It’s Autumn!

I’m going to do things a little differently this month.  While I try to focus on a certain region on this planet, I seem to be lacking the time to do posts and create the delicacies lately.  So I’m going to make this easier upon myself (especially since the new hockey season has begun which means I’m much busier than the summer months).

This month, we’re going to be talking about all things autumn and October.  In other words, I’m going to be sharing with you some of the things I love about this time of year.


Matthew Lucifer's autumn pic.
Matthew Lucifer’s autumn pic.

While I was shopping around at the local farmer’s market for mini pumpkins to use to decorate at home, I came across some interesting looking squash varieties and decided to pick them up.  They were called carnival squash and sweet dumpling squash.  While the mini pumpkins can’t be eaten, the carnival and sweet dumpling squash can.

The farmer told me how his wife had made them for him.  He exclaimed that it turned out so good.  Just treat it like a baked potato in the microwave, add butter, salt and pepper.  It tastes a lot like sweet potatoes or butternut squash.

Since this recipe was so simple, I decided to cut them up in half and roast them.  The results…the aroma alone smelled so good I couldn’t wait to dive in.


1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

2. Meanwhile, cut carnival/sweet dumpling squash in half.

3. Remove the seeds and put to the side.

4. Place squash on baking sheet.  Drizzle with olive oil.  Add salt and pepper, sprinkle grated Romano or Parmesan cheese on top.

5. Bake for 20-30 minutes.  At the 20 minute mark, remove from oven.  Test to see if there are any hard spots left.  If so, return to the oven and bake for another 5-10 minutes until done.


If you like roasted pumpkin seeds this time of year, take the seeds you put aside from the squash (you don’t have to remove the guts from the seeds) and place them on a section of the same baking sheet as the squash. Drizzle olive oil over the seeds.  Add salt, pepper and the grated cheese.  You can remove the seeds from the tray at the 20 minute mark when you pull out the squash to test it.

The seeds taste amazing with the squash or with a salad.

Reading Material

During this time of year I like to pick up a gothic classic to read.  Last year, I read Frankenstein and The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde.  In previous years, it was Dracula, Rebecca, The Raven and The Picture of Dorian Gray.

This year, I’ll be reading Nathaniel Hawthorne’s The House of Seven Gables and the works of H.P. Lovecraft.  It’s important to read Hawthorne’s book first, because it is the book that inspired H.P. Lovecraft’s stories.

One of the reasons why I like to choose gothic classics this time of year is because I walk away with a better understanding of myself and the world.  Last year, I read Frankenstein because I was feeling a little bit like Frankenstein after receiving a cut across my neck from a surgery I had just 9 days before Halloween.  Usually you never think much about a cut, but when it appears in places like the neck or the face, it can unsettle you.

They say that reading classical literature will make you smarter.  It is true because you walk away with a greater appreciation and understanding of humanity and yourself.  These stories have survived centuries, not because they were good, but because they had an everlasting effect on your mind and your soul.  These are the stories that made you a different person after you read the tale.

For those who have been watching the series Penny Dreadful, reading these classic horror tales lays the groundwork for the series.  As they weave together the stories of Dr. Frankenstein, Dorian Gray, Dracula, and even the tales of Jack the Ripper, you begin to understand what is happening…and what to expect next.  As many hockey fans were watching the series this summer, I was surprised at how many had never read any of these gothic classics.  These classics were genius.  Hollywood leaves out the stuff that leaves you the smarter person…they leave that for the book itself.

People didn’t understand how I knew what was going to happen in Frankenstein’s part of the story.  Did I read a spoiler?  I sure did.  I read the book Frankenstein by Mary Shelley.  After I read the book, I had to ask myself why I hadn’t read it earlier on in life.  It was brilliant.  But I guess like all things in life…everything has a time and a purpose.

{Other books I’m reading this month are: One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez (Book Club Choice), Boy On Ice: The Life and Death of Derek Boogaard by John Branch (hockey research), and The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas (New Year’s Resolution).}

The Things That Make You Fall In Love With Autumn

For me, autumn begins in August.  Why August?  Because when I was a kid, that’s when we would get ready for the end of summer and the start of school.  School began 2-3 weeks earlier than they do out in the East.  We were usually in school by the second week of August (which meant we got out in May).

I could tell myself all summer long that I have more than enough Fall/Winter clothing that I don’t need to buy anything.  But when August finally hits, I get that inkling…I have to go shopping for new clothes and school supplies.

These days, the latter part either goes to charity or to my home office.  I upgrade my electronics, stock up on journals and pens, and prepare for the hockey season in September.

By September, I have a new fall wardrobe, new gadgets in tow, while I’m sitting in a cold ice hockey rink with a pumpkin spiced latte in hand watching training camp.  At the New York Rangers games, I grab a cup of coffee and some M&Ms as I await the start of the game.  In New Jersey Devils territory, it’s Twizzlers and Starburst candies that I share with my press buddies.  I prep the calendar, the credentials and the content for the hockey sites with my team of writers and photographers and we begin our coverage.

By October, my friends and I are planning what cool things to do for Halloween.  It’s not just a day for us.  It’s an entire month.  The decorations go up, both autumnal and Halloween.  The candy and baked sweets come aplenty.  The planning for costumes and parties start to overtake our days.  We start to go through lists of scary flicks to decide what to see.  Top of our list this month is Dracula Untold for our movie club.

By November, we start to consume as many Halloween candies as we can find lurking around the office and home.  We start to plan our Thanksgiving feasts both home and away.  The turkeys are bought. The invitations are out. We try to maintain a peaceful setting at our bountiful tables without World War III breaking out.  Chances are, the latter eventually breaks out at some point during the course of the meal.  By Friday morning, Christmas shopping has been completed (or just starting) and leftovers start to pile up in every meal we consume for the next two weeks.  We start to say goodbye to fall, and welcome in the winter.

About Michelle Kenneth

Michelle Kenneth is the voice behind