Again, thanks Colin for giving me the space in your paper. The ability to keep me appearing sane speaks well (very) for your editing skills. All the people stopping by, have you added some local to your diets this week?
March may not seem like the best time to start eating local, but the budding localvore can find it with not that much effort.
- Shop at one of the winter markets Robin works so hard to pull-off. There will be three this weekend. I will post details soon.
- There's always apples, mushrooms, onions and potatoes.
- Drink local milk. I think I'm too young to remember the way milk "was supposed to taste." I think it tastes a lot like Kalona Organic, milk you need to shake (non-homogenized). You can find this at Whole Foods and many speciality markets.
- Eat local cheese. That's not a hard one, finding say a big block of yellow cheddar from Wisconsin. Consider, however, one of the grand cheeses from our area, a Roth Kase Private Reserve, a tub of Driftless fresh sheep's milk cheese from Hidden Springs Creamery or the Carr Valley stuff nestled away at your neighborhood Costco.
- Come Thursday, shop the local superstore in Geneva. Pick up some of your local cheeses from Rob at Curds and Whey.
- Talk local with Cassie at her Green Grocer. She'll stock you up on all things local you did not even know about.
- Order local. Irv and Shelly's Freshpicks have 24 (!) local produce items for sale this week as well as local meat, lamb, eggs, yogurt, etc., etc., etc.
- Try a seasonal beer. Spring crops are still (very) far way, but we have Spring beers like Capitol Brewery's Maibock and Leine's Big Butt Dopplebock.
- Take pride in your pork. Nueske hams and bacon from Wisconsin are excellent and from Iowa probably comes as good a prosciutto as you will find (La Quercia).
- Splurge local. Some chefs give the ol' "we use local when" spiel. Some chefs really do use local, and then there's Chef Paul Virant who has made his restaurant, Vie, in Western Springs a beacon for fine dining and local eating. Want to know how good it is, try his creamy farm eggs or local lamb.
- Dream local. While you are waiting for the farmers markets to get going and onions do not sound appealing anymore as a vegetable, visit the web sites of some restaurants that pride themselves on their local and seasonal cooking. Fergus Henderson only cooks whats ready, and his whole beast ethos is true to the Eat Local movement. Dan Barber is lucky enough to have his own farm to create from. And all localvores need to check in weekly on the menus at Chez Panisse.
- Believe local. Alice Waters may be serving a spring vegetable ragout this week, but Larry Russo in St. Paul and Tory Miller in Madison are working right now with almost all Midwest local products. On the Eat Local Challenge Blog you can find a bunch of others who embrace their local eating.