sells 1/2 bushels of local plum tomatoes for canning