Saturday, May 06, 2006

Eat Local Challenge
On the Radio Today

For those interested in the eat local movement, Jen M, the instigator and workaholic of the Eat Local Blog, will be on the radio today--the Tom Douglas show in Seatle. There will be no archive, but if anyone is bored this afternoon, with a good connection, here's the url:

Here's the url for the Douglas show:

Thursday, May 04, 2006

The Box
Spring CSA Week 5

We did not subscribe to the spring CSA from Farmer Vicki in anticipation of the May Eat Local Challenge, but having the CSA surely makes the challenge that much easier. In the Chicago area, it will still be a few weeks before the first farmer's markets open. Vicki, however, using greenhouse technology provides me and her subscribers with a big box of produce each week. And because of the greenhouse, our box includes, of all things in early May (for this part of the world), zucchini.

Last week's box seemed like a bit of more of the same. This week, the box took a nice detour. New for the week, for the season, well beyond the freaky zucchini, was sorrel and a cabbage. Repeats were more breakfast radishes and white icicle radishes and the ever present carrots and green onions. The bag of mixed greens this week was labeled spicy mesculun instead of just plain mesculun. There was no head lettuce this week.

We intend to use the greens (radish tops, last week's turnip tops) in soup, with locally ground corn. The cabbage, I've been reading a bunch of traditional French cookbooks, and that has me hankering for potee, a spring one pot meal of pork products and cabbage. The chinni, I think we will slice, blanch and freeze since it is hard to do much with two fruits. Finally, the sorrel. Anyone have some good ideas? I tasted a bit. The stuff is incredible. It's green but it feels almost exactly like biting into a lemon. Almost like something served at Moto (beware flash!).

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Eat Local Challenge

I came home from the gym as hungry as a guy could be at 1:30 who has already skipped breakfast. My wife practically dared me to eat local. I countered with the fact that we had nary much in the bungalow to eat, local or not.

Day 3 of the challenge. My first lunch of cheese omelet and green salad was local all the way up to its olive oil and lemon dressing. Yesterday, I strayed a lot further with canned Italian tuna and canned Italian white beans (over local greens). Today, I returned to the fold.

Here's a nice simple local lunch, when hungry:
A few Farmer Vicky radishes
Some Belgioioso aged Provolone cheese
House made dried sausage from D'Ancona market in Berwyn*
Freddy's bread and butter*
OK, and a few olives for contrast

*Manufactured locally from ingredients who knows where.
Eat Local in the Future

"The city is considering a year-round public market," said Kathleen Dickhut, acting deputy commissioner of planning and development. "We've been looking at the idea of farmers markets in general and at a year-round public market."

The Chicago Tribune does a good feature today on Milwaukee's public market and the lame attempts to get a market in Chicago. Here's the link, but I'd pay the 50 cents for the nice pictures.

My (overly) cynical take on a Chicago public market, is that it will be like Millennium Park. It will sound great on paper. Take seven extra years to build, and then arrive with a lot of pizzaz and little substance. As the Condiment Queen pointed out this morning, what makes the Milwaukee Public Market such a treat is its complete lack of Great Steak and Fries shops. It aint no Faneuil Hall. We have no trust that if a public market opened in the Chicago that would be true. Hope we're wrong!

For those not seeking to wait, the Tribune also provides a directory of farmer's markets in the Chicago area.

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

What's Local This Week at Caputo's

Pasta (tip to the Chicago Tribune)
Michigan Apples
Igl Farm organic red potatoes

As Jamie S writes on the ELC Blog, one of the keys to eating local is to poke around. Find local where you shop. Yea, it's not like a balanced meal here, but again as Jamie says, "Sourcing anything locally is a success."

I post this first, to get people to Caputo's in Elmwood Park; then, to get people to see what else might lurk out there, at Cub Foods, your local bodega, Jewel, Fox & Obel, A&G, and god forbid, Whole Foods!

Monday, May 01, 2006

Eat Local Web Site Up!

Eat Local Challenge

I really feel honored to have been asked to contribute to this site. It already has an amazing collection of data on eating local, and how people attempt to eat local. The authors come from all across the country, and have various insights into eating local in their neck of the woods. Still, I should add, that we are not of one mind on HOW to eat local, and we subscribe to no one set of rules. See how each person approaches the problems, the exceptions, and the solutions.

Stop by often to see what's happening there.