Autumn Jubilee – Oktoberfest and the Garden

Autumn in this part of our beautiful country brings color to the trees, and lots of opportunities to drive curvy roads with friends. It also means the last of the garden harvest, and some clean up to do. October brings a fun day to have a bunch of German cars go on a drive and have an Oktoberfest! Settle in, friends, this one is long and picture heavy!

The colors are showing not only at our home’s view above, but also in the surrounding mountains. The car club met up early last weekend for a two hour drive, beginning with a cruise through DuPont Forest, going down to Caesars Head mountain with a stop to see the view, then on to Lake Toxaway for lunch.

I know you love seeing the old barns along the way, this was one of the few on the route this day.

We have a lot of gold in the trees, not as much red as they do farther north. We don’t have as many maples here.

But we do have some red, here and there.

Color was just coming in as we went farther south.

It became more brilliant as we turned back north going back into North Carolina.

Arriving at the venue on Lake Toxaway, we got giant pretzels to keep us happy while we waited for all the drive groups to arrive and lunch to begin. They were served warm, with hot German spicy brown mustard. Yum!! German polka music was playing, and there was a fun set up for photos along with corn hole games. An outdoor bar served German beers (which I passed on) along with other beverages, and we had a nice time circulating around the picnic tables, chatting with friends.

We had a lovely lunch of chicken schnitzel or bratwurst, with sides and dessert. I didn’t get a photo of the food, but I did remember to try to get one of the fabulous Black Forest Cake, the piece was enormous! It came out blurry as I didn’t have the camera set for close up shots, but you get the idea. And know that I’d already eaten some of it! Tender chocolate cake layers were layered with whipped cream filled with cherries. Oh, this was sooooo good!!

We were entertained with some fun games, trivia quiz, door prizes and a raffle, along with a stein holding competition. It was such a fun day, with absolutely perfect weather! To make it even better, the event was a fundraiser for Manna Food Bank. Between the participants in attendance and donations on the website ahead of the event from members who could not attend, the club was able to present over $10,000 to the charity.

Back to the garden, there was going to be a hard freeze last week, so it was time to move the tender plants to the Carolina room out back, and put a few things in the kitchen. I had trans-planted a basil plant into a pot to try to keep it going over the winter. It is in the kitchen now, along with a vase full of basil stems cut from the plants. My Thanksgiving Cactus is moved indoors, along with the orchid.

The orchid has two spires growing up tall, and it may be trying to bloom. That would be a welcome surprise as the last time it tried to make a flower, the flower never fully opened.

In the garden, I went out to harvest whatever was left and clean out the planter box. There were a couple of bunches of grape tomatoes.

Some of the other tomatoes were trying to ripen in spite of the cooler temperatures.

Crazy plants are still putting out blooms!

But, it was time to pull them up. As I did so, I found another basil plant underneath all the tomato foliage. So, I pulled that one up too, for use in the kitchen. The tomatoes can finish ripening on the counter for the next few days.

So now, what to cook with tomatoes and basil? Certainly there are a lot of options there! Pizza, pasta, or a tomato pie? The newest cookbook from Milk Street takes a look at just this question, what can I cook with what I have?

Today’s post is sponsored by Milk Street, with a giveaway of their latest cookbook, Cook What You Have. Using what many cooks have in their kitchen as staples, with suggestions of things you might want to add to your pantry, here’s a cookbook not only for the ingredients on hand, but for the improvisational cook like me. I cannot wait to get my copy!!

It publishes on October 25, so it will be out by the end of the giveaway. Using the Look Inside feature on Amazon (affiliate link), you can get an idea of the recipes featured.

Visit Milk Street’s Store and take a look at all the various interesting things they have to cook with like sauces, vinegars, spices, or jams. Pick something from the Pantry Favorites, or any of the other categories and leave a comment on this post with your choice. Maybe something you’ve never tried before! Then click on the Rafflecopter icon to enter the drawing.

Which item from the Milk Street Store looks most interesting to try?

50 thoughts on “Autumn Jubilee – Oktoberfest and the Garden

  1. Nancy @ Grace and Peace Quilting

    Fun autumn drive!!! There are a lot of great Japanese choices at Milk Street! I’m all in for Namikura Kyoto style White Miso!!! Second, I choose Bachan’s Original Japanese Barbecue Sauce! BTW, “Bachan” means “Grandma” in Japanese, so it’s basically Grandma’s Original Japanese Barbecue Sauce–love it!!!

  2. Mary Stori

    I agree, the Oktoberfest event with our club was simply lovely….an added bonus was the donation members made for Manna Food Bank.
    A few of our plants (covered with sheets) were saved from the hard frost we got up here but today some others will be put in the compost and pots put away until spring.
    Do I dare say GO PACK GO……heartbreaking games of late…..

  3. Martha W. Franks

    Although I can’t afford it, I would choose the vanilla. I was given some really good vanilla and it smelled and tasted so good.

  4. Judy Sanders

    I would like to try Hayden Flour Mills Artisan Bread Flour. I saw a lot that I have never tried. Thanks for supporting Autumn Jubilee.

  5. Bonnie Larson

    Beautiful colours. our leaves are mostly down now, but, there are still a few holding on tightly to the last of their ceauty. I would love to try the Villa Jerada Harissa sauce from Milk Street. Thanks

  6. Patty Brenner

    What a lovely drive! We don’t have much color in central Texas, but we do have a native Flame Sumac that gives us some beautiful orangey-reds. I would have a hard time picking just one thing from Milk Street, but ‘The World in a Skillet’ cookbook looks very interesting. My husband is a fan of eintopf (German one pot stews) recipes, so skillet cooking would be very similar (he likes fewer pots and pans to wash, lol).

  7. Debbie Miller Meyer

    Spiced Blends Sampler. I’m not much of a chef. I try new things though so the spiced blends would add a bit of flavor to my old favorites.

  8. Darci Marshall

    I love Milk Street! I’d try the Mexican mocha coffee sugar for sure.

    Love the pics of the mountains and the German fair, I am visiting Germany in a month and this got me excited for the food!

  9. Joan Sheppard

    Chocolate cake and orchids! What more could a lady want – a ride in the country – and wow is your area beautiful! Thanks for all the inspirational photos and congrats on raising so much money! Thanks.

  10. Karrin Hurd

    They have so many interesting products. I think I would like to try Azienda Agricola Caravaglio Capers in Wine Vinegar. The scenery along your ride was gorgeous, and sounds like you had a wonderful meal too!

  11. yoyopattycakeshotmailcom

    It’s always hard to pull out tomatoes and herbs at the end of the season before a frost! I’m sure you will be making some wonderful dishes though. The Lemon Herb Spiced Salt looks interesting and something I would really use.

  12. lois92346

    What a lovely drive that was. It’s hard to believe our growing season has come to an end. I still have one tomato plant that “woke up” in September and started producing. I’m now enjoying the benefits of that. I’ll soon start up my aero garden to provide Thai basil, dill, parsley and chives. I went to the Milk Street store and found a 6 piece set of Spiced Salt I’d love to try. I’d love to win a copy of Milk Street book.

  13. Kathy E.

    There are so many great items I’d like to try from Milk Street…what an opportunity to widen my skills in the kitchen! I’m interested in Milk Street Marinara Magic Spice Blend. This sounds like an easy, perfect way to spice up some tomatoes!

  14. ANN D

    Sounds like you had a fun and colorful road trip. As for Milk Street, I’d be interested in trying the Il Colle Del Gusto Pistachio Spread.

  15. Debbie Miller

    Beautiful Blue Ridge scenic drive! I would like to try the Marchesi Di San Giuliano Red Grapefruit Marmalade as I love grapefruit!

  16. Lisa England

    Lots of interesting stuff in the Milk Street store — some of it totally unfamiliar to me! The Masseria Mirogallo Diavolicchi Hot Peppers in Extra-Virgin Olive Oil would be great to add to things I cook for my son.

  17. Your colors are beautiful in comparison to ours. Too bad the season doesn’t last longer.I believe those are healthy new roots emerging from your orchid. With the drought here, our tomatoes were not the best this year. It’s nice to still be getting them there. I’d love to try tahini sauce. I’ve heard so much about it.

  18. Frances E

    Hi Carole,

    Do you allow readers to use your pictures as a reference for a painting? Thank you for your consideration.

    Elaine Elmore Goldsboro, NC

  19. jseccurrtwcnyrrcom

    The Tahini Roasted Butternut Squash sounds right up my alley. I’m always looking for squash recipes…had a bumper crop this year.

    Love the pictures from your drive! We’re at peak here with lots of yellows, reds and bright oranges. The foliage hues are brighter this year.

    Thanks for making Autumn Jubilee fun!

  20. Dot

    I’d like to try the Fly By Jing Zhong Dumpling Sauce. And if it’s too spicy for me, my daughter will love it. I look forward to Jubilee every year; thank you.

  21. Tina W in Oregon

    There is so much and way too many choices! Since I’m not a very adventurous cook, I’d probably try the spice blend sample pack.

  22. Alexandria

    I have never tried Tahini sauce so that would interest me but I would also like the pure vanilla because I’m sure it would improve on my baking. Thank you Alexandria.
    Your camera takes amazing photographs. So nice to view your road trips. Great blog, always enjoy your inspiration and projects. Thank you.

  23. The colors are glorious along your drive. What a beautiful day. And such a wide array of products at Milk Street- I’d try the Hazlenut Spread for topping biscotti as pictured. Very appealing.

  24. Oh, what a glorious day for a color ride! Is there anything better than cruising along on a gorgeous day, taking in every bit of nature’s beauty and know there is a treat along the way? Your garden bounty is wonderful too. Mine is pretty much wrapped up, sorry to say. The way of the world in autumn. The Milk Street giveaway is great. Oh, that was a fun thing to look at — I’d pick the apple cake. I’ve been having a yen to make one and never seem to get around to it but that combo — apples, cinnamon and honey — it’s autumn in a cake!

  25. Cindy Beal

    I want the Cook What You Have cookbook. Love Milk Street & Christopher Kimball. I’d love to try the Red Grapefruit Marmalade. That is a new one to me. And just go ahead and send me some of that delicious Black Forest cake!

  26. Julie

    I had no idea there was so much on offer at Milk Street! Lots of specialty items I don’t see for sale locally. Of all the cookbooks, I think the new Cook What You Have intrigues me the most. I already love doing that & having 200+ new recipes to try would be loads of fun. Enjoyed today’s autumnal road trip, the leaves are still hanging on here & it’s breathtaking out.

  27. Susan

    I would like to try the Vain Vanilla Original Baker’s Blend Pure Vanilla Extract.
    I am really interested in the “Cook What You Have” cookbook.

  28. Susan Nixon

    What delicious cake! I’ve made one for almost 50 years for my older child every birthday. We don’t use whipped cream, just lots of cherry pie filling and cream cheese frosting. With a good chocolate cake, you can’t beat this dessert! Thanks for the pics of fall. I’ve only been able to see the woods in my own backyard this year.

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