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Editor’s Note: Be warned, Brooklyn: Each week, Cathy Erway will be accosting an unsuspecting stranger at a local Greenmarket, to find out what they’re eyeing, what they’re buying and what they’re planning on doing with their precious weekly finds. In the first installment, Cathy chats up a bank manager from Prospect Heights at Grand Army Plaza Greenmarket to find out what he’s got in store for his haul.

By Cathy Erway

The day was sunny, kids were loud, and dogs were sniffing the newly spring bud-scented air at Grand Army Plaza last Saturday. While inspecting a bin of many-colored Nantes carrots that had been picked down to the last, wispy stragglers, I bumped into a fellow shopper holding a nice butternut squash. It’s in-between-season, produce-wise, even for New Jersey farms like Phillips Farms, where winter vegetables make up the brunt of the offerings while newer arrivals, like scallions, begin to trickle in. Impressed by the weight of the squashes for their size – a sign of freshness – I asked my neighbor what he was doing with the sweet relic from fall.

Name: Mark Cassidy

Occupation: I work in a hotel, in the banking department

Age: 41

Neighborhood: Prospect Heights

What are you buying right now? Butternut squash, clams, and root vegetables

What are you going to make with that? Butternut squash soup, linguine with clams, and some root veggies to roast later on

What’s the worst cooking disaster you’ve had? I’ve had a few… usually with meat, though. Vegetables are much easier!

Where do you like to shop for food, mostly? Most of the local groceries. Union Market is pretty nice, or the Met, or Key Food

What do you like about the Grand Army Plaza Greenmarket? Everything’s always fresh and it’s more fun to shop.

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