Poll

9 Nov
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Help support Logan Square Kitchen

4 Nov

Many of you know of, or at least have heard of the Logan Square Kitchen. It’s a fine establishment that opened their doors to the public over a year ago. And ever since then, they have run into countless red tape. It’s a space that acts as a shared kitchen (a nice big commercial kitchen that is), open to whoever wants to rent it out at the reasonable hourly charge. There is also an event space in the front of the space that can also be rented out. A cool business model, that is good for the community, oh, and did I mention their space is rated LEED Gold?

And they need help. The city has been yanking their chain over zoning and licensing issues for many months, essentially curtailing any consistent business. If you have a spare moment, please visit their website to learn more about the business. I’ve posted two links: one to their blog and the other a great article on LSK from the Chicago Reader. Thx.

LSK Speaking Up

Bread and Circuses (from the Reader)

-derek

Pumpkins!

1 Nov

Ok, so Halloween is over (thank god), and now your sitting there in your sugar induced coma thinking to yourself “I have 3 jack-o-lanterns rotting on my stoop, what do I do with them?” Well look no further than this exact blog post!

A couple weeks ago, my girlfriend and I took a little road trip up to Royal Oak Farms in Harvard, IL. We barely made it for the last week of apple picking, but it was high season in the pumpkin patch. They had so many different varieties of pumpkin that I had to buy a couple to cook with. We finally settle on a medium Cinderella (which is so pretty it looks fake), and a Peanut pumpkin (a variety that has strange peanut growths growing on the outer layer). Needless to say, I couldn’t wait to rip them open and start cooking.

So instead of dressing up and trick-or-treating, I was in the kitchen and cooked the following: curried pumpkin and parsnip soup, pumpkin bread, pumpkin cookies and of course roasted all the seeds (in addition to making the last of the Cortlands into applesauce). In other words, I went pumpkin crazy! And you should too. Here are some great links for you to check out about pumpkin history, recipes, varieties, etc. Enjoy.

All about pumpkins

Leftover pumpkin? Six ways to use them

Pumpkin history

-derek

Salone del Gusto & Terra Madre 2010

28 Oct

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These two very important organizations just finished up their conferences/festivals in Torino, Italy this week. Please take a moment and learn about their very important messages.

The Salone del Gusto is an international movement founded by Carlo Petrini in 1986. It strives to preserve traditional and regional cuisine and promotes farming of plants, seeds and livestock characteristic of the local ecosystem. It was the first established part of the broader Slow movement. The organization is about learning, knowing, comparing and discovering, but always in the name of a right to a responsible and fully shared pleasure; a festival, celebrating what we eat and the people who make it.

Terra Madre 2010 is intended to foster discussion and introduce innovative concepts in the field of food, gastronomy, globalization, economics. It’s a network of food communities, each committed to producing quality food in a responsible, sustainable way.

-“Chefs have to play a role in the evolution of the relationship that people have with food and places”, said Brazilian chef and food educator Teresa Corçao.
-“Ancestral knowledge is not folklore, but a form of life. More and more people are seeing nature as a living being: The potential of Terra Madre lies in recognizing and supporting different forms of subsistence.” Rumiñahui Anrango

Garden Workday w/ the MFC

16 Oct

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Today the MFC was proud to have gotten their collective hands dirty. After attending several high profile events featuring the mothership and all that she can provide, today we were armed only with gloves for our helping hands. Early this morning Adam, his brother Joe and I drove up to Dawes Elementary School in Evanston to help out with their annual fall garden workday.

When we rolled up we were warmly greeted by a lovely woman named Lynn Hyndman, the volunteer garden coordinator. After some quick salutations we were promptly showed to our task…digging up bushes and trees. It was 3 red dogwoods and 2 alders, versus 3 guys from the MFC (plus some help from new friend Sue at Northwestern). Together the 4 of us conquered nature with shovels, saws, blood, sweat and tears.

In addition to lending some manual labor to the school garden, Adam and I gave a small presentation to the group of volunteers who were interested in our project. Reaching out to a variety of audiences is truly one of the great strengths we have in promoting our message.

And last but not least, at the end of our 4 hour shift we were led to the big harvest table where all the children had gathered the last of the edibles for the season. Our gracious host Lynn told us to take home whatever we could carry. On display were cherry tomatoes, basil, oregano, carrots, sage, peppers galore, turnips, eggplants and many more. All in all, a great day!

-derek

CMAP GO TO 2040…meet the MFC

14 Oct

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On Wednesday October 13th, the Mobile Food Collective was proudly on display atop the roof of the Harris theatre in downtown Chicago. How did we get on the roof you might ask? Read on.

It was a lovely morning, full of torrential rain and thunderstorms. However that did not deter close to 1000 people from attending the launch of CMAP’s GO TO 2040 Plan. The Chicago Metropolitan Area Planners have been hard at work creating this broad agenda for over 3 years (I attended a charette last year), and on Wednesday morning, leaders of the Chicago’s 7 metro counties voted unanimously to adopt the plan. In addition to the plans attention on transportation, education and energy use, local food awareness and production was also in mix. Enter the MFC.

We arrived at the crack of dawn, mothership in tow. With only 4 of us to man the ship, and 3 flights of stairs to climb, we had to disassemble and take her up to the roof in pieces. It looked daunting, but we survived the ordeal. Once we found our spot under the tent we reassembled the smart cart (with signage!), and started to populate the table. I had gone up to Harvard, IL that past weekend and picked apples at Royal Oak Farms, so we decided to showcase some local produce (tasting) together with complementary recipes. We set up a couple laptops to show our Kickstarter video and a short film on a collection of food stories taken this summer down at Gary Comer Youth Center. All told, the mothership was in fine form. Abundant and beautiful.

The event drew a crowd that included many prominent Chicagoans included Mayor Daley (see pic), Senator Durbin, and WTTW’s own Geoffrey Baer (who moderated the panel). Needless to say, it was a great opportunity for us to help spread our message to another inviting and inquisitive audience. Many people were very interested in our project, and together with the help from other Archeworks personnel (Suzanne, Eric,and Phil), we were overcome with interest. A great big thank you to Lindsay who help coordinate everything as well. Couldn’t have done it without you.

-derek

Sunset Potluck

6 Oct

On Monday night, the MFC rolled the smart cart and its accoutrements over to Erie Park to have an informal potluck. It was a nice meet and greet between the MFC team (AW alums) and this years new students. Only requirement: bring some food that you made. Notes:

Jared-kickass banana cheesecake

Mason-always good with the home made bread and jarred sorghum

Rachel-killing pasta salad

Great home made hummus, caprese salad, red mashed potatoes, cornbread, and wine. Thanks for everyone who came out.

Recap of events (9/25)…

27 Sep

On Saturday, Cat and I got up at the crack of dawn, hitched up the Smart Cart to the Volvo and headed over to the Green City Market, 6am to be exact (it turns out people actually shop for veggies that early, go figure). It was a special day for me, since I rigged my bike up with a hitch and took one of our custom made bike trailers on its maiden voyage up to Lincoln Park. It performed incredibly well, and other than a little extra weight/noise (potholes) behind me, I didn’t really notice it at all.

Once we got into position in the Market, we opened up the mothership for all the public to see. We decided not to compete with all the produce exchange and cooking demos happening, and instead offered up a different set of programming. We brought to the table (ahem): food story/archive, recipe giveaway, and a very successful vermiculture (worm bin) raffle. Many, many people came up to us wanting to know more about our project (and some who already knew of us!). Thanks to all who came out to support on a very chilly fall Saturday.

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-derek