October Eve [NOT 30/9/21]

Hi, friends!

September is about done, and onwards to October.

What are some of your favorite things to do in October? Is it Halloween decorating or costumes? Is it sitting outside at bonfires? Enjoying Oktoberfest drinks? Apple picking? Craft fairs?

Tell me all about it!

Normally my favorite is going apple picking but I don’t know if I will this year based on how my weekends are shaking up.



    • It’s more that I have a wedding one weekend, going out of town another weekend, and then have a fuckton of yard work to do as well.

      So who knows! I guess it depends on how much yard work gets done.

      • Yeah, I’m going out of town myself (as you know), doing a week-long jury trial before that (if they don’t cancel the fucking thing at the last minute) and, of course, dealing with all the translations that tend to come up.


        Maybe November’ll be easier, if you get me. . . .

  1. I love going apple picking, even though some people look at it as a cliche. To hell wit’ ’em, I say. Buy too many apples, make too much applesauce, bake an extra pie.

    I just need to find a weekend when the family doesn’t have too many other things going on.

    I’m fermenting some hard cider and I think it should be ready to bottle in a few days. That’s always great in October, even when it’s never exactly clear how it will turn out.

  2. I am going to begin October by cooking my first-ever vegan meal tomorrow, for meatless Friday. [Long comment redacted about how difficult this actually is for the recipe I have and what’s on offer locally.] Wish me luck!

    • I’m not even vegetarian, but have done a handful of vegan things (usually for potlucks and such).  I feel like a lot of the vegan “substitute” foods have really improved in the past 10-20 years.

      It used to be a pretty common (and over-done) joke about how bad vegan food was/is, but I feel like it’s made drastic improvements in the past 10-15 years or so.

      A lot of the bars and restaurants around me have vegan options, or are even explicitly vegan.  For whatever reason, I’ll sometimes get the vegan option, and it’s generally pretty good.  Maybe not indistinguishable as the actual animal flesh version, but it’s pretty decent.  I rather enjoy seitan, and if you are okay with wheat gluten, I recommend that as an occasional animal flesh substitute.  I think it’s not too difficult to make at home, but I haven’t tried it, and I imagine you’d get better and more reliable results if you purchased it pre-made.

      good luck!

    • Vegan meals are actually quite easy if you stick with cuisines where it’s commonplace to have vegetarian or vegan options.

      So like… not American cuisine. 😀

      But tons of options from India and Asia, and Mexican food is very easily adapted to be vegan.

      • I’ll give you a f’rinstance.

        Well, first of all, I should say that this is a test run. That friend that I have mentioned in FYCE posts who is a serial dater has yet another new boyfriend, and he’s vegan, and she’s taken up the cause. She seems pretty serious about him and wants us to meet him later in the month. I’ve known her so long that we’re like siblings.

        The recipe I have (I won’t give it away because if I can actually achieve this it will be an FYCE post) has 17 ingredients. This does not deter me, I’ve done similar before, but not vegan. One of the ingredients is vegan white wine.

        Three or four years ago my local wine store was having this vegan wine tasting event so I went, out of curiosity. I wouldn’t drink it straight, not what I sampled, but it would be fine for cooking. Problem is it’s very expensive. There are a couple of ingredients that I think are not necessarily automatically vegan so I’m going to have to seek out the vegan version. Most of the rest are flavorings, and some of those I can harvest from the Handy Rooftop Herb Planter.

        So for the trial run I want to serve snacks. I thought olives would be a good choice but not all olives are vegan, because some are brined in barrels that have non-vegan components (that’s why most wine and liquor isn’t vegan.) I’ve had vegan cheese and…and anyway, not all crackers are vegan. I think I’m going to buy vegan bread and try to make crostini, but suppose I use tomato paste? There are additives in that and I’m not a nutrition scientist so I don’t know the hundred different ways to express “gelatin made from animals as a preservative.”

        For dessert I’ll be serving strawberries in raw sugar. That I think I can get away with.

        Better Half is as carnivorous as I am and thinks this whole project is absurd. “So cheat a little. This new boyfriend will never know and he’ll probably be gone in a month. We have plenty of Jewish friends who eat bacon cheeseburgers–”

        “They’re not Orthodox. Maybe he’ll never know but I will. I don’t know why this is so difficult.”

        “Because we don’t live in a commune in Vermont in 1978?”

        “That’s an outdated stereotype and you know it. Vegetarian cooking is so easy, I do it all the time and I don’t even think about it. But no butter, no cream, no cheese, no wine–”

        “Speaking of, what will you be serving during the cocktail portion?”

        “The boyfriend is bringing a 6-pack of vegan beer.”

        “I’ll put a flask of the real stuff in each of our bathrooms’ cabinets and hope he doesn’t take a look around.”

        • I respect your integrity in this matter.

          And, I think that’s the tricky thing with a lot of vegan foods, is that there are so many ingredients and such that may not contain animal parts, but use something animal-derived in the processing.  this may be outdated, but when I was in college, a lot of vegans had trouble finding acceptable sugar sources, as well, honey is clearly from an animal, and a lot of cane sugar is processed using charcoal derived from burnt cow bones (I think?).

          I think the thing with beer and wine is that at some point, there is an ingredient added (floculant?) to get all the left over yeast and other stuff suspended in solution to clump up and settle to the bottom.  Apparently, something from the swim bladders of fish (isinglass?) is really good at this, and likely a cheap byproduct from any fish processing plant.

          And then, that issue with beer and wine may extend into vinegar made from wine, which I’m guessing is where the olives come in?  It’s kinda interesting, from a detached, abstract perspective…

          • I’m interested in foods of all kinds but I have mentioned before that there are two foods I really can’t make, vegan and kosher. Vegan because of all the pitfalls, and kosher because I don’t have a kosher kitchen.

            But if I had a kosher kitchen it would be no problem to live a kosher life. Even in my neighborhood, which is not particularly Jewish by Manhattan standards, a lot of the products are.

            There’s an intersection here because a product marked “pareve” means that it is not meat or dairy and meets rabbinical standards. But eggs can be pareve, so not vegan.

        • Honestly I’m in agreement with forager in chief.

          Do the best you can, and don’t intentionally sneak animal products into it. Do you even know what flavor of vegan boyfriend is? He might have no problem with honey. Or not care about the use of animal products in alcohol but just chooses to not eat meat or dairy.

          Also, I think you’re overthinking part of it, like my tomato paste is just tomatoes and salt for the ingredients. Why not just use vegetable stock instead of white wine.

          I dunno, the only unusual ingredient I keep in the pantry for vegan cooking is nutritional yeast. I don’t take meat meals and figure out how to make them non-meat, I just start with things that are already meatless, etc.


  3. I love October and Halloween. We used to always do a couple’s SciFi costume (super amateur nothing like the stuff you see at Comic Con). Then we had kids… When my first born was 9m old, I made us all Avatar the Last Airbender costumes. I was Korra, my husband was Ang, and our kid was Appa. That was three years ago. I haven’t had time to make anything since then. But I have high hopes that inspiration will strike soon! Especially since I will have to make four costumes from now on.

  4. I go apple picking every year with my cousins and their kids. Every year, no matter what day we pick it is the hottest day of the fall. This year, for once, it was NOT 95 degrees.

    The first year I went nuts and got WAYYY too many apples. Now I know to show restraint.

    I just put the last of my apples in overnight oats.

  5. finding music?

    oh wait…i do that every month…

    anyways…wet leg have a new song out…and i like it…so i guess they are a keeper

    also this glorious bit of eurobeat just came out

    i love it!

    anyways…..i need to go buy a couple pumpkins for carving

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