As surely as April brings thoughts of throwing open the windows to the warmer, fresh air, September starts me layering, feathering, and gathering. Yes, I’m sad to see summer go … but I’m determined to welcome fall and find a bit of time for some fun before the snow flies!
Although it’s not formally fall, it feels like it, and it’s starting to look like it too. Yellow and orange mums sit on the stoop where it seems only days ago were daisies. We kick acorns down the road when we go for a walk and hickory nuts too. We’re gathering the last of our luscious tomatoes and saying so long to our flowers. I’m thinking less about burgers on the grill and more about soups in the crockpot. Suddenly, I’ve a hankering to bake bread!
Just now, apples simmer on the stove on their way to becoming apple sauce. It’s the season of cinnamon, cloves, and ginger. We’ve been to the orchard once already and will probably return today. Later, and by request, I’ll make the first pumpkin recipe of the season: pumpkin whoopie pies. We’ve got neighbors to thank … and those pies are a whole heaping handful of fall gratitude.
Just as we did this summer, we’ll be living out a (fun-seeking) fall alphabet:
A- apple and peach picking (of course!) — B- bonfire in the fire pit out back — C- cider and crisps and cornstalks on the porch — D- E- F- festivals and fairs and foliage — G- H- I- J- K- L- M- mums from the garden center N- O- P- pumpkins on the steps and in the oven! — Q- R- S- T- U- V- W- X- Y- Z-
We fill it in as we go along and somehow, the alphabet inspires us to keep looking for all the fun we know is out there … but we’re sometimes too busy or tired or overwhelmed to think about. It’s a fun kind of fill-in-the-blank we look forward to.
I can’t wait to leaf kick (L) and discover what face emerges on our Jack o’ Lantern (J). It’s time to pack up the beach towels, layer on the sweaters and boots, and feather the bed with our winter quilt (Q).
I’m hoping for a few more walks on the beach and a couple more tosses of the tennis ball, but mostly, I’m headed toward autumn – full steam ahead!
And if you’re looking for an easy fall side or transitional topping for the last of summer’s ice cream, you’ll find my go-to applesauce recipe below:
from my mother-in-law’s Betty Crocker cookbook
- 4 medium cooking apples, each cut into fourths
- 1/2 cup water
- 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
Heat apples and water to boiling over medium heat; reduce heat. Simmer uncovered, stirring occasionally* to break up apples, until tender, 5 to 10 minutes. Stir in remaining ingredients. Heat to boiling; boil and sitr 1 minute. Makes about 4 cups.
*I used a potato masher!