On October 2014

All things on earth point home in old October: sailors to sea, travelers to walls and fences, hunters to field and hollow and the long voice of the hounds, the lover to the love he has forsaken. (Thomas Wolfe)

October, the tenth month, but it was the eighth month in the old Roman calendar – after all, octo- means eight

For we in the northern hemisphere, October is about autumn, but to those south of the equator, they are enjoying the emergence of spring

In leap years, no month starts on the same day of the week as October, but during common years, only January does

October ends the same day of the week as February every year, but only January does in common years

October’s moon is known as the Hunter’s Moon

Flower: Calendula, Birthstone: Opal, and the Zodiac signs: Libra (until October 22) & Scorpio (October 23 and beyond)

There is no season when such pleasant and sunny spots may be lighted on, and produce so pleasant an effect on the feelings, as now in October. (Nathaniel Hawthorne)

Sometime in October, all the four major professional sports leagues in North America are playing

Slavs call it “yellow month” because of the colors of leaves, but the Anglo-Saxons refer to October as “Winterfylleth” because at winter begins with this full moon … yet the Germanic use “Wein-mond” for wine month

Neil Gaiman wrote a story personifying the month in his collection Fragile Things entitled October in the Chair

Some movies with October in the title: October Sky, Hunt for Red October,
The October Man, First Monday in October, The Hunt for Red October, Mr. October, October Sky, and October

Oh, Marilla,” she exclaimed one Saturday morning, coming dancing in with her arms full of gorgeous boughs, “I’m so glad I live in a world where there are Octobers. It would be terrible if we just skipped from September to November, wouldn’t it? Look at these maple branches. Don’t they give you a thrill–several thrills? (L.M. Montgomery, Anne of Green Gables)

October is the month to increase awareness for AIDS, Antidepression Death, Blindness, Breast Cancer, Caffeine Addiction Recovery, Domestic Violence, Down Syndrome, Emotional Intelligence, Dyslexia, Eye Injury Prevention, Fair Trade, Global Diversity, Audiology, Chiropractic Health, Critical Illness, Cyber Security, Disabilities Employment, Depression Education, Ergonomics, Liver, Orthodontic Health, Spina Bifida, Substance Abuse, Sudden Infant Death Syndrome, Work & Family, Rett Syndrome, Workplace Politics, Menopause, and Squirrels

October is the month to celebrate American Cheese, Pharmacists, Apples, Children Magazines, Church Libraries, Class Reunions, Country Music, Eat Better – Eat Together, LGBT History, Free Thought, Books, Bake & Decorate, Arts & Humanity, Medical Libraries, Right Brainers, Spinach Lovers, Cosmetology, Photographers, and Stamp Collecting

October is the month to promote Adopt a Dog, Black Speculative Fiction, Bully Prevention, Bilingual Children, Church Safety & Security, Co-op Awareness, Energy Management for Families, Halloween Safety, Health Literacy, Home Eye Safety, Strategic Planning, Walking to School, Intergenerations, Long-Term Care Planning, Animal Safety & Protection, Crime Prevention, Dental Hygiene, Family Sexuality Education, Kitchen & Baths, Hearing Protection, Gourmet Adventures, Car Care, Tackling Hunger, Window Covering Safety, Organizing Your Medical Info, Self Promotion, Reading Groups, and Toilet Tank Repair

October is the month to appreciate bats, caramel, chili, cookbooks, field trips, popcorn, pork, roller skating, seafood, pizza, sausage, pretzels, desserts, apples, pickled peppers, tomatoes, cookies, and pasta

October is the month to Embrace Positive Attitude, Vegetarians, Family History, Hispanic heritage, German-American heritage, Polish-American heritage, and Italian-American heritage (yea me – Do any of these apply to you?)

October is nature’s funeral month. Nature glories in death more than in life. The month of departure is more beautiful than the month of coming – October than May. Every green thin loves to die in bright colors. (Henry Ward Beecher)

On a Conveyor to Monday

I hope you had a good weekend. How was it? What did you do? What caused you to smile?

Yippee as Cincinnati had great fall weather. No ballroom for us this weekend because I attended a college football game Friday night and our church wine group was Saturday night. My daytime was calm, so each of us had a Fluffernutter Saturday afternoon – but I added mini chocolate chips! On Sunday morning, our handbell choir played this beautiful piece very well.

Given chestnuts, cakes, pheasant, chicken cacciatore, pasta, oatmeal, and more, there are plenty of reasons to celebrate this week!

  • (Week) Bullying Bystanders Unite Week, Chestnut Week, Earth Science Week, Food Bank Week
  • (Mon) Be Bold & Be Free Day, Kick Butt Day, Chocolate-Covered Insects Day
  • (Tues) I Love Lucy Day, Cake Decorating Day, Grouch Day, Roast Pheasant Day, Mushroom Day, Chicken Cacciatore Day
  • (Wed) Dictionary Day, Hagfish Day, Fossil Day, Food Day, Oatmeal Day
  • (Thurs) Alternative Fuel Day, Credit Union Day, Pasta Day

Given that chocolate and I Love Lucy are mentioned above, this classic scene is a great way to start the new week. Have a good week!

On an October Return

Greetings everyone! Yep, I’m back to being live.

Special thanks to all who visited and commented on the flashbacks during my blog break. It’s probably too ambitious, but I would love to respond to all the comments. Of course, I must also get back to visiting your fabulous blogs.

A new month upon us means new celebrations. Month-long gastrointestinal celebrations for October include American cheese, apples, country ham, caramel, popcorn, pears, pineapples, pizza, rhizomes, persimmons, sausage, spinach, chili, cookies, pork, pretzels, pasta, and seafood.

Other celebrations for the entire month include squirrel awareness, dwarfism awareness, toilet tank repair, roller skating, liver awareness, Italian-Americans, Polish-Americans, German-Americans, feral hogs, and caffeine addiction recovery.

Just so you know, this is Get Organized Week and Pickled Peppers Week. Daily observances included

  • (Tues) Vegetarian Day
  • (Wed) Name Your Car Day, Balloons Around the World Day, Farm Animals Day
  • (Thurs) Butterfly Day, Techies Day

Here’s an animal treat for a belated-started to the week.

On Spaghetti for Monday

Although more people remember spaghetti westerns and than know spaghetti programming, I’m not sure how many have heard of the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster. Unquestionably, most people think of spaghetti as food while forgetting the spaghetti squash.

Spaghetti is served with different sauces as countless variations of Bolognese or alfredo – or with butter or olive oil – or as carbonara, with egg, countless herbs, and cheeses. The spaghetti that most of us buy is made from semolina and water – but the cheap stuff goes in a can as uh-oh, SpaghettiOs with a sauce that I do not like.

Not only is there regular spaghetti, stores offer spaghetti varieties as thin, vermicelli, and angel hair – but I’m not counting linguini as spaghetti because of its different shape and spelling. However, did you know that only one strand is a spaghetto?

Since odds are good that you will enjoy this joyous pasta sometime this week, let us not forget the best spaghetti is only available outside of selected the Italian peninsula through specialty gourmet stores. Not the mass-produce spaghetti in a box that is in our cupboard – the type that is harvested from trees – whose taste is beyond comparison.

“Battle Cranberry” Sausage Spaghetti

Back in 2006 (I believe), the Food Network used Iron Chef to pit Giada DeLaurentis and Bobby Flay against Rachael Ray and Mario Batali. Since the episode aired many times, I can assume many viewers watched. Well, last night I checked Food Network and, lo’ and behold, it’s back for another run.

Foodies know that Food Network’s site is a treasure trove of recipes for recipes shown on the air; however, Iron Chef’s creations are not there. We were so intrigued with Rachael’s Cranberry-Sausage Spaghetti, we watched the episode several times to take notes with hopes of creating a similar version. Let me simply say this is one delish dish!

In the spirit of holiday giving, A Frank Angle provides our home’s version of this unique combination of two unlikely partners.

If you eat like us, this recipe is for two-three bountiful servings. Otherwise, four small servings are possible.

Ingredients
1 link sweet Italian sausage (casing removed)
1 link hot Italian sausage (casing removed)
2 cloves garlic (chopped or sliced)
1 onion (chopped)
Nutmeg
1 bunch Swiss chard (strip from stalk, then chop leaves)
1/2 c dried cranberries
16-24 oz unsweetened cranberry juice (won’t use all)
1 tbsp butter
Salt
Feta cheese
(Optional) Parsley – chopped, enough to sprinkle on serving

Note: Organic unsweetened cranberry use is too tart, thus recommend using a “regular” unsweetened (which is sweetened by another juice instead of a sugar/sweetener).

Directions
* Time cooking the spaghetti with the end of the sauce preparation.

  1. In a large frying pan, brown the sausage, onions, & garlic. Break the sausage apart while cooking (8-10 minutes).
  2. Add the cranberries.
  3. Add enough cranberry juice (about 2 cups) to simmer. (Total simmering time 15 min.)
  4. Bring to boil and reduce. (A good time to prep the chard)
  5. Continue adding juice as fluid reduces. (Start the water for the spaghetti).
  6. Add the chard to the mixture.
  7. Sprinkle mixture with nutmeg.
  8. Salt to taste.
  9. Continue simmering (10-12 min.) and add juice when necessary.
  10. Add butter to the mixture near the end of the cooking. Stir to melt.
  11. Add cooked spaghetti into the pan. Stir to coat.
  12. Plate, then top with feta cheese & parsley.

For the holiday season, this Iron Chef episode is reaired on Thursday, December 18 at 9:00 pm.