“Currant” Thoughts

May 2021 · Chef John Reed, CEC, CCA
I have been thinking about currants, especially black currants. The flavors of my childhood, from homemade jam to Ribena (if you know what that is) and finally to a fennel and black currant shrub I am dying to make—all of these currant thoughts have made me also think about my current stage of life.

I have decided to throw myself at my new business, and it is giving me a lot of long days juggling both my commitment to my consulting clients and the new group of customers walking up to our stand at the markets and asking what’s new. As the summer days grow longer and the fields begin to offer more local crops, my time will become scarce. So, I have to give something up, and in the end, it will have to be this newsletter.

The Rubberband Doorknob was created to give me a creative outlet to talk food, beverages and anything else that came to my mind. It gave me the opportunity to share my travels, adventures and food memories. It has been a fun ride—over 90 editions, which is pretty good for a guy who was a terrible English language student. I have loved every article and put a lot of time into planning them, from links to the digital editions during the height of the pandemic. I also wrote them because I wasn’t cooking every day and needed to stay sharp and on top of the food that was important to me.

Now that I am in the kitchen every day and cooking what I want and feel good about it, I hope that I can influence and reach people not just via the written word but with food and flavors on their table. It’s what I always loved doing: cooking and sharing flavors.

With Skokie Provisions, I can reach more people and gain new friends to add to the great list of people who have read this newsletter over the years. I will still have stories to tell and food experiences to share, but I am going to do them through food and what Rosemary and I have chosen to do.

Skokie Provisions is not about just about selling containers or food but creating a system of accountability, traceability and education of where your food comes from, how it is made and providing opportunities for others. You should know where your food comes from, who picked it, how it was processed and what actually goes in that jar of pickles or jam in your fridge. Restaurants try to do it, but what about your grocery store? P.S., Whole Paycheck and From A to Z are multinational machines that sell the idea of small and local, but they are far from it.

I now say that I am telling my story of food 24 jars at a time—that’s how many I make to ensure that every jar is right. So, until the time is right again, I am putting down the proverbial pen and picking up the knife. The Rubberband will live in other ways.

I want to thank each and every one of you who have been on this digital journey with me; I am not going anywhere, but you will have to come find us in person so we can share some food and maybe a cold beer along the way.

To each and every one of you, know that you are loved, and we are hopeful to see and meet you away from this monthly 500-plus words.


Rubberband Doorknob 86’d


– Chef John Reed, CEC, CCA


Download May Newsletter

John Reed
Chef John Reed, CEC, CCA
John Reed is a professional chef with over 30 years experience. John has extensive knowledge of culinary techniques, ethnic cuisines, food history and more!

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