The Month in Moments: October

cornstalks and pumpkins

October was a jam-packed with sunny days and preparations for Halloween. Getting back into the cozy cooking habits of the cooler part of the year was also a highlight!

cornstalks and pumpkins
Every October, these 6-inch pumpkins replace our fence’s ball toppers. This year I added cornstalks to the sides of the gate.
cute sleeping cat on a cozy blanket
Luffy has resumed her habit of napping on the bed during the day, a sure sign that winter is coming!
kitchen cabinets with fall wreaths
I fell prey to a listicle about autumn wreaths at Target, and I’m happy I did. I hung these mini wreaths with velvet ribbon, using command velcro on the inside of the cabinet.
A little autumnal sheet pan dinner with delicata squash. I thought the colors of the veg were so pretty that I had to take a picture.
faux pumpkin planter with mums
I always love the way mums look when they’re planted in pumpkins, but a real pumpkin would only last about a week in the sun. This is a faux pumpkin that I (rather haphazardly) cut the top off of to make a planter. I also cut a drainage hole in the bottom haphazardly!
raised boxes with oats and peas
The cover crop (peas and oats) coming along in the raised planters. I’m so glad a good amount of these grew! The birds discovered the seeds and many of them were eaten!
halloween napkins and sprinkles
Halloween goodies a friend brought over for the premiere of Living for the Dead!
dani denison shirt being painted
My DIY Halloween costume in progress. Any guesses? (You’ll find out at the bottom of this post!)
jackolantern and skull
Just a little part of our extensive outdoor Halloween decorations. There were also giant spider webs, colored lights, and tombstones.
homemade apple butter and apple cider
Right at the end of September, I was lucky enough to get a bushel of apples from a friend’s tree, from which I made apple cider and apple butter.
fluffy biscuit with apple butter
Possibly the best companion for apple butter: a fluffy, tender biscuit!
bright red and orange fall tree
Gorgeous Fall color. The colors in Seattle have been amazing this year!
meatballs with pit, roasted carrots, cucumber yogurt
Spiced lamb meatballs, roasted carrots, mint and cucumber yogurt.
pink dahlias
The second to last dahlia harvest, plus one Julia Child rose.
light up cauldron decoration
This is a Halloween decoration that Chris made! It’s a self-stirring cauldron. The fabric on top shown here was an experiment, the final top was a piece of acrylic with halved plastic Christmas ornaments for bubbles. the cauldron is lighted from the inside and has a speaker to play spooky bubbling sounds!
steak with pan sauce, vegetables, mashed potatoes
A fancy dinner because I really wanted mashed potatoes! Also on the plate: steak, pan sauce, sauteed green beans and red bell pepper.
meringue ghost
I got an urge to make ghost meringues! The face is a bit of melted chocolate.
cat tolerantly sitting in halloween themed scratcher
Luffy, tolerating the Halloween-themed tombstone scratcher we got her. She puts on a good show, but she actually ended up sitting in there a lot!
faux pumpkins carved into jackolanterns
A big collection of faux jack o’lanterns that we carved all in one night! Doing so many of these scratched my itch for carving pumpkins, so I did not carve a real one this year. These went out in the yard for Halloween night.
wok with colorful vegetables and tofu
A colorful stir fry with red cabbage, carrots, green beans, red bell pepper, red onion, and tofu. I’m always looking for ways to use up red cabbage, and a stir fry is one of my favorites!
Imitating my DIY window cling ghost in a clay face mask.
iced matcha latte
A very pretty set of iced matcha lattes that a friend made for us! I’ve always wanted to know how to prepare matcha and I got some top tips.
pusheen as a cute ghost
This ghost Pusheen was my phone wallpaper in October and I loved it.
sun beams shining through clouds on water
An extra cool sunbeam!
cat eating by light of halloween candelabra
Luffy has her own spooky candelabra to light her food bowl in October.
cauldron candle blown out with smoke
My ghost cloches watching over their steaming cauldrons/ recently blown out cauldron candles.
kitchen with steaming pot and candles
A window of charged solar-powered candles and a pot of pasta. I made a pumpkin-tomato sauce with Calabrian chilies and it was fantastic!
dani denison homemade costume
Halloween evening, in my homemade Dani Dennison costume! Dani is the little sister in the original Hocus Pocus. This costume had a lot of components and I had a ton of fun making it!
jackolanterns and candles, purple light
A little corner of out yard on Halloween night!
tombstone lit by candles
Solar powered candles lighting a spooky tombstone scene.

What I watched, read, and listened to in October:

Searching for Italy on Max

After finishing Two Fat Ladies last month, I was feeling absolutely gutted (to borrow a term) that I had run out of episodes, and I was really yearning for a travel and food show with some charm. Searching for Italy scratched that itch for me well and good, and I enjoyed it so much that I kept looking for excuses to watch more episodes and eat more pasta. Stanley Tucci is the perfect low-key host. I need more hosts like Stanley Tucci in 100% of shows.

Alfred Hitchcock Presents

I love to watch old movies, especially when I’m cooking, and many of my favorites were directed by Alfred Hitchcock. I had heard for a while about Alfred Hitchcock Presents, and kept forgetting about it, and this month I finally started to watch! Its a television show, each episode a short suspense thriller, hosted by Alfred Hitchcock himself. Some of the episodes are duds, which I think is part of the entertainment factor. And, there’s about a million episodes– I still haven’t finished season 1!

The Legend of Sleepy Hollow by Washington Irving on The Gutenberg Project

I read The Legend of Sleepy Hollow a few Octobers ago, and now I always try to read at least a little bit of it every year. Eventually I will get my own copy, but last year and this year I read it on The Gutenberg Project , a collection of free e-books. (Did you know this exists? It’s pretty cool!)
The descriptions in this short story, especially of the landscape, manage to capture so many ephemeral things that I love about autumn and Halloween. Maybe the best descriptions are those of the Van Tassel’s Halloween party spread, with “the ample charms of a genuine Dutch country tea-table, in the sumptuous time of autumn”. I tend to hear the words in Bing Crosby’s voice, à la the 1949 Disney cartoon, and I wouldn’t want it any other way.

Unexplained on Podurama

In my never-ending search for spooky podcasts, I finally listened to Unexplained. I listened to it all day while I cleaned the house– it was yeti lore while I scrubbed the bath tub, werewolves as I cleaned the hood vent, and spring-heeled Jack during baseboard dusting. Unexplained has a satisfying blend of information and immersive story telling, and does cover topics other than cryptids, despite what my cleaning montage may have led you to believe.

Songs of October:

My Favorite Product This Month:

(Not sponsored, I just really like it!)

image of the kohler dish scraper

This is a dish scraper from Kohler, I’ve purchased two of them in the last five years, and everyday I live in fear that it’s going to be discontinued.

It is the best GD tool in my house and I use it everyday. it’s big enough to hold comfortably, its angles are appropriately shaped to fit pans, and the silicone side both scrapes bowls and squeegees excess water off the counter when I’m done with the dishes. Also, it looks pretty good sitting out by the sink!

Thanks for reading! See you next time for November.

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