MUM’S the WORD: October 2008

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October is my favorite month of the year, because I love to witness the brilliant “flaming foliage” of the deciduous trees. This year, however, in my walks around the neighborhood and at the gardens I visited, I noticed the mums and dahlias and other bright colors of the ground plants, as well as the trees reaching the sky. The mums actually preceed the changing leaves, so I thought I would give them center stage on the Home Page this October.

September was a busy month because we went out West to see our children. I also managed to see a beautiful garden at the Getty Museum and visit the aquarium at Monterey, CA. Some photos of those high spots are included. But the most spectacular event was the hot air balloon race in Reno. My daughter-in-law Samantha and my son Ira asked us to pick them up at 4:30 a.m. to see the first balloons go up and we stayed until 8 a.m.when all the balloons were launched. What a a sight! See photo below of the Dawn Patrol balloon. (The lift off of lots of balloons will be on one of the other pages.)

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On the food front, I fooled around with some early fall vegan recipes, such as hearty soups and side dishes, so check out Kitchen Nutrition with Recipes for some fall taste sensations. I chose vegan recipes, because October 1st was World Vegetarian Day and since my recipes are already vegetarian, I took them one step further and eliminated dairy and eggs to make them vegan. (I actually spotted a vegan article in the Philadelphia Inquirer during the summer, so veganism might be catching on!) I also interviewed two vegans who run the Vegetarian Resource Group in Baltimore, so click on Profiles to read about this helpful organization.

Along the same lines, I wrote an essay about this topic called “Vegan for a Day” in This ‘n That. In the Review section I feature two books: One is a vegan cookbook from the Vegetarian Resource Groups and one is about the possible dangers of soy.

Feel free to browse through all the categories as you have time, because my goal is to have “something for everyone.” Since I was away and Jewish holidays came up right after vacation, this posting is a little later than I had hoped, so I will probably combine November and December for a holiday issue. If anyone has some interesting recipes to share that are your creations, I would be glad to consider tham for the recipe section.

Have a wonderful fall. Enjoy the mums while they last, and as they fade, look up and see the flaming foliage of the trees. It’s a wonderful time of year. Enjoy it! The picture below is actually mumms near the driveway to our building and surrounding the main entrance. I see these lovelies every day and marvel at the brilliant colors. Don’t you? Below it is a poem I wrote for the beauty of these fall flowers, followed by a photo of a leaf I found on the ground that shows most of the changing colors.

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Mum’s the Word

The leaves may be turning later this year,
But the mum’s are still blooming, never fear.
Mum’s in vibrant colors—yellow, purple, white, & rust;
They capture the fall before the leafing, I trust

In Mother’s Nature colorful hues;
Never disappoints and always pays her dues:

The brisk fall air,
The low slung sky,
The brilliant colors—invigorating!
I don’t know why.

Mum’s the word, followed by the turning leaves
A glorious palate, Fall clearly achieves!

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(Note: Last month I previewed a cauliflower soup and later realized I posted a similar recipe in the January 2007 recipes in Kitchen Nutrition. So use the Recipe Index in the right hand margin to find that soup. In its place for October I feature Halloween Soup. Sorry for the mix-up.)

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