Ode to Fall

Summer lovers, hear me out. Summer’s not all bad. I like lounging on the deck on a nice day (think 75 with a light breeze). I enjoy cookouts with friends. I’m a dress wearing, sandal loving, iced coffee (or bubbles!!) sipping girl with too many sunnies. 

Kids frolicking amongst the apple trees on a sunny October Saturday

BUT. Those perfectly mild days are fleeting and we’re left with the parts I don’t love: sweltering heat (think 95 and humid) and astronomical AC bills and bored kids who demand constant entertainment and incessant sweating and mosquito bites. If that sounds good to you, great. I just don’t think the summer positives outweigh all these negatives.

Fries, witches, pumpkins and fire pits!

Me? Gimme fall. I’m aware of her flaws (I’ll get to that later), but autumn is still my favorite season. I love the crisp morning air and the ability to step outside without melting. I love the trees turning colors and watching the ever-changing vistas while driving to apple orchards or Halloween parties or places where the kids can roast marshmallows.

Hot drinks and baking frenzies

I love reacquainting with my sweater and scarf and boot collection. I love the cozy soft textures of fleece, merino and cashmere. I have a wicked range of coats and knee socks just waiting to be worn. I love the littles wearing fluffy pom-pom hats and watching their noses and cheeks bloom with pink as they play in the leaves.

Scarves and sweater season!

I love that fall feels like baking season. Now that I’m trying eke out a living by baking, it’s especially nice to do so without slow-roasting the house in the process. Because let’s be clear – nobody wants the oven on all day when it’s already hot in the house. Some of my recipes even work better in the cold! And so many yummy recipes scream fall – recall these  Maple Bourbon Cupcakes??

Maple Bourbon Cupcakes!

I may live in the Midwest now, but at heart I’m still sort of a New Yorker. As such, we usually take the kids apple picking – it’s great to watch them running around the apple groves; picking out pumpkins and eating too many cider donuts. (FYI, don’t try making these donuts. It’s a boat load of work and it’s just easier to let someone else do it. And that’s coming from a baker!)

After a day of apple picking, there’s only one thing to do – BAKE! There are so  many good pie  recipes (dutch, traditional, caramel)! Plus apple crisp, apple cinnamon muffins, and of course more pie. And that’s just the apples. Fall also cries out for hearty cold-weather fare like lasagna, chili, home-made macaroni, roast dinners. Soup, pumpkin pie, homemade bread. Mmmmmmm.

Don’t forget the cider!

Ooh, ooh don’t forget the cider!! I dunno why but something about cider just says fall. I’m not talking about the stuff in the gallon jug at the market. I mean the grownup kind. After all, this is primarily a boozy blog, right?

This is the season when I start to crave cider. This one pictured above I bought last year in the Finger Lakes when home for a wedding. A year later, I finally opened it with Gina last week. Delish!

S’mores for them, Woodford-laced coffee for me @ Park and Field

Speaking of bourbon, it’s just perfect for fall – warms you up from the inside out. We already know I like my bourbon neat, but it’s also super delicious in coffee or tea. And lately, the Husband has been perfecting the hot toddy. It’s amazing, but we’re nearly out of bourbon!

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not wearing rose-colored glasses. I know fall isn’t perfect. I’m well aware of her dark side. Have we ever talked about my intense hatred of critters? When the cold weather hits, these awful creatures have the audacity to think they should come inside and live with me!! No way.

Then there are the fall allergies. Last year we couldn’t even open the windows because all that fresh air tried to kill the Big and me! No, really. Our allergies are so bad that my poor 3rd grader is on three (yep, THREE) different allergy meds to ward off the congestion. Fortunately it seems to be working because this year we can open the windows occasionally and only add a little extra suffering.

Next, the early weeks of autumn leading up to Halloween are a mine field for me with constant commercials for scary movies. I’m so not good with scary movies, I can’t even handle the commercials for them! I seriously had nightmares when Blair Witch came out. Even the so-called family channels aren’t safe for me.

But I still love fall! The Husband takes his bug spraying duties seriously and I choose very carefully when watching TV. And then I bake to my heart’s content. What’s your favorite thing about Fall??

Wouldn’t you love fall with boots this cool?

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