Put on a sweater and enjoy fall at the senior center

Tian Tian recently celebrated his 26th birthday at the National Zoological Park in Washington, D.C.

A special panda-friendly fruitsicle cake was made by the zoo’s department of nutrition science. Commissary keepers crafted the cake from frozen diluted apple and pineapple juices and “frosted” it with a mixture of mashed sweet potatoes, mashed carrots and honey. They decorated the tiers with apples, pears, bananas, sweet potatoes, carrots and bamboo sprigs. You can watch Tian Tian enjoy his birthday treat at https://tinyurl.com/5xav5wta.

Tian Tian’s approaches the special panda-friendly fruitsicle cake made by the zoo’s department of nutrition science. This will be the panda’s last birthday at the National Zoological Park.

This will be Tian Tian’s last birthday at the National Zoological Park, and officials organized Panda Palooza to say “good-bye.” The nine-day extravaganza served as a fond farewell to the three giant pandas: Tian Tian, Mei Xiang and their 3-year-old son Xiao Qi Ji.

These D.C. icons were on loan from China and will soon be headed back.

As people in Washington say “farewell pandas,” the Charlotte Senior Center invites you to come on in and say “hello autumn” to friends and neighbors.

Certainly, this is a special time of year. From fall fashions of the 1890s to lots of recipes, to how to read leaves, to whether or not to rake leaves, to the five best places to see beautiful fall foliage in 2023, “autumn” rates 38,587 entries at The New York Times.

The newspaper of record missed its chance: Charlotte is not listed in that article of autumnal places to visit, but we know that all we have to do is look out the window. We also know that those leaf peeper buses will soon be crowding our roads.

Harvest soup at the Charlotte Senior Center is filled with Cucurbita. But don’t let that scare you. Cucurbita is Latin for “gourd,” and at Monday Munch that gourd is butternut squash combined with lots of other good vegetables.

The Cucurbita are native to the Andes and Meso America and are among the earliest of cultivated plants. Experts say that some sites in Mexico are around 10,000 years old. To say that butternut squash is venerable is to put it mildly. Specifically, the butternut squash originated in Bolivia, Columbia, Ecuador, Mexico, Panama, Puerto Rico and Venezuela thousands of years ago.

Although the word “squash” comes from the Narragansett Native American word askutasquash, which means “eaten raw or uncooked,” be assured that the Harvest Soup at the Charlotte Senior Center will be well cooked.

Harvest Soup is a potage, from the French potager, meaning “vegetable plot” or “soup garden,” and yes, when you come to Monday Munch you will enjoy a veritable garden in your soup bowl. So put on a sweater and come welcome the pot at the Charlotte Senior Center: It’s soup season. And there’s much more on the menu, so come on over.

Monday Munch
Oct. 9, 11:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m.
Cape Cod salad, harvest soup and apple crisp.
Register for Thursday’s Age Well Grab & Go Meal by email or phone (802-425-6345).

Age Well restaurant tickets
Stop by the Charlotte Senior Center to talk with our Age Well representative Kerry Batres about the restaurant ticket program that can be used for meals at participating restaurants.

Age Well meal pickup
Thursday, Oct. 12, 10-11 a.m.
Chicken caciatore, wheat rotini pasta, peas & carrots, wheat bread and pumpkin cookie.

Men’s Breakfast
Thursday, Oct.12, 7-9 a.m.
On the second Thursday of each month, men gather for breakfast and conversation. This month, Ken Albert will talk on vineyards and winemaking. After a quick clean-up, those interested can drive to Shelburne Vineyard for a tour of the vineyard and winery.

Please register for the Men’s Breakfast through our database or call the senior center at 802-425-6345. Suggested donation: $6.

If you are interested in speaking at a future Men’s Breakfast, contact Jim Hyde.

Monday Munch
Oct. 16, 11:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m.
Menu to be announced.

Age Well meal pickup
Thursday, Oct. 19, 10-11 a.m.
Pork cutlet with peppers & onions in sauce, mashed cauliflower, beets, wheat roll and applesauce.
Please note that the people who prepare these meals and the people who clean up the mess of all those dishes are volunteers. They enjoy what they do and they encourage you to come check it out as a volunteer yourself.