Local flavor for a weekend retreat

Produce from the Kurtz farm in Palatine.

With a group of only about 30 women coming to camp this weekend and plenty of excess  food still in reserve in the freezer and pantry, it took me about a half-hour to pad my food order so it would reach the minimums required by my purveyors.

Then, I tossed that idea and decided to fend for myself instead.

Nearly all of the produce that will be served this weekend is from a Fulton or Montgomery County farm — none more than a half-hour away. And the food bill is substantially less than it would have been from one of the big food service companies. Partially because I don’t need to order an entire case. And partially because farmers don’t mind selling a half-bushel of eggplant for $7.

I hit the road yesterday afternoon, with the skeleton of the weekend menu in mind, but it wasn’t until I began stopping that it all came together, much like our Farm Table summer smorgasbord, which is entirely sourced from local farms and manufacturers.

Lettuce being picked for us at Conbeer’s Farm in the town of Mohawk.

From Conbeer’s Farm on Hickory Hill Road in the town of Mohawk, red and green looseleaf lettuce and red and green butter lettuce — all four were picked fresh — along with red and yellow tomatoes.

From Rogers Family Orchard off County Highway 101 in the town of Johnstown, Empire apples.

From the Kurtz farmstand off Route 10 in Palatine, yellow squash, eggplants, bell peppers, small red onions and strawberries — those everbearing strawberries, which I’d never heard of until this year.

From the farmstand on Dillenbeck Road in Palatine, white eggplant and zucchini. (And cookies for the staff.)

From the Byler farmstand on Stone Arabia Road in Palatine, green beans and yellow squash.

From Duncraven Farms Dairy in Palatine, chocolate milk. But that was just for home.

From Green Hill Farm in Glen, yellow and red cherry tomatoes and cucumbers.

So the menu’s set. Here’s the weekend:


Linguini with alfredo sauce

Turkey meatballs

Eggplant with garlic sauce

Green peas with onions

Mini ciabatta rolls

Butter lettuce salad

Chocolate torte


Apple-walnut pancakes


Cheddar hash browns

Mini croissants with butter and jelly


Apples and oranges


Grilled chicken and roasted vegetable wraps

Cheddar-cauliflower soup

Cold Green bean and bell pepper salad

Potato chips, pretzels and baby carrots with hummus

Angel food cake with raspberry sauce and fresh strawberries


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