Friday, May 25, 2007

Crust - The Organic Restaurant

Still Not Open

It said so. And damn given how I have completely missed the Coalfire phenomenon, I was gonna be the first one of the Internet to have actually eaten at Crust. I was gonna even take pictures. Yet, at lunch today, the place was not open, and they looked they were working very hard to be opened soon--it reminded me of a TV reality chef show. ("Today on Top Chef, Harold, Sam and Marcel face the challenge of driving the publicity for Tom's soon to be built sustainable concept in Sonoma...")

Milk and Honey's a good place.

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Farmers Market News

Some Bad

To paraphrase Woody Allen (so to speak), there's no such thing as a bad farnmer's market. Beside drying, another goal of mine this season is to visit as many farmer's markets as possible. I intend to write summaries as I go along, and I'll place links to the right. Pending reviews are Dane County (Madison, WI) and Daley Plaza.

Now, the other news. Word on the street is that the Michigan apricot crop got wiped this year because of a late season frost. So, I aint gonna be making any apricot fruit leather as planned. To somewhat compensate, I'm hearing the Michigan peach crop will be bumper.

Know Your Food Source

Now, A Regular Feature

(Via Gapers Block)The Sun Times reports on another incident of the travails of not knowing your food source.
A frozen product labeled monkfish distributed in three states is being recalled after two Chicago area people became ill after eating it, the importer announced Thursday. Hong Chang Corporation of Santa Fe Springs, Calif., said it is recalling the product labeled as monkfish because it may contain tetrodotoxin, a potent toxin. While the frozen fish imported from China was labeled monkfish, the company said it is concerned that it may be pufferfish because this toxin is usually associated with certain types of pufferfish.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Public Service Announcement

Folks, DO watch Good Morning America on Thursday May 24, 2007 (!) If you have DVRs/Tivo's, DO set them. One of the boys from will give new meaning to the words Eat Local.


Update: Wondering what's the fuss? Here's a good wrap-up.

Too Much Early Season Buying

It's getting awfully hard, now that we've used the flower part, to tell the nasturtiums from the arugula or was that the watercress from the mescalun; spinach's pretty easy to pick, but between radish sprouts and oregano, it's not quite so, I use the cat to separate the nettles from the cat nip, my nose can do the trick with the mint yet it does not help that there are two kinds. It'd get easier, but tomorrow a new CSA box arrives.

Update: Oh, pea shoots, one of those bags of green things is pea shoots, which one?

To Put Pen to Paper

Lotta Things to Say, No Time to Say Them

The need for earlier farmers markets in Chicago, especially after seeing what Madison, WI could offer mid-May...Restaurant Show tackles sustainability, who's really ahead of the curve, home cooks or chefs (or another version of why cannot Paul Kahn find local potatoes in February)...Vital Books, who's take on eating local did I prefer, Farmer Kingsolver or 100 mile diet, and why eating local is not crazy and IS possible...Great Wisconsin cheeses like Fantome Farm goat cheese made shortly before I purchased...Local as I Wanna be meals like wedge salad with Green Goddess dressing, pasta dressed with local shitakes and greens...Mexican food in Monee...Really big burger in Marengo...Really, really big morels in Madison...Eat Local means more than fruit, what's available including grains, syrup, trout, etc...etc, etc., etc.

Monday, May 21, 2007

The Iceberg Cometh

(pic courtesy of David Hammond)

You Should Subscribe to a CSA

Over at, there's a discussion on CSA's, prompted by the once a year inclusion in the Genesis Grower Spring box of a head of iceberg. Besides wanting to re-post Hammond's great lettuce shot (I tried one myself, against Chez Panisse Vegetables, for irony sake, but it was not even close to as good), I wanted to re-post why I think it's a good idea to subscribe to a CSA.

To quote myself:
Why the CSA? Well, I do feel some conniption about actually supporting, nay "owning" a piece of the farm. Still, it is not just an act of charity. Ownership has its benefits. First of all, as with this week's iceberg, there will be things that go into the CSA that never make it to market. We have first crack. Second, and even more important, you build a relationship with a farmer. This cuts two ways. You can go to the farm, see how the stuff is grown, see what kinda practices they use, actually understand where you food comes from. Also, you get the inside track on things. As I have blogged about, there may be the opportunity to buy some of the heard, there are the off-season CSAs, these are less available and may be sold out to non-subscribers--and off-season is the time when you really need the stuff. And, and there is off-season. Farmer Vicki does not advertise or offer to many, but there is the chance to buy from her even in the dead of winter. Finally, as an owner, you also have access to other products of the farm. Vicki offers her home canned goods (and she's a fantastic canner).
Now, I should have more on this today or soon, but with what's being reported these days about food imports and food inspections, it seems more important than ever to be a farmer (so to speak).