What’s In Season is Time to Say Goodbye and Where to Do It – Sponsored by Vera

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Posted: October 30, 2015 at 9:03 am

Some Eat Local Endings

 

Vera-LOGO-Fpattern (1) (1)

Halloween marks an end, a time passage, transition. The era of homecoming dances and parent-teacher conferences is over. The new gym shoes are no longer white. The best intentions to stay organized have vanished in a pile of papers and bulging notebooks. No matter what the calendar says or climate change produces, it is winter in November. And we’re not even going to that damn holiday season dawning this Sunday, but yes, everything is different in November. Say your goodbyes now.

You think we are saying goodbye to all our farmer friends this weekend, and yes we must do that. We also, however, must say goodbye to Liz and Mark and the crew at Vera who have supported this listing all season. We thank them greatly for their sponsorship, which ends this week. Our appreciation for what they do at Vera and our support for them does not end. You’ll just see less of their logos displayed.

Now, we say some goodbyes, but we do not say goodbye to eating local. We have all these places stocking local food, and next week, we will introduce our preliminary list of Chicago area winter markets. Besides what’s listed below, look to Jeannie’s Local Calendar for harvest dinners, classes, and other eat local events of interest.

What’s In Season Now

 

garlic

When you see what remains at area markets, you may growl a bit that things are ending. We will continue to indulge in as many zukes, cukes and tomatoes that we find, but we also know you better stock up on things like garlic.

From the Ground

  • Various wild mushrooms – look especially for chicken of the wood/maitake
  • Cukes and zukes – Near the end
  • Eggplant
  • Sweet peppers – try the longer “carmen” peppers for variety
  • Poblano peppers – as Michel Morowitz once said, whatever a green [bell] pepper can do, a poblano pepper can do it better
  • Various “frying” peppers – melrose, shishito, padron
  • Hot peppers – jalapenos, serranos, cayenne, etc.
  • Tomatoes, including green tomatoes
  • Arugula
  • Lettuce
  • Shelling beans and field peas
  • Green beans
  • Brussel sprouts
  • Winter squash and pumpkins
  • Cauliflower
  • Fennel
  • Beets
  • Carrots
  • Cabbage
  • Rutabaga
  • Celery root
  • Sweet potatoes
  • Onions
  • Leeks
  • Potatoes
  • Radishes, including varieties like daikon and black–these are great storage items
  • Kohlrabi – another item that stores to near infinity
  • Greens including collards, turnips (often with turnip roots attached), and mustard

From the Trees and Bushes

  • Black walnuts
  • Midwestern persimmons (best found by wandering back rounds in Southern Indiana!)
  • Paw paws
  • Raspberries
  • Grapes
  • Pears
  • Apples
  • Asian pears a/k/a papples

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

 

Chicago

Make acquaintances with the farmers at the Division Street market on Saturday because it’ll be one of the few Chicago markets open into November.  This market accepts the LINK card.  – 7 am – 1 PM - Division St. & Dearborn Pkwy.

The fall harvest will be on full display at Green City Market one last time on the grounds of Lincoln Park this SaturdayThis market accepts the LINK card.  – 7 am – 1 PM - 1800 N. Clark St. in Lincoln Park

Want the culinary thrill of Green City Market without the crowds?  The final GCM Fulton market is SaturdayThis market accepts the LINK card.  – 7 am – 1 PM - Fulton St. & Halsted St.

 Oak Park

Get your donuts and see the Local Family one last time. Saturdays from 8 AM to 1 PM - 460 Lake

Evanston

This one goes until November 7.   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

Grayslake

More than a few area farmers call Grayslake their home, so it’s no surprise that this market holds strong until December.  Saturdays – 10 am – 2 pm  - Centennial Plaza at the corner of Whitney and Center Streets

Park Ridge

Last chance for this suburban market on Saturday. 7 AM to 1 PM - 15 Prairie Av. 

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




How the West was Local

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Posted: October 29, 2015 at 5:20 pm

It goes without saying that there are many, many restaurants using locally sourced ingredients. Farm to table restaurants, many trying to create a flavor of the region they reside in or in an attempt to stick to keeping only what is in season on their menus, are found in most places in the country these days. There are locovore advocates out there who wonder if there will be a day when corporations see the light. They pine for the day when large chain restaurants start using more locally sourced ingredients.

Although several chains have made some commitment, notably Chipoltle, the idea of a chain restaurant is to have uniformity and consistency in all locations. In fact, this is what has driven out the local flavor in many regions of the country and was part of the impetus of the local food movement in the first place. There was a famous restaurant chain though that bucked this paradigm and did it long, long before there ever was a local food movement. In fact, this company did it back when most food was local and during a time when the distribution of food on an industrial scale was just getting off the ground. It also did it to celebrate the diversity of food and food tastes across America, in contrast to the corporate mentality today that stresses uniformity.

Fred Harvey Photo: Wikipedia

Fred Harvey
Photo: Wikipedia

Fred Harvey was an immigrant from England who arrived on America’s shores in 1853 at the age of 17. With only a little bit of money in his pocket he needed a job fast and took a position as a pot scrubber and busboy at Smith and McNell’s restaurant, a popular New York City restaurant.  There from the restaurant’s proprietors Henry Smith and T. R. McNell, he learned the restaurant trade from the bottom up. They taught him the importance of quality service, fresh ingredients and the handshake deal. Harvey quickly worked his way up to busboy, waiter and line cook. He moved on to New Orleans and then on to St. Louis.

Santa Fe Railway - The California Limited  Photo: arizona100.blogspot.com

Santa Fe Railway – The California Limited
Photo: arizona100.blogspot.com

 

In St. Louis he held a variety of jobs but wished to get back into the restaurant business. He started a café with a partner. The Civil War started and the partner, a confederate sympathizer, stiffed Fred and ran off with all of the money the two had earned. Fred was out of business and went to work with the Hannibal and St. Joseph Railroad which was eventually purchased by the Chicago, Burlington and Quincy Railroad, i.e. The Burlington. Rising quickly through the company, he was transferred to the company offices in Leavenworth, Kansas. As a railroad executive, he found the food along the rail lines very unsatisfactory to say the least, and monotonous, as well. This was especially true out west where most of his business took him.

After several attempts to get The Burlington to allow him to open restaurants in stations along their line, Fred got an offer from the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railway that he could not refuse. Charles Morse, a friend who was with the Santa Fe, got him a deal, where in 1876 he opened eating houses along the railroad and was not charged rent. The deal was sealed only with a handshake and, at the peak, there were 84 Harvey Houses, all of which catered to both the wealthy and middle-class visitors and Harvey became known as “the Civilizer of the West.” Harvey also eventually provided the food service on the Santa Fe trains themselves as well.

Fred stocked his “Harvey House” restaurants with the finest ingredients served by the “Harvey Girls,” waitresses recruited from all over to work in the Harvey House restaurants. They were made famous by Judy Garland in the 1946 movie of the same name along with the Johnny Mercer song sung by the cast, “On the Atchison, Topeka and the Santa Fe.”   Small disclaimer… my Grandmother was a Harvey Girl. She left the farm in Wisconsin that she grew up on to work in Harvey Restaurants in places such as Needles, California. She moved from Harvey House to Harvey House, eventually winding up at the Fred Harvey concession at the 1933 Century of Progress World’s Fair in Chicago. She later worked at the Harvey House Restaurant in Chicago Union Station, where she stayed until the 1970’s.

Harvey Girls Photo: www.npr.org

Harvey Girls
Photo: www.npr.org

When Fred Harvey first experienced the food offered to rail travelers he noted that it was not only bad but it was basically the same dish offered over and over. The railroads were way ahead of their time in stressing corporate uniformity over taking advantage of what the unique locales the railroads passed through had to offer. This fact was not lost on Fred Harvey especially since the railroads he worked for had opened up the west to the American nation and represented a gold mine. It took several days to travel out to the West Coast and The Santa Fe traversed what were then very exotic places such as New Mexico, Arizona, and California and all major stops along the line were serviced by a Harvey House.

(Click for a larger view)

(Click for a larger view)

Fred set out to take advantage food-wise of all these places had to offer. According to authors George Foster and Peter Weiglin, in their book The Harvey House Cookbook, local Harvey House managers had the authority, indeed the duty, to keep track of local food producers and to purchase local eggs, poultry (including quail), vegetables and other items if they were of high enough quality. The aim was to ensure that a traveler on the Santa Fe would not see the same choices a second time on his or her trip on the railroad. The menus at the Harvey House restaurants offered what foods were available locally and were in season.

Fred Harvey Restaurant in Chicago Union Station

Fred Harvey Restaurant in Chicago Union Station

Even in the late 19th Century, Fred’s insistence on using local was going against the grain. By that time, beef and pork were being hauled into Chicago to be slaughtered and packaged, and fruit and vegetable shipments were beginning to arrive from California and Florida to points east and north. Fred himself took advantage of this to some extent too, but there was a plan behind his locovore interests and, as industry was stamping out the local flair all over the country, Fred’s move was really an act of genius.

Harvey owned hotel, the El Garces in Needles, California Photo: City of Needles

Harvey owned hotel, the El Garces in Needles, California
Photo: City of Needles

In one fell swoop, he lifted the railroad dining experience and introduced Americans to foods of the Southwest and California (such as enchiladas, sopaipillas, and other Southwestern delights). This helped make him a household name. The food and accommodations provided by Fred Harvey (which, by the way, the company was called. No Inc. or Corporation in the name, just “Fred Harvey”) boosted the towns and other locations (including the Grand Canyon) where the Harvey Houses were located which, in turn, boosted tourism to these places. This boosted the bottom line of the Santa Fe as rail traffic and ridership increased. The economy of the west then got off the ground, “civilizing” what was known prior to this time as the Wild West.

Harvey House in the Kingman, Arizona Santa Fe Station abt.1908 Photo: arizona100.blogspot.com

Harvey House in the Kingman, Arizona Santa Fe Station abt.1908
Photo: arizona100.blogspot.com

The Harvey Houses chugged along fine as long as passenger rail service was popular. Once the automobile became the dominant mode of transportation one-by-one the Harvey Houses began to close. The company tried to change mode and opened Harvey House restaurants in places that served the automobile. In fact, Harvey Houses were the first restaurants to occupy the Illinois Tollway Oases that were built over the Tri-State and Northwest Tollways in the Chicago area. The partnership Harvey had with the Santa Fe lasted until 1963 . The company itself was eventually gobbled up in corporate takeovers.

Harvey House Menu from Chicago Union Station 1945

Harvey House Menu from Chicago Union Station 1945  (click for a larger view)

 

What Fred Harvey strived for, was to give a sense of place to local stops, making them more than just stations along the line. As a way to boost local economies and to promote local food, modern companies and civic groups can take note of what Fred Harvey set out to accomplish nearly 140 years ago. Next time you eat at a chain restaurant, look at the menu and know that there are people eating at the same chain, looking at the same menu, and ordering the same fare from Chicago to Seattle to Dubai. Then imagine a chain where the local outlets took pride in what their location had to offer in both food and ambience and maybe you will hear a Harvey Girl singing about the Atchison, Topeka, and the Santa Fe.

 

Santa_Fe - Along Your Way cover 1945

Santa_Fe – Along Your Way cover 1945

 

 

 

 

 

 

Further reading:

Appitite for America – How Visionary Businessman Fred Harvey Built a Railroad Hospitality Empire that Civilized the Wild West By Stephen Fried

The Harvey House Cookbook: Memories of Dining Along the Santa Fe Railroad by George H. Foster  & Peter C. Weiglin

Fred Harvey Houses of the Southwest by Richard Melzer

One Nation Under Fred  a Fred Harvey blog

Opportunity Bound a documentary about The Harvey Girls

 

 

 

 

 




The About Every Week’s Harvest of Eat Local Links

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Posted: October 27, 2015 at 11:18 am

Lists and other Things to See

 

Salt your kids food and four other things to reverse the US food crisis.  Yes, it’s that easy!  Actually, read the list, the salt food point is a very good one.

After reading five things to do, here’s five things to fret over.

What does climate change taste like?

Helped make locavorism a thing.

Meat lockers still very much exist in rural areas, but would it work in urban areas.

Thoughts on eating local from across the pond.

Eat local cheese where they make local cheese.

Eat local on the west coast of Florida.




On the Menu This Monday, the Tastes of Summer

By
Posted: October 26, 2015 at 11:56 am

Fresh Farm Inspirations

meu monday 151026

I did a big batch of cooking over the weekend. Since I did not take any shots during the tamaring, you can see what it looks like in the fridge now. I continue to yearn for the tastes of summer, and I included zucchini, tomatoes, and peppers in my recipes. Even when I cooked something a little more fall-like, cauliflower from my Tomato Mountain CSA*, I looked to warm weather cuisines for my inspiration. Actually, I got my inspiration from a grocery store, a grocery store steam table at that.

cauliflower - turkish style

Yes, that’s right. Me, Mr. Locavore. Vital Information of 15+ years of food postings, I’m drawn to the take-out array at a supermarket. Now, I will aver, it is not any old supermarket. Fresh Farms, of branches in Niles, Wheeling, and Devon in Chicago, is almost for sure the best supermarket in the Chicago area. The stores combine massive amounts of food arcana, need to go Dolinsky on sour creams, Fresh Farms can sell you like 28 to do your comprehensive, Instagram-worthy survey, with very good versions of staples like bread, deli salads, and Serbian cakes. The suburban branches have take-out foods sections, with selections that draw mostly on the Greek heritage of Fresh Farms owners–I say this not knowing for sure that Fresh Farms owners are Greek, but pretty positive that’s where the store’s DNA lies. There’s pork kebabs, stuffed peppers, roasted lamb, lemony potatoes, etc. most, I’m telling you, good for this kinda stuff. And there one day, some cauliflower. Cauliflower of the wettest, loosest, over-cooked kind possible, but not ruined in any way. The Greeks and their culinary neighbors excel in long cooked vegetables. I knew this mess would be good. I knew it would be much better if I used my own, local cauliflower.

I know my picture inspires as much as the background story. Get past it. This is a great way to treat cauliflower. Olive oil is your friend. Olive oil is filled with healthy omega-three oils. People living to 110 on Crete would make cauliflower this way, using much more olive oil. Just combine your cauliflower, your gobs of oil, some garlic, some parsley (or other herb), a good dose of salt to brace against all the oil in a pan that has good lid on medium low heat. The essence of the dish is to “suffocate” the vegetable. Make sure the pan is not too shallow because you want the cauliflower to cook low and slow, its juices mingling with the oil to create the sauce. Check after about fifteen minutes, maybe stirring around, it’s not like rice where it’s ruined once you peek too soon.

mixed veg

For mixed vegetables, my goal comes not from the supermarket but from a super seafood shop in Des Plaines, Boston Seafood. One of my favorite places to eat around here, the menu is loaded with so much, go with a group, especially as every dish really serves two or three, and make sure at least one of the dishes comes with the mixed vegetables, which I think they call roasted but are more baked, as in soft. Boston Seafood knows exactly how to cook their mixed vegetables coaxing out their flavors while preserving the flavor of each component (always potatoes plus a few other things). I have yet to master this dish totally, but I am getting close. The secret, I believe, is that the baking dish needs liquid. I first did this with only olive oil, producing something more like you think when you hear roasted vegetables, you know at the edge of char flavor. The liquid, water and lemon juice, keeps things from drying, from becoming roasted. I’m partial to this combination of tomatoes, potatoes, hot and sweet peppers, and onions. I flavor with garlic and herbs. Boston Seafood includes eggplant a lot in their version, and that’s the one thing I don’t like in theirs as they do not pre-fry the eggplant. It takes at least an hour in a medium oven to get everything all cooked, again check after a while to stir things around, avoiding sticking and burning.

For the record, there’s also tomato braised zucchini on the menu this week. I’ve described that method before. By next Menu Monday, it will be November. I got the feeling it will still taste like summer.

*One member of the Local Family works for Tomato Mountain.




What’s Still in Season and Where You Can Still Find It – Sponsored by Vera

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Posted: October 23, 2015 at 10:07 am

Eat Local Now

 

Vera-LOGO-Fpattern (1) (1)

Things are a-wrappin’ on the Eat Local season.  Yes, there will be winter markets to supply, and you now have an array of stores to meet your locavore needs, but the bounty of Chicago area farmer’s markets comes to end by October.  Start saying goodbye to your farmer friends and get as much as you can now.  Have you built your root cellar?  You have studied up on putting away already, right?.

last of the last tomatoes

Look ahead yet do not forsake what is there. There are still tomatoes to be had, as well as eggplants, zukes and cukes. Put the hardy stuff in the cellar for colder times. Chef Mendez, for instance, still has shishito peppers on his menu. You’ll have plenty of time to treat onions as a vegetable. Enjoy what’s still there.

In addition to the markets we highlight below, always check Jeanie’s Local Calendar for harvest dinners, classes, and other eat local events of interest.

What’s In Season Now

Cauliflour

What’s in season remains a lot. Much still to buy at area markets. In addition to the broad list below, we point out a few things you may find if your lucky.

From the Ground

  • Various wild mushrooms – look especially for chicken of the wood/maitake
  • Cukes and zukes – Near the end
  • Eggplant
  • Sweet peppers – try the longer “carmen” peppers for variety
  • Poblano peppers – as Michel Morowitz once said, whatever a green [bell] pepper can do, a poblano pepper can do it better
  • Various “frying” peppers – melrose, shishito, padron
  • Hot peppers – jalapenos, serranos, cayenne, etc.
  • Tomatoes, including green tomatoes
  • Arugula
  • Lettuce
  • Shelling beans and field peas
  • Green beans
  • Brussel sprouts
  • Winter squash and pumpkins
  • Cauliflower
  • Fennel
  • Beets
  • Carrots
  • Cabbage
  • Rutabaga
  • Celery root
  • Sweet potatoes
  • Onions
  • Leeks
  • Potatoes
  • Radishes, including varieties like daikon and black–these are great storage items
  • Kohlrabi – another item that stores to near infinity
  • Greens including collards, turnips (often with turnip roots attached), and mustard

From the Trees and Bushes

  • Black walnuts
  • Midwestern persimmons (best found by wandering back rounds in Southern Indiana!)
  • Paw paws
  • Raspberries
  • Grapes
  • Plums – mostly the purple “Italian” varieties
  • Pears
  • Apples
  • Asian pears a/k/a papples

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

You have a few more weeks at most of the major Chicago markets.  There’s some in the suburbs running well into November.  Restless, many of the away markets we highlighted in this post extend far into the fall (and beyond).  The state of winter markets around here is in a bit of a flux, so we won’t begin to list those yet.  We can say that the Sugar Beet Coop and these  will have local food all year.

Chicago

One last time this season to buy from  the Condiment Queen  at Independence Park.  She should have some organic produce as well as salsas, soups and other Tomato Mountain products.  Sunday – 9 AM – 1 PM – Springfield and Irving Park 

One last time for the Logan Square Farmer’s Market IN Logan Square.  Sunday 10 AM – 3 PM – Logan Boulevard, just east of Milwaukee

Our friends at Experimental Station barely ever slow down, but their outdoor market on 61st street only lasts until October 31.  Saturdays – 9 AM to 2 PM - This market accepts the LINK card – 6100 S. Blackstone

The Daley Plaza market used to run well into November.  Be aware that it wraps up this year on October 29.  Lots of  vendors with fruits, vegetables, mushrooms, cheese, candy, breads and prepared foods.   7 AM – 2 PM - This market accepts the LINK card. - 50 W. Washington

We’ve always been impressed by what they’re doing at the Glenwood Market. They will be outdoors until October 25.   This market accepts the LINK card.  Sundays from 9AM to 2 PM - Southbound Glenwood Avenue between Morse & Lunt

Oak Park

Get your donuts and see the Local Family until October 31. Saturdays from 8 AM to 1 PM - 460 Lake

Evanston

This one goes until November 7.   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

Grayslake

More than a few area farmers call Grayslake their home, so it’s no surprise that this market holds strong until December.  Saturdays – 10 am – 2 pm  - Centennial Plaza at the corner of Whitney and Center Streets

Geneva

There’s always local food year round in Geneva, and the Geneva Green Market is your best option until October 29. Thursdays 9 AM to 1 PM - 327 Hamilton Street

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




What’s In Season Now: Your Root Cellar

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Posted: October 20, 2015 at 7:15 am

Make Your Own Root Cellar/Store Your Own Food

 

What’s in season now is the food you need for later. Is your cellar stocked? Putting up and having food for the leaner times is an ongoing process. Maybe you turned last Spring’s ramps into pickles and made jam from summer peaches, but now is an especially good time to think long term. First of all, the foods in season now, from hard squash to apples, store. Second, with cooler weather settling in, the conditions for root cellaring are in play. You do not even need a root cellar to play. Review what we’ve posted before for guidance.

As our classic Making the Most of the Seasonal Bounty post shows, there are many ways to approch eating local later.  Canning gets attention, but it is best used for frills, condiments, food around the edges.  Freeze, but you also change the nature of the item, leaving it soft and drippy.  Only cold storage keeps things close to nature.  It hardly requires work, but it is the preservation method probably least used in urban-suburban homes.  It’s not very complicated.   

 

Store your own food. It is an easy way to ensure supplies of local food into the fall, winter and beyond. While most of us have no root cellar to store our foods, we can create the conditions of root cellars. For most of your food, you need someplace pretty cold and moist.  For the rest of your food, you need someplace cold and dry. Except for squashes, which can be pretty much stored as decorations. See our ideas for creating your own root cellar. Please also share with us your ideas and experiences.

COLD & MOIST – The following foods should be stored as cold as possible, between 32 and 40 degrees. They should also be kept in moist conditions. Potatoes, most root vegetables including turnips, beets, carrots, rutabagas, etc.; cabbage, apples

COLD BUT DRY – The following foods need to be stored in a cool but dry area: onions, garlic

LEAST COLD REQUIRED (BUT DRY) – Winter squashes

The key to storage is to 1) find some place in your house/apartment that has those conditions 2) create those conditions 3) construct those conditions.

  1. Some place in your house – Maybe you are lucky enough to have a genuine root cellar in your house.  Maybe all you have to do is pry open a long sealed door to find it.  Maybe.  Still, many houses without true root cellars have spaces that can serve as very serviceable root cellars.  Look to your attics or crawlspaces first, you may find they meet your needs.  Does your basement have unheated areas?  Canning rooms?  Be creative.  What about a window well, which works well?  Remember, store based on your conditions.  If you have a space that is a bit cold, but not that cold, store only onions and squash.  If you have colder areas, you can store potatoes, apples, etc.
  2. Create a root cellar – There are several ways you can create the conditions of a root cellar.  The two easy ways are to put your food in your refrigerator and put your food in coolers.  A refrigerator has the cold part down, yet fridges tend to be dry.  Find ways to keep stored food moist such as wrapping in wet cloth or keeping in sand.  A cooler can be kept outside, like on a deck or in a garage.  Find a place for the cooler that lets it draw some heat from your house.  You do not want to food to freeze.  A cooler can also be dragged around or dragged in depending on outside conditions.
  3. Construct your own root cellar – A little googling will find you plenty of design options for building your own root cellar on your property.  Survivalist sites are good places to start!  If you have the land and tools, it’s not a bad idea.  Still, there are also designs out there for quasi-root cellars that amount to mostly digging a hole in the ground.  I especially like this idea of burying a garbage can. [ed. do young people even know what garbage cans are?]

Want to do more research, this 1966 guide from the USDA is pretty cool.   Here’s something a bit more modern from Michigan State University.

Few spaces come these days with root cellars.  Figure out how to make your own then.  You will be rewarded with a supply of local food for many months.  And one more piece that’s old, long and complicated.

Please share you root cellar ideas and tell us what you are doing to eat local this winter.




A Crop of Midwestern Cuisine in The Weekly Harvest of Eat Local Links

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Posted: October 16, 2015 at 1:57 pm

 

Yes, we need more good food talk, discussions, articles, etc. (evidence).

The mystery of what IS local food.  Key insight: most midwestern food isn’t based on indigenous ingredients.

Did some memo go out? Here’s another look at what is Midwestern food.

And now I realize that the whole current focus of this week’s Reader is on Midwestern food.  So, here’s my list from several years back on what thought were the essential dishes of the Heartland.

Why we tend to look for local first.




What’s In Season and Where to Find It Are Changing – Sponsored by Vera

By
Posted: October 16, 2015 at 9:08 am

Eat Local Fall

 

Vera-LOGO-Fpattern (1) (1)

There are several ways to know that What’s in Season and Where to Find it are changing. Look at Chef Mendez’s menu at Vera. See tomato bread, escalivada or anything else that tastes of summer? And you probably heard that a frost is in the forecast. That truly halts the season for several crops. Finally, your market may have already pulled up stakes for the season. This does not mean eating local has gone out of season. There are always markets to find local food. There is always something in season. Each week we direct you to where you can find things, and each week we tell you what you can find. Things may be changing, but they’re not over.

In addition to the markets we highlight below, always check Jeanie’s Local Calendar for harvest dinners, classes, and other eat local events of interest.

Photo: IFMA

Photo by Jeannie Boutelle

We said that what’s in season is changing. We did not say it has changed. We believe you still have opportunities to find things like peppers, eggplants, zucchini, and, for sure, tomatoes. When you do venture int autumnal foods like winter squash, we believe you should keep you focus on what’s here and now.  There will be a time where any apple or potato will do, but as we told you a few weeks ago, look for the heirloom and speciality versions or look for the cheap versions. If you need more advice on putting away what you find, go here.

What’s In Season Now

What’s in season remains a lot. Much still to buy at area markets.

From the Ground

  • Cukes and zukes – Near the end
  • Eggplant
  • Sweet peppers – try the longer “carmen” peppers for variety
  • Poblano peppers – as Michel Morowitz once said, whatever a green [bell] pepper can do, a poblano pepper can do it better
  • Various “frying” peppers – melrose, shishito, padron
  • Hot peppers – jalapenos, serranos, cayenne, etc.
  • Tomatoes
  • Arugula
  • Lettuce
  • Shelling beans and field peas
  • Green beans
  • Brussel sprouts
  • Winter squash and pumpkins
  • Cauliflower
  • Fennel
  • Beets
  • Carrots
  • Cabbage
  • Rutabaga
  • Celery root
  • Sweet potatoes
  • Onions
  • Leeks
  • Potatoes
  • Radishes, including varieties like daikon and black–these are great storage items
  • Kohlrabi – another item that stores to near infinity
  • Greens including collards, turnips (often with turnip roots attached), and mustard

From the Trees and Bushes

  • Raspberries
  • Grapes
  • Plums – mostly the purple “Italian” varieties
  • Pears
  • Apples
  • Asian pears a/k/a papples

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

You have a few more weeks at most of the major Chicago markets.  There’s some in the suburbs running well into November.  Restless, many of the away markets we highlighted in this post extend far into the fall (and beyond).  The state of winter markets around here is in a bit of a flux, so we won’t begin to list those yet.  We can say that the Sugar Beet Coop and these other stores will have local food all year.

Chicago

Our friends at Experimental Station barely ever slow down, but their outdoor market on 61st street only lasts until October 31.  Saturdays – 9 AM to 2 PM - This market accepts the LINK card – 6100 S. Blackstone

The Daley Plaza market used to run well into November.  Be aware that it wraps up this year on October 29.  Lots of  vendors with fruits, vegetables, mushrooms, cheese, candy, breads and prepared foods.   7 AM – 2 PM - This market accepts the LINK card. - 50 W. Washington

We’ve always been impressed by what they’re doing at the Glenwood Market. They will be outdoors until October 25.   This market accepts the LINK card.  Sundays from 9AM to 2 PM - Southbound Glenwood Avenue between Morse & Lunt

Oak Park

Get your donuts and see the Local Family until October 31. Saturdays from 8 AM to 1 PM - 460 Lake

Evanston

This one goes until November 7.   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

Grayslake

More than a few area farmers call Grayslake their home, so it’s no surprise that this market holds strong until December.  Saturdays – 10 am – 2 pm  - Centennial Plaza at the corner of Whitney and Center Streets

Geneva

There’s always local food year round in Geneva, and the Geneva Green Market is your best option until October 29. Thursdays 9 AM to 1 PM - 327 Hamilton Street

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

 




Screw Fall Flavors – Eggplant, Peppers on the Menu this Monday

By
Posted: October 12, 2015 at 4:20 pm

There is Still Time

 

I came home from the Oak Park Farmer’s Market the other day with four large, globe eggplants. Not any glamourous eggplants, nothing heirloom, skinny, white, or precious. Just the plain eggplants you would find at a farmstand in the summer. See, mid-October, I’m glad for any eggplant. And peppers, we think of peppers as summer food, but really peak pepper season is now, and the Condiment Queen had many for sale the other day. What came in our Tomato Mountain CSA box last week kinda looks like that shot above. All those peppers, and I had to have more. I also came home with a bunch of hot peppers and a quart of shishitos. I am very much in the mood for eggplants and peppers. I will relinquish their seasonality at the last possible instance. I did not cook any with fall flavors when I tamar’d this weekend.

I admit, eggplants, especially, these heavy, not exciting purple things, are a chore to cook. Most eggplant dishes require the double cook or you know, eggplants require cooking before making them into salads. Or this kind of thing, I did a big bake yesterday of eggplants, peppers and onions topped with Tomato Mountain whole roasted tomatoes. If this was a big bake of say, potatoes, zucchini, and onions, something I might whip up any summer day I can stand oven on, it would be chunk-chunk-chunk some veg; glug-glug-glug some olive oil, a little herb, a bit of water in the pan, and there would be dish around forty-five minutes later. Decide to go with eggplant, it don’t go that way. Plain baked eggplant is bitter and tough and exactly the type of vegetable that scares kids for ages–one requiring visits to Sicily, Israel, and Freddy’s in Cicero to fully cure. Now, fry the eggplant just enough to put some color on each slice, then bake, and you’re talking turning your kids into vegetarians forever. With this kind of dish, you are better off cooking your onions ahead too, so the whole product is soft and assuring.

Of course there are plans for the peppers. It’s been a while since I put up a pot of peppernata, and I plan to continue my quest to be more Serbian soon. Likewise, it won’t be long until I’ve blistered some shishitos. Still, on this weekend, the peppers were only used to bulk up a cabbage dish I did. Our CSA has been very long in cabbages this year; more cabbage than I’ve been able to use. A few went into the compost before I could eat. This week’s box featured gorgeous heads in white and red. I know I’m all about screwing fall flavors, but I wanted to deal with one of these things now. I cooked down some onions and red (carmen) peppers, seasoned up with harissa and seven spice blend before adding my shredded cabbage. I should add that it was only half a cabbage. There’s a lot of cabbage to one cabbage.  I think my famous garlicky lemon cabbage salad is in the works this week too.

The rest of the tamaring so far this week was staples. The standard mess of boiled greens so I can respond yes, when the Cook Book Addict says do we have any greens;, some yellow lentils done in a half-puree, aspiring for the Greek dish known as fava, for non-meat protein options, and a bunch of boiled red potatoes because when we have them around, they never stay around. I have a bunch of other stuff to make like cauliflower and fennel. I will assure you whatever I put on the menu this week,  I won’t be putting on anything that tastes like a pumpkin pie latte.




The Inside Scoop: A Webinar For Working with the Media to Tell Your Farming Story

By
Posted: October 9, 2015 at 12:34 pm

From the Illinois Stewardship Alliance:

You’ve got great farming stories to tell, we know. But how do you share those stories with the world? Join Illinois Stewardship Alliance and the University of Illinois Extension on October 21st for a webinar at 12:00 noon with experienced journalists and reporters. Topics covered include:

•How to work effectively with journalists

•What makes a compelling news story

•How to give an interview

Marketing is an essential part of all successful businesses and being able to capture media coverage and publicity to effectively tell your farming stories are key elements of successful marketing. This webinar aims to provide an insider’s perspective on how to successfully capture and use media attention by answering those burning questions we all want to know, such as  “What do journalist look for when deciding what stories to pursue?” and “How do I build a working relationship with members of the media?” We’ve called in a team of experts to provide the inside scoop:

•Tom Doran, Field Editor for AgriNews Illinois

•Mike Nowak, host of the The Mike Nowak Show, Chicago’s gardening and environmental radio show.

•Drew Thomason, former Statehouse Reporter for Illinois Statehouse News

 

Photo: Illinois Stewardship Alliance

Photo: Illinois Stewardship Alliance

 

The webinar is open to all farmers and ag-related organizations looking to learn more about best practices when working with the media.

Learn more and register here

cropped-ISAlogo-v-tag




The Local Calendar 10/9/15 Time to Think Turkey, Feed Your Mind, TOTN, Pumpkin Season

By
Posted: October 9, 2015 at 8:05 am

eggplantFreedom rangerPumpkins

From a weather standpoint it has felt like mid-December yet we are only at the beginning of October. At least there has been a little warm up to go with some of the summer produce still available at the farmers markets. Vegetables like eggplant as well as tomatoes and herbs are still on the tables and in the bins.  For some reason this year, I have especially appreciated fresh herbs like basil, parsley, tarragon and mint. Basil, tomatoes and mozzarella with a dash of olive and sherry vinegar are one of my lazy cook staples. Parsley and tarragon are a perky addition to my egg salads as well as other concoctions. I find there is such a difference in smell and in flavor between the herbs on Smits Farm’s table versus those very expensive herbs in the plastic packaging at grocery stores. The two are universes apart! I take the farmer’s market universe.

This calendar is updated during the month so keep checking back (last updated 10/31) New items will be noted *** such as  these: Peterson Garden Project Classes (Including Farm To Table Thanksgiving Class 11/1) 11/2 Pickle Party at River Valley Farmer’s Table 11/4 The Future History of Local Foods at Local Foods11/7 Graze Magazine Release Party for Final Issue at Fizz11/7 The Plant Indoor Market 11/10 Meat Matters, 11/ 12 Local and Regional Food Summit, 11/12 Outside The Bun:How to Cook with Sausage Local Foods, 11/15 Marinarathon, 11/17 Illinois Farmers Market Association Fundraiser at Lagunitas

Mint Creek has their last farm tour and dinner tomorrow with Sunday Dinner Club/Honey Butter Fried Chicken folk and the weather looks to be warming up for it! It is that time to think about your Thanksgiving turkey. Mint Creek is offering White, Bronze, and Aztec Black turkeys this Thanksgiving season in a variety of sizes like the turkey in their picture above. All of their birds are raised on Certified-Organic Illinois prairie pasture. No hormones or antibiotics are involved whatsoever. In addition to their pasture foraging, their turkeys’ diets are supplemented with soyfree, Certified-Organic feed, which they mix in small batches on the farm.  AZTEC BLACK turkeys are an ancient breed of turkey closely related to the domestic turkeys raised by the Aztecs. With the rise of interest in heritage breeds of all animals which means for one that the animals are fed organic feed and are pasture raised, demand has increased dramatically, so don’t dawdle in ordering. Other local farmers who have offered turkeys in the past include Gunthorp Farms, Meadowhaven Farm, Slagel Family Farms and TJ’s Free Range Poultry among others. Don’t forget our friends at the Green Grocer (Gunthorp Farms), Fresh Picks and Local Foods for turkey options as well.

Have you bought tickets for Pilot Light Feed Your Mind? It’s tonight.

Get to the Taste of the Nation on Sunday night at Navy Pier for Know Kid Hungry.

Sadly, last weekend for the Andersonville, GCM Soho House,  Glenview and markets. Looking for classes, resources, the Peterson Garden Project is brimming with help on how to grow and cook your own food. They have so much programming it would overwhelm the local calendar so you just have to go to the link to check it all out. Now onto the weeks ahead!!!

The Local Calendar

October 9-11

Reedsburg, WIFERMENTATION FEST

October 9

Chicago (River West) - Feed Your Mind 3rd Annual Benefit for Pilot Light - 7pm Morgan Manufacturing 401 N. Morgan St. Join them at Feed Your Mind to make a difference for the Chicago school children served by the Pilot Light program.

October 10

CaledoniaAnimal Day for Families  Angelic Organics Learning Center 1547 Rockton Road 10:30 am – 3:30pm  $20 Bring your kids for a day of hands-on experiences on a truly magical organic farm. Milk the goats, feed the horses, gather eggs from the chickens, and produce soil using worm boxes.

ChampaignLast Apple-U-Pick at Prairie Fruit Farm

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.

Chicago (Lincoln Park) - Basic Skills Hands-On Class: Cooking with Cast Iron Read It and Eat It 7pm-9pm  2142 North Halsted

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 Ken Carter Gather

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 - 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. LINK cards are accepted, and the Friends of Evanston Farmers Markets offers matching funds.

FM - Glenview Glenview Farmers Market - 8am – 12pm (Last one of the year) Wagner Farm

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

FDStelleMint Creek Farm – Farm Dinner with Sunday Dinner Club/Honey-Butter Fried Chicken

October 11

Chicago Marathon!!!!!!!

Chicago - Taste of the Nation – Support Childhood Hunger and dine with Chicago’s Top Chefs!!! Let’s let Every Kid Have Healthy Food Every Day! At the beautiful Navy Pier Ballroom

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  (Last one of the year) in the lot behind Soho House on Halsted (south of Randolph) 9am – 2pm

October 12

Chicago (Lincoln Park) - Monday Night Dinner Series Local Foods – Triple Dog Dare You 5-8pm Stock Cafe Three Sausages. All from Butcher and Larder. Three Sides. Three Cookies. All from Stock. But they’re not telling you what any of it is. Eat in or take away. $22 per order. BYOB

October 13

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.

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

October 14

FM Chicago (Andersonville) Andersonville’s Farmers Market - Located on Berwyn between Clark and Ashland (last one) 3-7pm

***New! Chicago (Lincoln Park)Beer and Cheese 101 - Local Foods 6:30pm – 7:30pm

FM Chicago (Lincoln Park) - Green City Market (Through 10/28) 7am – 1pm 10:30am – 11:30am Chef demo Bobby Mayo CH Distillery  The market is located at the south end of Lincoln Park between Clark and Stockton Drive (approximately 1817 N. Clark)

***New! Chicago (Lincoln Square)Big Fork Pop-Up Shop 4-8pm Join them for samples of Bacon Sausage, Breakroom Brewery beer, and brü coffeeworks coffee. Special pricing ($12) on 2LB smoked food service packs of Cracked Black Pepper, Maple & Brown Sugar, and Aged Cheddar Bacon Sausage flavors

October 15

***New! Chicago (Lakeview) – Fall Harvest Farm Dinner with Genesis Growers at SIP Irving Park and Southport

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 at a market near you.

October 16

Chicago (Lincoln Park)Teen Kitchen Takeover (Ages 10-14): Mexican Fiesta Read It and Eat It 7pm-9pm  2142 North Halsted

October 17

CaledoniaFruit Trees 101 Angelic Organics Learning Center 1547 Rockton Road 2-6pm $45 Interested in growing your own backyard fruit without chemicals? Learn about variety selection, siting, planting methods, sustainable care, accommodating “pests” and disease, and proper pruning techniques to maximize longevity and yields.

FM - Chicago (Hyde Park/Woodlawn) - 61st Farmers Market Outdoor (Through Dec. 19) 9am -2pm 61st and Dorchester  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 Nicole Pederson Found 

***New! Chicago (North Center)Trout Kitchen Presents: Leaning Shed Farm Dinner 6pm 4111 North Avenue

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 - 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

FM - Morton GroveMorton Grove Farmers Market (Last fall market, next one 12/5 indoor)- 8am – Noon -6210 Dempster St.

FM - Oak Park - Oak Park Farmers Market (Through 10/31) 7am – 1pm - Pilgrim Church Parking Lot 460 Lake St

October 18

***New! Chicago (Lakeview)Meadowood Farms Cheesemaker Dinner at Bar Pastoral

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

October 20

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.

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

October 21

FM Chicago (Lincoln Park) - Green City Market (last market) 7am – 1pm 10:30am – 11:30am Chef demo Andrew Shedden Mon Ami Gabi  The market is located at the south end of Lincoln Park between Clark and Stockton Drive (approximately 1817 N. Clark)

October 22

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. Food Day celebration today.

October 23

ChicagoJames Beard Foundation Taste America Tour Chicago

SkokieThe Talking Farm Campfire Night

October 24

FOOD DAY!

CaledoniaCornbread from the Ground Up Angelic Organics Learning Center 1547 Rockton Road 2-4:30pm $12 Cook up some cornbread using ears of organic dried corn and eggs from free-roaming chickens! Family members are welcome to take turns to shuck, shell, winnow and grind the corn.

FDChampaignPrairie Fruit Farm dinner with Chef Nathan Sears of The Radler

FM - Chicago (Hyde Park/Woodlawn) - 61st Farmers Market Outdoor (Through Dec. 19) 9am -2pm 61st and Dorchester  The Chicago Southside’s premier farmers market, straddling the Hyde Park and Woodlawn neighborhoods.

***New! Chicago (Lincoln Park)1st Annual King Harvest Festival Local Foods 12pm

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 Justin Ferguson Blue Door Farm Stand 

***New! Chicago (Logan Square) - Corner Farm Chicago Help Put Their Garden To Bed!

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 - 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

FM - Oak Park - Oak Park Farmers Market (Through 10/31) 7am – 1pm - Pilgrim Church Parking Lot 460 Lake St

October 25

Andersonville - Dessert Crawl benefitting Care For Real 2-5pm

CaledoniaFermentation Basics Angelic Organics Learning Center

FM - Chicago (Logan Square) - Logan Square Outside Market (last weekend for outdoor) 10am – 3pm 3107 West Logan Blvd. The Winter Market will be taking place every Sunday from November 1, 2015 through March 20, 2016 (with the exception of November 29th) 10:00 am – 3:00 pm at 2755 N. Milwaukee Av.

FM - Chicago (Rogers Park) Glenwood Outdoor Market (last weekend for outdoor) 9am – 2pm On Glenwood Ave. between Morse and Lunt  Monthly indoor markets are held every second Sunday of the month from November to May.  Hours are 9 a.m. – 2 p.m.

October 26

Chicago (Lincoln Park) - Paw Paw with Andrew More Read It and Eat It 6:30pm- 8:30pm 2142 North Halsted

October 28

Chicago(Edgewater)  - Dinner of the Dead – Sauce and Bread Kitchen

*** New! Chicago (Edgewater)A Celebration of Local Spirits Dinner – Northshore Distillery Dinner at Uncommon Ground

October 29

Chicago (Lincoln Park)Chef Tasting and Demo with Honey Butter Fried Chicken and Sunday Dinner Club Read It and Eat It 7-9pm 2142 North Halsted

FM - Chicago (Loop) - Daley Plaza Farmers Market  (last market) 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.

October 31

HALLOWEEN!!!!!!!!!

FM - Chicago (Hyde Park/Woodlawn) - 61st Farmers Market Outdoor (Through Dec. 19) 9am -2pm 61st and Dorchester  The Chicago Southside’s premier farmers market, straddling the Hyde Park and Woodlawn neighborhoods.

FM - Chicago (Lincoln Park) Green City Market (last outdoor market, moves indoor to the museum next week) 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 Joe Beato Community Tavern

***New! Chicago (Logan Square)Fat Rice Kill Bill Inspired Halloween Dinner

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

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

FM - Oak Park - Oak Park Farmers Market (last market) 7am – 1pm - Pilgrim Church Parking Lot 460 Lake St

November 1

*** New! Chicago (Edgewater) - Peterson Garden Project – Farm To Table Thanksgiving Class

November 2

***New! Chicago (Ravenswood)Pickle Party at River Valley Farmer’s Table

November 4

***New! Chicago (Lincoln Park)The Future History of Local Foods in 10 Products at Local Foods

November 6-8

***New! Chicago (Streeterville)Artisan Market Streeterville

November 7

***New! Chicago (Back of the Yards )The Plant Market 11am-2pm

***New! Chicago (Lakeview)Graze Magazine Final Issue Release Party – 8pm Fizz Bar 3220 North Lincoln

FMChicago (Lincoln Park)Green City Market Indoor – The Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum 8am – 1pm

Chicago (River West)RAMENFEST – It’s back!!!!!!!!! 12pm Urbanbelly

FM - Evanston Downtown Evanston Farmers Market -(last outdoor market)  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

November 10

***New! Chicago (Lincoln Park) - Chef’s Collaborative presents Meat Matters at Local Foods - Chefs Paul Fehribach (Big Jones, Chefs Collaborative Board Member), Rick Bayless (Frontera, Topolobampo, Xoco, Founding Member of Chefs Collaborative), and 12 other nationally-known chefsand food professionals are coming together for an intimate taste experience at Local Foods in Chicago. Meat Matters is a rare opportunity to explore The Butcher & Larder and Local Foods, learn about and celebrate responsibly-raised meat, and connect with leading change makers in the culinary world.

November 12

***New! Chicago (Lincoln Park)Outside The Bun:How to Cook with Sausage at Local Foods

***New! NormalLocal and Regional Food Summit at Heartland College sponsored by the Illinois Farm Bureau and the Illinois Department of Agriculture

November 14

Chicago - Green City Market Culinary Garage Sale 8am – 12pm Naha 500 North Clark St. ust in time for the Holidays, Green City Market’s Culinary Garage Sale! Come shop the treasures of top Chicago Chefs. All proceeds benefit GCM’s Educational Programming.

November 15

***New! Chicago (Riverwest)Marinarathon

November 17

*** New! Chicago (Pilsen) - Illinois Farmers Market Association Fundraiser at Lagunitas Brewery

November 20-23

Chicago (River West) - Cassoulet Dinners at Publican Quality Meats Chef Paul Kahan and Chef David Campigotto of Chez David in Castelnaudary France collaboration Speaking from experience these dinners are as close as you can get for eating and drinking like you are in France without having to fly there!




Local Cheese in the Guardian and Other Things to See – Weekly Harvest of Eat Local Links

By
Posted: October 7, 2015 at 10:12 am

Read Local

 

 

 

Eat local school lunches. Farm fresh in the Texas valley.

I give MikeG a lot of props for getting to ten on this list, but gyros are local food.

Eat local grapes; Chef Abra Berens has some ideas besides munching.

Will there be enough local pumpkins?

Who says local food cannot feed the world.

Yes, a national food policy would be good.

Like, why we need a national food policy.

When they’re talking about our local cheese on an international level, you know you shouldn’t be embarrased about it (yes, we know of snobs who still believe you should be eating other cheeses).




You Can Make the Lunches a Lot More Local Than I Did

By
Posted: October 6, 2015 at 9:45 am

Eat Local in a Bag

wpa school lunch

With today’s school schedules, you’ve probably been sending your kid off to school for like two months now. Are you sending them off with a local lunch? In these initial weeks of curriculum nights and math packet scrambles–you mean they grade them–you may not have thought much about the lunches packed. Out the door they went, hopefully with something more than a can of pop and a bag of chips. It does not take much work to plow an interesting, healthy and delicious meal into your kid’s food stream, nor does it take too much work to make it even better by making it a local lunch. I’m past packing lunches for my Local Family, but I know that if I was packing now, it would be a lot easier.

We always made sure the kids had something local in their lunches. You can find stories of us on the Internet (eg), and they invariably reference some kind of vegetable the kids revealed from their lunch bags.  Like pulling a rabbit from a hat, distorted carrots and exotic turnips magically appeared. So know, a little hocus-pocus, and your kids are eating their vegetables. This time of year, put in the last tiny tomatoes; wow them with a different hue of pepper each day. In the coming weeks, switch to broccoli florets or kale chips. Speaking of chips, in the winter when not much was around, our kids loved chips, made by thinly slicing and then slowly roasting beets.  Now, you still have many options for local fruit in the bag including apples, grapes, plums, and raspberries. As the school year progresses you can keep things local by using dried fruit or a tupperware cup filled with compote. These little connections, an apple in January or a carrot in April can teach them that it is always possible to eat local. You can guide them through the seasons, building anticipation for each new treat to come. Make the aware of the bounty always on offer.

That’s the easy part. How do you fill them up. Do you want them to eat peanut butter daily? When I was making the sandwiches I had a harder time making them local. For one thing, the bread options paled. There was no Hewn, no Publican Quality, as options. Those may be the best you got now, but second best and third best and probably fourth and fifth best are better thee days than when my kids were in school. The quality of bread in the Chicago area has really risen (only slight pun intended), and the single easiest way to improve a sandwich is to put in on good bread. Then, what goes in the sandwich. We would really work finding Michigan turkey for instance, or we might splurge on Nueske ham. But now, man can we splurge. How about picking up some Underground Meat Collective salumi at the Logan Square Farmer’s Market. How about this treat to really perk up a kid’s day: get them locally made nduja. In or near Oak Park, the Sugar Beet Coop has a variety of sandwich fillings from Indiana’s Smoking Goose. Of course we always had the ability to find local cheeses to put between the slices, and you too can delve into the wonderful array of area options from smooth fresh chevre–our kids loved it with tapenade to classic “Swiss”–Edelweiss in Wisconsin makes a true European big wheel emmentaler. Remember if you give them a chunk or two of cheddar and some apple wedges it’s now an English ploughman’s lunch, or see if they’ll like this favorite of my older daughter, “blue cheese ala Hannah”, which was blue cheese stuffed into bell pepper halves. There’s a lot of options now out there. You should not struggle to find local things to put in their lunches.

I’d love to hear what you’re doing to send your kids off as little locavores.