“Vegetables are a must on a diet. I suggest carrot cake, zucchini bread, and pumpkin pie. “

Jim Davis

Luckily, for my job, I get to experience many very different activities that happen around the 518 that I’ve been missing out out while I was at school. Most recently on Sept 11th I worked the Carrot Festival at Congregation Agudat Achim in Schenectady. I, at first, didn’t realize what a huge deal this was not only for the Congregation but for the community, it was constantly buzzing with people. With admission being free, the only cost to you was food and whatever crafts you wanted to buy.

My favorite part of the festival was the Children’s Tent. Since I was working, I was unable to look at each and every craft table but we (B95.5FM) were placed near the Children’s Tent and this was a great way to spend the afternoon with your children and the best part is that it was FREE, which is a rare word to hear nowadays. Radio Disney was there with MVP & a lesson in health and exercise next to a bouncy bounce sponsored by Price Chopper. Since there wasn’t that much space for all the kids to spend the afternoon in the bouncy bounce, they also had tons of animals there to explore. As usual at fairs, there were pony rides but what was very different was the llama petting and reptile exploration- which would be the best way to put that. If you or your child have always wanted to know what it was like to hold a reptile, this was the spot for you – it seems as if that’s where everyone else was!

My favorite part of the festival, of course, was the food. What I learned being there is that this food is actually award winning and after tasting it, it was no surprise. I had the grilled portobello mushroom burger with pita and hummus (my co-worker had a burger and a potato knish. As always with portobello mushroom burgers, it’s so juicy that the bottom half of the bun turns into such mush but you need it to hold on so make sure you grab a napkin. A messy burger is a better tasting burger, no? The pita was a little hard for my taste but the hummus was fantastic, enough left for me to bring some home and be able to use it on a sandwich later too! They also had Matzo Ball soup, Carrot soup (of course), hot dogs and other great tasting/smelling foods. Before I left, I had to pick up some carrot cake to take home. This carrot cake has praline cream in the inside and I got it without coconut over at the “Take Home Tent.” The cake had actual pieces of carrot so it was refreshing to know that this was homemade & also lasted quite a few days in the fridge because of it’s size and tasted just as wonderful each bite I snuck between meals. I also picked up a carrot brownie that was so fascinating to me that I had to try it. The brownie didn’t taste like carrot but it was so moist and flavorful but a flavor that I didn’t recognize paired with chocolate. I looked at the ingredient list and it was very basic but combined together it was a different flavor that I was excited to be able to enjoy for the first time.

I’m sorry if you missed the festival this year but make sure to check it out next year & be sure to show up hungry and try some of their food, maybe even buy a cookbook! http://www.agudatachim.org/gpage6.html