Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Preserving the Harvest Class TONIGHT!

Cassie, at her Green Grocer, is hosting a class tonight on preserving the harvest (via).
"Preserving the Harvest"-6pm on September 17th

Eating locally is easy in August. But when Chicago's cold winds begin to blow in October, does being a locavore relegate one to a diet of potatoes? A little foresight and effort during the harvest will bring some sunshine to those cold winter days. In this class, you'll learn the basics of food preservation, including freezing, drying, pickling and jamming. As a take-away, you'll receive a recipe booklet with additional resources on this subject. Presented by Melissa Graham, owner of Monogramme Events, founder of Purple Asparagus and membership chair for Green City Market. Class will be held at Green Grocer Chicago, 1402 W. Grand Ave.
In my post up today at, I show that local food remains accessible and affordable in the Chicago area. The best way to capitalize on this is by buying heavily now and putting much away for the times when local will not be as easy to come by.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Non-local Local Event

I post this because I know a few people from Ann Arbor read this blog, a few people might be willing to travel to Ann Arbor, and 'cause I love the La Quercia stuff. This Thursday at Zingerman's:

The King of Cure
INCREDIBLY SPECIAL VISITORS — Herb and Kathy Eckhouse from La Quercia
Thursday, September 18th, 7-9pm, Upstairs Next Door
Call 663-3400 to sign up. $20 in advance. $25 at the door
How do you go from working for a seed company to becoming the foremost artisan producer of cured pork products in the nation? Come to this tasting and ask Herb Eckhouse yourself. While he is telling you his story, you can taste his fantastic cured meats and learn about how they are made. And hear about the 50 hogs they finished on acorns last winter. This is a tasting you don't want to miss.

Like most foodies who have visited Ann Arbor, I would say that Zingerman's is about the best food store in the USA. I will also say that Ari and his gang are both dedicated locavores and supreme Internationalists (what exactly is the opposite of a locavore?). On one hand, Zingerman's understands the inherent goodness of local foods. The Roadhouse features local growers for their produce. On the other hand, Zingerman's is all about bringing in food from around the world. Local is not the domain here. Still, a Midwesterner can be well served to keep his or her blinders secure. Amongst the things this locavore brings home from Zingermans:
  • Any of their breads
  • Any of their house made cheeses, especially the cream cheese and fresh mozz'
  • The aforementioned Iowa Quercia ham
  • The made in Grand Rapids Michigan Cream-Nut peanut butter

I wish I could spare a Thursday this Thursday.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Follow the Beat

Proving I can waste time like the best of 'em, I've been trying to blog regularly here and on the Local Beet. We are building content and history on the Beet even though it is far from it's official launch. Michael and I and new Mom, Cookie and a few other have been working behind the scenes to build an outstanding resource for those who want to eat Practically Local. We want to first lead by example. Second, we want to share our experiences and the expertise we have learned in eating local in the Chicago area, especially eating local all the time not just for a period [ed., too chicken to say Challenge?]. Third, we want to assist by having key data there for you. Keep up with the Beet.

In addition to the libraries and files we are compiling, we are about the launch an improved look to the site. Keep your eyes open for that.

In coming weeks there will be more features, including multi-media. As I have promised already, we will soon publish on keeping and preserving your seasonal bounty.