Only 83 more days until Christmas but only 28 more days to revel in the autumn joy that is October. So let's get on with it, shall we? I've got 10 ideas for making the most of October in fun or frugal or inventive or some times silly ways. The world is our oyster pumpkin!
Fried Green Tomatoes! Watch the movie Fried Green Tomatoes , then cook some! Answer the question, Why do we eat green tomatoes in the fall and not in the summer? (Hint: the answer has something to do with the seasons. Not sure? The secret answer is at the bottom of this post.)
Cook Something Outdoors Okay, on a grill if need be but maybe a grill at a nearby park, or a state park. The point is, get out of the living room, get out of the house, get out of the neighborhood, get out of the city, GET OUT. Build a little fire, lighter fluid is allowed but if you have a magnifying glass on a sunny day, it does wonders. (We pack one in our outdoor cooking toolbox, for all the times we forget to bring along matches.) S'mores? That counts!
Via Who's heard about the new single-serving coffees from Starbucks? It's a buck a pop so 1000 times more expensive than home-brewed but 1/3 the cost of a latte. It's worth one expresso shot, just to see.
Celebrate Canadian Thanksgiving Does your sister-in-law insist on Thanksgiving at her house every year? That means SHE gets all the leftovers and we all know that the leftovers are the best part of Thanksgiving. Instead, celebrate Canadian Thanksgiving on Monday, October 12 -- but wait, don't hesitate to push it back a day or two to the weekend, many Canadians do too.
Michael Pollan for Kids Begin a conversation inside your own family about the pressing food issues of today. You might even pick up a copy of Michael Pollan's new book, The Omnivore's Dilemma for Kids: Secrets Behind What You Eat . Then visit the grocery store to survey the perimeter for 'whole foods' like fruits and vegetables, meats and dairy. Then check out the inside aisles to show how many foods are processed. Try to find whole foods in the inside aisles, like bins of oatmeal, frozen vegetables. How do we tell the difference between a 'whole food' and a processed food product?
Fruits & Vegetables are COOL Yes, they are! But in the U.S., beginning a year ago now, fruits and vegetables and some other foods are subject to COOL (Country of Origin Labels) legislation. So while you're at the grocery with the kids, or even on your own, check the produce aisle. Strawberries are long out of season in the U.S., where do the ones at the grocery store come from? What about the winter squash?
Pumpkin Seeds What to do with the seeds from your Halloween pumpkin? Make toasted pumpkin seeds, of course! I love the three ways to toast pumpkin seeds  from Heidi Swanson at 101 Cookbooks.
It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown Oh I used to love this movie! Maybe you'll need a little treat to nibble on while watching? Maybe Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies , say, or Pumpkin Ice Cream .
But It's Still Apple Season, Too Have you ever made a homemade apple pie? Practice up now, before Thanksgiving and then you'll be a superstar. I also love the idea of these Apple Chips .
Pick a Cupboard, Any Cupboard Okay this one is less than fun but you'll just FEEL so much better. Empty a cupboard, clean it, then put back ONLY what you've used in the last year. Haven't used it? Good Will, the basement or hold a cupboard swap with a few neighbors.
And you, what's your favorite fun and healthy food activity this month? Leave an idea, a recipe or a link to a recipe in the comments!