By Julia Howard
My kids talk about their Halloween costumes nearly year-round, so it’s fair to say that Halloween is a big deal in our house. For us, Halloween is more about celebrating the spirit of the season; roasting pumpkin seeds, making festive snacks, selecting pumpkins and carving them, making crafts, and exploring nature as fall takes hold. Weekly visits to the farmers’ market enhance these activities and experiences, creating tangible and meaningful Halloween traditions.
Halloween-themed foods allow for creative and fun cooking, especially when preparing food with children. Apple slices sandwiched with nut butter suddenly become monster lips. Add roasted pumpkin seeds for teeth. Cut carrots into rounds and top with chèvre and halved black olives to make spooky eye snacks. You get the idea. Except for olives, all these ingredients are available at the farmers’ market.
Roasting pumpkins and having fresh purée on-hand offers so many possibilities. A small pumpkin (about 3 lbs) will make roughly 4 cups of purée. Start by cutting the pumpkin in half lengthwise and scrape out the seeds and strings. Save the seeds for roasting. Brush the pumpkin flesh with oil, sprinkle with salt, and place the flesh side down on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Pierce the skin a few times with a fork to let steam escape. Roast at 350 degrees for approximately 50 minutes. Once cooled, purée in a food processor. You can add pumpkin to cinnamon rolls, smoothies, curries, soups, macaroni and cheese, oatmeal, and many other foods.
If you’re not feeling too creative or lacking time, you can get Halloween goods straight from the Saratoga Farmers’ Market vendors. Burger’s Market Garden will have hand-painted mini pumpkins, and Saratoga Suds ‘n’ Stuff will have spooky soaps.
For the sweeter side, visit NightWork Bread for their incredible chai snickerdoodles, and TogaNola will have their ‘fan favorite’ pumpkin spice granola. Muddy Trail Jerky Co. has mulling spices perfect for simmering with cider from Saratoga Apple.
Let’s enjoy a final Saturday market at High Rock Park, as next Saturday, November 5, the Saratoga Farmers’ Market will move to its indoor home at the Wilton Mall food court.
The Saratoga Farmers’ Market is open Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. and Wednesdays from 3 to 6 p.m. at High Rock Park through the end of October. The market will be open on Saturdays from 9:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m. in the Wilton Mall Food Court starting November 5th. Find us online at www.saratogafarmersmarket.org and follow us on Facebook and Instagram.