October means crisp, juicy apples, bright orange pumpkins, and treats for those little ghosts and goblins who come calling on Halloween.

This is national cookie and pretzel month, and there are weeks set aside to celebrate chili, beer, school lunches, pickled peppers and chicken soup for the soul.

Oct. 4 is National Taco Day, followed later in the week by Apple Brown Betty Day, and Noodle Day.

Week two celebrates desserts, angel food cake, sausage pizza, Yorkshire pudding and chocolate-covered insects. The list is not specific about what kind of insect so choose your favorite, most tasty insect to cover with chocolate; or, skip the insect and simply eat a chocolate bar -- or two.

Bake some chocolate cupcakes on Oct. 18 and continue through the week with seafood bisque, brandied fruit and pumpkin cheesecake.

We round out October with days to celebrate Boston cream pie, greasy foods, potatoes, pancakes, candy corn and caramel apples.

Mincemeat pie is celebrated on Oct. 26. Mince pie is a family favorite during Christmas, and I promise more on that treat in my December column.

I'll talk about ways to use pumpkin in my November column and include a recipe for pumpkin pie.

When it comes to pumpkin cookies my sister-in-law, Tersie Krebs, makes the best around. She credits Pat Abel with giving her the recipe, but no matter who makes them these cookies are yummy.

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--- 2 cups sugar

--- 2 cups shortening

--- 16-ounce can pumpkin or cooked pumpkin

--- 2 eggs

--- 2 teaspoons vanilla

--- 4 cups sifted flour

--- 2 teaspoons baking powder

--- 1 teaspoon baking soda

--- 1 teaspoon salt

--- 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

--- 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg

--- 1/2 teaspoon allspice

Cream sugar and shortening in large bowl. Add pumpkin, eggs and vanilla; beat well. Sift together rest of ingredients and add to cream mixture.

Drop cookies from teaspoon on to a greased cookie sheet. Bake at 350 degrees for 12 to 15 minutes.

Makes about 7 dozen cookies.

Note: You may also add 2 cups raisins and 1 cup nuts if desired.

--- 1 pound powdered sugar

--- 1/2 cup margarine, room temperature

---  1/4 cup milk

--- 1 teaspoon vanilla

Mix all ingredients until they are creamy (about 5 minutes). Cover and set aside until you are ready to use.

Tersie cuts the frosting recipe in half.
An apple is a great afternoon snack, or you can make a pie, dumpling or applesauce. For a different taste add a little vanilla and brown sugar to your applesauce, or stir in a handful of cinnamon hearts, which turn the applesauce to a nice shade of pink as they melt.

Here is a favorite apple recipe you might enjoy.

--- 4 cups sliced, pared apples

--- 2/3 to 3/4 cup brown sugar, packed

--- 1/2 cup flour

--- 1/2 cup oats

---  3/4 teaspoon cinnamon

---  3/4 teaspoon nutmeg

--- 1/3 cup butter or margarine, softened

Heat oven to 375 degrees. Grease 8x8x2-inch square pan. Place apple slices in pan. Mix remaining ingredients thoroughly and sprinkle over apples.

Bake 30 minutes or until apples are tender and topping is golden brown. Serve warm. Top with whipped cream or ice cream.

Glen Rock resident Barb Krebs is a native of southern York County.