• 2015: The Friends Year in Review: A Historic Market Season

    FINAL OUTDOOR MARKET: NOVEMBER 7

    All good things must come to an end. And the 2015 outdoor, downtown

    market did make its final appearance on November 7. For 27 Saturdays, rain,

    sleet and shine, farmers and food vendors provided us with wonderful fare! And

    many returned to Evanston to participate in the ever-popular Thanksgiving

    market held at Immanuel Lutheran Church the Saturday before the holiday. On

    December 5 and throughout the winter, two markets will entice us to continue

    buying directly from growers. (See information about the winter markets by clicking here)

     

    HIP HOORAY FOR DONORS!

    As Friends reviews 2015, again we count our blessings. Our donors,

    Northshore University HealthSystem First Bank and Trust, an Anonymous Donor

    and your contributions allowed us to give $19, 531.00 to Link shoppers at the

    downtown market. This year, a record, brought a total of $39,404 to support

    healthy eating and small, local farms. Thank you, donors!!

     

    FIRST FILM SERIES

    Even before the first market in May, Friends was busy collaborating with

    Campus Kitchens NU and the Evanston Public Library to host a film series

    educating attendees about food issues and food policy. These films, Dirt! the

    Movie, Foodstamped and a preview of a documentary about Henry’s Farm were

    supported with panel and audience discussions. Another film, to be determined,

    will be shown on April 10, 2016. Again, Friends will be joined by the wonderful

    people at Campus Kitchens NU and Evanston Public Library.

     

    BLUE TENT FUN

    Our blue tent in the SW corner of the market saw plenty of activity this

    summer. For 24 Saturdays, we hosted chefs, the Heller Bees of Highland Park,

    District 65 teachers and Campus Kitchens. This was the first year that volunteers

    were trained to assist in all this activity and we were impressed with their grace

    and flexibility-especially the young men from Curt’s Cafe!

     

    NEWSLETTER

    And our newsletter, sent out weekly, is a gem. Mark Dolnick has been our

    web manager since our earliest days. This summer, much to our delight, he

    accepted the job of newsletter writer. His wit, market experience-you can find him

    on Saturdays at Green Acres -and passion for all food and farm issues make his

    weekly entries a must-read! Don’t miss these-sign up today on this website!

     

    40TH ANNIVERSARY OF MARKET

    Friends began this summer of celebration with a lovely essay in the

    RoundTable written by a guy who knows and loves markets and cooking. Steve

    Littell gave a rousing tribute to farmers and our fabulous Evanston Market. Read it here.

    Then, On September 19, at the market, a tribute to farmers was hosted by

    Nell Funk of NWC Food Incubator and planned with Friends and market

    manager, Myra Gorman. After a scary night of storms, the clouds cleared, the

    chefs arrived with their mysterious towers of food boxes and shoppers began

    scrambling for tickets to participate in the first truck to table event at the market!

    The happy beneficiaries were Friends and the Spud Club. Myra Gorman,

    architect of Spud Club, plans activities galore for the youngest market shoppers.

     

    CITY AND FRIENDS COLLABORATE

    In 2010, Friends and the City of Evanston worked together to improve the

    Farmers Market Ordinance. This fall we reviewed that document and some

    needed changes are in the works. If interested, you can contact your alderman or

    send ideas to Friends. You can see the current ordinance on this website.

     

    AND FINALLY,

    As President of Friends, I’d like to thank a very hard working board-Jane

    Hampson, Grant writer and Treasurer, Sheldon Proctor, Secretary, Cindee Bath,

    Community Liaison, Mia Mouratis, Volunteer Director. There’s more good news

    here-we welcome Laura Davies to our board. Already she has really put her

    energy to reviewing the farmers’ markets ordinance.

     

    REALLY FINALLY

    FEFM is grateful for all the efforts of Myra Gorman, Market Manager, and

    Ryan Tasovac, Assistant Manager. Their diligence is the backbone of this market

    and includes the application process in January, farm visits, 5am Saturday

    arrivals at the market, checking all food products and providing a safe market for

    all. We tip our hats!



  • Halloween at the Market: really cold, really wet, really fun.

    Myra Gorman, our estimable Market Master and her right-hand man, Ryan, put a lot of effort into making the market fun for visitors and vendors alike, all season long. But they shone as bright as the sun–well, the sun from the day before–on Halloween. So even though it was cold and rainy, tons of kids took part in all the special activities they offered from 9am to noon.



  • Personal Chef Joe Dugan’s Tent Event Recipes

    Chefs are found in many contexts. Joe Dugan is a personal chef who was born, raised and lives in Evanston. For the past 12 years he has combined catering with the preparation of meals for families in their own homes.

    Chef Joe sources from local farmers whenever possible, and that made him a perfect fit for a recent tent event. More than 200 people enjoyed the following dishes. Now, you can try them yourself in YOUR own home.

    Crostini

    Method

    Cut a French baguette into 1/2 inch circles. Brush with olive oil and place on sheet pan in a preheated 350 degree oven. Bake until golden brown, about 12 minutes on rack in the top position in your oven.

    Onion Marmalade

    Ingredients

    • 4 large onions, thinly sliced
    • 1/2 cup 18-year-aged balsamic vinegar
    • 1/4 cup brown sugar

    Method

    Place onions sugar and balsamic into dutch oven, bring to a boil, and reduce heat to simmer. Cook onions for 2-3 hours. The onions should taste sweet. Let cool for 45 minutes. Serve over roast or on a sandwich.

    Grilled beef round roast

    Method

    Get grill temperature to at least 500-degrees.

    Grill each side for 8 minutes (depending on thickness of roast), then place on sheet pan in a preheated 400 degree oven until internal temperature reads 120 degrees. Let stand for five minutes to allow juices to redistribute back into the meat. Thinly slice across (opposite of) the grain to insure tender slices. Place on top of onion marmalade.



  • The Downtown Market is Always Fun for Children

    Between the Market’s own “Spud Club” for children, the many kid-centered events at Friends’ own tent events, the musicians who perform every week, and all the incredible food at the dozens of vendors, the Downtown Evanston Farmers Market can be a magical place for kids.

    For instance, the activity a couple of week’s ago involved the creative production of “veggie people.” Here is the creation of  Spud Clubber Lily.

    LilyFromSpudClub

    Spud Club will have a full range of activities on Saturday, October 31 as part of the city’s celebration of Halloween.

    Friends tent events have included visitor’s from District 65 and Heller Bees among their many kid-centric activities The Heller Bees return on October 17.

    IMG_7834

    And sometimes, families make the fun happen themselves. Here are some lovely snaps capturing the joy of a pair of young music lovers. It appears they like mangos as well.

    So, Spring, Summer or Fall, let your children learn about the joys of food in manners fresh, delicious and sometimes a bit educational. The whole family will love the experience.

     



  • Recipe: Vince DiBattista’s Fall Minestrone

    Chef Vince of Campagnola and Union Pizzeria was our guest and featured chef at a recent tent event, really the first one with true Fall weather. That made his fall minestrone the perfect, satisfying match for a brisk October market. Here’s how to make it at home.

    (Serves 8–12)

    Ingredients for stock:

    • 4 cloves garlic
    • 2 sprigs rosemary
    • 2 sprigs sage
    • 2 sprigs thyme
    • 2 bay leaves
    • 1 pound parmesan rind (optional)
    • 4 quarts water
    • 2 cups dried cranberry beans (pre-soaked overnight)

    Ingredients for soup:

    • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
    • 2 cups diced onion
    • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
    • 1 cup diced fennel
    • 1 cup diced celery
    • 2 medium tomatoes, peeled and diced
    • 3 1/2 quarts bean stock
    • 4 cups diced red kuri squash
    • 8 cups chopped kale
    • 6 cups (approx.) cranberry beans (from cooked stock)
    • Salt and pepper
    • Parmesan and olive oil for garnish

    Method

    1. Cranberry beans should be soaked overnight in preparation.
    2. Wrap garlic, herbs, and parmesan rind in cheesecloth and add to water. Add pre-soaked beans and bring to boil.
    3. Simmer herbs and beans for 1 to 1.5 hours or until beans are tender.
    4. Sauté garlic and onion in olive oil until translucent.
    5. Add fennel, celery, tomato and cook until vegetables are tender. (Approx. 5 minutes)
    6. Discard cheesecloth with herbs and parmesan rind; pour stock into vegetable mixture. Simmer for approx. 45 minutes.
    7. Add squash, kale, beans, and cook until squash is tender. (Approx. 20 minutes)
    8. Add salt and pepper to taste.
    9. Ladle soup into bowls; sprinkle with Parmesan and drizzle with olive oil.