Happy Halloween! Goodbye October!

This week I went to Boston for work, which I take as an opportunity to eat different food than I can get in Brattleboro. I wanted Indian food or spicy Middle Eastern food, but what I found was just as good.

I got Wagamama Ramen at Wagamama in Harvard Square. It was delicious. Wagamama seems to be a British chain of Japanese style noodle bars, and I'm sure it is like the McDonald's of ramen to a purist or something like that. But to someone who doesn't know any better, I was delighted by the smokey porky briney taste of the dashi broth, and the mix of meats and seafoods. The Wagamama Ramen includes "chikuwa," which is a foodie first for me. According to Wikipedia chikuwa is a "tube-like food product" essentially made from fish paste and starches molded into a tube and then broiled and sliced. You can see it in rings on the right-hand side of my bowl there. I liked it.

I rented an apartment for my trip because it was actually cheaper than a hotel room. To make sure I would be happy in the morning, I stopped by Whole Foods after dinner and picked up some cold brew coffee.

The second evening I went with colleagues to dinner at Bostonia and had a scallop entree I can't stop thinking about. George's Bank scallops with ricotta gnudi and beech mushrooms, offset by crunchy snap peas and pea shoots, all in a silky creamy parmesan sauce. So good.

Back in Vermont, the end of October means end of the West Brattleboro Farmers Market for the season. On the last day little fires burn merrily around the market.

Giant apples in the Halloween sun

Spooky Halloween decoration, courtesy of fourth grade.

This year we carved our pumpkins using a carving kit that included templates. I was very impressed by how the pumpkin saws and scoop tools worked well even for younger carvers. Did you know that we no longer use real candles inside pumpkins, but rechargeable electric ones? Safe, though not quite the same warm glow.

Onward to November! My plans for this next month are mostly running related: to do my annual Pile on the Miles challenge (goal: 101 miles in November), help co-direct the local Thanksgiving Turkey Trot race, and run another 6-hour race on November 14. Damn the torpedoes, full speed ahead! (Attributed to Admiral Farragut, I know this phrase not because of my grasp of naval history but because of its memorable use by the Charles Coburn character in "The More the Merrier" (1943) co-starring Jean Arthur and Joel McCrea. Great movie.)

Days of Soup and Snowflakes

The weather has changed in Vermont. The days are noticeably shorter. It's also cooler—one day we had the windows open at night, the next we had them shut tight because it was suddenly CHILLY. We've started running the furnace again. I am craving hot soup and crusty bread with a lot of butter on it. It's really hard to get up at 5:30 am to go run... I fail on most days, and I'm forgiving myself for that.

The foliage this year has been pretty, but fast. Last weekend it hadn't quite started yet, this weekend it's almost over.

Leaf vista

Dead morning glories and tomatoes—apparently the killing frost came last night.

Ready for jack-o-lanterns

Leaf bags turned into impromptu "bird mountain" by kindergartener

Also, it snowed today. Just a few nuggets in a mini flurry. But... still.

How is your October going? Is it AUTUMNAL?