Pumpkin season is here
Orange pumpkins now adorn roadside produce markets, fruit stalls and church lawn fundraisers in Surry County. One of the positive appeals 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 will decorate from now through Halloween and Thanksgiving and will fill tables with puddings, pies and cakes for many weeks to come, as well as decorations, jack ‘o lanterns and harvest and Halloween displays.
The Best Pie Pumpkins
Round orange pumpkins with stems on them are best for carving a jack-o’-lantern, but for pies and desserts, the best pumpkins are the oblong varieties. These are not always orange on the outside but tan or tan or bronze in color, and they are soft on the inside. With their oblong shape, they are easier to slice, remove the seeds, and cut into chunks to boil them to a tender mixture and texture, then drain and run through the blender in grate mode or puree with a potato masher. To can pumpkin, pour the drained pumpkin puree into sterilized jars (a pint will usually make two pies), wipe the edges of the jars clean with a paper towel, seal the jars and tighten the lids. Leave a half inch at the top of the jars. Process in a pressure canner at ten pressures for 50 minutes. Pumpkins are low in acid, so they require this long processing time.
Enjoy pumpkin bread
Crisp, clear October nights tell us a lot about pumpkin loaves of bread in all their spicy flavor. Not too sweet, not too spicy, but just the right recipe for a chilly October night. Real Pumpkin Bread has a chewy texture and is easy to make. For this recipe, you will need three and a half cups of plain flour, two teaspoons of baking soda, half a teaspoon of salt, one tablespoon of pumpkin pie spice, four large eggs , milk, a 15 ounce can of Libby canned pumpkin or a pint of canned pumpkin. , 1/2 cup dark brown sugar, 2 cups granulated sugar, 1/2 cup chopped golden raisins, 1/2 cup chopped pecans, 1 tbsp vanilla flavoring, 1 tbsp flavoring orange. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. In a large bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, salt and pumpkin pie spice and set aside. In another large bowl, beat the four eggs well, add the Crisco oil, milk and pumpkin. Mix these ingredients together, add lemon and vanilla flavorings, raisins and chopped pecans. Pour mixture into two well-greased Crisco Shortening and floured loaf pans. Add a sheet of foil to the bottom of the loaf pans and also grease and flour the foll. Bake for an hour, if not done, bake for a few more minutes. When the cake springs back to the touch, it’s done, or when a toothpick comes out clean. Cool the loaves in the molds for fifteen or twenty minutes. Run a knife around the edges of the pans and foil sheets, after wrapping. Place in clear Saran plastic wrap. This will keep the loaves fresh and moist.
Mighty oaks produce two cropss
Other trees delighted us with a crop, of colors in gold, yellow, bronze, red, tan, crimson and tan leaves. We used the leaf vacuum, rake and blower to transfer them to the garden plot, compost pile and bin. The oak trees now produce a double crop not only of leaves, but also of lots of noise from acorns bouncing off the metal roofs of barns and sheds. My grandmother from Northampton County lived in a house with a tin roof. At this time of year, we listened to acorns banging on the roof all night long. She kept a close eye out for acorns falling from the trees and said, “If you walk on acorns in October, you can expect to be walking on snow all winter.” As October progresses, we may get a hint of what winter has in store for us.
Improve next year’s soil
Vines, stems, leaves, grass clippings, clippings and yard waste from the season behind us can be the stuff of improved soil for next year’s garden. Grass clippings will help heat the compost and you can also use Plant-Tone Organic Plant Food and Black Kow Composted Cow to heat and break down the ingredients in the compost bin or pile. When you build a compost heap or bin, you create an ecosystem that nurtures bacteria that thrive on organic material. Most households that have gardens generate over 1,000 pounds of lawn and garden waste per year that could be converted into compost using very little space and effort. You can start a compost pile with just a pitchfork to turn the pile around once a week, or you can use several treated fence posts to form a bin that’s inexpensive, convenient, and useful.
Halloween Candy and Treats
Halloween has arrived in supermarkets and big box stores with colorful orange, yellow and brown displays of all varieties of traditional Halloween candy. Everything for the trick or the caterers. The season brings several varieties of sweet corn, including the old-fashioned orange, white, and yellow combo as well as Indian corn in orange, brown, and white colors and the fairly newer tan, white, and yellow brown sugar combo. Peanut brittleness in cans also begins to appear before Halloween. Other Halloween favorites are Hershey’s Kisses Fall Mix, Hershey’s Miniatures, Pumpkins and Marshmallow Ghosts, M&M’s Halloween Packs, The Three Musketeers and Assorted Candy Bars. We always appreciate the display that Food Lion presents at the front of their supermarkets which catches our eye throughout the month of October.
The calm of an October evening. The cool autumn air at dusk sharpens the nostrils, and the low humidity makes the coming night air easy to breathe. The scent of new fallen leaves also adds to the evening air. The soft, graceful sound of still falling leaves completes the majestic experience of autumn twilight.
Make Pumpkin Caramel Pudding
This pudding has no crust but you can use vanilla wafers for a crust if you wish or also use graham crackers. In a mixing bowl, combine one can (15 0z) of Libby pumpkin or one pint of canned pumpkin, three large eggs, one three-ounce can of instant butterscotch pudding mix, one cup of light brown sugar, one light margarine stick, half a teaspoon of pumpkin pie spice. can evaporated milk a teaspoon of vanilla flavoring, a pinch of salt, a teaspoon of maple flavoring (optional), half a teaspoon of cinnamon. Spray a 13 x 9 x 2 inch pan or baking dish and line with vanilla wafers or graham crackers if desired or make the pudding without a crust. Mix all the ingredients together and pour into the mold. Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes. Serve with Cool Whip or Dream Whip.
Harvest festivals, Halloween parties and chicken stews
October is party month for wagon rides, haunted houses, chicken stews, harvest parties, Halloween parties, trick-or-treating, Halloween carnivals and costume contests as well as cake walks. Combine all of these events with a hot dog roast and toasted marshmallows, s’mores and a bonfire and you have the makings of a night of fun for all ages.
Keep a close eye on late tomatoes
As we approach mid-October, there is much talk of the first frost of the season. It will have no effect on cool weather vegetables. We know the calendar date for the first frost date says October 15, but we usually don’t get a killing frost until the end of the month. Even as October moves on, it’s wise to keep an ear out for frost warnings. Late, late tomatoes, specially sown for harvest before frost should be harvested before any frost sets in, wrapped in sheets of newspaper, stored in box lids, covered with sections of newspaper and stored in a warm room or a basement. Their maturity should be checked once or twice a week. Place one or two apples in the boxes to promote ripening.
Last opportunity to arrange the bulbs
With the first frosts just weeks away, the planting season for spring-flowering bulbs is soon coming to an end. You still have two weeks or more to plant the bulbs or spring flowers. Bulbs can be purchased at Home Depot, Lowe’s Home Improvement, Walmart, Ace Hardware, most nurseries and hardware stores. Buy a bag of bulb booster or bone meal to get the bulbs off to a good start.
Hoe hoe hoe
“Class leader. Teacher: “Johnny, could you please be a little more careful?” Johnny: “I already pay as little as possible!”
“Wah buffalo.” Traveler: “I would like a ticket to New York State, please.” Ticket agent: “Do you want to go through Buffalo? Traveler: “No thank you, I prefer to go by bus.”
“Pie in the sky.” Dinner: “Is that peach or apple pie?” Waitress: “Can’t you tell by the taste?” Dinner: “No, I can’t.” Waitress: “Well, so what difference does it make one way or the other?”
“Stalls.” Bill: “What school do you have to drop out of to graduate?” Jill: “Paratrooper school.”
2021 has been a big firefly year
The landscape was lit up with fireflies in the summer of 2021. From mid-May to early July there were plenty of them as we entered the month of June. Their most glorious show took place on the evening of Monday, June 21. We counted 169 glowing fireflies over a period of five minutes. We saw the first fireflies on the evening of Sunday May 16th. That evening, we counted 49 in five minutes. We saw an exhibit almost every night. They seemed to appear at dusk and peak around nine o’clock at night. With the number of fireflies over the summer, next year is expected to produce even more fireflies.