Last year our city of Laconia was honored to host the 25th Annual New Hampshire Pumpkin Festival (previously held in Keene). As we watched the hustle and bustle of our neighbors and community members collecting and carving pumpkins, we just knew we had to be a part of the fun. So, we hosted our very first Tiny Pumpkin contest!
On the day of the Pumpkin Festival, the streets outside our door were lined with glowing pumpkins and gleeful passersby bundled up against the autumn cold. Inside Sunflower, we snuggled in with our hot pumpkin spice coffee (FREE for all of our visitors!) and carefully judged the pumpkins pictured above to determine which was the very smallest. Now as autumn teases us, we are already chomping at the bit to celebrate Pumpkin Festival again this year with our Tiny Pumpkin Contest, part 2! Here are the details of the event:
Even if you don't submit a pumpkin, we would love to see you during the New Hampshire Pumpkin Festival! Our store will be open 9 am - 4 pm that day and we'll have free pumpkin treats and hot drinks to share with all of our visitors. Plus, you won't want to miss Pumpkinfest's tiniest pumpkins, do you?
A few weeks ago, Sunflower and Edible New Hampshire magazine came together to celebrate New Hampshire Eat Local Month with a picnic-themed party! Even though the temperature was sweltering on that day, we had a blast offering up lawn games, coupons, and summer-y conversation to our fantastic customers.
But maybe the biggest hit of the day from the customers' stand point were the free samples our Assistant Manager Laura whipped up! Throughout the day, so many people asked for her recipes that we decided it warranted a blog post. So, without further ado - enjoy Laura's brilliant picnic recipes as the summer wanes...
Red Pepper Salsa
2 large bell peppers (color is only important for aesthetic value)
1 small onion, yellow for milder taste, red for more zesty taste
1 small cucumber
3 cloves garlic
1 Tbsp. olive oil
2 Tbsp. lemon juice
1 tsp. chili powder
1 tsp. pink salt
1 tsp. paprika
Note: Cumin would be a nice addition to this!
Directions: Confetti chop all veggies, stir in olive oil, lemon juice, and seasonings. The longer this sits, the more the flavors come together! You can serve right away, but waiting at least an hour will enhance the flavor.
Savory Confetti Kale Salad with Parmesan & Pine Nuts
1 bunch raw kale (we used curly kale)
1 Tbsp. olive oil
2-4 Tbsp. lemon juice (we used 2)
1/3 cup grated or shredded Parmesan cheese (we use Galaxy Nutrition vegan Parmesan)
Sprinkle of pine nuts, to taste
Directions: Chop the kale into confetti sized pieces. Massage in the lemon juice and olive oil. Really massage it! (I'm totally serious!) The massaging makes the texture of the kale more desirable and also makes the kale easier to digest! Add the cheese and pine nuts. Toss and enjoy!
Homemade Blueberry Lemonade
1 average sized pitcher of water
1/2 cup maple syrup
3/4 cup lemon juice (or the juice of 6 lemons)
3 handfuls of blueberries
Directions: Mix all ingredients together, slightly muddling the blueberries. Serve and enjoy!
Thanks so much to Laura for keeping our tummies happy and thank you also to the customers who joined us at our picnic! We hope these delicious dishes can help you all enjoy the last warm days of summer. See you soon for ingredients!