With three more Markets in October and one in November, it's not going out on a limb to say the season is winding down. If you haven't been thinking about things to stock up on before the LFM ends, you're living on the edge.
Pay attention now; the next bit is a little complicated. This is the third of five Saturdays in October. The 2/4 vendors are scheduled for both the fourth and fifth Saturdays (October 22 and 29). Thus, most of the 1/3 vendors who are coming this week won't be back until the pre-Thanksgiving Market on November 19. In short, assume this is your last chance for over a month to purchase from the biweeklies listed in italics above. Not to mention your very last chance to get anything from them to include in a dessert for the October 29 Sweet Endings Dessert Contest, from olive oil to goat cheese to sweet wine. (We hedged a bit because if there's space, we'll invite some 1/3s back for the 29th, but we can't be positive about who can make it.)
Donna of Spotted Hill wasn't feeling well on her turn last month and cancelled late, so this is her first time back since August, when we were all sweaty and really could have used some of her refreshing soaps. We're gonna go with better late than never in regard to her return this Saturday.
Eat That Jack-o-Lantern
Because we asked them to, Fruitwood Farms is going to bring both small ($3 each or two for $5) and large ($5) pumpkins to the Market this week. That's essentially the going rate for pumpkins around here so why not support an LFM vendor on that front this year? Mike says that these can be carved or cooked down and used for pies or whatever pumpkin thing you want to make. Or both, if you cook your jack-o-lantern within a day or so of carving it (and it's not gunked up from a candle).
The question of whether carving pumpkins make good eating is one of those dumb things the internet gets pretty het up about (there's a lot of cyberspace to fill up, people!), but you're not going to ruin your pumpkin thing by listening to Mike and making it from a carving pumpkin rather than a cooking or sugar pumpkin (so say plenty of people). Those links will give you some guidelines, but we're going to share our favorite reader comment from one site because it came from a fellow (Paul) who said he'd been "turning jack-o-lanterns into pie for 40 years," so he has some credibility and uses an interesting two-stage baking technique to dry out the pulp and intensify the flavor. Paul says, "By FAR the best way to cook is simply cut up, place on cookie sheet, and roast in 350-degree oven for 45 minutes. Let cool, and the skin comes right off. Mash up pumpkin and spread evenly over cookie sheet. Put back in oven until pumpkin is fairly dry. Let cool a bit and puree in food processor. Freeze in 2-cup batches." And for gosh sakes, don't forget to make roasted pumpkin seeds.
If we have the opportunity to make one from-scratch baked good this week, this will be it.
Q: What's the deal with that dessert contest you have each year?
A: You mean Sweet Endings! It's coming up on the 29th! Are you entering?
Q: Chill; I'll ask the questions here. What's required?
A: You make a seasonal dessert and include one Market ingredient and bring it to the Market by 10:30 on the 29th. It's even free to enter this year!
Q: What happens then?
A: Over the course of the Market day, we encourage shoppers to place written bids for all the entries. Late in the day, four judges sample a small piece of each entry and declare a winner. Then the desserts are sold to the highest silent auction bidders, and the proceeds are donated to the local food bank.
Q: What does the winner get?
A: First place gets $10 in Market Bucks, and second place gets $5 worth.
Q: What do I need to do now if I might want to enter?
A: Just download the entry form so you know the details.
Q: What if I'm interested but don't want to enter?
A: You can plan on bidding on the entries, or you could throw your hat in the ring to be a judge.
Applications for the last Community Day of the year, on October 29, are available here and are due by this coming Monday, the 17th. Get 'em now and get 'em in by then!
In addition to Community Day and the dessert contest, we'll also be having Halloween at the Market on the 29th, when little ones can come dressed up and trick or treat among the vendors. We do it every year and it's always a blast. Big ones, you can dress up too! Then, beginning at 1:00, children (accompanied by adults) can parade from the parking lot down to the Twentieth Century Club for a Halloween party with candy, snacks, music and more until 3:00 pm. Kids up to age 10 are invited to participate. Prizes will be awarded for best costumes!
Shoutout to the Lansdowne-Aldan High School Class of 1966, which is holding its 50th reunion in the borough this weekend and may stop by the Market! Any of you who come by the Market Manager tent will get a Market Buck in congrats for that significant anniversary.