Monday, September 21, 2009

Empire Apples Arrive!

In 2009, we leased a tree from Earth First Farms in Berrien Center, Michigan for $50. The tree lease program is like a CSA for apples. As harvest time hit this week, they picked our apples & brought them to Chicago for us to a nearby famer's market . They provided us with the entire harvest of apples from our tree, freshly picked! Our Empire apples are organic, crispy and sweet!

We leased an Empire apple tree this year because the Empire variety (the offspring of Red Delicious and McIntosh) is said to be good for eating, salads, baking, sauce, pies and freezing. Its an excellent blend of sweet and tart and has a very crispy flesh. We've already cooked up a batch of homemade applesauce and there's lots more to come.
If you're interested, contact the good folks at Earth First Farms. They're a certified organic farm about 100 miles from Chicago. You can have apples delivered to a drop off point in the city or pick them yourselves.
Photos/layouts by Ann Hetzel Gunkel; digital supplies by Digital Design Essentials

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Polish Carrot Salad


This is one of our all-time, everyday basic Polish salads. A staple in our family - always refreshing and tasty, an almost universally suitable side dish. We almost hate to give away how simple it is, since it never fails to impress! Smacznego!

Surowka Marchewkowa -
GunkelHaus Polish Carrot Salad


8 carrots [peeled & grated]

1 can crushed pineapple

1 apple [peeled & chopped]

juice of 1 lemon

2- 3 T. sugar

In large bowl, grate carrots, chop apple & add pineapple + juice.
Add sugar and lemon juice. Mix and chill in fridge.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008


There's lots of great, hearty and healthy organic produce in this super-tasty slaw. Includes yummy kohlrabi, broccoli stems, carrots, radishes, peppers, and more from Angelic Organics CSA in Caledonia, Illinois.

1 pound kohlrabi (about 4 medium bulbs) peeled and grated
OR combination of kohlrabi, radishes and broccoli stems, all grated
2 med-large carrots, grated
1 red bell pepper, diced
1 small onion, chopped (app 1/2 cup)
2 teasp. chopped fresh thyme
1 lg clove garlic, minced
1/2 cup nonfat greek yogurt
1/8 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/4 wine vinegar
1 1/2 teasp. chili powder
1/2 teasp. salt
black pepper

1. Toss the Kohlrabi (or mixture), carrots, pepper, onion, thyme and garlic in a large bowl.

2. Whisk the yogurt, oil, vinegar, chili powder, salt and pepper in a medium bowl.

3. Pour the dressing over the vegetables and toss to coat. Cover and refrigerate for 2 hours before serving.

This is David’s variation on a slaw from Farmer John’s Cookbook using organic produce from John’s farm, Angelic Organics CSA

Photo & Design (c) 2008 Ann Hetzel Gunkel
Digital Supplies by Scrap Girls

Wednesday, August 20, 2008


GOAT CHEESE, Prairie Fruits Farm, Champaign, Illinois
GREENS, PEPPERS & LEEKS, Angelic Organics, Caledonia, Illinois

Late August is a time of absolute plenty for local produce. We have so much great food that David can create art on a daily basis. Here is a weeknight locavore pizza, lovely to behold and eat!

(By the way, not to diss the superb culinary skills of Dave, but after reflection, we've decided that leeks are not best spent on pizza. They are infinitely more splendid in soups and terrines. Goat cheese, ever so joyous to ingest, is, however, fab on pizza or any other context.)

Monday, August 18, 2008


BEETS from Genesis Growers, St. Anne, Illinois
CUCUMBER from Angelic Organics Farm, Caledonia, Illinois
Local RADISHES from Happy Foods
DILL from the Gunkel garden, Chicago

Chlodnik (hwod-neek) is the ultimate Polish summer soup. It is beautiful, healthful and splendid. David demonstrated this recipe several years back in his appearance on WTTW-TV's Your Chicago Kitchen. It is a cold soup that tastes MUCH better if left in the fridge overnight for the flavors to meld and intensify. It is incredibly simply to make and the only heat needed in the kitchen is baking the beets.

4 cups buttermilk
1 medium cucumber, quartered and diced
1 bunch radishes, sliced
4 - 6 cloves garlic, minced
1 bunch green onions, sliced
1 bunch of fresh dill, chopped
3 -4 red beets, roasted, peeled & diced
salt for roasting beets
sour cream or plain yogurt for garnish

Roast beets in foil (Wrap each individually drizzled with olive oil and salt) at 450 degrees for 45 minutes to 1 hour. Cool, peel and dice beets. Mix all ingredients in a crock or large bowl. Refrigerate over night. As a meal, its great with a side of boiled, dilled potatoes and an added hard-boiled egg for protein. For serving, add a last-minute dollop of sour cream or plain yogurt.

Graphics Notes:
Photo & Design (c) 2008 Ann Hetzel Gunkel.
Digital Supplies by Thao Cosgrove courtesy of Scrap Girls.

Friday, August 15, 2008


Ann's new obsession: the pluot. As shareholders in Angelic Organics CSA, we also purchase a Fruit Share. This is a bi-weekly box of organic produce supplied by farms which partner with Angelic. Not all are grown locally, but all are organic suppliers. In this week's box o' fun are plouts. As the Angelic newsletter notes, "Flavor King Pluots are from Frog Hollow in California. Pluots are a hybrid of a plum and an apricot and mainly retain the characteristics of a plum. The Flavor King gets its delicate heart shape from its plum parent -the Santa Rosa Plum. It is one of the highest flavor pluots available, with a unique spicy aroma and a mild vanilla finish." As a lifelong plum maniac I say to you, "Dude--get thee a pluot!"


As shareholders in a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture), we pick up a weekly bounty of locally grown organic produce delivered fresh to our city neighborhood from Angelic Organics farm. Our pick up site is only 2 blocks from our house, easy enough to reach with our 40 year old red wagon. If you are in Chicago looking for a CSA to join, please check out the justly famous Angelic or put the documentary The Real Dirt About Farmer John (its founder) in your Netflix Queue. Another great resources is Farmer John's cookbook, which arranges the produce by season with recipes and lots of great tips for cooking, storing and serving. Its a good thing!