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Help Others

The ASOSI app has been modified a bit to include a “Help Others” icon that corresponds with the “Eat & More to Help” section of the blog/website. This area includes local verifiable charity events, benefit dinners, fundraisers, volunteer opportunities, and more.

The section can be accessed by clicking the “Help Others” icon on the ASOSI app (free download in the Google Play Store and the Apple App Store. )

You can also get there by clicking on the Menu of this blog/website and choosing “Eat & More to Help.”

If you are aware of an upcoming charitable event or verifiable need within Southern Illinois (roughly, I-70 to the southern state line or the 618 area code…,) please either message through the A Slice of Southern Illinois Facebook page or send an email to: asliceofsouthernillinois@gmail.com

Although app listings are normally limited to locally owned businesses, if a national chain or corporation is having an event or program that benefits a local charity, we may choose list it as well. For example, some stores have loyalty cards that give an option to donate a percentage of purchases to local schools or organizations. If we know those organizations, we may be able to list them.

Thank you! Together, we can keep Southern Illinois Strong.

Warm Thoughts…

These were some of the first videos posted on YouTube by A Slice of Southern Illinois on the Slices of Southern Illinois channel.

It was a few summers ago, extremely hot, and as usual, the AC didn’t work in the house we were renting. The oven may or may not have been working, but when it’s already about a hundred degrees, who wants to add heat? So, we tried to make the best of it.

Yes, there is a learning curve to making videos. We are still somewhere on the bendy part…

Sundried Tomatoes Part One

Sundried Tomatoes Part Two

A Walk Through the Winter Farmer’s Market

I decided to take a short video as I made my first lap around the stands at the Carbondale Community Farmer’s Market this morning. The video has been posted on YouTube. (If all goes well, it is also embedded in this post…) I was amazed at the quality and variety we have here even during the dreary winter months. Fresh greens, herbs, mushrooms, and more were available.

The market meets on Saturdays from 9:00 a.m. to noon at Carbondale Community High School through March 28, 2020. Some of the upcoming events, besides the weekly Fit program, are a seed swap, kids’ day, and plant give away.

It is definitely worth crawling out of bed to visit on a dreary morning. I found dried ancho chili peppers as well as a bunch of fresh salad greens to play with this week…

Local root veggies

Southern Illinois honey

SNAP/LINK can go further on healthy food at a Farmer’s Market than on junk food elsewhere.

More quality locally made products
Fitness Fun at the market…
Live entertainment
More veggies…

Citrus & Spice and Everything Nice…

One of my favorite ways to marinate turkey breast is with citrus. I’ve learned that you can somewhat replicate sour oranges (often used in Cuban mojos) by combining the juice from regular oranges and limes.

This time, I actually used about 7 clementines and 8 key limes. I mixed that juice with a bit of olive oil (maybe a fourth of a cup,) about a tablespoon of chopped ginger root, a couple cloves of smashes garlic, teaspoon black pepper, and a teaspoon kosher salt. I poured that whole mixture over a double bagged 5 pound turkey breast and let it marinate for about 45 minutes in the refrigerator.

Then I mixed some of my Saz贸n of Little Egypt with a bit of brown sugar and black pepper and added enough olive oil to form a paste. I made a rack for the turkey breast with the squeezed lime and orange halves after filling the cavity with a cut up onion, a couple smashed garlic cloves, and a few of the citrus halves. Then I placed the turkey breast on the makeshift rack, cavity side down, and drizzled it with olive oil. I used a silicone brush to paint on the saz贸n paste mixture before pouring the remaining marinade in the bottom of the pain for some moisture. Next, it went into the oven for a couple hours at 350 degrees Farenheit until it reached an internal temperature of 165 degrees Fahrenheit. I believe it would have been fine at a slightly higher temp for a crisper skin because all of the marinade did a great job of tenderizing.

I think any leftovers might be good with some avocado and crostini…or maybe in a salad? Then again, some toasted bread, cheddar cheese, and sandwich fixings sound pretty good too… Since this is Illinois, a horseshoe made with with turkey over a pile a fries smothered in cheesy goodness would also work.

How Do You Do Chicken & Rice?

Chicken and rice sounds like a specific meal request, right? In Southern Illinois, we are blessed with so many wonderful food choices that you may need to clarify your choice. Between brick and mortar sights and food trucks/carts, there are many ethnic variances on this classic dish.

It seems pretty much every culture has some version of the meal. They may vary by cooking methods, sauces, spices, and sides. Below, you will see just a sampling of some of the wonderful local options for chicken and rice. What are your favorites?

As this is by far not a comprehensive list, I know there are other mouth-watering options out there. Please comment and let the rest of us know about them! Give your favorite locally-owned Southern Illinois eatery a shout out…

Above: Chicken Tiki Masala from India Delight in Marion

Above: Jerk chicken from Caribbean Hut in Cambria

Above: Mini chicken chimichangas from El Paisano in Carbondale

Above: Chicken Shawarma from Pita Alley in Carbondale

Above: A delicious plate from La Cocina Mexican Restaurant in Salem

Above: Hibachi Chicken from Fujiyama in Carbondale (they also have sites in Mt. Vernon and Effingham with a new site on the way in Marion.

Happy 20 Years!

Beer Can Alley

If you’ve driven around in the country by Salem, this serene scene might be familiar…

Beer Can Alley, a name that appears to make no sense now, was once lined with beer cans, among other things. That changed dramatically when the recycling movement really took off in the late 70’s and early 80’s.

Fortunately, the stretch of road was cleaned up, but the name Beer Can Alley stuck. Locals still affectionately use the name. It remains a beautiful, fairytale-like path to memories of home or visits to Salem for many.

This photo card is now available in the A Slice of Southern Illinois collection at Irons in the Fire, downtown Carterville.

https://instagram.com/ironsinthefire_?igshid=x451gntejvj2

Fall Cards

New cards for the season featuring images tied to Southern Illinois have begun arriving at Irons in the Fire in downtown Carterville. The sunflower featured in the photo card shown came from the u-pick sunflower field at Rendleman Orchard in Alto Pass. We had fun picking sunflowers, petting goats, and seeing all the wonderful things there.

The Cadence of Southern Illinois…