~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.
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 Winston 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!"
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.
Now, what are YOUR favorites things about this season?