It is pronounced SOW-in. I decided to look it up and find out about it. Why are there so many ways to celebrate Halloween HERE, in the bible belt, when in Florida, we couldn't even mention it in public schools? Fear in Florida  and an overwhelmingly Gaelic rooted people in the mountains.

"Samhain is known by most folks as Halloween, but for Wiccans and Pagans it's considered a Sabbat to honor the ancestors who came before us." Quote from a Pagan and Wiccan website.

Samhain was a festival that closed the harvest season and acknowledged the beginning of the dark half of the year--winter. As you might guess, a festival involves food, bonfires and games and fun. Because it is a pre-Christian holiday, you can imagine what the Catholic Church did when they toured the British Isles. 

The pope probably figured the peasants had worked long and hard and needed to have a party, but the next day would be All-Saints Day with All-Souls day right after that. Since the people acknowledged the nearness of ancestors on All Hallows' Eve and even had rituals of ushering the souls out on the eve of November 1, what a great way to get them all to church the day after the harvest celebrations. 

The converters were among the best of the harvesters.

So how did Trick-or-Treat happen?
from the Better Homes and Gardens website
"As it was believed that faeries, witches, and demons roamed the earth on Samhain, food and drink were customarily set out to placate them. Later on, people began dressing up as these creatures and claiming the goodies for themselves, sometimes performing antics or tricks in exchange for food and drink." This is one of 10 facts about Samhain in a Huffington Post article.

My fondest memories are Octobers in my early school days, some of which I spent in communities with a lot of people of Scottish, Irish, Welsh, and English descent.

Dr. Samuel Johnson works on his dictionary which will ultimately define oatmeal as "a grain which in England is generally given to horses but in Scotland, supports the people."
I wonder about the idea of a GENETIC memory. I wonder if we gravitate toward those ideas, habits, likes and dislikes of the peoples before us? 

Whatever the case, I identify with my Scottish, Irish, Welsh, English roots especially in 


 Dr. Samuel Johnson works on his dictionary which will ultimately define oatmeal as "a grain which in England is generally given to horses but in Scotland, supports the people."

Now I have a craving for oatmeal. 



NUTS and BERRIES! I committed Squirrel-i-cide the other day. I feel AWFUL about it. This month has had a noticeably higher number of squirrel road-kill up here. 

My theory is there are a larger number of squirrels. Last winter was VERY mild and squirrels who might not have survived an ordinary winter made it through to a lush and green spring. 

They were bigger than usual, and I believe there were more of them, at least in OUR yard and neighborhood. Therefore, more road kill this fall as the larger number go after the remaining acorns and such.
Google doesn't know where Pinterest got this photo

My dream is to have a garden full of pumpkins and other gourds. But someone else has to prep the ground. And plant it. And water it. And keep the weeds down. And keep the deer repellent applied. 

I would photograph it.


Tea Time Tuesday
Nice one, yes? I heart pumpkin everything.

Alas, no longer available. Probably the tea strainer let through too many tea leaves but it is a cutie!


Monday Mantra
(and other words to think about)

Not my usual brand of inspirational Monday chit chat. But it does suggest that perspective is in order. For instance, if you suspect this is true, you are probably not depressed, just angry.


Whew, I am tired. QuiltFest is over, and I need to clean up the studio. I will be doing it 15 minutes at a time so you may be able to catch me on FaceBook. It is going to take a LOT of 15 minutes despite the fact that I started on this latest effort on Wednesday.

Winter Squashes from my Kaleidoscope Kreator Program. I had WAAAAAY too much fun making these.


QuiltFest 2013!
Misty Mountain Quilt Guild has a quilt show every other year. I entered four and also put one in the guild challenge, Fall. THAT entry is the only one with a WINTER SQUASH.

My Favorite Season Wall Quilt

You have seen it before because I made it two years ago for a silent auction in a particularly low economic dip. There must have been over one hundred items in the silent auction that year and I am glad this one did not sell because I love how it came out. The others have gone on to new homes somewhere. Probably at the local thrift stores!

I won a third place and an honorable mention but I am not sure which ones won what yet. Here are my submissions. I will go back and label them when I can. It is a very busy weekend setting up the Boutique for the show and then working the show all day Saturday.

You have seen them all before but this one doesn't look like this anymore, though. My Applique group convinced me it needed more quilting. I do not like how it turned out but I still like the quilt itself.

Took this one right off the wall. It is tiny, 9 X 9

Appliqued hexies on my favorite brown background. I need to rephotograph it because the lovely border treatment does not show.

This one HAD to be made. It talked to me as soon as I saw the fabric.


Fresh Gathering, go HERE
Pattypan Squashes (Cucurbita pepo) are considered a SUMMER squash! I never knew that. I have only ever seen them in the fall displays in Florida grocery stores.

I will have to watch for them in the late spring and early summer up here, now that I live "up north" in the Deep South.

So, before you get all excited because I promised a WINTER Squash-a-day, chew on this:
Chewbacca Carved Pumpkin
Cake and Commerce website found HERE
Back to the Pattypans.
I have only seen the white variety, and I have only eaten it steamed and lightly seasoned. There are hundreds of recipes that use it as a cute little container and many stuff it in ways that could only be described as ITALIAN.
Long Island Seed

I had no idea they came in any other color, let alone parti-color like those to above. THIS is a website you should visit if you are at all interested in growing things. They have developed a Green Asteroid version that is fun to see. Long Island Seed Project  is devoted to the organic gardener, small farmer, seed saver and "backyard breeder". 


Good night, Mrs. Calabash!"
Did you know the spaghetti squash is also called a CALABASH? When I found that little squashy fact, I immediately thought of Jimmy Durante.

About Durante's characteristic sign off, Wikipedia says, "Durante finally revealed that it was indeed a tribute to his wife. While driving across the country, they stopped in a small town called Calabash, whose name she had loved. "Mrs. Calabash" became his pet name for her, and he signed off his radio program with "Good night, Mrs. Calabash." He added "wherever you are" after the first year."

Doesn't that look delicious? It is from A Better Life With Burgers. If you go there, you will find a recipe for EGGPLANT AND SPAGHETTI SQUASH LASAGNA. Now, THAT is pasta even I could love.


Member of the NIGHTSHADE family
Yes, not a  Cucurbita but a Solanum. The eggplant we are familiar with in the US is the melongena species. It does not have a hard shell like the Cucurbita, but the color and flavor seem like they would go well together.


Cucurbita maxima
"Kabocha is commonly called Japanese pumpkin, especially in Australia and New Zealand. It is also called kabocha squash in North America. In Japan, the word kabocha may refer to either this squash or to the Western-style pumpkin." WIKIPEDIA

SO this was the staple of my weekend cooking.

I skinned and cut the squash into cubes, roasted it with onion and layered it into some Maria Callender pie shells with sauteed spinach and sage,

and from a separate saute pan, fried tomato slices with minced garlic. Then, I put a cup of shredded Swiss cheese, and the quiche basic of 3 cups of cream, 6 eggs, and because it was squash, a teaspoon of nutmeg. It made two NOT deep-dish quiches. The one in the picture I froze for the next weekend. I purposely cooked it 5 minutes less so when I reheat it next week, I can allow it to get a golden finish. It was pretty good, and EVERYone had some--BOTH days.

Sorry this entry is late in appearing. Sleep has been unusual lately. I just woke up from a 12 hour rest after weeks of only 4 hours at a time.


Tea Time Tuesday





I hope I am in town, buying some delicata squash.
Gratuitous Winter Squash Picture
This was a picture of delicata on the vine that I played with on my Kaleidoscope Kreator 3. 

 This would make an interesting quilt block.


Found HERE

Bears and scarves are especially fallish, don't you think? This picture helps my October Winter Squash theme, also. 

Gregory Patrick Bear. Has no name yet. Suggestions?
If you like bears and scarves, you should visit my friend Gregory Patrick, also known as Mad Man Knitting. He is a writer who knits bears to help sustain his lifestyle. 
You can buy one of his bears (I did) 
or one of his knitting patterns (I did) Any requests for knitted bears? I know a guy...


I wish I could claim that as my own photo but it is not. It came from a new (to me) website called How To Food. That link takes you to the bio of Bob, published Vermont Gourmet. 

This is the recipe I would like to make this weekend.
Roasted Delicata Squash Rings With Sweet Chili Garlic Dipping Sauce from  HowToFood. That link will take you to the recipe.

The first time I had Delicata squash, My MidFloridaSister-in-Law made it for us. I was in love at first bite. It was her Delicata recipe I used with the Dumpling Squash--at least I started with that one.

I plan to go into to town Saturday, so who knows. I may find myself at the grocery, delicata, chili sauce and garlic in my cart... I think I could make some pumpkin swirl ice cream, too, if I had a little encouragement.


The plan was a winter squash picture a day, and I missed yesterday, so here are two for today.Those in the foreground are spaghetti squashes atop butternut with  probably buttercup in the background. That is what everyone else ate at my house while I had something like what you see in the next picture.
My mixture was NOT quinoa but the look is similar. Probably quinoa would have been great. I have at least two and a half sisters-in-law who would enjoy it, and maybe one son. Probably a couple of nieces, too.


No pictures today. We (HAH) ate dumpling squash with a mixture of ground beef, ground Italian sausage and seared onion and garlic. I dumped in a little chicken stock, also. I cut three squashes in half, filled three , topped them with parmesan cheese, mozzarella and broiled them so the cheese was crispy and browned lightly.  Everyone else ate leftovers while I ate my little dumplings over the course of three days. No one else even gave them a try. Oh, well. So much for THAT experiment. 

They DID eat my failed pumpkin cheesecake, though. I had too much liquid, and the thing was more like pumpkin pudding on a graham cracker base. I think I can fix that. I hope they don't mind if I try.

I still haven't had pumpkin chicken curry soup this month, so that just maybe on the menu for the weekend.


Tea Time Tuesday
Wonderful, aren't they? The SELLER says they are silicone. I cannot tell if it is a package of three or if you just buy it and receive a random color. Nevermind, they are now part of my virtual collection.


Monday Mantra
Coming down to the wire with the Boutique items for Quilt Fest. I hope to show pictures, soon, of what I have been making. Lots of pincushions, a couple of dolls, and some ornaments.


photo by Kelly Senyei
From yesterday. Are you ready?  

If you went to the Epicurious website from yesterday's link, you know EACH SQUASH has a couple of links for some recipes. They sounded good to me. Wednesday, I will tell you what squashy goodness came from my kitchen Saturday and Sunday--my days as chef.
Probably most people knew 2 (butternut squash), 7 (spaghetti squash), and 12 (acorn squash) I guessed the sugar pumpkin as pie pumpkin--number 5.  I knew 6 (sweet dumpling) and 9 (delicata). With the rest, I was a little confused.

1. Kabocha squash. Kabocha is the Japanese name for squash. I do not think I have tried one.
2. Butternut Squash
3. Red Kabocha
4. Carnival Squash. A hybrid, I think, of Acorn and Dumpling
5. Sugar Pumpkin or Pie Pumpkin
6. Sweet Dumpling
7. Spaghetti Squash
8. Blue Hubbard Squash
9. Delicata--also called sweet potato squash
10. Red Kuri Squash-- also called Red Hubbard or Orange Hokkaido. It is said to taste like chestnut.
11. Buttercup Squash which maybe seen with a "turban" ridge. If the picture had shown one of THOSE, I would have recognized it immediately.
12. Acorn Squash


Do you know your Winter Squash? Try this little quiz. Answers tomorrow. Don't cheat and do image search.
photo by Kelly Senyei

If you MUST know the answers because you JUST CAN NOT WAIT in squashy ignorance one more second, you could go HERE.


Winter Squash of the Day for October
I am in "jail" . My MAIN sewing machine, which you know has been giving me fits for almost 16 months (It has visited the doctor three times) is now is giving up the ghost. 

It kept having some sort of power problem. It was either the circuit board or the power supply. It had a power supply transplant that did not a lot. Then I figured out it was probably just the wiring at the plug. It worked fine for a few months than started giving me trouble this week. I finally had it working fairly smoothly and then the pedal refused to affect the action of the machine in any way whatsoever. I have that "work horse" machine on standby, so I tried THAT pedal. No go, and I mean that LITERALLY. 

So today, I am off to look at sewing machines. I will most likely NOT go Bernina for my third machine. I would really, really, really like a Singer Featherweight, but it is trial and error to get a good one, and not everyone is trustworthy on eBay. I will most likely go with BabyLock or Janome since there is a dealer not too far from here. I have a list of what I want to see in a machine  before I plunk down my money. Our money. Household money. 

Sometimes the order of importance changes.
1. Wider harp. My current machine opening is 7 inches
2. Automatic needle down option--very important for machine quilting, dollmaking, curves, turns, pivots
3. Easy to be accurate quarter inch. Either great quarter inch foot, guides, what have you. Actually, this is easy to achieve with addtional stick-on accessories.
4. Perfectly lovely open toe foot. This is important to anyone trying to follow a line drawn on the fabric--dollmaking and quilting.
Bonus: best buttonhole maker. This is not a deal breaker since I never mastered machine button holes, I have managed to avoid them. I WOULD like to make some shirts, though. A buttonhole maker would go a long way to making me happy.


The Teacher Dream. 
I haven't had one in over a year. Mine are fairly typical. I am shouting as loud as I can but no sound is coming out and I am invisible to my charges. Usually this takes place in my most recent classroom. Then someone with a clipboard comes in and the fright is so great I make myself wake up.  

This one was different.

I had about 20 students, not the crème de la crème to which I had grown accustomed. Oh, no. I went into a strange new classroom with a station-like suite of adjoining rooms, knowing my charges were challenged in some way. I think it was difficult to coax them to read aloud, and they did not have the knack or interest. 

As soon as I spent attention on one of them, the rest of my group took off cheerfully and went to another station,  joining a group already at work with an aid. I had FOUR FULL TIME TEACHING ASSISTANTS! Two men and two women. 
My assistants had no hints for me for dealing with the challenges these children brought to the learning experience. 

I got the feeling my aids thought I was not getting the complete picture. I kept losing my group. My kids could be found in the courtyard, laughing and enjoying each other and just being alive. 

I had no feasible lesson plan--at least three of the things I tried had not worked. The whole quad erupted in laughter and fun. Why was I trying to educate these beasts? They already knew more than I did. They knew how to be happy and love one another. 

I got it. 

I understood. 

So I gave myself permission to wake up.

That night was the first time I had a teacher dream that did not end with me struggling to wake up and lower my blood pressure.

In keeping with my Winter Squash a Day in October theme, here are images I remember from a REAL classroom. These are circa 1940, and you can buy your own right HERE. Before you think you can figure out how old you think I am, when I retired I had posters from 30+ years before. So these delightful 1940s images which I remember from first grade in New Jersey may have been a cherished part of a seasoned teacher's collection.


Remember last week when I said Saturday was my turn to cook? And I had picked out a chicken, butternut squash, and leek dish? Well, I went into THE CITY that day. All by myself I found what I was looking for, did not get lost, and lived to tell about it. I did NOT, however, come home, fasten on my apron, and begin slaving in front of the stove. I came home with warm-it-up-in-the-oven baby back ribs and warm-it-up-in-the-oven macaroni and cheese. 
My own photo of my own dish, not stolen from SlimmingEats.com

The family seemed just as happy with that as they did the next night when I DID make the Winter Squash Dish of the Week for October.

I know, it looks a mess but I LOVED it. It danced with my metabolism. I do not eat much in the way of carbs, and after two days of sweet bbq ribs and two days of winter squash, I suffered with body temp fluctuations. Back to the straight and narrow for me. This week I am deciding between a stuffed sweet dumpling squash dish or a butternut and spinach quiche. I am also developing a no-bake pumpkin cheesecake recipe. Think I have one all figured out. My metabolism will probably be dancing all month.


Tea Time Tuesday
Sold out but look HERE, it was only $10.99
I should be drinking a nice cup of tea while I write this post, but that is not to be. The air conditioning is back on, and Southern Ladies are prone to glow if they venture outside in weather like this.
Instead, I will have a little iced tea and show you these lovely tea towels. Too pretty to use, they are >$40 if you shop HERE. I am afraid I would not be able to convince myself to use them at that price. Glad they are now part of my virtual collection.


Monday Mantra

Once in a while TRY SOMETHING NEW.
Gratuitous Pumpkin Picture. Click HERE.