Thursday, January 14, 2010

Chicago French Market

Perhaps you noticed that Aaron's PW recipe review was missing.
Perhaps you didn't.

We hitched up the wagon and went to town again yesterday.
The big town.

Aaron's been learning about France, and I wanted to do something 'French' with him, so we went to the French Market that recently opened in Chicago.

I told him he has to cook Julia Child's Boeuf Bourguignon next.
He's thinkin' I'm jokin.

I wanted to share some of the photos from yesterday. I get really camera shy out in public.
I want a T-shirt for me that says "I'm a Blogger" and one for Aaron that says,
"Stop Staring, I'm Homeschooled" Everyone looks at him like 'shouldn't that boy be in school?'

Gypsy Bacon? Does anyone know what Gypsy bacon is?

The market was full of vegetables and fruits, some organic, some not. Reasonably priced I thought. I got sweet red peppers for .99 a pound.

I loved loved loved this sign.
It was for a bread bakery.
"Bee Good" is their motto.
I'm drawn to anything bee related at the moment.

Homemade soaps.
Another thing I love, and used to make.
Gotta get that going again.

Another thing to add to my 'roll in naked' list.

How cute is this?

And this?

And this??
Aaron got a Vietnamese Pork Meatball Sandwich.
Hello Aaron...France....remember France?
What's with the sandwich?

My friend Barbara, always the adventurous eater got something called
"The Frenchman"
It had duck confit on it. Gack. Duck con-not-fit to eat is what I'd say.

I opted for a buckwheat crepe that had smoked turkey, swiss cheese, pesto, bacon and some greens. It was pretty good. I had a really hard time picking what to eat. Nothing really looked good to me.

These little jars of honey were adorable. $12 for about a cup of artisanal honey.
I can't wait to get bees.

I fear I didn't really capture the spirit of the market. I thoroughly enjoyed it, and enjoying time with Aaron and my friend. It was a fun way to spend an hour or so, but not really something you should drive all the way to Chicago to see. If you are there, I'd say go! It's 131 N. Clinton. If you are an hour away from Chicago, like me, I say, stay home in your 'lounge wear' and knit.

I came home with four red peppers, a half a pound of sea scallops (for Glen, I wouldn't touch them), some fresh dill and cilantro. I wanted to buy a lot of things, but I just wouldn't fork over the money for it. $7 Ciabatta? I can make that. Jams, Jellies, soaps, etc...I can make those too!

Do you ever find yourself in that situation, or do you just buy it and enjoy it, and remember the fun day you had when you got it?
Curious minds want to know.


  1. Jayme gypsy bacon is cured bacon with the rind still on it. I love love love going to markets like this even when I don't buy the stuff it gets my brain working over time and inspires me. After I make the same thing for pennies what they have for dollars I still think about the markets and how cleaver I am and what a fun day it was. nancy

  2. In Chattanooga, where I live, we have a wonderful store called Greenlife, with organic everything, Gelato and sobetto made fresh daily, home made soaps and lotions. In the spring, summer, and early fall we have organic farmers markets and the Chattanooga Market
    ( look at my past blogs) and you can also see ME putting bees in my first 2 hives on our farm- really it's only 13 acres but my vision is to have a large organic garden, fruit and nut trees, berries,lots of zinnias and flowers, and my bees. I retire in 4 more years and hope to have all in place by then!

  3. I always say I could make that, even if I have no idea where to start, and I find myself saying that more and more. I have a soap book from the library...must do, must do...dang work takes up far too much of my time. I will on occasion bring something home if the price is right, usually my limit is $20 max.

    I'm really lovin' that sign too and those precious jars of honey! I can't wait!!!!! : )

    Bee well!


  4. I weave and waver over what to buy. Often put something in my cart and later take it back and put it up. Hard to make up your mind when you're thinking dollar signs in your head. Thanks for the little tour! Now I feel like I almost got out today.

  5. Jeez Louise! You need to open a nice shop of your own Jayme..maybe in the courthouse building and make everything and sell it. I can just picture it now! I'd buy it and enjoy it and remember the fun day I had shopping there! :)

  6. Lots of eye candy at that market... But I'm with you, when I'm in places like that I say " I can make that" (for less) a lot. But it's great inspiration and gets my wheels turning.
    Maybe you need to make those shirts for Aaron and yourself, you know for your next trip to town...

  7. My kind of day! So much fun to go and explore. Get the creative juices moving. Yes, can make it. Yes, can make it for less. But! Sometimes, every now and again, just got to have it! So wish Chicago or any other major city for that matter were just an hour so jealous!

  8. I can tell you were in Chicago my dear. It's been some time since I've last been, hopeful soon once again.

    I love that sign too.. bee-stupendous!

    I made soap one year.. still have the molds for it. I also made candles that year too.. I should break out that box and do something 'crafty' with it.

    with love as always.. I adore your adventures!!!


  9. I go back and forth on buying...if it looks like a real small time outfit that is just trying to get started sometimes I buy just to encourage them...we all need encouragement every once in a while I figure...almost always has to be something to eat though...the honey looks nice..the bread and the honey looks like it would have made a nice lunch for three...and maybe less expensive?

  10. My oldest daughter will and has driven to Chicago for the day. It is about a 3-4 hour drive for her. She would live there if she could. I've been a couple of times but not to the great places she has gone and where you have gone.

  11. Jayme, thanks for sharing your fun day. I enjoyed all of the pictures too! I am the original tightwad, and I always say, I can make that (sometimes I can, sometimes I do!).

  12. Since I can't/won't make it myself, I do go ahead and buy something I want at a place like this. But only if it's not TOO outrageously priced - I wouldn't pay $12 for a small jar of honey, no how. My limit for little splurge purchases like this is about ten bucks. I do indeed enjoy the memories associated with using/eating these kinds of items later. I guess I'm willing to spend an extra coupla dollars for that afterglow.

  13. P.S. My husband enjoys duck confit -and just lately has been threatening to make it- but I'm with you, Jayme, can't see myself touchin' it.

  14. I could NOT have passed that soap, especially the patchouli, up! I'm going to my niece's graduation from University of Illinois next fall, I will try to stop by that market while we are there.

  15. Oh, I LOVE Chicago! I need to find myself in that city - asap. A French market - what fun! I'm not much of a Francophile, but I could love it for a day. :) Great photos, Half-Pint!

  16. Umm, that gelato looks delicious! And the honey too. What a fun way to spend the day in Chi town.

  17. Thanks for taking us with you. Looks like a fun place. I love handmade soaps too, but unlike Nola, I can't stand patchouli. Gak! What's with not liking scallops? Are you allergic to shell fish? If not, you might enjoy them wrapped in bacon? Bacon makes everything better. About the only thing I can't fork over money for is any hand sewn or crocheted item. I would rather make it myself. I really wish you'd come to Seattle for a visit. You'd love our market, and the original Starbucks is right across the street.

  18. Jayme, I enjoyed my day in Chicago via your wonderful pictures! Soap making...something I definitely want to find some time to learn! And I think I about have my DH convinced that he needs to start beekeeping again so I can have our OWN fresh honey for my baking and cooking. Thoroughly enjoyed your post today!

  19. Wow, what a great place to shop and stroll.

    Both San Francisco and Grass Valley have great shopping. I love looking around and touching all the items in the market places. Sometimes I buy things that I make already or know I can make and other times just keep walking.

    Most gifts I give are either made by me or by someone else as I like to support local artists.

    Looking forward to Aarons next cooking lesson! Julia go guy!

  20. Well I think that sandwich looks mah vuh lus..... and home made soaps? Love them. I don't make them but I do use them since they are so moisturizing and keep my feet soft this time of the year. Looks like you had a great time on your city outing... What fun!

    The Blue Ridge Gal

  21. Gypsy Bacon is made from the rumps of eastern Europeans. Not. I won't even mention the finger potatoes.

    I love those little tin chicks.

    It looks like you had a good time with Aaron and Barbara. I have no problem spending money on OTHERS or the house. It's always things for myself that I hesitate on.

    - Deborah

  22. We are SO alike! I found myself thinking, "bet she's glad she went but I wouldn't make a special trip!" I'm too cheap to pay for parking! Ha! There are times however, that we go to the city and play like we're rich...coming home with a few things that the next day I realize I could have gotten locally. {for less money}
    Sometimes we just "think" the grass is greener on the other side, but once we climb over the fence, we see that our field is perfect! Ya know?
    I'da bought the peppers too...browsed for a bit and headed STRAIGHT to Cheesecake Factory for a piece of Key Lime Cheesecake!

    Nope, the city doesn't draw me like it used to. I come home and sit on my old lady porch, sip some fresh brewed tea and think how blessed I am to be a hick!


  23. I just love your blog. YOu are TOO much fun! Id say your nephew is so lucky to have someone teaching him who is willing to just have a good time. I could not home school my kids, we would have killed each other! I admire what you are doing.
    Hugs from Poland,

  24. I am like you. I love to look and see all of the beautiful products, but I can't see spending the kind of money they want for their items when I can make them at home.

    I take the memory of the trip home with me -- not the merchandise!

  25. I agree, $7 Ciabatta...outrageous! I do love, love to go visit great shopping meccas. But I'm able to say no to anything that's overpriced. I'd have brought home a jar of honey and a bar of soap...

  26. My only experience with Chicago is the airport and a drive through on the freeway. I think I need to broaden my Chicago horizons someday! The gelato is calling my name - it's soooo good. It looks like a great way to spend a day.

  27. That looks fun! Next time I'm there I will have to check it out. You so have me craving deep dish pizza now!

    I have a really hard time buying something I can make myself. By the same token, I have a hard time paying someone to do something I can do myself.

  28. I have never even SEEN gelato or heard about duck con fit. Whats gelato taste like ?
    I do enjoy learning about this stuff on your blog, though. I still would love to buy one of those chicken Christmas stockings you hung in your coop. When I told my hens about it, they immediately put it on their "wish list."

  29. You are so much fun, Jayme! I have never shopped in Chicago, and not sure where I'd even start. I haven't heard of most of the items you saw, where have I been most of my life? Guess living on my "farm". I am not much into shopping these days, or spending money, but if I make a special trip somewhere, I do want to be able to freely get some fun things. Where are you going to go next time? I do need to get out more and do some of those fun trips.
    Thanks for the memories.

  30. Looks like it was a fantastic day!

    I love to look and I love to get a good deal for my hard-earned money too. I always think in my mind... how long did it take me to make this $ and do I really need whatever it is? I go for the ideas, the displays, the adventure of the day and I love that the most. I do take my camera and sometimes I take photos but a lot of times I take notes in my handy dandy notepad. So many good ideas out there!

    Like "Bee Good"!

  31. SOunds like a perfect day!

  32. okay have i missed you all this time ..
    farmgirlcyn keeps talking about you ..(BFF) ...

    how did I not know that you just live down the road a piece from me???
    I'd say the time has come for us to talk hen talk ... ya know likle fame chicks and all ... girl talk ... straight up ...I love it here.

  33. FAB post (as usual). Adore the "blogger" and "homeschooled" tees. The bacon...never heard of it. did you get a slice or two?

    ah, yes...nekked in gelato. it's now on my list. LOL.

  34. Oh, I so hope you answer my questions!

    1) Where do you purchase Fels Naptha?

    2) Please explain the vinegar as fabric softener please? Do you add it to the washing machine??? How much? It doesn't leave a scent behind, does it?

    THANK YOU!! Your posts are too much fun!

  35. Talia...I hope you get this! You can find the FelsNaptha at WalMart. If you can't, you can order it from

    I put the vinegar in a downy ball, so I don't have to worry about missing the rinse cycle. It smells when things are wet, but not when they are dry.

    Hope this helps!


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