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Tuesday, September 23, 2008

20 Little Things About Fall

has a wonderful list of her 20 favorite little things about Autumn. She asked her readers to contribute theirs as well. Do pop over and read Melissa's list and you will also find lots of other blogs to visit!
There are many sweet bloggers participating so I know you will enjoy yourself!
~Now, what are my 20 Favorite Things About Autumn?
Where do I begin? From the first day of Fall, until the week after Thanksgiving, I am in high spirits. This is my favorite time of the year. I look forward to these days with the anticipation of a child waiting for Santa's yearly visit.
1. The darkness comes sooner now and, while some seem sad about it, I rejoice! It's time to move inside and get cozy. The sky turns that soft, misty purple and the sun fades early. Turn on all those sweet lamps and light the pumpkin butter candles. The house just glows...
2. Crisp Autumn apples. That sweet, juicy crunch as you take your first bite.

3. Chrysanthemums

Delicate flowers and beautiful colors...pots of these lovely plants on the porch or taking up residence in neighborhood gardens. Their cheery, seasonal splendor is a long awaited treat.

4. Pulling out the brown transferware. Okay, so I never actually out it *all* away but this is the season where I can go all out and let it take center stage! On the mantel, on the table...oh how I love it!

5. The changing leaves. Nothing quickens my heartbeat more (Well, except Brian Dennehy but that goes without saying right?) than seeing that first orange tinged leaf. The reds, oranges, golds set against a azure blue sky....magical! Or even in the Autumn drizzle. Their beauty is truly the work of God's own perfect watercolor brush.

6. Decorating for the changing season is a joy for me. Our house is often a mish mash of all the things I adore about the Fall, along with the blessed holiday of Thanksgiving and the fun of Halloween. I try to use seasonal things like corn, pumpkins, leaves and vines and then add a few turkeys and some Halloween silliness tossed in for good measure.

7. Halloween. I love the smiles and laughter of children as they approach the front door. "Trick or Treat" they shout and, almost always, they go away with a grin and a thank you on their lips.

I especially love the tiny ones, often sporting a mask that is ever so slightly askew, as they struggle to climb the last step. That iconic phrase is often turned around and comes out, "Tweet or Twick" and doesn't that just melt my heart!

And I love carving the Jack O Lantern. See? I am really just a big kid at heart. A. Very. Big. Kid.

8. Thanksgiving. This is my favorite holiday. It is such a special day, a day to truly slow down, be with those you love and thank God for all we have been given. It is also a day to share with others, those who may be hurting, the bounty in our lives. It is a day that brings me peace and warms my heart.

And I love the Macy's Parade and cornbread stuffing too!

9. A warm fire...'nuff said.

10. Hot mulled cider. We do ours in our Crock Pot and it just tastes like home.

1/2 c. brown sugar

1 tsp. whole allspice

1 tsp. whole cloves1/4 tsp. salt

Dash of ground nutmeg

3 inches stick cinnamon

2 qt. apple juice

Orange slices Mix all ingredients together. Heat and serve in your crock pot or cooking pot.

11. Evening, after dinner, walks with Bill...okay. So we can walk anytime but it is especially wonderful when darkness settles in early, the neighbor's windows shine brightly and the air has a bit of a chill.

I really look forward to this every year.

12. Caramel apples. Making them, eating them. Yummy.

6 small apples

1 package caramels (14 oz.)
1/2 cup chopped nuts
1) Line a cookie sheet with waxed paper. Empty nuts onto the paper and divide into six equal heaps. Leave as much space as possible between each heap.
2) Wash and dry the apples. Twist off the stems and push sticks half way onto the apples where the stems used to be.
3) Melt the caramels in the microwave or a saucepan over low heat.
4) Dip apples in the melted caramel to coat. Use a knife to help cover the whole apple.
Place each apple, stick side up, onto a heap of nuts and roll over to cover.
5) Refrigerate until the caramel is firm, about 1/2 hour.

Use a combination of different colored apples: red, green and yellow. Choose uniform-sized apples--small apples work best. Substituting chocolate caramels for traditional ones can be fun! Dip apples in one quick motion; let excess caramel drip off. Holding apple upright, press toppings into caramel to hold them in place. Use a pastry bag with a small tip and melted chocolate to make polka dots or write on your apple. Set dipped apples on wax squares or parchment paper. And remember: caramel apples are always best eaten the same day they are made! Who could wait anyway?

13. Cuddling under cozy throws & blankets on our couch with buttered popcorn and hot chocolate while watching a good movie. That is Heaven on Earth to me.
14. Sleeping on soft flannel sheets under down filled comforters.
15. Seeing the early morning frost on the yards and across the park field when we take Kipper out for his morning walk. The puffs of our warm breath in the air...
16. Chili. Hands down, it is the quintessential dish for Autumn.
Here is a "Gosh darn that's easy!" recipe! Ingredients: 1 pound lean ground beef 1 large onion, chopped 1 green bell pepper, chopped 2 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons chili powder 1 large clove garlic, minced 1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and chopped 1 can (28 ounces) tomatoes, diced, with juices 1 can (8 ounces) tomato sauce 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin 1/2 teaspoon dried marjoram 1/4 teaspoon dried thyme 1 can (15 ounces) chili beans, small red beans, or kidney beans, drained and rinsed Preparation:Cook first 3 ingredients in a large saucepan until meat is browned, stirring until it crumbles; drain off excess fat. Add chili powder and next 8 ingredients, stirring well; bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer, stirring occasionally, for about 1 1/2 to 2 hours. Add beans, stirring well, and cook until thoroughly heated.
We always add more beans than required and the sorts of beans too. Ground turkey and chicken is good in this as well! Throw in some cornbread muffins slathered in butter and honey and wow. That is eatin'!

17. Hunting for the perfect pumpkin. Or, pumpkins! Going to the local farm markets which, at this time of year, usually have festivals and all sorts of fun events.
18. The smells....pumpkin pie baking, chili simmering on the stove. Wood smoke, apples, warm banana bread straight from the oven. Cinnamon, allspice, cloves and nutmeg. A golden brown turkey and sausage stuffing.
19. The sounds...the crunch of leaves under foot. The laughter of trick or treaters, wind whipping
the leaves into a frenzy. The sound the rake makes as it drags the fallen leaves into my basket.
20. Home and hearth....and all the family tucked safely inside.


salmagundi said...

That was beautifully written! It really touched my heart. Thanks, Sally

Connie said...

Okay, let's eat; ya convinced me, chickee!! LOL

Pat@Back Porch Musings said...

I love your list Sue! We took a drive today. You could smell Autumn in the air. It's wonderful!

Carolyn (Harbor Hon) said...

Wow! That was beautiful! And the pictures really made it all come alive! You've been a busy girl and I sure do appreciate you sharing all this with us. xxoo

Sheila said...

LOVED your list! I just love fall too, and I (like you) love when we turn the clocks back and it gets darker earlier. I thought I was the only one! To me, it's cozier, and I love being inside anyway with the lamps or candles glowing.

PEA said...

Is it any wonder we both love Autumn so much? You listed everything that I love about this time of year:-) I copied your recipes for the Mulled Cider and the Chili...sounds so delicious! I've had a craving for chili lately so will make some using your recipe:-) xoxo

Meggie said...

You've inspired me to get my butt in gear and start decorating. I've been so busy trying to close the swimming pool that I haven't bought any mums yet, or gone into the attic for my ceramic pumpkins. I will do it!

Sue@CountryPleasures said...

Wow, now that's a list, I love it all! I love fall too!!!

Kathleen Grace said...

Mmmmmm...I love it all too! I think the best thing about autumn is the coziness factor. The bright colors and warmth of hot food and drinks makes us all happy and content. This a wonderful list of reasons to be happy right now!

Penny @ Lavender Hill Studio said...

Wonderful little things to love about fall Susie Q!! And adding the wonderful recipes to this post just made is even more warm and cozy!

Jeanie said...

This is the best post I've read all morning! The visuals are to die for and the recipes look fabulous. Plus, it's always fun to learn more about what other bloggers really enjoy! Maybe I'll work on this concept for later this week! Absolutely knock-out gorgeous! Thanks for brightening up my fall morning!

Bonnie said...

Absolutely LOVED this blog. I am so envious of anyone who can enjoy Autumn with all it's trimmings. I grew up in New England and fall has always been my favorite time of year. However, living in Florida for the past 30 years, I've missed out on alot of falls. Thanks for sharing yours.

Naturegirl said...

Hello Susie! Back now from our trip abroad and while in Germany realized that Autumn was here with nip in the temperatures and the changing of the leaves! Oh my do they go all out with the wreaths and decorations ...I was in heaven!I never saw so many wreaths made from Autumn harvests!
Now about Autumn season..well I'm one of those that feels sad as summer has ended..I do love the Halloween season because like you I too am a kid at heart! I am a weary traveller but your post has *inspired me* to get bundled up and get out and wlcome Autumn by dressing up the front porch!
weary but inspired NG xo

ceekay said...

Great list. Beautiful post. Happy Fall!

tales from an O.C. cottage said...

WHAT A POST!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

M ^..^

Sioux said...

Well, I think you've named all of my favorite things about autumn. Since we're back in Texas, it's still summer, but in Alaska and in Canada autumn is definitely here!!

Laume said...

How fun. Autumn is my favorite too, so I might have to do this list on my blog eventually.

Anonymous said...

What a great post! I love fall too.

Deserae said...

Great list! Fall is my favorite season...I just wish it lasted longer :o)

Andi said...

I so enjoyed your list and was actually nodding my head in agreement at everything I read. I too love fall and all the special things about the season.

Have a wonderful day dear Sue.

Sandi McBride said...

I LOVE FALL! Even though it means the end of the flowers, the colors of the trees make me smile, the smells of apples simmering on the stove with sticks of cinnamon, Christmas around the corner...yes, I love the fall!

i beati said...

outstanding post I could almost tolerate it

Donna said...

Wow, this post has really put me in the mood for fall, even though it's still quite warm here!