No robins yet, but signs of Spring include losing an hour on Saturday night; Chicago Flower and Garden Show opening at Navy Pier; a cider-pairing-Salt-of -the-Earth dinner in Fennville tonight and Teddy is ready to ditch the snowsuit.
Chicago Flower and Garden Show: Every year when this large (50,000 people) but small (spread out over the two huge exhibition space at the far east end of Navy Pier and held over eight days) show comes along I think the gardening people are getting way overly optimistic again. What could they be thinking? We are light years away from actual Spring around here. Every year, of course, I'm wrong. Two weeks from now there will be a little heat wave and everyone will be dusting off golf carts and wondering if this is the year of the new grill.
Even though I only make it about once every five years, the Chicago Flower and Garden Show is always worth the price of admission (about $17 depending on whether you get tickets in advance, during the week or on the weekend). Highlights of this year's show include a 1,000 hyacinths and the first ever exhibition of Ecuadorian roses. Floral design demonstrations, photo and other artworks, 100+ workshops, tablescapes, Victory Gardens and patio and backyard set-ups. If you are among the hard-core gardeners you may want to attend the preview party this year, which is the same model as the auto show preview. Tickets are $125 per person benefitting local (green) charities and the party starts at 6 pm and lasts until 9:30 pm. It's not crowded and a great way to see a big show like this.
And in Michigan, Redamak's is Already Open and there's a Cider Dinner Tonight: Driving home through the blizzard on Tuesday I failed to notice whether or not Janssen's, my fresh produce place, was open yet, but I did see that Redamaks is ready, even if Red Arrow Highway is full of ice. Also, Salt of the Earth, featuring food and beverages sourced within a 50-mile radius of its Fennville, Michigan location is hosting “An American in Normandy,” Cider Dinner tonight! The cider is from Virtue Cider, which is not open yet, but is pairing ciders including Lapinette, a Norman-style brut aged in French Oak, RedStreak, English draft discovered in Herefordshire in the 1630s and a winter cider called The Mitten, aged in bourbon barrels for nine months and the smoothest of all. The five course menu with food selections including root vegetables, chicken liver pate, canard au cidre, apple braised roast pork cassoulet, stewed fruit and sweet rice is $65 per person and reservations are required. Can you be the first to Facebook about Virtue Cider? Share with me and Shore Magazine right away.