The Local Calendar 12/19/14 Last Green City Market of the Year, Pilsen Community Market, All Chili Considered, KAM Isaah Food Justice in January

Posted: December 19, 2014 at 7:00 am

Winter RadishYunnan Hancock tree

Last Green City market of the year tomorrow. As we move into winter, the offerings from the farmers get sparse. However, winter radishes are one vegetable that stays on the tables. Publican Quality Meats is offering a beautiful, colors of winter salad, containing radishes, green onion, endive and escarole on their current menu. Not all of the ingredients are local but they do show how you can use some of the winter produce in creative ways and the salad, hit that, “I need some salad” spot in a very good way.

Another alternative for the winter is spicing up your food and trying out new recipes. The Yunnan Cookbook, by Annabel Jackson and Linda Chia offers some simple but tasty recipes. Yunnan is the most bio-diverse province of China and it borders the provinces of Buangxi, Guizhou, Sichuan and Tibet to the east and north, Burma to the west and south, then, Vietnam and Laos which contributes to it being ethnically diverse. The cuisine runs the gamut of recipes because of the abundance of produce as well and utilizes a lot of foraged things like mushrooms. In the winter time, trying a different cookbook and new flavors is a way to change up your food when the farmers tables are not so abundant.  This particular corner of China, is one, where the different ethnic minorities use local ingredients then spices and herbs to create their style of food. Pork Rib & Radish soup, Bai Chicken soup, Mixed Mushrooms with Mustard Greens (you can substitute another winter green), Pork Loin with Mustard Greens & Preserved Vegetables, Spicy Tofu with Fresh mushrooms. So options where local meat, winter greens, radishes, mushrooms can all be sourced from farmers here. A cookbook like this makes a nice holiday gift, for yourself, as well.

Holiday trees are out in full force, like the white lighted tree at the John Hancock Tower. As we move into the next year, keep your local purveyors in mind, like Green Grocer, SBK Kitchen, Provenance Food and Wine, Publican Quality Meats, The Spice House, the Butcher and Larder, Baker Miller, Chestnut Provisions and the much anticipated Local Foods grocery store, and the growing coop Chicago Market. As you make end of year donations, keep some of these dynamic organizations that are really making a difference to the Chicagoland/Illinois sustainable foodscape on your list, The Talking Farm, Angelics Learning Center, Spence Farm Foundation and the Illinois Stewardship Alliance. The January calendar is already building with KAM Isaah’s Food Justice weekend set for mid-January, Growing Power now has a urban farmer incubator program in place(the deadline for applications is 1/5/15) This weekend is the last for Green City Market, you can get to the All Chili Considered Cook-Off sponsored by Graze Magazine at the Empty Bottle on Sunday

The Week’s Local Calendar and Beyond

December 20

Happy Hanukkah!

Chicago(Edgewater) - Fearless Food Kitchen (Peterson Garden Project) 2pm-4pm- 5917 North Broadway Cooking Class Raised With Love: Homemade Gingerbread Houses Hands-on, $55

FM – Chicago (Lincoln Park) - Green City Market Indoor – 8am – 1pm Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum Fullerton and Cannon Drive The Indoor market will take place ( 1/24/15, 2/7, 2/21, 3/7, 3/21, 4/4, 4/18) All of their purveyors undergo a rigorous application process that details their farming and/or production practices.

December 21

Registration opens for the January 18, 2015 Chicago Food Swap, this fills up fast!

FM – Chicago (Hyde Park)Artisans Bazaar and Farmers Market – 11am – 4pm The Promontory Neighborhood artisans, local farms, and jazz all wrapped up in the second floor lounge of Hyde Park’s Promontory Restaurant at Lake Park and 53rd Street.

FM- Chicago (Logan Square) -  Logan Square Winter Market (Through March 29) 10am -3pm 2755 N. Milwaukee

FM – Chicago (Pilsen) - Pilsen Community Market - 11am -3:30pm Honky Tonk BBQ 1213 W. 18th St. -Complete your holiday shopping, buy delicious, fresh foods, and support local artisans and businesses all at once!

Chicago (Wicker Park) - All Chili Considered - 12-4pm The Empty Bottle 1035 N Western Need a way to warm up on a chili day in December? The people from Graze Magazine has just the thing! Sixteen home and professional chefs will compete for the Most Outstanding Chili award, as judged by their panel of esteemed culinary experts, and YOU, the people.  Get your tickets ahead of time to ensure that you have a place among all the chili and bread, music, and coziness we can offer. PLUS it’s a dollar off the ticket price at the door! ($9 advance tickets/$10 day-of)

December 25

Merry Christmas !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

January 1

Happy New Year!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

January 11

FM – SkokieFaith In Place Winter Market 10am – 2pm Temple Judea Mizpah 8610 Niles Center Road

January 13

Chicago(Edgewater) - Fearless Food Kitchen (Peterson Garden Project) Cooking Class 7-9pm- “Taste Test” Series: Haejangguk (Korean hangover soup) Hands-on, $25

January 14

Chicago(Edgewater) - Fearless Food Kitchen (Peterson Garden Project) Cooking Class 7-9pm- Plant Powered Meals Hands-on, $55

January 15

Chicago(Edgewater) - Fearless Food Kitchen (Peterson Garden Project) Cooking Class 7-9pm- Cooking for 1 or 2 Hands-on, $55

January 16-18

Chicago (Hyde Park )6th Annual MLK Food Justice and Sustainability Weekend “Climate Change and Civil Rights”  The weekend-long program begins on Friday, January 16, at 7:30 p.m., with a Shabbat service. Following the service Robert Nevel, KAM Isaiah Israel president and founder of the congregation’s award winning, nationally recognized food justice and sustainability program, will deliver the weekend’s keynote address. The title of his talk is “Climate Change: A Sacred Approach To A Profane Problem.”On Saturday afternoon, January 17, from 4:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m., in a community design workshop, leading growers and planners will design an urban food forest with input from the audience. The distinguished group includes Breanne Heath, Farmer, The Pie Patch; Rob Kartholl, Farm Manager, KAM Isaiah Israel; Annamaria Leon, Manager, Edible Landscapes Department, Christy Webber Landscapes; Elan Margulies, Director Of Teva, Hazon; Ellen Phillips, Soils Consultant, CP Enterprises and Michael Thompson, Co-Founder of Chicago Honey Co-op. A reception will follow at 6:30 p.m. On Sunday, January 18, from 10 a.m. to 2:45 p.m., over a dozen workshops will be offered by tree and plant experts, social activists, environmentalists and urban farmers from such well-known organizations as Possibility Place Nursery, the Chicago Chapter of Physicians for Social Responsibility, Growing Home, University of Illinois Extension, Openlands and Bike a Bee.

January 18

Chicago (Edgewater) – Chicago Food SwapFearless Food Kitchen Peterson Garden Project Broadway Armory 5917 N. Broadway

February 7

Chicago – The 3rd Annual Cider Summit - Artisanal ciders from around the world. Navy Pier This event sells out!!

March 19-21

Chicago - The Good Food Festival and Conference sponsored by Family Farmed


One Comment

11 shocking things you didn’t know about beer! (It’s a parody, folks.)

Posted: December 14, 2014 at 7:08 pm


There are many sites on the interwebs that purport to tell you “shocking” things that “you didn’t know” about all sorts of things. They often start with semi-truths, and then extrapolate the hell out of them to get to silly, meaningless conclusions.

Here’s our version of one of those sites about my personal passion, beer.

Beer isn’t just a liquid. It’s also a gas. Most beer has carbon dioxide dissolved in it. Without the carbon dioxide, you couldn’t vigorously shake the beer bottle and then spray beer all over your unsuspecting friends. And by doing so, at the same time, you’ll be releasing CO2 into the atmosphere, contributing to global warming, which, if it really works, is much appreciated here during winter months.

You may be drinking a fungus. Many beers are filled with fungi. Not so much the highly-filtered macro brews, but many craft beers are chock full of saprophytic fungi. Ewwww. (Some people may call these saprophytic fungi “yeast.”)

Beer is a significant source of silicon. Dietary silicon from beer can help increase bone density. And, for decades, many eyeglasses were made from glass — which is made from silicon. So splashing a little beer on your spectacles may actually make them a little stronger. It’s certainly easy to accomplish late at night at your favorite bar.

Beer depletes the world’s supply of fresh water. Most beers are between 90% and 95% water. Many areas of the country — and the world — are experiencing drought. Cute little kids are dying. By not drinking that beer, you might actually save someone from perishing of dehydration. Of course, guys can return that water — somewhat processed — into the nearest urinal. I have no idea what women do.

Beer makes members of the opposite sex appear much more attractive. This is totally true. Note that for members of the LGBT community, use of the word “opposite” is optional.

Cans used for beer almost always have their insides coated with Bisphenol A (BPA). A 2010 report on BPA from the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) identified possible hazards to fetuses, infants, and young children from BPA. There’s absolutely no evidence that any more than negligible, harmless levels of BPA from cans actually get into your beer, but why risk it, especially when you’re serving beer to your fetuses, infants, and young children?

Beer is often sold in glass battles. Those bottles can occasionally shatter, especially if you hit them hard enough with a sledge hammer. Do you really want to risk dangerous, gut slitting glass shards in your belly by drinking beer?

The beer you drink today, you may not be able to drink tomorrow. That beer glass won’t refill itself. Especially with some of Chicagoland’s best craft breweries, you’ll find out they frequently make one-off versions of their excellent specialty beers. A few weeks later that special beer won’t ever be available again. We’re looking at you, Pipeworks.

Most heroin users tried beer before they tried heroin. Do you really want to become a heroin addict by consuming that next glass of beer?

You probably can’t drink as much beer as you’d like. When you go to your favorite taproom, you might walk out with a few growlers of beer. Most growlers contain approximately 1/2 gallon of beer. So, if it’s a Barley Wine or Imperial Stout, despite what you’d like, most doctors recommend you should limit yourself to less than four growlers per hour.

Beer may kill you. In one single undocumented study, men in their 80s and 90s who drank even a single glass of beer per day had a significantly higher 10-year mortality rate than children between 6 and 8 years of age, who didn’t drink any beer. So, if you value your life, don’t drink beer. (Note that coffee, milk, juices, water, and all other liquids also showed higher mortality rates among the 80 year old plus population who drank them, compared to 6 to 8 year olds. Thus, if you really want to live a long time, you should probably avoid consuming any liquids. And avoid solids, too.)


More of Tom’s musings on beer can be found here.