Preach!: Meat and Tights

Cedar Valley Sustainable Farm

We have been customers of Cedar Valley Sustainable Farm for two years now and I can’t say enough good things about this community-supported agriculture (CSA) situation. For $570 a year we receive bimonthly packages of high-quality, locally-raised chicken, pork, beef and eggs.  The shares are delivered conveniently and reliably to Provenance in Lincoln Square. (They also deliver to other Chicagoland areas: Lakeview, Edgewater, Naperville, Oak Park, Evanston, Logan Square and Frankfort.)

CSA Meat Share

We do occasionally purchase additional meat, such as prosciutto or chorizo, from the store for specific recipes, but the shares are of sufficient quantity to feed our family of two. It’s worth the price knowing that the animals we eat were raised on a humane, sustainable family farm and slaughtered at safe, small-scale processing facilities.  Look how happy that pig is!

Pig Farm

You can learn more about Cedar Valley on their websiteblog and Facebook profile.

Uniqlo Tights

Each fall, as soon as temperatures drop below 65 degrees, I celebrate the return of tights season.  I love tights.  I wish my legs could be surgically replaced with tights. And let me tell you: Uniqlo makes the best tights.

Uniqlo Tights

I stock up each time we visit New York and now, lucky for us all, Uniqlo has an online shop so that people all over the United States can experience the joy of Uniqlo tights.

Uniqlo Tights Haul

My very favorite pair is their $12.90 Heattech tights: they are the perfect pair of warm, opaque, matte black tights. And they are durable as all hell.  I have worn them several times a week for months now, and I am not delicate with them: I put on tights like I’m pulling on dungarees.

PuttingOnTights

Whoa, look at that shadow on the wall. Dustin Hoffman, you cad.

(Preach! is an occasional Sunday feature with personal endorsements of products, stores and services — generally one Chicago recommendation and one anywhere-in-the-world recommendation.  These posts are not sponsored in any way.)

Lettuce Week: Thursday

Produce: Speckled Bibb and Baby Leaf Mix Lettuce

Salad Prep

Recipe: Scallop and Citrus Salad from Mark Bittman’s Kitchen Express. With apologies to Mr. Bittman, here’s a picture of the recipe:

No fancy food photography available, so instead I’ll show you a picture of what dinner usually looks like around here: a laptop and some ill-gotten HBO GO (just kidding, Comcast!). The Veep title sequence is really bad, right?

Laptop Salad Dinner

Lettuce Week: Wednesday

The garden consumption continues, although tonight we took a break from salads.

Garden Spinach

Produce: Spinach.  I should know by now that when it comes to cooked spinach, I never prepare enough.  I harvest a huge amount like this, thinking I’ve conquered the insufficient cooked spinach issue, and then it wilts down to a mound the size of a ping-pong ball and Jarrod feels denied his rightful amount of vegetables.  The pasta was still good, though.

Garden Spinach

Recipe: Orecchiette with Spinach and Gorgonzola Sauce from Cookie + Kate

Orecchiette with Spinach and Gorgonzola SaucePhoto Copyright Cookie + Kate

Lettuce Week: Monday

Get excited: it’s motherf’ing lettuce week.  Our garden has exploded within the last two weeks: the photo on the left was taken on May 13th, the one on the right on May 27th.

Garden May 13 vs May 27

Now it’s time to start eating the bounty.  The lettuce/kale/spinach in particular needs to be consumed before it goes to seed.  So, I have meals planned for each weeknight this week using produce from our backyard and will post links to the recipes I used.

Produce: Kale

Kale

Recipe: Kale, Apple and Pancetta Salad from Once Upon a Chef

No photograph of mine would be as nice as the one from Once Upon a Chef.  This salad is delicious.  I’ve made it before for people who don’t usually like raw kale (Hi, Kateri) or lettuce in general (Hi, Rodger) and everyone devoured it.

Photo Copyright Once Upon a Chef