Musing with Max

Musing with Max

October 1, 2012


October is my favorite month. I'm biased, I was born in it. I was really thrilled when I got old enough to bypass the birthday party present part of it and see the beauty of it. All those incredible colors of the changing leaves never cease to amaze me because regardless of how many times you have looked at the same exact tree and watched it go from green to yellow/orange/red/brown, it is never ever ever the same shade and it always glows in a different way. That is just beginning right now and hopefully it won't come and go in the blink of an eye as it has at times. This weekend we spent it cleaning out the fading garden; pulling out dry and spindly tomato plants yet leaving a couple that are still holding on with fat green fruit. The peppers are going real strong right now

these poblanos which didn't show fruit all year are suddenly full. Hopefully they'll mature enough to reach full size before the nights get to cold.

The Portugal peppers are also making a second showing, the first wasn't much but now they are teeming. This is the first time I plant them and I'm a little afraid of them; I mistakenly thought they were piri-piri and then found out they are super duper hot. We'll see.

I already have jars full of jalapenos and bags of frozen ones but they just keep going and going. Some people will get presents!

Most of the flowers are gone or fading, there's an occasional zinnia

here and there but the morning glories are making up for it

and since the days are cool they stay open way beyond the morning.

Day glories maybe?

We harvested all that was left of the basil and made pesto
which made the kitchen smell yummy

and made us a little dizzy.

And what's the best thing about this time of year? Stewy stuff!

Chili Verde, adapted from I Made That

2 lb tomatillos
6 garlic cloves, not peeled
3 Anaheim or Poblano chiles
3 Jalapeños, seeds removed, chopped
1 bunch cilantro leaves, chopped
4½ lb pork shoulder, trimmed of excess fat and cut into 1 to 2-inch cubes
Olive oil
2 small yellow onions
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 TBSP dried oregano
3 cups chicken stock

- Remove papery husks from tomatillos and rinse well. Cut in half and place cut side down, along with 6 garlic cloves, on a baking sheet. Place under a broiler for about 5-7 minutes to lightly blacken the skin. Remove from oven and set aside to cool.

- Roast the Anaheim chiles over a gas flame or under the broiler until blackened all around. Let cool and remove the skin, seeds, and stem. Roughly chop.
- Place tomatillos, skins included, into a food processor. Remove the roasted garlic cloves from their skins and add them. Add chopped Jalapeño peppers, Anaheim chilies, and cilantro. Pulse until all ingredients are finely chopped and mixed.

- Season the pork cubes generously with salt and pepper. Heat olive oil in a large, heavy-bottomed dutch oven over medium high heat and brown the pork chunks well on all sides. Work in batches so that the pork is not crowded in the pan. Using tongs, lift the browned pork out and place in bowl. Set aside.
- Pour off excess fat, leaving 1 or 2 tablespoons. Place the onions in the same dutch oven and  season with salt. Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally until limp, about 5 minutes. Add the minced garlic and cook for another minute. Add the pork back to the pan. Add the oregano, the tomatillo puree, and the chicken stock. Bring to a boil and reduce to a slight simmer. Cook for 2½ – 3 hours uncovered, until the pork is tender.

- Adjust the seasoning to taste with salt. Serve with rice and warmed flour or corn tortillas.

Then take a nap, with the warm October sun streaming through

and dream of pumpkins and mums next weekend!


  1. October is filled with beauty and atmosphere, and it's reliable, unlike the spring months. You describe it beautifully!

    Your morning/afternoon glories are glorious! I think I say that about every flower, but there really is something special about them.

    Your peppers are wonderful, and I am going to show your recipe to my son, who is an accomplished cook and loves pork and peppers. He recently showed me how to make tortillas. I always thought it would be difficult but it's easy!

  2. Perhaps you can come down next weekend and help GG and I put our beds to sleep for the winter.

    What a glorious time for cooking, sleeping and just being.

    I never imagined I would grow to love the autumn more than the summer but it's a done deal.

    This is my time of year also.

    xo jane

  3. Hello Amelia:
    We do so agree with you that the month of October is such a wonderful time of the year. But that said, we rather think the same in all the other seasons!

    You have certainly been hard at work in the garden. In the years in which we gardened we always liked to put the garden to bed in the autumn with a general clear and tidy up so that it would be ready to enjoy the arrival of spring.

    Your pork dish looks and sounds delicious.

  4. OOOOhhhhh!!!! I love all those kind of peppers, you are a great, great farmer.

  5. I have often wondered about us October people, if it is solely because we were born in this month, and that is why it has such a hold on our hearts, (I haven't found many other people who are attached to their birth-month like October borns are....)or is it everything else that this month holds? I'm glad to see I'm not alone, or equally as (un)biased!!! :)
    Now, the bigger question...Libra or Scorpio?

    1. Well my unbiased opinion is that it is because it's the best month...period. Libra! and a textbook one at that.

  6. Hi, You have a little surprise in my blog

  7. Looks absolutely delicious Amelia, hope alls well and that you had or are just about to have a super birthday with some lovely treats instore. x