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Friday, October 19, 2012


~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
6 sticks 

DIRECTIONS
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!" 
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.
Ah....

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?

Warmly,
Susie Q

12 comments:

Lynn@ The Vintage Nest said...

Susie Q...this is an amazing post! I loved reading every word of it. Although I cry when that cover is slowly pulled over the pool at the end of the season, at the same time I rejoice at the crispness in the air and the coziness of the early evenings. As I write this right now, there is a slight breeze in the air and tons of leaves are slowly drifting down. :)

Salmagundi said...

Great post! I enjoy that you ENJOY life so much. You always lift my spirits. Sally

Debby said...

I love all of these things. Love fall.....the wind is blowing today and the leaves are falling. Enjoy.

Janet said...

I love it all too. My favorite thing is the colorful leaves slowly falling from the trees and gently swirling on the ground. Such a wonderful autumn sight.

Sandi McBride said...

I love the chilly nights and warm days of Autumn best of all...I've missed all of summer in the flowers due to my surgery so I am enjoying being able to get out a bit more now and watch my Camelia blooming, the Lantana is still hugely full...can't wait to try the recipes!
hugs
Sandi

Sue said...

ALL MY FAVORITE THINGS AS WELL....WE ALSO CELEBRATE 2 BIRTHDAYS AND AN ANNIVERSARY ON HALLOWEEN!!....THE FIREPLACE UP IN OUR BEDROOM...MUTSU APPLES THAT ARE ONLY AROUND UNTIL OCTOBER....NOTHING LIKE FLEA MARKET SHOPPING IN THE FALL...AND COMFORT FOOD!
HAPPY FALL.......

Shelia said...

Hi Susie! I'll say amen to all of the above!
Be a sweetie,
Shelia ;)

PEA said...

It's no wonder this is my favourite time of year as well, I love everything you mentioned in this post:-) Thank you so much for sharing the recipes as well, I've copied them all down. As soon as it starts getting dark, I light up my pumpkin spice candles...it's a ritual I adore:-)

Our beautiful coloured leaves are all off the trees now and I'm really missing their brightness. Wish they lasted a bit longer:-) xoxo

Bonnie said...

I LOVE this post. I miss all of those things about Fall as we don't have seasons here in Florida. Well hubby says two seasons, NASCAR and College Football, lol. Growing up in New England (or anywhere there are seasons)we sometimes take for granted what we have. Thank you for sharing your Fall with me.

strawberry-lane said...

Love this post ... all the great things about autumn. Thanks for the recipes! They look yummy ... can't wait to try them. We're looking forward to using the comfy fireplace, again. Even the dog and cat gather around.

Pamela said...

I would enjoy sitting in your parlor, with a cup of mulled cider -- watching the twick or tweeters at your door.

PEA said...

It's me again:-)

Here's a little poem I'm sharing with everyone today...

This is Halloween

Goblins on the doorstep,
Phantoms in the air,
Owls on witches' gate posts,
Giving stare for stare.

Cats on flying broomsticks,
Bats against the moon,
Stirring round of fate-cakes,
With a solemn spoon.

Whirling apple parings,
Figures draped in sheets,
Dodging, disappearing,
Up and down the streets.

Jack-o'-lanterns grinning,
Shadows on a screen,
Shrieks and starts and laughter--
This is Halloween!

Happy Halloween, dear Sue, make sure you come by my blog today for my Halloween Bash and see what costume I dressed you up in! hehe xoxo