Pumpkin season has arrived
Orange pumpkins now adorn roadside produce markets, fruit stands, and fundraisers on church lawns across Surrey County. One of the positive attractions of pumpkin is that it has a long shelf life and can be enjoyed throughout the long season from now until after Christmas. Their bright orange color will be decorating between now and Halloween and Thanksgiving and filling tables with sweets, pies and cakes for several weeks to come as well as decorations, jack-o’-lanterns, harvest shows, and Halloween.
The best pumpkin pie
A round orange squash with the stems on top of it is best for carving a jack-o’-lantern, but for pies and desserts, the best squash are the oblong varieties. These are not always orange on the outside but are tan, beige or bronze in color, and are soft on the inside. Thanks to its oblong shape, it is easy to cut into slices, remove the seeds, cut into pieces for boiling in a soft mixture and consistency and then filter and run in a blender in mesh mode or mash with a potato masher. To fill the pumpkin, pour the mashed and drained pumpkin into sterilized pint jars (a pint usually makes two pancakes), wipe the edges of the jars with a paper towel, close the jars and tighten the lids. Leave a half inch on top of the jars. The operation is in a pressure cooker with ten pressures for 50 minutes. Pumpkin has a low acid content so it requires a long processing time.
Enjoying pumpkin bread
Clear, clear October nights speak of loaves of pumpkin bread with all its spice. Not too sweet, not too spicy, but just the right recipe for an October night. Real pumpkin bread is moist in texture and easy to prepare. For this recipe, you’ll need three and a half cups of plain flour, two teaspoons of baking soda, ½ teaspoon of salt, 1 tablespoon of pumpkin pie spice, four large eggs, milk, and 1 15-ounce can Libby’s squash, or a pint of canned pumpkin . ½ cup dark brown sugar 2 cups granulated sugar ½ cup chopped golden raisins ½ cup chopped pecans ½ tablespoon vanilla flavoring 1 tablespoon orange zest. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. In a large bowl, mix flour, baking soda, salt, and pumpkin pie spice and set aside. In another large bowl, beat the four eggs well and add the Crisco oil, milk, and pumpkin. Mix these ingredients together, add lemon zest, vanilla, raisins and chopped walnuts. Pour the mixture into two loaf pans, well greased with Crisco ghee, and sprinkle with flour. Add a sheet of tin foil to the bottom of the loaf pans, and also coat them with flour. Bake for 1 hour, if not done, bake for a few more minutes. When the cake springs back when touched, it is done or when the toothpick comes out clean. Cool loaves in pans for fifteen or twenty minutes. Run the knife around the edges of the pans and aluminum foil plates after rolling them. Put Saran clear plastic wrap. This will keep the loaves of bread fresh and moist.
Mighty oak trees produce two harvestss
Other trees delighted us with a harvest, of color with leaves of gold, yellow, bronze, red, tan, crimson, and beige. We used a leaf broom, rake, and blower to move it to the garden plot, compost pile, and litter box. Oak trees now produce a double harvest of not only foliage but also a lot of noise from the oaks bouncing off the metal roofs of barn and canopy buildings. My grandmother lived in Northampton County in a tin-roofed house. This time of year, we’ve been listening to walnuts hitting the ceiling all night long. She closely watched the oaks falling from the trees and said, “If you walk acorns in October, you can expect to walk on snow all winter.” As October approaches, we may have a hint about what the old man has in store for us in the winter.
Soil improvement next year
Vines, stems, leaves, grass clippings, trimmings, and garden scraps from the season left behind can be improved soil agents for next year’s garden. Grass clippings will help heat the compost and you can also use vegan organic vegan food and Black Kow compost to heat up and break down the ingredients in your compost bin or heap. When you build a compost pile or bin, you create an ecosystem that feeds bacteria that thrive on organic matter. Most homes with gardens generate more than 1,000 pounds of home and garden waste annually that can be composted using very little space and effort. You can start your compost pile with just a narrow fork to turn the pile once a week or you can use several treated fence posts to form a basket, both of which are inexpensive as well as practical and useful.
Halloween candy and candy
Halloween has arrived in supermarkets and big box stores with colorful displays of orange, yellow, and brown all kinds of traditional Halloween candy. It’s all for trick-or-treaters. The season brings many varieties of candy corn including the old-fashioned orange, white and yellow combo as well as Indian corn in orange, brown and white combo colors and the fairly modern brown sugar variety of tan, white and yellow. Peanut brittleness also begins to show before Halloween. Other Halloween favorites are the fall mix of Hershey’s Kisses, Hershey’s miniatures, marshmallow pumpkins, ghosts, Halloween packs from M&M’s, Three Musketeers, and assorted candy bars. We always enjoy the offer of Food Lion at the forefront of supermarkets catching our all eye during the month of October.
Quiet October evening. Fresh autumn air at twilight blows through the nostrils and the low humidity makes the coming night air easy to breathe. It also adds the scent of fresh fallen leaves to the evening air. The soft, gentle sound of still falling leaves completes the majestic experience of the autumn twilight.
Making Butterscotch Pumpkin Pudding
This pudding does not have a crust but you can use vanilla wafers for a crust if you wish or you can also use graham crackers. In a mixing bowl, combine 1 can (15 0z) lip squash or pint canned pumpkin, three large eggs, one 3-ounce box of instant pudding mix, one cup of light brown sugar, one stick of light margarine, ½ teaspoon of pumpkin pie. evaporated milk, 1 teaspoon vanilla flavoring, a pinch of salt, 1 teaspoon maple flavoring (optional), ½ teaspoon cinnamon. Sprinkle a 13 x 9 x 2 inch baking dish or plate and layer with vanilla wafers or graham crackers if desired, or make the pudding without a crust. Mix all ingredients together and pour into the skillet. Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes. Served with Cool Web or Dream Web.
Harvest festivals, Halloween parties, and chicken stew
October is a month of animal festive, haunted houses, chicken stews, harvest festivals, Halloween parties, trick-or-treating, Halloween carnivals and costume contests as well as cake walks. Combine all of these events with grilled hot dogs, roasted marshmallows, s’mores, and bun fire, and you’ve got what makes for a night of fun for all ages.
Watch late tomatoes closely
As we head into mid-October, there is a lot of talk about the season’s first frost. It will have no effect on cold weather vegetables. We know the calendar date for the first frost date is October 15th, but we don’t usually see a killer frost until later in the month. Even as October continues, it’s wise to keep an eye on your ear and watch for frost warnings. Late and late tomatoes grown specifically for the pre-frost season should be picked before any frost arrives, wrapped in sheets, stored in box lids, covered with newspaper sections and stored in a warm room or basement. They should be checked for maturity once or twice a week. Put an apple or two in the boxes to promote ripening.
Last chance to adjust the lights
With the first frost date in a few weeks, the spring flower bulb planting time is soon coming to an end. You still have two or more weeks to prepare the bulbs or spring flowers. Bulbs can be purchased from Home Depot, Lowe’s Home Improvement, Walmart, Ace Hardware, and most nurseries and hardware stores. Buy a sachet of Follicle Booster or Bone Meal to get your follicles off to a great start.
“Class chief.” Teacher: “Johnny, can you give me more attention please?” Johnny: “I’m already paying as little as I can!”
“Stop the buffalo.” Traveler: “I’d like a ticket to New York State, please.” Ticket Clerk: “Would you like to go to Buffalo?” Traveler: “No, thank you, I’d rather go by bus.”
“Pie in the sky.” Dinner: “Is that a peach or an apple pie?” Waitress: “Don’t you know what your taste is?” Dinner: “No, I can’t.” Waitress: “Well, what difference does it somehow make?”
“dropouts”. Bill: “What school do you have to drop out of to be a graduate?” Jill: “The Paratroopers School.”
2021 was a great year
The landscape was glowing with fireflies in the summer of 2021. From mid-May through early July there were big numbers as we moved into June. The most spectacular show was on the evening of Monday, June 21. We counted 169 glowing fireflies over a five-minute period. We saw the first fireflies on Sunday evening, May 16th. And that evening, we counted 49 in five minutes. We saw a show almost every evening. They appear to appear at twilight and reach their peak around nine o’clock at night. With a population of fireflies during the summer, next year should produce more fireflies.