October can feel like the last days of summer and the first nights of winter.
Looking on the happy Autumn-fields, and thinking of the days that are no more.Alfred Lord Tennyson
Notable Dates in October
Mid September to November (TBC) – Matlock Bath Illuminations
6th October – New Moon
9th October – Golden Spurtle
10th October – World Conker Championships
20th October – Full Moon
October seasonal Foods
What is seasonal in October.
Greens and leaves: Broccoli, Brussels sprouts, Cabbage, Cavolo nero, Kohlrabi, Kale, Lamb’s lettuce, Lettuce, Pak choi, Radicchio, Salsify, Swiss chard.
Roots and other veg: Aubergine, Beetroot, Celery, Celeriac, Garlic, Globe artichoke, Jerusalem artichoke, Leek, Onion, Parsnip, Peas, Pepper, Pumpkin, Quince, Radish, Runner bean, Spring onion, Swede, Sweet potato, Tomato, Turnip.
Meat: Beef, Chicken, Duck, Grouse, Goose, Guinea fowl, Lamb, Pork, Venison.
Fruit: Blackberry, Chestnut, Cranberry, Elderberries, Pear, Plum,
Seafood: Crab, Mackerel, Mussels, Oyster.
Exotics: Banana, Date, Fig, Pomegranate.
Autumn gales and first frosts
For more inspiration see the Nature Blog
On the Farm
Continued sheep maintenance, dipping and clipping about the rear.
Calved weaned and cattle fed.
Potatoes and beets harvested. Last of wheat harvested if wet or late harvest.
Maize harvested for silage.
Ploughing and harrowing continues, setting of winter cereals.
Corn sales and transport – either to factors or stored locally.
Things to do in October
In the October garden
What to plant and sow
Out and about
Also see the Out and about Blogs
Days and nights draw even.
Recipe of the month.
I am not a fan of wasting good food, and this includes Pumpkins. However, if you insist on carving up a pumpkin, pie has to be the best way to use up flesh left over from carving Halloween pumpkins, however, you can also make it with butternut-squash flesh, or even an unmolested pumpkin.
I love it, it’s a lovely, tasty torte type treat.
For the pumpkin pie:
300g all-butter shop-bought shortcrust pastry (Or you can make it).
400g peeled, deseeded pumpkin or squash flesh
85g caster sugar
Finely grated zest of 2 lemons
Finely grated zest of 1 orange
3tbsp dry sherry
5 medium egg yolks
150ml double cream
Icing sugar, for dusting
For the syllabub:
Finely grated zest of 1 lemon, plus 2tbsp juice
100ml dry sherry
2tbsp caster sugar
285ml double cream
23cm quiche dish or tart tin with a removable base
Greaseproof paper and baking beans
Liquidiser or stick blender
Rolling Pin, if making pastry (no need for pre-made).
Heat the oven to 200°C/fan oven 180°C/mark 6.
Unfold pastry (or roll out if homemade) and line dish or tin. Patch up any holes with pastry offcuts and prick the base with a fork. Line with greaseproof paper and baking beans. Chill for 30 minutes.
Roughly chop the pumpkin or squash flesh and put into a saucepan with 200ml water. Bring to the boil, cover and then simmer for about 20 minutes for pumpkin or 40 minutes for squash. The flesh should be very soft and most of the water should have evaporated. Liquidise into a purée.
Place the pastry case in the oven and bake for 15 minutes, then remove the paper and beans and return to the oven for a further 5 minutes.
Mix the sugar, lemon and orange zest, sherry and cinnamon into the warm purée. Beat the egg yolks and cream together, add a small pinch of salt and stir into the pumpkin mixture. Pour into the pastry case and bake for 30 minutes or until just set.
For the syllabub, place the lemon zest in a large mixing bowl with the lemon juice, sherry, sugar and cream. Whisk until it forms soft, floppy peaks. Chill, covered, until needed.
Serve the tart at room temperature, dusted with icing sugar and accompanied by the syllabub.
For more inspiration see the Food Blogs
Activities, things to see and do in October
With shortening days there are fewer opportunities to get out and abou to see what is happening in nature and the countryside.
Thinking about getting out and about, then perhaps Buy OS Landranger maps direct from Ordnance Survey to discover new places or see the latest handheld GPS devices with bundled mapping from Ordnance Survey.