In Season October 2011

Warm and creative ways to celebrate the month's holidays.

Alanna Weissman

Eat Your Veggies
There’s extra incentive for kids to eat their greens this month as National Vegetarian Month comes in October. In fact, World Vegetarian Day is October 1. Encourage your clan to get in on the action by trying out meat-free, veggie-laden recipes from The Everything Salad Book (F+W). Of course, when October is over you’ll still get your money’s worth out of the cookbook, which contains recipes that include meat as well. Buy it at www.fwmedia.com.

Be an Angel
On National Angel Food Cake Day, October 10, prepare this easy and delicious recipe from www.allrecipes.com.
Ingredients: •12 egg whites •1¼ c. confectioners’ sugar •1 c. all-purpose flour •1½ tsp. cream of tartar •1½ tsp. vanilla extract •½ tsp. almond extract •¼ tsp. salt •1 c. sugar
Directions: Place egg whites in a mixing bowl and let stand at room temperature for 30 minutes. Meanwhile, sift confectioners’ sugar and flour together three times then set aside. Add cream of tartar, extracts and salt to egg whites. Beat on high speed. Gradually add sugar, beating until dissolved and stiff peaks form. Fold in flour mixture, ¼ cup at a time. Gently spoon into an ungreased 10-inch tube pan. Cut through batter with a knife to remove air pockets. Bake at 350°F for 40-45 minutes. Immediately invert pan. Cool completely before removing cake from pan.

Color Me Happy
October 25 is Punk for a Day Day. Let your child go wild with some brightly colored hair dye that’s safe for kids and can easily be washed out when the occasion passes. Find a wide range of spray-in temporary colors at www.rickysnyc.com.

You're It
Children everywhere who love to play can rejoice on October 8 as it just happens to be American Touch Tag Day. Gather all of your child’s friends for a playdate and organize a massive game of tag at the park.

Sweetie Pie
National Dessert Day falls on October 14. Try making this quick, decadent and no-bake eclair cake from www.allrecipes.com.
Ingredients:
•2 3.5-oz. pkg. instant vanilla pudding mix •1 8-oz. container frozen whipped topping, thawed •3 c. milk •1 16-oz. pkg. graham cracker squares •1 16-oz. pkg. prepared chocolate frosting
Directions: In a medium bowl, thoroughly blend the pudding mix, whipped topping and milk. Arrange a single layer of graham cracker squares in the bottom of a 13-by-9-inch baking pan. Evenly spread half of the pudding mixture over the crackers. Top with another layer of crackers and the remaining pudding mixture. Top with a final layer of graham crackers. Spread the frosting over the whole cake up to the edges of the pan. Cover and chill at least four hours before serving.

Carving Connection
To the amusement of kids everywhere, Halloween is at the tail end of the month. Spice up your basic pumpkin carving skills in anticipation of the holiday. Head to www.carvingpumpkins.com for free patterns to use on your gourds. Once complete, pop a candle inside each jack o’lantern to light for the full effect before placing on display.

Pearly Whites
October 7 is World Smile Day. Make your kids grin from ear to ear with this clever craft from www.new-kids-crafts.com.
Materials:
•Heavy duty tape •Shoebox with lid •White paper •Pencil with an eraser •Small plastic beads in pretty colors •White glue
Directions:
Use the tape to fasten one side of the lid to the box, permitting it to open and close, by putting the tape inside the lid and the box. Design a happy face mosaic by drawing it on the paper with a pencil and affixing it to the box. Encourage kids to decorate the mosaic and emphasize the smile. Use glue to fasten beads onto the lid. Allow the glue to dry overnight before using the adorned box.

Bear Hugs
Relive your childhood on October 11 during Take Your Teddy Bear to Work Day. Try making your own tiny teddy bears courtesy of www.about.com.
Materials:
•Sock (any color or size) •Dried beans or rice •Yarn •Felt •Craft glue •Wiggle eyes •Scissors
Directions:
Start by filling the sock about ¾ full of beans or rice. Cut a piece of yarn and tie the sock closed about 1 inch above the rice, leaving a little slack. You can also use glue to secure the yarn. Cut off any extra sock. Divide filled sock almost in half. You will want the toe section of the sock to be a little smaller as this will be the bean bag bear’s head. Tie a piece of yarn tightly around the sock where it is divided so you make two distinct sections. You can now use felt to cut out arms, legs and ears. Glue these into place. Also glue on the wiggle eyes. Use more felt or other craft supplies to add more details to your bean bag bear. Consider buttons, feathers, pom-poms and just about anything else you have on hand.

Words for Friends
Learn some new words on Dictionary Day, October 16. Increase your vocabulary by helping fight hunger at www.freerice.com— the interactive language-building game donates ten grains of rice to the World Food Programme for each answer you get right.

Music in the Making
Honor International Drum Month with a drum craft from www.wikihow.com.
Materials:
•Empty cylindrical container, such as an oatmeal container, popcorn tin, raisin jar or an aluminum can •Electrical tape •Construction paper
Directions:
Remove the lid of the container. Criss-cross multiple strips of electrical tape or masking tape over the top of the container until it is completely covered. This forms the top of the drum. Measure and cut construction paper to fit it around the container, or the base of the drum. Wrap it around the container snugly and then tape in place. Decorate the drum if you wish, perhaps by cutting out various shapes from other construction paper to glue onto the side of the drum. Have kids draw on the shapes if desired, and create drumsticks for a better sound. To construct a pair of drumsticks, crumple some tissue paper to affix on the end of a pencil. Beginning at the pencil tip, spiral some masking or electrical tape to the top of the tissue ball. Repeat this method on another pencil.

Alanna Weissman is an editorial intern.

This column appeared in the October 2011 issue.