On the very first day of Gothtober 2019, we open with crisp leaves, a colorful and glorious autumnal display by Mother Nature’s finest. And we’re also given a few words of wisdom from Alis Jurua Nonpareil. It’s set to a very boppy and jauntyPercy Faith number from back in the 50s.
It’s 10 Ideals for Autumn, suitable for focusing on letting go of old conventions, and preparing to alight anew. It is a time for rumination, reflection, brain time, after all. Here, Alis Jurua Nonpareil does not hold back, but offers 10 conversation starters for your mind.
“Delicious autumn! My very soul is wedded to it, and if I were a bird I would fly about the earth seeking the successive autumns.” George Eliot
Somewhere in the southern hemisphere it’s Spring, but in the northern hemisphere, even though temperatures climb, we’re excited about even a hint of cool wind which would warrant eating something even remotely pumpkin-spice-oriented.
The daylight and the darkness have had their cup of tea, sitting just so on their tuffets, eyeballing each other’s portion of time allotted. Their exact point of equality won’t be here until September 25th, but still, the light bends, and on September 22nd we call it: It’s Fall!
Gothtober is always very excited about this autumnal arrival, the days officially begin to get shorter, we start madly gathering apples for all those pies we’re gonna make in our “spare time.” The Santa Ana Winds are tousling heads of hair all over the San Gabriel Valley, flinging up twigs and cactus spines and whatever other fun things it can throw in the air like “Wheeeee!” it goes. It’s that time of year where your allergies start to chill out, or they go into code red and you can’t go anywhere without tissues.
Tinkering late into the night, or during the mornings, or who even knows when, are all the Gothtober contributors, planning and checking their projects, preparing pieces of the calendar for you to see. As the watermelon moves over and the pumpkin waltzes in, anticipation builds for crisp apple cider, candy corn in bulk, and 31 days of Countdown Calendar joy.
When getting one’s hair did at Folklore Salon, it’s impossible not to check out the wonderful potions and products purveyor, master hair artist and salon owner, Pony-Lee decides to display as a gentle recommendation for how you might add quality to your life. The shelves change seasonably, with the whim of Pony-Lee, and therefore, it must be inspected often, because you just might just miss something!
The Autumnal Equinox shall occur on September 26th, and over the summer, (if you were having summer fun) your skin has also taken a bit of a beating from our closest star, the sunscreen that protects us from the closest star, insect repellent, sand, wind and other stuff that can leave your skin feeling drab and dullsville.
Autumn is time for MOISTURIZER because the air is going to continue to get more dry dry dry! Thus, just in time for Gothtober and all the spiders, newt claws and deep-fried kitten hearts of the season is Bare Bones Moisturizer made by “a Girl in Her Kitchen” and there’s nothing in this stuff that is artificial or funky. The inventor was getting bummed out from skin allergies, and decided to make her own line of products that are vegan, 100% animal cruelty free and super-duper great for your epidermis! I spied this stuff on the shelves because of the skull and crossbones (always on alert for anything even remotely Halloweenish) on the jars. Nice gift for someone who loves spooky skincare, or nice gift for you, because your skull will thank you.
So if you want to do something really nice for your head, walk, bike or drive it over to Folklore and arrange an appointment! Pony-Lee, Sparrow Fox and Maddin will coif your noggin into a great-feeling, great-looking do, and you’ll walk through the streets proud and sassy. I’m speaking from experience, by the way…
We’re on a food bandwagon for the moment, finding ways to bide our time until Gothtober launches, and since we’ve been covering autumnal or scary foods, I thought I’d focus on a “scary” one that surprisingly, offers some history. It all started when my friend, Shannon Gallagher, handed me Church Suppers from Publications International, Ltd. saying “Oh, I’ve been meaning to give this to you.”
This collection of edible Americana is a dedicated treasury of time-honored baked, boiled, whirled, tossed, stirred and chilled masterpieces that have graced the counters and tables of religious organizations across the nation. But of all the casseroles, gelatins, puffs, spreads and crunches, the one that really conveys a pious yet humble and down-home type of American determination might be “Seafoam Salad.”
Seafoam salad is mint green, but tastes nothing like mint.
Seafoam salad is full of surprises.
The very illustrious and strange Seafoam salad was popularized by the lunch counter at Woolworth stores (officially open for business in 1878) and exists within the pantheon of the all-time great dessert salads. Unlike Waldorf salad (first created between 1893 and 1896 at the Waldorf Hotel in New York City) Seafoam salad’s dominating flavor leans toward sweet, not savory. Over the years, depending upon the region you were raised in, a Seafoam salad might contain pears or pineapples, maraschino cherries, mayonnaise or other unknown variations with the purpose of providing a “high performance” eating experience for luncheons, schools and congregations of sorts.
Seafoam salad is green and creamy or lumpy, which seems sort of like a perfect Halloween dish to me, which is why I’ll share this current version from PIL’s Church Suppers so that you have the most up-to-date version on hand.
2 cans (8 oz. each) Crushed pineapple in juice
1 package (4 serving size) lime gelatin
1 cup boiling water
1/2 cup cold water
1 package (8 oz.) cream cheese
3/4 cup coarsely chopped pecans
2/3 cup celery slices
1 1/2 cups thawed whipped topping
1.) Drain pineapple in sieve. Squeeze pineapple to remove most of the juice. Reserve 3 tablespoons of juice
2.) Place gelatin in medium bowl; stir in boiling water until gelatin is desolved. Stir in cold water and reserved 3 tablespoons pineapple juice.
3.) Beat cream cheese in large bowl with electric mixer until smooth. Beat in 1/4 cup gelatin mixture until blended. Slowly beat in remaining gelatin mixture. Chill until thick, about 1 hour.
4.) Stir in pineapple, pecans and celery. Fold in whipped topping. Pour into clear glass serving dish. Chill about 2 hours or until set.
Makes 8 to 10 servings, WOOOOO!