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Planning a reception in October, what's in season then, AND do you have a good caterer in York or Kittery?

  • rabaja Aug 21, 2012 02:24 PM
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Hi all,

We are trying to plan a small reception for the first weekend in October in York, Maine. It will be an outdoors event, in the afternoon, for approx 30 people, eight of which are kids.

What's likely to be around at this point in New England vegetable and fruit-wise? I can't imagine you'd still have all of the eggplants and tomatoes that we still have in early October in Northern California, but are you full on into fall, either?

Trying to work with a local caterer and not getting a ton of feedback. The menus are coming slowly, I think she is super slammed with summer parties, so I thought I'd take matters into my own hands and try to plan a good fall menu for this area. I don't want to be too off base however, so any guidance you could give would be appreciated.

Also, does anyone recommend a good caterer in the area? Just in case ours doesn't pan out, or she sees this post and doesn't want to deal with a crazy, west-coast micro-manager....

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  1. First weekend in October should still be good for tomatoes. Market farmers in New England are using high tunnels to extend the season. Apples are still at their best but some early varieties may no longer be available.
    Here's a link to an apple orchard near Concord NH to give you an idea of what apples are in season. This orchard grows a large variety.
    http://www.gouldhillfarm.com/dateofap...
    I wouldn't say full into fall since some of the best tasting winter squash need several weeks curing off the vine to develop best flavor. My bush beans get hit by an early frost mid-Sept but with protection are still producing for the rest of the month. Beets have been fabulous. You should also be able to count on broccoli, kale, cabbage, carrots and other cool season vegetables. The seacoast is a lot warmer, growing-wise, than where I am so you might still have eggplants. Both Portsmouth NH and Portland ME have very active farmers markets. I think both also have winter markets because of season extending techniques.

    I think your timing is good for a large variety of produce.

    1 Reply
    1. re: dfrostnh

      Thank you so much for your thoughtful reply. At this point we are considering doing the food ourselves, so this information is extremely helpful.

      I now wish we'd hit the Portsmouth farmers market when we were there in July, it sounds like it must be a good one.

    2. For catering, I recommend Fig Tree Catering out of Rollinsford, NH (phone: 603-834-6908). They're located about 10 miles from York.

      https://www.facebook.com/figtreecafea...

      3 Replies
      1. re: IWantFood

        Thanks for that link, I love their Facebook page. It may be great to have them supplement our menu if we truly decide to do the cooking ourselves.

        I will absolutely be trying their offerings at the Newburyport market when we are there this fall. Great looking baked goods!

        1. re: rabaja

          You must try their amazing kouign amann. Absolutely delicious. That's what's in the picture at the top of their Facebook page. Get to Newburyport early so they don't sell out. They make a double chocolate cookie that's divine, too. BTW, Fig Tree also exhibits at the Exeter farmers market, but they don't always have kouign amann there.

          1. re: IWantFood

            Thank you! When I saw the picture of the kouign amann I new this place must be good. You don't see that pastry everyday. I love Exeter so we'll enjoy hitting that farmers market as well.

      2. So, in the end, we decided to cater our own party. Pretty simple stuff though, BBQ with your usual salads and sides, plus lobster from a reputable distributor.
        We are hitting the Thursday market in Exeter and hope to pick up baked goods Saturday am in Portsmouth from Fig Tree.
        Exeter rentals has been very easy to work with too.
        Thanks for everyone's guidance so far. We are looking forward to spending time in the area during the fall season

        1. although you have taken the DIY route, I have to recommend The Kitchen on Islington in Portsmouth for catering...they just did a wedding reception for us and everyone was floored by their service, quality of food, inventive yet familiar cuisine (we had an upscale burger bar in an open field - so the logistics were challenging). Cheerful, hardworking chefs - so easy to work with! www.thekitchennh.com

          1 Reply
          1. re: fourstar

            That's funny, we almost booked them. I agree, they were very friendly and accommodating.
            They were completely willing to take our proposed menu , add their touch and run with it.
            I look forward to using them for another event, or at least stop in for a sandwich sometime.

            How long was your event? We had everything worked out until they offered us staff for three hours, for what was already outlined as a five hour event, minimum This was just one factor which caused us to go the DIY route, but it was curious to me.