Fall Finally Arrived… And All Was Well

by the other theo

Halloween 2014 and the weekend that followed went pretty well.

We had to be a little sneaky to do it, but the Peanut dressed in costume and went trick-or-treating on Friday night.   It rained during the day, and the weather still looked threatening as the evening began.   So, the Missus and I told the Peanut that we were going out for a walk after dinner, but that he needed to wear his “rain gear” (which happened to look like a firefighter costume) since it might rain.  He protested a bit at first, but the Peanut loves to ring doorbells; he rings ours every time he comes home from somewhere.  Once he saw that our “walk” involved going to houses,  ringing doorbells, and getting bright colored little objects from people (the Peanut doesn’t eat his candy, he sorts it by color), he forgot about his “rain gear” and had a good time.   The Missus, the Peanut, and I made it up to the end of our block and back.  After that, the Missus’ sorority sister Auntie M. showed up, the Peanut was placed in a red Radio Flyer wagon, and the Missus and Auntie M. headed out to cover the next street over.  I handed out candy from the porch to the few kids that came by, fortified against the chill with some Bruichladdich Port Charlotte.  I’ll need to think of a costume if I repeat that next year, Joy Howie.

Saturday was another cool, damp day.   We spent a good chunk of the day at 4th birthday party for one of the Peanut’s friends from playgroup.  It was at a nearby pumpkin farm/plant nursery where there was a petting zoo, hay rides, train rides, and a bounce house.   The Peanut loved the first three, but the last one not so much.  In the petting zoo, he mostly pointed at the various animals and we all marveled at the basso “baaah” sounds from the sheep.  We took multiple train and hay rides.  The ground was soft, and roof over the party area leaked a bit, but a good time was had by all.

The house felt quite cool on Sunday morning, suggesting that it was time to finally turn on the heat.  Our house has a gas floor furnace, original to the house when it was built in 1953.   It gets pretty dusty during the summer, and the smell of cooking dust and debris is never pleasant.  So, I got to spend an hour our two with a vacuum cleaner and microfiber dusting wand trying to get as much detritus out of the heater as possible.    That was a worthwhile, if somewhat unpleasant pursuit.

Since it was a positively beautiful Autumn day, something warm and hearty seemed to be required for dinner.   I decided to try a new recipe for Ancho-Orange Carnitas.  The recipe took about 30 minutes longer to cook because it took longer than suggested for the pork to reach pull apart consistency.  Consulting a number of other cookbooks, including Diana Kennedy’s Essential Cuisines Of Mexico, it seems that this was the fault of the recipe — others say about hour where this recipe said 40 minutes.   In any case, it looked fine when it got done and was a little bit of heaven on a warm corn tortilla with a little Cotija cheese:


The coming of Fall leaves me with a bit of a dilemma… well, not a dilemma as much as potentially large amount of basil pesto.   I got some organic basil plants in late August/early September on clearance at Whole Paychecks for $5.  After replanting them in a larger pot, they have taken off admirably during the warm September and October:


Now I will have to figure out what to do with all this bounty.   It’s either pesto, some thai stir fry, or both, I think.

But in the end, Fall finally arrived and all was well.