Surrounded by the stately Brooklyn Library, the Grand Army Plaza Memorial Arch and the skeleton of the newest yuppie outpost, the Richard Meier building, the normally large, bustling Grand Army Plaza Greenmarket was quiet and timid this afternoon. The cloudy, windy day had encouraged vendors to pack up early or not show up at all. Still, at the end of the day, there was good representation: turkey, veggies, cheese and an orchard.
• At Phillips Farm, Milford, NJ: white and sweet potatoes, $1.25/lb; garlic, $5/lb; red onion and most apple varieties, $1.50/lb; cabbage, $2/head; Asian pears, $2.25/lb.
• At DiPaola Turkey Farm, Hamilton Township, NJ: sausage, hot or mild, turkey burgers, ground breast and boneless turkey breast, $5.99/lb; ground turkey and turkey breasts, $4.99/lb; thighs and whole turkey meat, $2.99/lb.
Thanksgiving is usually one of the less controversial holidays. Everyone loves to eat and most people can stand their families enough to enjoy spending the day stuffing themselves and the turkey. DiPaola Turkey Farm is a good place to start. They're a second generation turkey farm that has been in business since 1967. Their turkeys spend their days outside and inside, eating a mixture of corn and soybean mosh.
Somehow, though, stuffing a turkey has become controversial. The main concern is food safety: the stuffing has to reach 165°F. Once you get to that temperature, however, the turkey is often dry and overdone. I consulted the excessively thorough Cook's Illustrated for some ideas. They suggest heating the stuffing to 130°F in the microwave before stuffing the bird. The stuffing should be hot enough that you can't handle it with your bare hands. This decreases the time it takes the stuffing to reach the right temperature, which means the bird spends less time in the oven and less time drying out. So this Thanksgiving you can feel free to stuff away – your face and the bird.
DiPaola is accepting orders for Thanksgiving turkeys for another week. Find them on Saturdays at Grand Army Plaza, Borough Hall and Ft. Greene, Brooklyn; Abingdon Square and Inwood, Manhattan; and St. George, Staten Island.
Grand Army Plaza Greenmarket is located at the northwest entrance of Prospect Park in Brooklyn and is open year round on Saturdays, 8am - 4pm.