Last Saturday was the second annual Harvest Festival at Added Value in Red Hook. While the air was missing that burning leaves scent that makes me think of fall, the field of pumpkins did enough to remind me it's October. There was plenty of food and apple grabbing (the more germ-friendly apple bobbing) and local twang tinged music to make you feel like you had walked into a small town. It was the perfect setting for the Red Hook Farmer's Market.
• At Red Jacket Orchard: over a dozen varieties of apples, yali and bosc pears, $1.25/lb; lady apples, $2/lb.
• At Red Hook Community Farm: dandelion greens, carrots, bok choy, escarole, radishes and Swiss chard, $1.50/bunch; arugula, $1.25/bunch; dill, $1/bunch; onions, $0.50 ea.
All the pumpkins scattered about made me wonder, does anyone actually cook pumpkin anymore? A quick Google search was promising: the third recipe listed included fresh pumpkin. But when you can buy a can for a little over a dollar I wondered whether this was a dying art. Restaurants have prep cooks but all I had was the skeptical eye of my cat and a good knife. When buying pumpkins, look for sugar pumpkins, which are usually no more than three pounds. Cut in half and scoop out the seeds and strings and then cut into 1-inch slices. Peel with a paring knife. Spread on a lightly oiled baking sheet and bake in a 325°F oven for about fifty minutes. From there, options abound. Cube and add to risotto with sage and Parmesan, puree and serve alongside pork, or just drizzle with maple syrup and feed it to your favorite toddler.
Added Value and the Red Hook Farmer's Market are located at the intersection of Sigourney Street and Columbia Street. Take the B61 or B77.