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Summer farms, animals and feasts

Despite record low Labor Day temperatures, kids back to school and the unseasonably early arrival of Pumpkin Spice Lattes, summer is not over yet in Chicago. We have more than two weeks left - including a pair of all-important weekends - until the Autumnal Equinox. And there are still a few fine outdoor feasts yet to eat.

At the Lake County Fair, I not only ate fair food favorites, I also visited the beautiful animals raised by 4-H kids. Some of the pigs were donated to the annual St. Mary's Pork and Corn Roast, as they are every year. In fact, the roast is always held the weekend after the fair. This year was the 37th annual roast.

While that one's passed, a few interesting food events will be held this weekend.

This coming Saturday (September 10, 2011) there's the Farm Sanctuary's Walk for Farm Animals in Lincoln Park. You can meet co-founder Gene Baur at the vegetarian and vegan after party with food by Karyn's, Blind Faith Cafe, Chicago Diner, Native Foods Cafe, Swirlz Cupcakes, and Victory's Banner

On Sunday (September 11, 2011) Slow Food Chicago presents its 3rd Annual Goose Island Pig Roast at the brewery. Participating chefs and restaurants include David Burke's Primehouse, Goose Island's own Clybourn Brewpub, The Butcher & Larder, C-House Restaurant, Three Aces, Uncommon Ground (serving a vegetarian dish), Angel Food Bakery (dessert), and Intelligentsia (coffee).

Goose Island will also host the upcoming WBEZ Chicago Chef Battle.

Also on Sunday, there's the Slagel Family Farm Tour and Dinner with Girl and the Goat, with "girl" Stephanie Izard. Guests will visit the family farm's pigs, cattle, sheep, goat, chickens, and ducks.

On the menu that night will be the farm's own duck, beef, lamb, pork, as well as tomatoes and soybeans. But no goat, Louis John Slagel said, "There's sure to be a lot of other local produce too, all grown around here, but the tomatoes and soybeans we grow ourselves."

So on the second to last weekend of Summer 2011, there's something for everyone. Food and food for thought.


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