COLUMN: October in the Okanagan

Although I am sad that summer and the warm weather are fading fast, I look forward to Thanksgiving and all that the holiday brings.

October is my favourite time of the year. Although I am sad that summer and the warm weather are fading fast, I look forward to Thanksgiving and all that the holiday brings.

My family will be packing up our campers, trailers or tents and heading to a local lake to celebrate together.

We have been doing this for many years. I’m not even sure how it morphed from a sit down dinner at my parents house, to braving the elements yet still cooking a full meal.

Of course it’s not exactly a traditional Thanksgiving dinner.

We make hot turkey sandwiches on fluffy white bread instead of a big old tom, but we keep the stuffing, gravy and vegetables. This is the standard meal every Fall and that’s how I like it.

So when a family member decided many years ago to make a garlic soup appetizer, it really didn’t go that well.

For starters, who wants to eat soup made of no other ingredient but garlic?

Come on, some of us have to work in the morning and breathe around our co-workers.

Let me just say that I didn’t want to eat it, but was pretty much forced to. The soup tasted exactly how you imagine it would and I don’t recommend if you have a delicate stomach.

Here are a few alternative soup suggestions that you can check out at the library.

How about a Sweet Potato Soup with Pumpkin Seed Pesto instead? That recipe can be found in Michael Smith’s book “Make Ahead Meals.”

There’s garlic in it, yes, but also ginger, cream and butter. This soup can be prepared ahead of time and reheated for that blustery, cold day.

Perhaps bacon is more your style? Try the Bacon, Grilled Corn and Leek Chowder from “Simply Scratch” by Laurie McNamara. She uses red-skinned potatoes, sweet corn and applewood bacon in this recipe.

Did you know that the library has online magazines that you can download?

The app is called Zinio and it’s where I go to indulge myself with Food Network, Bon Appetit and Donna Hay magazine to name a few.

Check out the October issue of Food Network where celebrity chef Aaron Sanchez cooks up a Chile Verde with Sausage and Pumpkin.

If you have a tin of hominy in your pantry, this would be a good way to use it.

Martha Stewart magazine has the ubiquitous “Pumpkin Spice” making an appearance throughout her latest edition on Zinio.

It wouldn’t be fall without it!

Try her Pumpkin Spice Latte Cake with whipped cream for your Thanksgiving dessert this year.

Martha has a quote from L.M. Montgomery, author of “Anne of Green Gables”, that says “I’m so glad I live in a world where there are Octobers.”

I agree with Lucy Maud. She probably loved the falling leaves and harvest time in Prince Edward Island as much as I love it in the Okanagan.

But I bet she never had to eat garlic soup!

Caroline McKay is an Assistant Community Librarian at the Summerland branch of the Okanagan Regional Library.