Column: October has a serious side
September is known for falling leaves and a touch of cool in the wind. However, come October -- now these are serious days just up ahead. There are two very important "signs" of October. One is the simple, but "can't live without" broom that we a...
September is known for falling leaves and a touch of cool in the wind. However, come October -- now these are serious days just up ahead.
There are two very important "signs" of October. One is the simple, but "can't live without" broom that we all have at least one of, some of us several. Then comes that orange globe commonly called a pumpkin.
Let's take the first one -- the broom. This all-purpose tool of the trade of housework can work either indoors or out. We use it to clear porches, walkways and the neighborhood cats from our doorstep. Sweeping side-ways is the best way, and you can clean the bristles by just running your broom over a stiff edge or stair.
The best way to store a broom is to hang it up. This way, the bristles stay ready for next time. If you decide to use your broom on little get-aways during Halloween, by all means keep it in good repair, or have several in designer colors, like I do, so you are ready for anything, anywhere.
Now to pumpkins. You can carve them, paint them and even learn to toss them, which is an up and coming sport in some areas. They can line the stairway to your front door or cover the tops of any retaining walls. They serve as candle-holders, condiment containers as well as an ice bucket. You need an extra-large one for this. Cut off the top one-third, scoop out the insides and place a plastic or clear bowl inside. Fill with ice and then your canned or bottled beverages. A nice touch indeed for any party plans you might have.
Pumpkins can last 2-3 months if stored in a cool, dry place. From 50-55 degrees is best. Cooking with them is a taste in a class all by itself. Pieces can be roasted, baked, made into pies, tarts, puddings and served with pot roast, pork slices, etc. If you are party-planning, then pumpkins make great table accents that you can use for fall flowers, spiders emerging for that "scary" effect, or even as a substitute cauldron, filled with dry ice. Use pieces of cheesecloth cut into 16-inch squares doubled-over for napkins.
October starts a holiday season that everyone should greet with open arms. A healthy wallet would help too, but there are ways around spending your life's savings. Just be mindful that your government will want their money, say for property taxes, just after the Holidays -- oh, Christmas Grinches that they are. They do have their little ways, don't they?
Something to think about.
Arleen M. Kaptur can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org for comments.