What’s In Season Now – Greek Salad (Kinda Recycled)

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Posted: June 30, 2015 at 8:21 am

The Sublime Combination of Tomatoes, Onions, and Cucumbers

 

 

A lot of nations claim title for a salad of tomatoes and cucumbers. You might see it under a generic name, something ecumenical and meant to avoid offense, like shepherd’s salad. Put it this way, the Greek’s have no ownership over this, and they by the way call it horiatiki or village salad. The thing is, on this site, since the very beginning, when there’s tomatoes, cukes, feta, sometimes onions (I’m picky on onions) often salty fishy’s I call it Greek salad, and I guess the real distinguishing factor, what makes it a “real” Greek salad as compared to a diner Greek salad is the absence of lettuce. Here’s how I explained it in 2009:

I had two big salads yesterday; the rather mediocre namesake salad at Santorini (which I will write about sometime soon) and a bread salad or panzanella last night for dinner.  It was my second bread salad in recent days and maybe the third time we made the classic combination of tomatoes and cucumbers.  A salad with cucumbers and tomatoes is not just Greek.  I mean not that long ago, my wife and I had a surprisingly good version at a Czech place, the dish called sopska salad (it was the feta like cheese that made the dish), and when we use stale bread we always call it panzenella.  Still, for cataloguing purposes, it is Greek Salad.

I’ve already mentioned the key ingredients of Greek salad, tomatoes and cucumbers.  Last week I purchased my first cucumbers on my field trip to Muncie.  Then, a day later a host of cucumbers showed up in my CSA box.  Greenhouse tomatoes, expensive and not very good if you ask me, have been at the Oak Park Farmer’s Market since day one.  I start buying tomatoes when the, at least grown in ground, hoop-house tomatoes arrive, which was not last week but the week before.  I don’t have to tell you that there will be much better tomatoes soon, but for the time being, these scratch the Greek salad itch.

A Greek salad needs no more than tomatoes and cucumbers, but it can be endlessly tweaked to good end.  Like I say, I like to add stale bread.  The bread, if nothing else, serves to sop up the ample juices from the other stuff.  I like peppers very much.  As with the cukes, I found skinny banana peppers first in Muncie and then a few days later at Farmer Vicki’s Genesis Growers.  Even better, Genesis had serrano peppers freakishly early, and I swooped in to buy.  Beyond those ingredients, I almost always have to have some herbs.  I still have some Thai style basil from a few weeks ago, and I have a large bunch of basil from Muncie.  I have mint from last week’s market that is always worth adding too.  Rocket if you have it, for some pepper back-bite.  I rarely eat raw onions, but with this salad, I’ll use a smidgen of scallion or better, some summer sweet onions.  I can eat this salad constantly.  Or chop it finer and call it a relish or salsa for grilled foods.   The months of Greek salads have begun.

If I never tire of Greek salad, I tired of broccoli weeks ago, yet a lot of it showed up once again in my CSA box.  What I (and my kids) really want to do with it is make a cheesey Kentucky style casserole, but my wife is putting her foot down on that one (and it’s not like my waistline can support that one either).  The CSA box also came with collard greens and lettuce, two other things I like but am not hankering to use at this point.  On the other hand, I am filled with ideas for the big bag of green beans, the season’s first.  About 2/3rds of these beans will go into some type of braised dish.  The rest will be boiled for a cold salad.

Believe you me both, there’s plenty more in the Bungalow.  I’ll try to get to it.  In between Greek Salads.




Don’t Dress the Beets and Other Notes for the Week

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Posted: June 29, 2015 at 8:53 am

Yeah Peppers

 

peek inside bag

Here’s a peek inside my farmer’s market shopping bag* after Saturday’s Oak Park Market. In fact, I was so happy finding peppers at the market, that I stopped on my way to my car to take this picture. Just as I was getting ready to leave the market, I spied the earliest seasonal peppers from Farmer Vicki’s Genesis Growers. Genesis does great by peppers, from getting the first to market to offering dried versions in the winter. In between they farm all kinds from the mildest bells to the hottest ghosts. I have no idea what I will do with two baskets of serrano’s, with one stray jalapeno stowed away. Thinking about what do with them, thinking about what to do with everything that is in that bag, what else my wife brought home from the market that day or what came in our recent CSA, thinking, planning what to do, what to make, I think that may be my favorite aspect of the locavore life.

We are all perfect cooks in our head. What’s the saying, 100 percent of the dishes not made come out perfect. Is that why I love so much to talk about what to do with our accumulated food. Do we go with miso glazed turnips again, they came out so good last week or do we try a new approach. Do we ever get tired of roasted potatoes? What dear God do we do with all the chives that keep on showing up in the box? This salad dressing I made the other day, with ginger, ponzu, spicy mustard and soy would be great on the chard we still have. What do you think. Leave the beets alone.

Honestly, I have no idea why my family does not like playing the what should we do with our produce game as much as me. After all, if I was not asking about vegetables, I would be going over zumba songs. What more can they expect of me. I did get the Condiment Queen to participate because she found herself stuck with me on a dog walk. I forced myself on her away from the home when she had no place to duck for cover. So, she gave me this. Leave the beets alone. What that meant, oh my just getting to what it meant was a joy for me, what it meant was roast the beets but then don’t put any dressing, any sauce, any marinade on them. Any ideas of parsely or dried mint that was for another week. She had recipe in mind, one from her long agon stage-days at Mado, with yogurt or something like that. Leave the beets.

Leave the beets. The rest is to my own device. Kind of. My elder daughter did a nice job last week in helping me cook–actually have a post gurgling about how much easier it is to prepare a deaux. We went to prepare beet greens last week. Ginger and lots of garlic she suggested. Ginger and scallions I countered. We did not debate the matter, hold a vote or see which way Twitter trended. I appointed myself Chef and determined the dish. And boy did I feel guilty, especially when the next day, on her own, she made kale with ginger and lots of garlic. This week, we’re skipping the scallions for sure. I have ideas. All those herbs in a salsa verde, kohlrabi slaw, Indian-Jamaican style cabbage with curry and turmeric. Everything but the peppers. I might do, like I did with last night’s supper, just munch on the peppers on the side.

Check back later in the week for some news on what got made.

*No I don’t bring my own reusable bags, I need plastic bags for dog walks and to otherwise place my trash.  Right?




What’s In Season Now, Summer – Sponsored by Vera Chicago

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Posted: June 25, 2015 at 9:20 am

Does it Taste Like Spring

 

Vera-LOGO-Fpattern (1) (1)

How do we know it’s summer.  We hit the solstice.   The Swedes celebrate Midsommar Fest.  Meteorologically, it’s been summer for a few weeks.  Have you turned on your air conditioner?  And you can find summer in the markets.  There are the earliest tomatoes, from hoop houses; cukes have appeared as have zukes.  Still, around here, the start of summer tastes a lot like Spring or at least what we keep on being told Spring tastes like.  This is the time to gorge on all forms of pea–sugar, English or “shelling” and flat or snow.  This is the time, not 3 months ago, to eat fava beans.  Strawberries and asparagus are still plentiful See below for what  to find now.  Use our revised farmer’s market shopping tips to make the most of what you find.  For additional markets and other things to do in the week’s ahead, do check out Jeannie’s Local Calendar.

Snap Peas Leaning Shed
Photo Jeannie Boutelle

What’s In Season Now

 

 

Cherry Clafoutis

Before the Condiment Queen became an ace pie-maker, her go to speciality for seasonal fruit was the clafouti. Classically, the clafouti is made with cherries (and classically, with pits left in!). Consider that as you shop this week.  We’ve  cited below some of the things we think you should look for now either because they are coming into season or because they have a short season.  It is by no means a encylopedia of what’s all there now.

From the Ground

  • Peas – snow peas, English or “shelling” peas, sugar snaps
  • Fava beans
  • Summer squash, especially smaller versions
  • Beets. with their greens
  • Fresh onions with their tops
  • Fresh garlic and garlic scapes
  • Cucumbers
  • Cabbage

From the Trees and Bushes

  • Cherries – sweet and tart
  • Blueberries
  • Raspberries

Year round

  • Meats, poultry, lake fish
  • Eggs
  • Milk, cheese and other dairy
  • Mushrooms
  • Grains and breads
  • Preserved and jarred products

Where to Find Local Food

Almost all markets are running now.  We’ve hightlighted some of our favorites and some to we need to check out.  In addition to markets, there are several stores in the Chicago area that focus on selling local foods.

Chicago

One of the most complete markets on the south side is run by our friends at the Experimental Station at their 61st Market on Saturdays from 9 AM to 2 PM -  6100 S. Blackstone

Did you know there is a second location of Green City Market?  As they did last year, Green City has put up a market in the West Loop, an area way underserved.  Avoid all the hassles of Lincoln Park by visiting this location on Saturdays from 9 AM to 2 PM – Yes, that’s different than the Lincoln Park locale. - 799 W. Fulton Market. (at Halsted)

Every other week, including this Sunday, June 28th, you will find the Condiment Queen selling Tomato Mountain organic products at Independence Park - 9 AM to 1 PM.  - Irving Park at Springfield

It may not be the biggest market in the Chicago area, but it is the only market with a free breakfast of Eli’s Cheesecake Cafe (and the only market where you can gorge on cheesecake samples).  We maintain a special place in our heart for this market, Thursdays – 7 AM – 1 PM - 6701 West Forest Preserve Drive

Oak Park

Have we mentioned donuts.  Family ties?  Well, what about one of the few area markets with locally tapped maple syrup?  Jim the Vinegar Guy?  Sadly, no Hazzard Free grains this year.  Saturdays from 8 AM to 1 PM - 460 Lake

Evanston

There are often times, when we think about these things, quantify these things, we say this is the best there is in the Chicago area.  There’s the heirlooms, the regular, meats, cheeses, breads, the unique and the mundane, about all you could want in one market.  Saturdays from 730 AM to 1 PM - University Street & Oak Avenue

Morton Grove

Very close Beet ties to this one, so get there on Saturday and shop, shop, shop.  Saturdays 8 AM to Noon - 6210 Dempster

Geneva

Do you think we’re not gonna include something way far away?  The Geneva Green Market has been focusing on organic and sustainable farmers for a while and is worth the visit if you are anywhere close (or not as it’s a great drive or a great train ride).  Thursdays 9 AM to 1 PM - 327 Hamilton Street

Northbrook

In memory of Mom.  She was a volunteer hereWednesdays from 7 AM to 1 Pm –  Cherry Lane and Meadow Road

Riverside

You liked the area so much, you came back for another market.  There was a time when the Condiment Queen worked this one, so it’s got a little special place in our heart, but we love a lot else about Riverside, one of the only places where you find winding streets and bungalows, the downtown area, the river and the falls are all hard to believe within the Chicago area.  Combine your trip with a little Czech food or on the other hand, empanadas, in downtown Riverside. - Wednesdays 230 PM – 7 PM - 27 Riverside Road

 

 

What's In Season and Where to Find It - Sponsored by Vera 1023 W. Lake, Chicago What’s In Season and Where to Find It – Sponsored by Vera 1023 W. Lake, Chicago




This Book Cooks by Kerry Dunnington Nostalgic, Farm Sourced, Practical Recipes Keeping the Earth In Mind

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Posted: June 24, 2015 at 7:05 pm

THisbook

My immediate thoughts upon reading cookbook author Kerry Dunnington’s most recent book, This Book Cooks, Farm-Fresh Traditional Recipes for Healthy Contemporary Cooking (Artichoke Publishers) was that it made me feel nostalgic for the approachability of the cookbooks I grew up with from the Garden Club or Womens’ League filled with family recipes. Yet this book has a very contemporary message, of keeping the earth in mind, in all aspects of sourcing and cooking a meal.

“Honoring her mother’s spirit, she has infused the book with her belief in the importance of implementing family food traditions and recognizing that our culinary choices have a major impact on the environment.” She has strong convictions that “we must shop the harvest, appreciate the bounty and share in the goodness and nourishment that nature offers us.” I think anyone who reads the Beet will completely agree with these sentiments.

What is unique with her book is that before she segues into her 200 plus recipes, she outlines her “365 Days A Year Ecological Food Challenge” which I think is a great idea. The concept is “to get your family to join you in making small, daily changes that benefit the environment as well as their health”. Some of the ideas she outlines are: 1) The Seed To Table Food Challenge, which I think echoes the Peterson Garden Project’s Food Manifesto, grow your own food; 2) The Rainbow Challenge, eat colorfully; 3) The Re-Purposing Challenge, re-purpose one item a week, my latest re-purpose is canning jars from condiments that I buy at the Green City Market from Bushel & Peck’s and using them as containers to hold kitchen utensils; 4) Who’s Your Farmer Challenge; 5) The Season-To-Season Challenge; 6) The Old Fashioned Challenge, this category is full of tips keeping traditions in mind; 7) The Plastic Diet Challenge and 8) The Aromatic Food Challenge, appreciate food scents. She has a section on Eco-Shopping Tips like using re-usable bags, Country Financials‘ market bag is one to take advantage of in Chicago as well as Eco-ing Your Kitchen like using eco-friendly cleaning products.

The recipes are grouped in categories, Appetizers, Soups and Bisques, Entrees, Vegetables and Potatoes, Salads, Flour Power, Complementers(Salad dressings, sauces), Morning Glories(Some great ideas for brunch), Sweet Bites and she includes dog treats. In the back of the book she has included a lot of resources and advice towards shopping smarter and thinking “eco”.

Her recipes are layed out very simply which is why reading them got me nostalgic because you don’t see a lot of recipes for dips or spreads anymore or classic summer salads. The recipes give you a lot of latitude in some cases she says canned chicken stock and in the back of the book gives recommendations as to which ones to buy. For people who grew up with cooking traditions in your families, you may have inherited a lot of “family recipes” for staples like potato salad or cherry cobbler. For me, it feels like worlds colliding, traditional recipes where you feel like Kerry is sharing the recipes from her family with modern shopping and sourcing hints. She suggests buying local and fresh where you can, however, she makes the caveat which we make at the Beet, “eating foods indigenous only to certain geographic regions and climates is justified when you can’t get them otherwise”.

I have dog-earred, a “smoked fish and horseradish dip”, “spinach-stuffed chicken breasts”, “bountiful potato salad”, “blueberry-almond coffee cake”, “zucchini and egg casserole”, “cherry cobbler” recipe and a few others. You can google recipes but there is nothing like a book you can have open on the kitchen counter and lots of pages to flip through with many choices. With this book, YOU WILL cook!




The Weekly (ish) Harvest of Eat Local Links

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Posted: June 24, 2015 at 9:06 am

Catching Up on Our Reading

 

What prompted a little tirade over @ LTHForum this AM.

Busy as a bee in a very good way.

One farmer’s market we’ll probably never make it to.

What would you do with some 20 year old cheese?

Too tired to read, here’s a video.

The best farm stands around the country according to Rodale.

Do you believe that local food can feed the world?




Shared Interests

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Posted: June 22, 2015 at 7:36 pm

Mom, RIP

 

mom's fingers

I’m gonna miss those fingers. Although let me tell you this, it’s not so much the pickled beets I’m missing, it’s talking about the pickled beets. The first thing you learn after losing a loved one is that they are not there. I mean, this sounds so obvious, dare I say stupid, putting it on (virtual) paper. What I mean, you want to say something, share something, and you cannot. It hit me hard when I finally visited the Northbrook Farmer’s Market, where my mom volunteered. I wanted to say, loved the farmer’s market. I couldn’t. It’s happened on a few other things. It will happen many times hence. One thing I do not need to say to my Mom was we share interests. She knew that.

It’s funny, put my Dad and I behind a scrim and get us talking. You would not know father from son. Plus or minus a few white hairs, we look pretty close. Still, get us talking about politics, and, well let me tell you this also about Mom, it was not the conversations she relished, because if nothing else him and I share tendency to explode. We are and are not like our parents. Are, with Mom, was a lot. I shall say the habits of disarray that my kids inherited from me go back to her. Let us, however not dwell there. Let us talk about how my Mom was a Chowhound way before Jim Leff anointed the tribe.

In fact, my Mom was a Chowhound a reader and occasional poster on the site. Being a very early adopter of the home PC and the home PC network (rigged up by my old college roommate as a side job), she had no problem navigating Chowhound or later LTHForum. I will say these days, her Instagram feed consisted of many dog pictures interspersed with my food shots. The extent of her food photography, is almost entirely within this post.

All that I love dear in food. All that obsesses me. Occupies much of my time. Bores those of lesser passions starts with Mom. Gifted in the kitchen, my youngest years were filled with delicious memories of the mundane and the grand. She had a way with Open Pit, her, what would get me murdered in certain circles for calling it this, bbq chicken, was my favorite dish for many years. I liked the meatloaf, the lamb chops, pizza burgers. Only the calves liver did not carry over to me (until I hit about 40). At holiday times she excelled in matzah balls, sinkers was her way; excellent gravy for the turkey; as I said, myself and the rest of the family did not like liver when she cooked it plain, but add soft, near burnt onions and lots of hard-boiled eggs, we were all of the school that our Mom made the best chopped liver. She was the keeper of “grandma’s tzimmes”, a recipe passed down from my Dad’s grandmother. Preserving heirloom recipes like that mattered to her and thus to me. Another tradition she strongly held, a Yom Kippur break-fast consisting of hard boiled eggs, boiled potatoes, whipped butter, herring and black bread. She eagerly ventured across cuisines and traditions too, her meatball tagine one of the reasons I once found myself in Morocco. When the family got wealthier she changed my favorite dish to rack of lamb with a Dijon mustard crust. Her effect did not end in the dining room.

My parents were adventurous and interested diners: chowhounds. About once a month they went with their friend Marv and his current wife to exotica like Miramar’s Serbian or something else bold. They took the initiative back to us, my sister and I. I know we were eating Korean food before anyone else. I think of this Mexican restaurant, in the back of a grocery, they would take us to in the then seedy area, yes! around Webster and Sheffield. Some meals I only experienced vicariously. Each year my Dad would get the “letter,” essentially permission from his boss to expense any, any meal they wanted. If they got it today, it would certainly be Alinea. In their time, it was Le Francais. I adored hearing of the many courses, the pates and terrines, game and all, the next morning. That’s not all when it came to influences.

Going into my senior year in high school, my mother opened a store in Niles. Originally, the store focused on storage and related, Container Store way ahead of its time, but gradually the housewares section expanded and became the focus. I worked there, learning the superiority of German knives and what the hell that little thing with the tiny round holes was for–zesting. I parlayed that job into a college job at a gourmet store in Washington DC. Amongst all the kitchen junk we have in the Bungalow, some of it came from the store in Niles, Sorting it Out.

mom's beetsmom's jam

Those years growing up, my Mom cooked a lot of great stuff. When it came to baking, her speciality was bundt cake from a box. Like me now, she did not enjoy the precision of baking. Boring. Likewise, she did not can. It scared her she said. Until she retired and had time on her hands. She became an baker, supplying her synagogue with treats all the time. I’m bias, but I love her challah. But canning. Let me wrap this up here. In recent years, there were two things most special at Thanksgiving. One, the breads my mother made, old timey things like anadama. Two, the elaborate relish platter she put together. some of the platter consisted of smart shopping a Roth Kase cheese or some good olives, the heart of the plate were the things she made: roasted peppers (2 ways!); chow chow; pickled tomatoes; the relishes needed their own plate. The relishes formed a symbiotic role for us. The more I loved what she made, the more she would make, and the more she would make, the more I’d love them. It was near the end of last summer, before an oxygen prescription shut down her kitchen that she made that batch of pickled beets shown, leaving her fingers stained. I’m really gonna miss those beets.


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The Local Calendar 6/11/15 Its Berry Season, GCM Soho House, Pizza at SBK 6/14, Spence Farm 6/19, West Loop Craft Beer Fest

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Posted: June 11, 2015 at 8:30 am

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Berry season has arrived. Strawberries are lined up at many of the booths at the market. If you haven’t already try this: buy a box of strawberries from a farmers market and buy a box of strawberries from a large grocer, then do a taste test. Hopefully, you will see how differently one tastes from the other. The just picked berries are full of flavor. They won’t last in your refrigerator as long because they haven’t been sprayed with that special gas that keeps them from going bad. But eating too many strawberries is not a bad thing!!!

We update this during the course of the month, so check below for new events! For this weekend 6/26-28 Bakery Open Houses at Publican Quality Bakery, Floriole and Bennison’s (Evanston), Strawberry Fest in Long Grove, Two Brothers Summer Festival in Aurora, Katherine Ann Confections Preview Party (Friday), Gourmet In The Garden at Piccolo Sogno, Bugs, Bees, Diversity AUA Field Day (Sunday0, A Greener Ravenswood 6/25

Outdoor farmers market season is in full swing. Are you still trying to figure out which farmers market is closest to you for work, home? Here are some links that offer great info on that topic. Chicago DCASE ( within Chicago), Local Harvest (Within Chicagoland and Illinois), Agrihappenigs (Published by the Ill. Dept of Agriculture, markets and happenings within the state).

Chicagogourmet tickets, 9/26-9/27 are available now! Green City Market BBQ, July 16 are on sale!

If you want a fun field trip for a weekend day in the summer, farm dinners are one way to go and the more popular ones are well on their way to being sold out. Heritage Prairie in Brundige, Mint Creek Farm in Stelle, Outstanding In The Field (nationwide farm tour that has stops in the Chicagoland area), Prairie Fruit Farm in Champaign and Slagel Family Farms in Fairbury.

The Peterson Garden Project has all sort of classes for you to grow and then cook your own food! Need help with bees? Interested in local chickens?  Garfield Park Conservatory has a class for you. Have questions about urban farming, ask someone at the Advocates for Urban Agriculture or farming outside of Chicago, ask the Land Connectionthe Illinois Stewardship Alliance  or the Talking Farm in Skokie.

With good weather comes lots of fun things to eat, drink and partake in. Dukes in Crystal Lake has a huge eco-friendly food and beer fest on Saturday, Sauce and Bread Kitchen is holding a pizza fundraiser in partnership with Dark Matter Coffee and Middle Brow Beer this Sunday, the West Loop has their Craft Beer Fest Saturday, Lumpen Radio has their fundraiser at Lagunitas Taproom 6/16 and Spence Farm has a very, very special fundraiser on Friday June 19, and the list goes on. Lots more on The Week Ahead!

 The Week Ahead

 June 11

FM - Chicago (Loop)Daley Plaza Farmers Market  (Through 10/29) 7am – 3pm Sponsored by the City of Chicago and COUNTRY Financial This year, all of the City of Chicago managed markets will accept LINK and will distribute double value coupons with every LINK purchase. Don’t forget to pick up your reusable bag from COUNTRY Financial at Daley Plaza or a market near you.

Chicago (River North)Cookie Love -5:30pm – 7pm Naha 500 N. Clark St.  $50 A book signing and reception to meet Mindy Segal, Pastry Chef “Extraordinaire”of Hot Chocolate and to celebrate her new book. RSVP info@naha-chicago.com

June 12

EvanstonFEW Friday Release Limited Edition Breakfast Gin – 5pm – 9pm 918 Chicago Ave.

June 13

Chicago - Urban Farm Open House  11am – 3pm Growing Home Wood Street Farm 5814 South Wood St. 

FM - Chicago (Hyde Park/Woodlawn) - 61st Farmers Market Outdoor (Through Dec. 19) 9am -2pm 61st and Dorchester Accepting Senior Coupons and doubling LINK up to $25 The Chicago Southside’s premier farmers market, straddling the Hyde Park and Woodlawn neighborhoods.

FM - Chicago (Lincoln Park) Green City Market (Through 10/31) The market is located at the south end of Lincoln Park between Clark and Stockton Drive (approximately 1817 N. Clark) Doubling LINK up to $15 7am – 1pm Chef demo 10:30am – 11:30am Tim Graham Travelle

FM - Chicago (West Loop)  Green City Market -Fulton  (Through 10/31) 9am – 2pm Located in a lot at the SE corner of N. Halsted and W Fulton Streets, 799 W. Fulton Market.

Chicago (West Loop)- Neighbors of West Loop Craft Beer Festival – 12pm – 5pm 121 West Clinton The city’s original craft beer celebration on the streets of Chicago will commence with a VIP ($80) event beginning at 12:00pm, and General Admission ($50) running between 1:00pm to 5:00pm. Tickets will also be available at the festival for purchase ($65). Proceeds from the tickets purchased benefit the 501(c)3 non-profit community organization comprised of residents of the West Loop. Learn about the Neighbors of West Loop mission at NeighborsOfWestLoop.com.

Crystal Lake – Dukes Eco-Friendly Food and Beer Fest

FM - Evanston Downtown Evanston Farmers Market -(Through Nov. 7)  7:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. Intersection of University Place and Oak Ave. (just east of East Railroad Ave.) Free parking is available in the adjacent 1800 Maple Avenue Self Park Fifty-seven vendors : fruits, vegetables, meat, flowers, cheese, milk, eggs and bakery items. Reusable and biodegradable bags are sold on site. LINK cards are accepted, and the Friends of Evanston Farmers Markets offers matching funds.

FDFairbury - Slagel Family Farm Dinner with the Publican and Publican Quality Meats -2:30pm  Chef Cosmo Goss and Chef Missy Corey (Sold Out)

FM – Morton Grove – Morton Grove Farmers Market - 8am – Noon -6210 Dempster St.

FM - Oak Park - Oak Park Farmers Market (Through 10/31) 7am – 1pm - Pilgrim Church Parking Lot 460 Lake St For a limited time, the Market offers a Link Double Coupon matching program, which gives Link card users $1 in coupons for each $1 in Market purchases, up to $20. Many vendors also accept the WIC and Senior Farmers Market Nutrition Program $3 coupons

June 14

Chicago (Edgewater) - Middle Matter Kitchen - PIZZA PARTY  6-9pm SBK Kitchen 6338 N Clark They are getting back to their roots and doing a much needed fundraiser for Glassworks (an awesome free youth arts and entrepreneurship project that works with Chicago Public High School students in the mystically fiery, fire arts) They are setting out on their own this summer to the Firehouse Art Studio on Roosevelt Street and need your help. They will feed you much magical pizza, beer, coffee and give you a chance to snag our collabo sauce (the Peachy Piri) that was based and aged from a Middle Brow Beer Co beer barrel that also aged Dark Matter Coffee .

FM - Chicago (Logan Square) - Logan Square Outside Market (Through Oct. 25) 10am – 3pm 3107 West Logan Blvd.

FM - Chicago (Rogers Park) Glenwood Outdoor Market (Through 10/25) 9am – 2pm On Glenwood Ave. between Morse and Lunt

FMChicago (West Loop) GCM Soho House (2nd Sunday of the month, 7/12, 8/9, 9/13, 10/11) in the lot behind Soho House on Halsted (south of Randolph) 9am – 2pm

Chicago (West Loop) Dose Market – Venue One 1034 W Randolph St 10am – 4pm

June 16

Chicago (Bridgeport)- Liquid Dreams The Lagunitas Tap Room Party - Fundraiser for WLPN, Lumpen Radio 5:30pm – 8:30pm 2607 W. 17th St.

FM - Chicago (Loop) - Federal Plaza Market   (Through 10/27) 7am – 3pm Sponsored by the City of Chicago and COUNTRY Financial This year, all of the City of Chicago managed markets will accept LINK and will distribute double value coupons with every LINK purchase. Don’t forget to pick up your reusable bag from COUNTRY Financial at Daley Plaza or a market near you.

FM - Chicago (Streeterville) MCA Chicago Farmers Market (Through 10/27) 7am -3pm Managed by S.O.A.R.(Streeterville Organization of Active Residents)

Chicago (West Loop) - Publican Quality Meat Burger Night 6pm-9pm 825 West Fulton

June 17

Champaign - Prairie Fruit Farms Farm Open House 4-6pm

FM Chicago (Andersonville) Andersonville’s Farmers Market - Located on Berwyn between Clark and Ashland Every Wed through 9/2 3-8pm, 9/9-10/14 3-7pm @Shes_Cooking will be there at the Tomato Mountain Stand

FM Chicago (Lincoln Park) - Green City Market (Through 10/28) 7am – 1pm 10:30am – 11:30am Chef demo Eric David Pierre Gourmet The market is located at the south end of Lincoln Park between Clark and Stockton Drive (approximately 1817 N. Clark) Doubling LINK up to $15

June 18

Chicago (Bucktown)Rick Bayless’ Garden Tour By His Master Gardener Bill Shores and Mexican Dinner at Goddess and Grocer

FM - Chicago (Loop) - Daley Plaza Farmers Market  (Through 10/29) 7am – 3pm

June 19-21

Chicago (West Loop)- Taste of Randolph Street

June 19

Chicago (Loop) - Chef Pandel & Friends- A Five-Senses Dining Experience for Spence Farm Foundation7:00 pm Exclusive Farm to Table 10-course Menu with Wine Pairing Evolve Bistro, International Culinary School at the Institute of Art-Chicago Cost $300.00 30 Tickets Only All proceeds will benefit Spence Farm Foundation’s ground-breaking food system education programs for culinary and health care professionals

June 20

FM - Chicago (Hyde Park/Woodlawn) - 61st Farmers Market Outdoor (Through Dec. 19) 9am -2pm 61st and Dorchester Accepting Senior Coupons and doubling LINK up to $25 The Chicago Southside’s premier farmers market, straddling the Hyde Park and Woodlawn neighborhoods.

FM - Chicago (Lincoln Park) Green City Market (Through 10/31) The market is located at the south end of Lincoln Park between Clark and Stockton Drive (approximately 1817 N. Clark) Doubling LINK up to $15 7am – 1pm Chef demo 10:30am – 11:30am Jesus Delgado Tanta

FM - Chicago (West Loop)  Green City Market -Fulton  (Through 10/31) 9am – 2pm Located in a lot at the SE corner of N. Halsted and W Fulton Streets, 799 W. Fulton Market.

Lake BluffSummer Solstice Celebration at Northshore Distillery 6:30pm – 11pm 28913 N Herky Dr Unit 308

FM - Morton Grove - Morton Grove Farmers Market - 8am – Noon -6210 Dempster St.

FM - Oak Park - Oak Park Farmers Market (Through 10/31) 7am – 1pm - Pilgrim Church Parking Lot 460 Lake St For a limited time, the Market offers a Link Double Coupon matching program, which gives Link card users $1 in coupons for each $1 in Market purchases, up to $20. Many vendors also accept the WIC and Senior Farmers Market Nutrition Program $3 coupons

June 21

SUMMER SOLSTICE 11:39am

FM - Chicago (Logan Square) - Logan Square Outside Market (Through Oct. 25) 10am – 3pm 3107 West Logan Blvd.

June 23

FM - Chicago (Loop) - Federal Plaza Market   (Through 10/27) 7am – 3pm Sponsored by the City of Chicago and COUNTRY Financial This year, all of the City of Chicago managed markets will accept LINK and will distribute double value coupons with every LINK purchase. Don’t forget to pick up your reusable bag from COUNTRY Financial at Daley Plaza or a market near you.

FM - Chicago (Streeterville) MCA Chicago Farmers Market (Through 10/27) 7am -3pm Managed by S.O.A.R.(Streeterville Organization of Active Residents)

Chicago (West Loop) - Publican Quality Meat Burger Night 6pm-9pm 825 West Fulton

June 24

Champaign - Prairie Fruit Farms Farm Open House 4-6pm

FM Chicago (Andersonville) Andersonville’s Farmers Market - Located on Berwyn between Clark and Ashland Every Wed through 9/2 3-8pm, 9/9-10/14 3-7pm @Shes_Cooking will be there at the Tomato Mountain Stand

FM Chicago (Lincoln Park) - Green City Market (Through 10/28) 7am – 1pm 10:30am – 11:30am Chef demo Molly Brewe Limelight The market is located at the south end of Lincoln Park between Clark and Stockton Drive (approximately 1817 N. Clark) Doubling LINK up to $15

Chicago (Loop) - Preview of Taste of Chicago at Daley Plaza 11am – 3pm

Chicago (Logan Square) – Bar YUSHO Release Party 

June 25

FM - Chicago (Loop) - Daley Plaza Farmers Market  (Through 10/29) 7am – 3pm

New!!!! Chicago (Ravenswood) - Support A Greener Ravenswood An event supporting neighborhood greening initiatives

New!!! FM Chicago (South Loop) – Opening South Loop Farmers Market4-8pm 1936 S. Michigan Ave. Michigan and Cullerton

Chicago (West Loop)- Starving Artist Benefit to support the Chicago Artists Coalition – VenueOne

June 26 -28

New!!!  Aurora - Two Brothers Summer Festival 

New!!! Long Grove2015 Strawberry Fest -

June 26

New!!! Chicago (Logan Square) - Katherine Anne Confections Preview Party – Yum!!!!!!!! 5:30pm – 8:30pm 2745 W. Ermitage

June 27

FM – Chicago (Back of the Yards) – Back of the Yards Community Market at The Plant (Through 9/9) 11am – 3:30pm

FM - Chicago (Hyde Park/Woodlawn) - 61st Farmers Market Outdoor (Through Dec. 19) 9am -2pm 61st and Dorchester Accepting Senior Coupons and doubling LINK up to $25 The Chicago Southside’s premier farmers market, straddling the Hyde Park and Woodlawn neighborhoods.

New!!! Chicago (Lincoln Park) - Bakery Open House at Floriole Cafe – 2-4pm 1220 W. Webster

FM - Chicago (Lincoln Park) Green City Market (Through 10/31) The market is located at the south end of Lincoln Park between Clark and Stockton Drive (approximately 1817 N. Clark) Doubling LINK up to $15 7am – 1pm Chef demo 10:30am – 11:30am 

FM - Chicago (West Loop)  Green City Market -Fulton  (Through 10/31) 9am – 2pm Located in a lot at the SE corner of N. Halsted and W Fulton Streets, 799 W. Fulton Market.

New!!! Chicago (West Loop) - Bakery Open House Publican Quality Bread - 10am – 4pm 808 W. Lake St. (Thanks to Janet Rausser Fuller at DNAInfo) An unusual opportunity to have a tour of otherwise wholesale Publican Quality Bread and learn about ancient grains in honor of The Bread Bakers Guild National Bakery Open House day.

Chicago (West Loop) - Beyond Gourmet – Gourmet In The Garden - Piccolo Sogno 1-4pm The leisurely afternoon event takes place on Piccolo Sogno’s lush garden patio and features several food stations featuring Executive Chef Tony Priolo’s award-winning Italian, complemented by 30 different wines by Partner and Wine Director Ciro Longobardo.

FD - Fairbury - Slagel Family Farm Dinner with Vie/Perennial Virant -2:30pm  Chef Paul Virant

FMGlenviewOpening Day Glenview Farmers Market 8am – 12pm Historic Wagner Farm 1510 Wagner Road

FM - Morton Grove - Morton Grove Farmers Market - 8am – Noon -6210 Dempster St.

FM - Oak Park - Oak Park Farmers Market (Through 10/31) 7am – 1pm - Pilgrim Church Parking Lot 460 Lake St For a limited time, the Market offers a Link Double Coupon matching program, which gives Link card users $1 in coupons for each $1 in Market purchases, up to $20. Many vendors also accept the WIC and Senior Farmers Market Nutrition Program $3 coupons

June 28

New!!! Chicago (Bucktown) - 4th Annual Share Our Strength BBQ at The Bristol 

Chicago (Edgewater) - Nepal Earthquake Relief Benefit -5-8pm The Firehouse Chicago 1545 W Rosemont Ave. Join them for great food to help rebuild Chanauti, a small village in Nepal, which was one of the worst hit areas of the earthquake.  Mindful Medicine has been serving this community for years and with your help we will rebuild the only health care clinic in the district and provide short-term housing for the poorest families who have lost the most. They will be providing eats for the event at the beautiful Firehouse Chicago.  Tickets can be purchased here

New!!!  Chicago (Humboldt Park, Logan Square) – Bugs, Bees, Diversity AUA Field Day 10am – 2pm

FM - Chicago (Logan Square) - Logan Square Outside Market (Through Oct. 25) 10am – 3pm 3107 West Logan Blvd.

FM - Chicago (Rogers Park) Glenwood Outdoor Market (Through 10/25) 9am – 2pm On Glenwood Ave. between Morse and Lunt

June 29

ChicagoMaking Farm To School A Reality Workshop – 6pm  Jane Adams Hull House Museum on the University of Illinois Chicago Campus The Illinois Farm to School Network and Illinois Stewardship Alliance are hosting a free public program and workshop highlighting successful Springfield and Chicago-area farm to school projects and how to get involved with making farm to school a reality in Illinois.

June 30

New!!!!! Chicago (Lincoln Park) - Grand Opening Celebration Local Foods – 12pm – 1pm 1427 W. Willow

FM - Chicago (Loop) - Federal Plaza Market   (Through 10/27) 7am – 3pm Sponsored by the City of Chicago and COUNTRY Financial This year, all of the City of Chicago managed markets will accept LINK and will distribute double value coupons with every LINK purchase. Don’t forget to pick up your reusable bag from COUNTRY Financial at Daley Plaza or a market near you.

FM - Chicago (StreetervilleMCA Chicago Farmers Market (Through 10/27) 7am -3pm Managed by S.O.A.R.(Streeterville Organization of Active Residents)

Chicago (West Loop) - Publican Quality Meat Burger Night 6pm-9pm 825 West Fulton

July 1

Champaign - Prairie Fruit Farms Farm Open House 4-6pm

FM Chicago (Andersonville)  Andersonville’s Farmers Market - Located on Berwyn between Clark and Ashland Every Wed through 9/2 3-8pm, 9/9-10/14 3-7pm @Shes_Cooking will be there at the Tomato Mountain Stand

FM Chicago (Lincoln Park) - Green City Market (Through 10/28) 7am – 1pm 10:30am – 11:30am Chef demo Elissa Narrow, Vie, Perennial Virant The market is located at the south end of Lincoln Park between Clark and Stockton Drive (approximately 1817 N. Clark) Doubling LINK up to $15

Springfield Making Farm To School A Reality Workshop - 6pm  Springfield Public Library Carnegie Room North. The Illinois Farm to School Network and Illinois Stewardship Alliance are hosting a free public program and workshop highlighting successful Springfield and Chicago-area farm to school projects and how to get involved with making farm to school a reality in Illinois.

July 2-4

Chicago (East Garfield Park) - Aaron Franklin Barbecue Dinner at Land and Sea Department Studios 7pm 3124 W. Carroll Land and Sea Dept. will be collaborating on a series of events with Aaron Franklin, of Franklin BBQ in Austin, Texas, here in Chicago in early July. Aaron Franklin is an Austin-based cook, educator, restauranteur and – most recently – a James Beard ‘Best Chef’ award winner, making him one of the most respected, well-known pit bosses in the word. The events are a part of a tour celebrating the release of Franklin’s acclaimed book debut, A Meat Smoking Manifesto, and signed copies will be available for purchase.

July 2

FM - Chicago (Loop) - Daley Plaza Farmers Market  (Through 10/29) 7am – 3pm

FM Chicago (South Loop) - South Loop Farmers Market - 4-8pm 1936 S. Michigan Ave. Michigan and Cullerton

July 3

Chicago (Edgewater) - First Fridays On the Farm - 5pm – sundown Uncommon Ground Devon 1401 W. Devon Ave.  First Fridays are FREE events and run from 5pm-sundown. No reservations necessary. They highly recommend stopping by the bar for some of their delicious Greenstar beer before heading up to the roof. The only thing that can improve watching the sunset from atop the first certified organic rooftop farm, is doing it with a cold pint of organic beer in your hand!

July 4

Happy Fourth!!!!!

July 5

FM - Chicago (Logan Square) - Logan Square Farmers Market (Through Oct. 25) 10am – 3pm 3107 West Logan Blvd.

FM - Chicago (Rogers Park) Glenwood Outdoor Market (Through 10/25) 9am – 2pm On Glenwood Ave. between Morse and Lunt

July 7

FM - Chicago (Loop) - Federal Plaza Market  (Through 10/27) 7am – 3pm Sponsored by the City of Chicago and COUNTRY Financial This year, all of the City of Chicago managed markets will accept LINK and will distribute double value coupons with every LINK purchase. Don’t forget to pick up your reusable bag from COUNTRY Financial at Daley Plaza or a market near you.

FM - Chicago (Streeterville) MCA Chicago Farmers Market (Through 10/27) 7am -3pm Managed by S.O.A.R.(Streeterville Organization of Active Residents)

Chicago (West Loop) - Publican Quality Meat Burger Night 6pm-9pm 825 West Fulton

July 8-12

Chicago - Taste of Chicago Grant Park

July 8

Champaign - Prairie Fruit Farms Farm Open House 4-6pm

FM Chicago (Andersonville) Andersonville’s Farmers Market - Located on Berwyn between Clark and Ashland Every Wed through 9/2 3-8pm, 9/9-10/14 3-7pm @Shes_Cooking will be there at the Tomato Mountain Stand

FM Chicago (Lincoln Park) - Green City Market (Through 10/28) 7am – 1pm 10:30am – 11:30am Chef demo Stephen Wambach Allium The market is located at the south end of Lincoln Park between Clark and Stockton Drive (approximately 1817 N. Clark) Doubling LINK up to $15

July 9

FM - Chicago (Loop) - Daley Plaza Farmers Market  (Through 10/29) 7am – 3pm

FM Chicago (South Loop) - South Loop Farmers Market - 4-8pm 1936 S. Michigan Ave. Michigan and Cullerton

July 10-12

Chicago (The Loop) -Windy City Smokeout Music, BBQ, Beer Grand Ave and the Chicago River

July 11

FM - Chicago (Hyde Park/Woodlawn) - 61st Farmers Market Outdoor (Through Dec. 19) 9am -2pm 61st and Dorchester Accepting Senior Coupons and doubling LINK up to $25 The Chicago Southside’s premier farmers market, straddling the Hyde Park and Woodlawn neighborhoods.

FM - Chicago (Lincoln Park) Green City Market (Through 10/31) The market is located at the south end of Lincoln Park between Clark and Stockton Drive (approximately 1817 N. Clark) Doubling LINK up to $15 7am – 1pm Chef demo 10:30am – 11:30am Paul Fehribach Big Jones 

FM - Chicago (West Loop)  Green City Market -Fulton  (Through 10/31) 9am – 2pm Located in a lot at the SE corner of N. Halsted and W Fulton Streets, 799 W. Fulton Market.

FM - Morton Grove - Morton Grove Farmers Market - 8am – Noon -6210 Dempster St.

FM - Oak Park - Oak Park Farmers Market (Through 10/31) 7am – 1pm - Pilgrim Church Parking Lot 460 Lake St For a limited time, the Market offers a Link Double Coupon matching program, which gives Link card users $1 in coupons for each $1 in Market purchases, up to $20. Many vendors also accept the WIC and Senior Farmers Market Nutrition Program $3 coupons

July 12

FM - Chicago (Logan Square) - Logan Square Outside Market (Through Oct. 25) 10am – 3pm 3107 West Logan Blvd.

FM - Chicago (Rogers Park) Glenwood Outdoor Market (Through 10/25) 9am – 2pm On Glenwood Ave. between Morse and Lunt

FM - Chicago (West Loop) GCM Soho House (2nd Sunday of the month 8/9, 9/13, 10/11) in the lot behind Soho House on Halsted (south of Randolph) 9am – 2pm

July 14

FM - Chicago (Loop) - Federal Plaza Market  (Through 10/27) 7am – 3pm Sponsored by the City of Chicago and COUNTRY Financial This year, all of the City of Chicago managed markets will accept LINK and will distribute double value coupons with every LINK purchase. Don’t forget to pick up your reusable bag from COUNTRY Financial at Daley Plaza or a market near you.

Chicago (West Loop) - Publican Quality Meat Burger Night 6pm-9pm 825 West Fulton

July 16

Chicago (Lincoln Park)Green City Market BBQ

FM - Chicago (Loop) - Daley Plaza Farmers Market  (Through 10/29) 7am – 3pm

FM Chicago (South Loop) - South Loop Farmers Market - 4-8pm 1936 S. Michigan Ave. Michigan and Cullerton

July 18

Chicago (Edgewater)Chicago Food Swap at The Fearless Food Kitchen 2-4pm Broadway Armory Fieldhouse 2nd floor 5917 N. Broadway

Chicago (Lincoln Square) - Chicago Market Open House2PM – 3:30PM Sulzer Library Informational session to find out about what the new Chicago Market Food coop is all about.

FD - Fairbury - Slag el Family Farm Dinner with Three Aces, Bedford & Carriage House -2:30pm  Chef Matt Troost Chef Mike Galen

July 23

New!!! Chicago(West Town) - Grown In Chicago: Summer Soiree & Showcase 6pm Big Delicious Planet 412 N. Wolcott Urban agriculture is thriving in Chicago, so let’s CELEBRATE! Join AUA for a very special summer night of local food & drinks, a one-of-a-kind urban agriculture showcase & market, live music, and new connections.

July 25

FD - Caledonia - 8th Annual Angelic Organics Peal Harvest Dinner 4pm Cocktails 6pm Dinner

FM - Chicago (Loop) - Daley Plaza Farmers Market  (Through 10/29) 7am – 3pm

FM Chicago (South Loop) - South Loop Farmers Market - 4-8pm 1936 S. Michigan Ave. Michigan and Cullerton

July 31

Oak Park - Sugar Beet Coop Grand Opening!

August 2

Chicago (Lincoln Park)Bourbon Bluegrass and Fried Chicken – Edible Chicago events 12pm Ignite Glass Studio 401 West Armitage

August 9

FM - Chicago (West Loop) GCM Soho House (2nd Sunday of the month 9/13, 10/11) in the lot behind Soho House on Halsted (south of Randolph) 9am – 2pm

August 15-16

Lisle - Veggie Fest – It’s back and big and better than ever! Vegetarian Food Festival 11am – 8pm Benedictine University

August 18

FD - Fairbury - Slagel Family Farm Dinner with Oak & Char -2:30pm  Chef Joe Heppe

August 23

Chicago (Logan Square)Corks and Crayons Benefit for Purple Asparagus 3-6pm The Greenhouse Loft 2445 W. Diversey Ave.

August 28-30

Chicago (Lincoln Park) – Chicago Food & Wine FestivalPresented by Food & Wine magazine Eat, Drink & Be Merry Tickets They have an incredible chef lineup, culinary demos and lots more!




Is Your Market in Season Now (But With Strawberries) – Sponsored by Vera Chicago

By
Posted: June 5, 2015 at 8:32 am

Is It Now

 

Vera-LOGO-Fpattern (1) (1)

If you’ve had kids, have kids, I know you can hear it in your head.  Now.  As in, are we there now.  Is it time now.  Can we go now.  The first word she learns is mama.  The second, now.  And that’s what I feel like I keep on hearing when talking about farmer’s markets.  Is mine open now?  Now?  It seems like each week more markets open, but is the one that you want to go to open?  This week finds more markets going, although we’ll tell you flat out, there are plenty not yet running.  Now may be a few weeks from now in your community.  See below for what is now, and do use our revised farmer’s market shopping tips when you get there (now).  As always, there’s these stores with plenty of local food.  Our sponsors, Irv and Shelly, have much local food too.  For additional markets and other things to do in the week’s ahead, do check out Jeannie’s Local Calendar.

she makes great pie

What’s In Season Now

 

 

local strawberries

Yes, it’s pie season. Lots of strawberries around and rhubarb’s been around for a while now. See if you can make one as good as the Cook Book Addict a/k/a the Condiment Queen.

From the Ground

  • Rhubarb
  • Strawberries
  • Green garlic
  • Asparagus
  • Lettuces
  • Rocket
  • Spinach
  • Spring onions/scallions
  • Shallots
  • Radishes
  • Beets
  • Carrots
  • Chives
  • Dill
  • Cilantro
  • The various things under the umbrella “Asian greens” like bok choi, bekena, Chinese broccoli, etc.
  • Other greens including chard, kohlrabi, mustard

Indoor Crops/Hoop-House

  • Tomatoes
  • Cucumbers
  • Peppers

Storage Crops

  • Potatoes
  • Apples

Year round

  • Meats, poultry, lake fish
  • Eggs
  • Milk, cheese and other dairy
  • Mushrooms
  • Grains and breads
  • Preserved and jarred products

Where to Find Local Food

In addition to the following markets, there are several stores in the Chicago area that focus on selling local foods.

Chicago

One of the most complete markets on the south side is run by our friends at the Experimental Station at their 61st Market on Saturdays from 9 AM to 2 PM -  6100 S. Blackstone

Did you know there is a second location of Green City Market?  As they did last year, Green City has put up a market in the West Loop, an area way underserved.  Avoid all the hassles of Lincoln Park by visiting this location on Saturdays from 9 AM to 2 PM – Yes, that’s different than the Lincoln Park locale. - 799 W. Fulton Market. (at Halsted)

Portage Park is one of the unsung gems in the Chicago system (we think), and we think there’s no better way to take advantage of a great park than to also shop its farmer’s market.  Every other Sunday, starting June 7 from 10 am to 2 PM – Northwest corner of Portage Park near Central and Berteau

Last week, we pointed you to Hinsdale, as one of the few markets open on Monday.  We understand from a farmer’s perspective the lack of appeal of a Monday market, but from the idea of having food for the week, it makes great sense to us.  So, if you’re in the city, particularly the far north side, check out the Loyola Market on Mondays from 3 Pm to 7 Pm - 1200 W. Loyola Ave.

Speaking of last week and the weeks before, it seems that most of the markets we’ve been mentioning have been in the far reaches of the Chicago area, like in Woodstock.  This week we got you a market in Rogers Park on Monday and another one, the day before on Sunday, but we’ve always been impressed by what they’re doing at the Glenwood Market, so we don’t want you to miss the opening.  Sundays from 9AM to 2 PM - Southbound Glenwood Avenue between Morse & Lunt

Oak Park

Have we mentioned donuts.  Family ties?  Well, what about one of the few area markets with locally tapped maple syrup?  Jim the Vinegar Guy?  Sadly, no Hazzard Free grains this year.  Saturdays from 8 AM to 1 PM - 460 Lake

Evanston

There are often times, when we think about these things, quantify these things, we say this is the best there is in the Chicago area.  There’s the heirlooms, the regular, meats, cheeses, breads, the unique and the mundane, about all you could want in one market.  Saturdays from 730 AM to 1 PM - University Street & Oak Avenue

Morton Grove

Very close Beet ties to this one, so get there on Saturday and shop, shop, shop.  Saturdays 8 AM to Noon – 6210 Dempster

Geneva

Do you think we’re not gonna include something way far away?  The Geneva Green Market has been focusing on organic and sustainable farmers for a while and is worth the visit if you are anywhere close (or not as it’s a great drive or a great train ride).  Thursdays 9 AM to 1 PM - 327 Hamilton Street

Brookfield

Come for the market, stay for the zoo (and some pretty cool Serbian food to fortify you on the way home) – Saturdays from 8 AM to 1 Pm -  8820 Brookfield Ave

Riverside

You liked the area so much, you came back for another market.  There was a time when the Condiment Queen worked this one, so it’s got a little special place in our heart, but we love a lot else about Riverside, one of the only places where you find winding streets and bungalows, the downtown area, the river and the falls are all hard to believe within the Chicago area.  And if you don’t want Serbian food, combine your trip with a little Czech food. – Wednesdays 230 PM – 7 PM - 27 Riverside Road

 

 

What's In Season and Where to Find It - Sponsored by Vera 1023 W. Lake, Chicago What’s In Season and Where to Find It – Sponsored by Vera 1023 W. Lake, Chicago




We Find Ourselves Elsewhere in This Week’s Harvest of Eat Local Links

By
Posted: June 3, 2015 at 12:45 pm

Beetniks Out There

wpa food poster

Ace Beet Reporter Jeannie B writes about being a farmie at Huff Po Chicago

I tell you what yellow tastes like.

This has been making the rounds a lot, but if you have not seen it, it’s very much worth checking out.

What do you think.  Who has the rose colored glasses?

We want to be able to make cute graphics like this to prove our points.

Local or organic?  More info to help you make up your mind.

Yes, I want to trust the Science Guy but here?

Who says local cannot feed the world?

Train where it matters.




The Local Family Pantry Makes Things Easy

By
Posted: June 2, 2015 at 1:37 pm

If There Are No Pictures Did the Dishes Exist

 

Another round of Local Family family matters this week, and what took the hit, not cooking but taking pictures of cooking.  No, while making several hospital runs, I spun out a roasted veg dish with carrots and asparagus, a stir fry with chard, bok choy and more carrots; a dressed asparagus dish and a dressed spinach dish.  I took pretty good advantage of full CSA boxes and other seasonal offerings.  I got no pictures.

roasted peanut oilkorean pepper paste

So, if you cannot see me cooking the dishes, how about seeing some of the key ingredients. Now, you may suspect this is simply a way to gin up a post, get something online besides links and listings. You may be right. Except filler serves its purpose too. I want to say that as easy as it is to whip up a blog post, it’s easy to whip up seasonal, local dishes. For the dishes, all we need is a few spare condiments, and for the posting all we need is a few mediocre cell phone pictures of these spare condiments.

I am becoming more and more convinced that the way for all of us to be better local families is not at the farmer’s market but at the grocery store. Unless you’re part rabbit, most of your seasonal bounty needs preparation, seasoning, the addition of flavors. Vegetables need taming or tampering. At our most basic, compare the flavor of raw lettuce to lettuce you can brag about. Salt, acid and oil take some dreadful to eat and make it pleasurable to eat. It all revolves around having good salt, acid and oil. And remember that salt, acid and oil mean a lot of things. Salt can be fish sauce, anchovies, or soy sauce as well as Morton’s. Stock up so you can play around in your local kitchen. Think how you can play with acids from the rough effect of red wine vinegar, which I use especially when I want that Italian restaurant effect in a salad, to more nuanced things like sherry vinegar, to the clarity of rice wine vinegar. Citrus fruits give spark in a different way. Finally, the oil. Oil matters at two ends. There’s cooking oils and finishing oils Take peanut oil. I love cooking with plain peanut oil because it has a high smoke point and leaves foods tasting clean. Then, I can muddy them up with the roasted peanut oil pictured above. Although roasted sesame oil is the standard for most Asian cuisines, there is something about a small splash of this stuff that makes the Bungalow taste like Chinatown.

We can get by with three ingredients. Do we need to? Again, to reiterate what I just wrote, a lot of flavor elements can arrive just by your choices of salt, acid and oil. For instance, a lot of the salt options also bring in a lot of umami or “meaty” flavors. Various acids are also sweet (i.e., for me, balsamic vinegar is nearly always too sweet for what I want to do). We bring in additional condiments for two reasons. First, there are dishes where more balance is needed between the elements, and mostly the balance leans towards more sweet. If you know Thai food, you know that sweet elements can pull out all the other flavors. I have seen Thai cooks scoop mountains of white, granulated sugar into concoctions. I like too use honey as a sweetener at times because it also adds good bitter back-tones, and I like to use agave syrup for its simplicity and ease. The gochujang paste shown above is an example of something I use for it sweetness but also something I use for that other reason we add. We want more to our food. For me, like a lot, more comes in the form of chili heat. At least 3/4ths of what I make gets something spicy included. This Korean paste works so well not just because the way it combines sweet and spice. I also like its thick, gooey texture. It coats leafy greens well, working than flavor all into the dish.

This week, think about spending as much time outside the farmer’s market as in for all the things you need to tackle the eat local life. What kinds of condiments do you like. what are you missing? What are the things that will allow you to get dishes out easier. Like this is what I did last week with a big bag of seasonal spinach. I put a pot of salted water to boil. Dipped the spinach in for less than a minute. Rinsed in cold water then allowed the spinach to drain as much as possible–squeezing here and there to speed things along. I put it in a bowl, added a big tablespoon of gochujang, a bit of agave, some soy, some rice wine vinegar and some roasted peanut oil. How much? As much as I needed. Be generous with the spice paste, miserly with the vinegar, and adjust by taste. For instance, after mixing it all together, I found it needed more spice paste. I’m telling you, this is one of the best spinach dishes I’ve ever made. It all came together from what was in my pantry–note I use that term loosely as the gochujang actually resides in the fridge.

Do you need pretty pictures to get you going in the kitchen or do you need to get shopping for a few extra ingredients.