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.


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.)

Labor Day Weekend Odds & Ends

Three quick items to share:

1) Meat!
I picked up our fourth meatload from Cedar Valley Sustainable Farm (see #1 and #2 – I didn’t get a picture of #3 because it occurred on moving day).  We receive a share every other month and it’s plenty for our meat-cooking needs.  Look at that giant rack of ribs!  It’s like something out of The Flintstones.

Here’s what we got:

  • One whole fryer and one halved fryer
  • Stir fry beef
  • 2 lbs ground beef
  • Pork bratwurst
  • Ribs
  • One and one half dozen eggs

2) Booze!
One of the most productive plants in our garden is Japanese cucumber.  We decided to take a break from cucumber salad and make cucumber vodka instead. One bottle vodka + one peeled, seeded and sliced cumber + three days in a cupboard.  Very easy and delicious.

3) Ping-pong!
We bought a cheap table off Craigslist this morning.  The other items on my to-do list are in danger of falling by the wayside as I turn my attention to Operation Destroy Jarrod.

Have a good weekend!



Meatload #2

I picked up our second CSA meat share from Cedar Valley Sustainable Farm (see our first share here).  In terms of quantity, it’s a little less than the first meatload, but the retail value is probably comparable because this share includes steak and bacon.

Here’s the list:

  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 1 lb pork sausage
  • 1 lb ground pork
  • One halved fryer, one cut-up fryer and one fryer leg quarters
  • 1 lb bacon
  • Two beef fillets
  • Two dozen eggs

The first share worked out perfectly spread out over two months: we still have one pound of ground pork as well as six hamburgers we made and froze.  As planned, we did not purchase any meat at the grocery store other than a small amount of prosciutto Jarrod talked me into for panini purposes.  When Jarrod was in Iowa a few weeks ago he did purchase two pork chops and a bunch of brats from the Griffieon Family Farm.  Can’t wait for summer BBQs!