Chicago Farmers Market

On Saturday morning I woke up before everyone else and slipped out to the Lincoln Park Farmers Market. I wish I could have visited more than one farmers market, but on a three-day visit this was what I could manage. In Kitsap County our farmers markets are community meeting places. I’ve visited every one, and every one has tons of wonderful vegetables and handmade crafts. Most offer (frozen) meat, prepared food, vendors serving food you can eat on the spot, and quite frequently music too. Every market except Ollala had a Master Gardener booth this year, and several offered chef demos. A visit to the farmers market is a shopping experience, it’s educational, it’s entertainment. Strip away everything but the shopping experience and you have the Lincoln Park market. About two dozen vendors set up awnings in a parking lot. I looked around for a market booth but didn’t find … Continue reading

Locally Delicious

On vacation in August I stopped in Arcata, Humboldt County, California, where I happened to pick up a recipe book, Locally Delicious, Recipes and Resources for Eating on the North Coast. The six women who compiled the book dubbed themselves the Heirloom Tomatoes. The book starts with a series of essays discussing approaches to local food. Why eat local? What is organic? How to save money? Local in this case means the bioregion known as the Six Rivers Region, including Del Norte, Humboldt, and Trinity Counties. Recipes used nearly entirely foods grown in that region – one notable exception is olive oil, which is grown in nearby Mendocino County. Reading the recipes taught me what a fully developed local cuisine looks like, and pointed out to me the ingredients in my own food that don’t come from my food shed: olives, olive oil, lemons, rice. The book includes information on … Continue reading

West Coast fresh local restaurants

I was overdue for a vacation, so I really looked forward to it, except for one thing – I dread eating on the road because it’s so hard to find fresh food. My attitude turned around when a friend met us at Revival for dinner. This Berkeley gem sources produce in a 100 mile radius and makes as much as possible in house. It’s known for its goat dishes – one of us ordered a steak and the whole party had a taste, and it was succulent. I had a halibut steak, quite competently done, and the vegetables really shined. While in Berkeley I had to stop at Chez Panisse, a dinner that took up a post of its own. I enjoyed it as a benchmark experience, important to West Coast culinary heritage. On the way up the coast I stopped in Willets for lunch and stumbled on Burrito Exquisito. … Continue reading