“Halloween comes down to us from the pre-Christian Celtic festival of Samhain, held October 31, the last autumn night before the cold and bleakness of winter. On this night-considered the Celtic New Year-the Druids believed that the supernatural world drew closer to the physical world, so human beings were more susceptible to the power and influence of the unseen. Magic spells could be cast more easily, divination was more revealing and dreams held special significance.” – Sarah Ban Breathnach, A Daybook of Comfort and Joy
Monthly Archives: October 2012
After four long years, I’m happy to announce that my Etsy store is finally open! One of my favorite hobbies is scouting for vintage gems, and I decided to open my collection up to the public.
Please check out the store and tell your friends.
A trip out to the side garden yesterday resulted in major disappointment for me. Some critter or insect came along and ate all of the winter greens I’d planted. Entire rows are completely munched. It’s disheartening to spend so much time planting seeds, nurturing the sprouts, and diligently watering, only to lose a whole crop. All I can do is start over and hope for better results next time.
On Tuesdays during my lunch break, I usually head over to the Spring Street Farm Stand and pick up some fresh food. The stand is small but has a good selection. After filling my grocery bag, I wander past their field to the chicken coop and hang with the birds while I eat my lunch. The stand, the farm, and the chickens are a tiny peaceful oasis in the middle of chaotic city life.
A few weeks ago I had a real treat: my first eggs that came straight from the chickens’ caboose. They were everything I’d heard fresh eggs would be: glowing golden yolks with thick creamy whites. And completely delicious. I’m converted.
The Spring Street Farm Stand is in the city of Long Beach at the corner Spring St and Elm Ave. They’re open Tuesdays and Fridays from 10am to 5pm.
Hobo packets are just about the easiest way I know of to make a good, quick dinner where each person can make the meal to their own distinct specifications. It’s also a good cold weather meal and requires only minimal prep time. You’ll need to cut up four or five ingredients. I usually use some combination of potato, root vegetables, hopefully an onion, and some herbs and spices. For our recent hobo packets, I chopped an onion, some red potatoes, a large zucchini given to me by a coworker, brussel sprouts cut in half, and some celery. I used baby carrots whole from the bag. We decided to experiment with using red curry paste, and I was extremely satisfied with the results. Salt, pepper, and olive oil are also necessary accompaniments. You’ll need aluminim foil to make your packets.
Preheat your oven to 375 degress.
Rip off a sheet of foil for each person. In the middle of each sheet, place your desired amount of vegetables. Season to preference and drizzle with olive oil. Wrap each hobo packet up as neatly, or as messily, as you’d like. Place the packets on a baking sheet and cook for about 20 minutes to a half an hour. You can test for doneness by opening a packet and piercing the hardest vegetable with a knife to see if it goes through easily. If it does, the rest of the packets should be good to go.
Remove the vegetables from their packets and place in individual bowls. Re-season, if necessary. This would also be a good time to sprinkle with cheese.
While I wouldn’t recommend cooking your food in aluminum foil all the time, this is a fun way to make individual portions for a group of people. Hobo packets also cook well on the barbecue and in the coals of a campfire.
Along with about a thousand other people, we made our way out to Cal Poly Pomona this weekend for their annual Pumpkin Festival. Silly me thought it was going to be a little ol’ community fair. I was mistaken. This festival was serious business. Their huge field was filled with pumpkins up for grabs at five dollars. The Kellogg Ranch farm store also had a ton of other squash and gourds for sale. And of course I just had to check out to Corn Maze. And then got lost. Don’t worry, I eventually found my way to freedom.
October, by Louise Driscoll
When my hills stand ablaze with gold and red,
And I can hear the harsh-voiced leader cry
As wild geese, like a necklace on the sky,
Are seem for a brief moment overhead,
Then I remember what my lover said.
No bird of Spring, however joyously
Singing arpeggios on a lilac tree,
Can speak to me so plainly of the dead.
October, bringing gaudy mysteries,
With smell of burning leaves and dripping sound
As frost freed nuts come dropping to the ground,
With late, red apples glowing on the trees
Like lanterns at some feast of memories,
The spell of death and silence has unbound.