Frankly, I feel a little weird writing about my new book, Legendary Locals of Oak Park, just released by Arcadia Publications. Chatting about my work in these pages is obviously self-serving, but it wasn't my idea.
When Sophie Gardner, now 17, was attending second grade at Hatch Elementary School in Oak Park, her physical education teacher, Sandra Noel, wanted her students to understand that buying and eating locally grown food from farmers was healthy and a more sustainable lifestyle choice.
Pour two tablespoons of vegetable oil in the bottom of a dutch oven or cast iron casserole over medium-low heat. Now add the onion, stirring to coat it with oil, then add 1 tablespoon of water, season with a little salt, and cover the pot. Cook the onions gently for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally, until they are soft but not brown.
A couple of years ago, when "city farmer" Carolyn Ioder began baking bread for her family, her aim was to match the taste and texture of a homemade loaf in which the baker used only fresh ground flour as the base ingredient.