September 21st, 2010 —

Harvest time is the culmination of a successful summer growing season. Celebrating the efforts of the local farmers is a long-standing tradition. And what better way to celebrate than with a festival!

Fall Fest (Sept 25) in Whitehall features free hayrides, cider mill and farmers market, a variety of music entertainment, arts/crafts fair and food vendors. Also on the 25th, the 7th Annual Harvest Moon Classic Tournament (disc golf) takes place at the Whitehall Township course.

What started out as a Halloween prank has become a sanctioned event… annually 900-1000 pumpkins roll down the Dowling Street hill with ribbons for the winners of various age categories. Saturday, Oct 9th brings the PumpkinFest to Montague; host to the famous Pumpkin Roll on the Dowling Street hill along with a farmers market, pumpkin carving and painting, pumpkin seed spitting contest and of course pumpkin pies!

Combine a trip to the one of the area festivals with relaxing accommodations at White Swan Inn for your own fall celebration.

Pumpkin and Date Muffin
2 eggs
1 cup canned pumpkin (not pumpkin pie filling)
1/2 cup butter, melted
1 cup dates, pitted and chopped
2 cups flour
3/4 cup sugar
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line muffin tin with paper baking cups or grease 12 muffin cups.

Whisk together eggs, pumpkin and butter in a large bowl. Stir in dates.

Add flour, sugar, baking powder, cinnamon, baking soda, and salt to the pumpkin mixture until just moistened.

Divide batter into prepared muffin cups. Bake for 20 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Remove from the pan and cool on wire rack.

Yield: 12 muffins