Fall is Officially Here!
Fall is officially here! With the arrival of fall come colors reflected in the changing landscape and foodscape. Winter squash, potatoes, carrots play the leading roles with tomatoes and greens entering thanks to greenhouses and other season extension techniques. Below are a few ideas for Halloween and fall activities for the kids!
If you follow the Santa Fe Farmers’ Market Instagram or Facebook page, you will see countless photos of beautiful foods and New Mexico products. People LOVE taking photos of the Market and meals. How many people do you see at restaurants taking photo after photo of their meals? Like all of nature’s wonders, food is beautiful. But there is also food that people deem to be less beautiful than others. I like to call these items, “Ugly But Good” foods. During the fall, Ugly But Good foods are PERFECT for Halloween meals and complementing the atmosphere at a Halloween party. Twisting, forked carrots are just one example. Freak out the kids with these naturally Ugly But Good veggies. The Farmers Market is abound with boo-tiful veggies and fruits. Get yours at Saturday Market, just in time for Halloween.
Ugly Food is Good Food
Celeraic is the naturally ugly cousin to celery. It is perfect chopped into scary soups or salads!
Fall Recipes and Fun
This recipe is taken from this funny YouTube tutorial on making caramel apples. Caramel apples are fun because you can decorate and personalize each apple but also not feel guilty because you are still eating a serving of fruit. Below is the recipe from the You Suck At Cooking YouTube Tutorial. You can make a basic caramel apple or if you are feeling adventurous, try cutting out the apple core and filling the inside with caramel.
- Apples that have a sour taste (to complement the sweetness of the caramel). I personally enjoy the sweet Gravenstein variety from Zulu’s Petals or Roman from Montoya Orchards.
- Square Caramels (around 43 squares)
- Milk or cream
- Optional: Chocolate, nuts (pecans, piñon) to roll or make faces/designs on the caramel apple.
- Put sticks into the apples. Can be popsicle sticks or any sturdy, stick-like object. This includes tree sticks, mini witch brooms or even wooden mixing spoons.
- (Optional Step) Put apples in the fridge overnight or the freezer for a little while beforehand so that the caramel hardens more quickly when you dip the apples.
- Put caramels into a bowl with a couple teaspoons of milk or cream or water.
- Put bowl into microwave and melt them (2 minutes on half power…stir every now and then).
- Roll the apples into the caramel and put them back in the fridge or freezer (10 minutes or so). This helps ensure that the caramel doesn’t drip down the apples. Roll in a bowl of other toppings if desired.
- Melt chocolate in the microwave and then whip onto the apple. Roll in a bowl or nuts or other topping if desired.
Caramel Monster Mouths
Roasted Pumpkin Seeds
One of the best Halloween treats are roasted pumpkin seeds from freshly carved pumpkins.
Spice up pumpkin seeds with more than just salt. Add powdered red chile or some smoky green chile. At the Farmers Market you can choose any level of heat: mild, medium and hot. There are even choices by region and chile variety, like Rio Grande chile, Espanola or Chimayo chile. These mini packs are from Jesus Guzman Produce.
Forget cake walks. Squash walks are the new way to go for fall harvest events and activities. You can offer baking squash, savory squash or decorative gourds to your squash walk. Not only is this a healthier game, but squash lasts longer than baked goods and is more versatile. When you win a cake, you can only do one thing with it: eat it. When you have fresh squash, you can decorate, bake and/or carve it.
For information on creating a walk game, go to this website.
Putting Garlic to Use
Lastly, don’t forget the garlic to keep the vampires away! I suggest leaving a garlic braid near the front door and a bowl of garlic in the kitchen.
This locally inspired recipe is brought to you by Pam Walker. Pam is an avid home cook, writer, and local farm and food activist who is also a board member of the Santa Fe Farmers’ Market Institute. Thank you, Pam, for helping inspire us to use locally sourced ingredients!