Fall in love: October

Does the world really need yet another blog post about Fall? Yeah!!!! Fall is AMAZING! Now, you may disagree (you’d be wrong😛) but It’s one of my favorite seasons and I intend to show you why.

“I’m so glad I live in a world where there are Octobers.”– L.M. Montgomery, Anne of Green Gables

Summer is like the friend you haven’t seen in a long time who shows up at your door. You’re delighted to see them and it’s so much fun…at first. Then you remember they’re THAT friend that always comes on too strong, how exhausting they are and how they always, WAAAAY overstay their welcome.

Could be, you haven’t seen them in so long….ON PURPOSE! That’s totally how I view Summer. By the end, the heat has become insufferable and I’m hiding from the unending sunlight. Where I live, the sun comes up at a ridiculous hour and remains until nearly 9pm!

But, Fall brings welcomed relief with cool breezes, shorter days and I FALL in love with being outside again, with the glorious colors exploding over the hills, the smells, flavors and the excitement of holidays just around the bend.

“Every leaf speaks bliss to me / Fluttering from the autumn tree.”
Emily Brontë

Things I love about Fall and how to make the most of this wonderful season.

Decorate! Break out the pumpkins and bright colored mums! As soon as the first cool breeze blows and leaf tumbles to the ground, I am running to the garage to pull out boxes of fall decor and rushing to town for baskets of mums. Inside, centerpieces set from my pumpkin collection with fall leaves and garlands, spills out the door onto the porch. An Autumn wreath is placed, bordered by mums and pumpkins. Lanterns are set and fall colored pillows replace the summer blues on patio seating.

Get out about town! This is the season of festivals, from Fall Fests, Apple & Cotton Pickin’ festivals with competitions, vendors, live music, fiddler contests and chili cook offs. Last weekend we took our daughter and grands to the 1st annual chili cook off in the nearby town of Camdenton. We had fantastic fun but next year, I will be entering and winning that contest! Haha!

Go on a nature treasure hunt. Finding a small basket, I gave it to my young granddaughter, Adalie and took her on a Fall treasure hunt for brightly colored leaves and lingering wild flowers that we can press between pages of our books. I do this every year and now share this tradition with her.

“No spring nor summer beauty hath such grace as I have seen in one autumnal face – John Donne

Visit a Pumpkin Patch! Our daughter brought the kids over so in the spirit of Fall, we headed over to Mecca Farms in Roach Missouri. We enjoyed a hayride that carried us through the woods to the farm where the kids could run through an obstacle course, climb a hay bale mountain, build scarecrows, meet and pet farm animals and pick out their favorite pumpkins from the patch.

“I cannot endure to waste anything so precious as autumnal sunshine by staying in the house.”
Nathaniel Hawthorne

Flee the hustle & bustle of day to day life by exploring solitude. Take a long walk through a secluded park, silence your mind, breath deeply the fresh air, restore your soul….Autumn is traditionally a season of letting things go

Reconnect with nature. With the advent of cooler temperatures where we enjoy hoodie mornings and T-shirt afternoons, don your hikers, pack a lunch and head to the woods! Note the expanding palette over the hills, through valley. Silently move among the wild things living there. Remember, remember that you are an integral part of all that is around you…created, belonging, an ever changing expression of beauty.

“Autumn burned brightly, a running flame through the mountains, a torch flung to the trees,” 
Faith Baldwin

“Autumn leaves don’t fall, they fly. They take their time and wander on this their only chance to soar.”– Delia Owens, Where the Crawdads Sing

Explore the aroma of Fall, ripe with pumpkin, apples and pears. Harvest fruits fill the air of every storefront, spiced with cinnamon, cardamom, nutmeg, anise. And, cedar and wood smoke fill the night air.

Go shopping for candles to fill your home with Autumn and books for cozy nights by the fire. Unpack your sweaters, leggings and scarves. Dust off your boots. Rake leaves into piles. Carve a pumpkin or two.

And let’s not forget to experience the flavor of Fall. It’s the season of steamy pots of soups and stews served with hot crusty loaves. A time for baked apple pies and blackberry cobblers, for caramel apples and caramel corn. And everything pumpkin under the sun, from pies, cakes, Pumpkin Breads to soups and pasta dishes.

As much as I seem to love all things Fall, I have a shocking confession….I’m not a huge fan of pumpkin. (*Gasp*) It’s true. I love the look of them, the idea of them and I like pumpkin bread but that’s about it. I don’t detest pumpkin pie but given a choice, I’d choose pecan every time. In fact, I can’t see myself ever ordering it or anything else pumpkin from a restaurant menu.

I love to cook. It’s a talent I’ve been blessed with and I’ve made my fair share of pumpkin pies, pumpkin cheesecakes, cakes, soups and even a pumpkin rigatoni. I make them well though I’m simply not a fan, try as I might. But, if you are a pumpkin head, I’ll leave you this:

pumpkin rigatoni 

  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 1 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground sage
  • 3 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 cup finely diced yellow onion
  • 1 cup canned pumpkin
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 cup milk
  • salt, to taste
  • 1 lb rigatoni or other pasta of choice

Instructions

  1. Melt butter in a dutch oven, then add the garlic and onion
  2. Cook over medium high heat for 8 – 10 minutes, stirring often, until onion is softened
  3. Add milk, pumpkin, heavy cream, and sage, and cook over medium low heat, stirring often, until it begins to thicken, around 10 – 15 minutes
  4. Add the parmesan cheese in and stir (this will thicken it more)
  5. Cook the rigatoni to al dente, drain, and add to the pumpkin sauce
  6. Salt to taste (I used 1 teaspoon)
  7. Serve topped with additional parmesan cheese

Top it with crisp bacon crumbles or rosemary walnut Crisps.

Rosemary Walnut Crisps. 1 cup walnuts, chopped 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh rosemary leaves. 1 tablespoon melted butter. 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt (more to taste) black pepper to taste

Arrange chopped walnuts on a small sheet pan and toast in the oven for 8-10 minutes. Remove from the oven and toss with rosemary, butter, salt, and pepper. Set aside to cool.

Every season has it’s own glory, beauty, aroma, flavor, experience… celebrate it fully. Fall in Love with Fall again.

Always with love – Laura💕

33 comments

  1. I’m with you … not a fan of the flavor of pumpkin but enjoy all the other aspects. And autumn foliage? Gotta love it. Unfortunately, those colors never last long enough. So we must enjoy it while it lasts 🍁

    Liked by 1 person

  2. ps: maybe I’ll post what is considered a “pumpkin patch” around here. Very sad indeed. I’ll have to take a drive to see if they’re even happening this year (we’re still under a lot of restrictions).

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  3. The sign, “max $7” for pumpkins is killing me!! I think ours start around that price, despite a flooded market.

    I’m neutral on pumpkin flavor but luuuuve pumpkin spice (aka cloves, nutmeg, & cinnamon).

    Your pic of the variety of pumpkins is great to show Aussies who, in general, only get 1 variety and only consider it as edible squash.

    “Fall/Autumn”… we had 2 days of it then back to fire/heatwave. There’s no plant color changing anywhere near me and it will be a few more weeks before warm clothes are justified, at which time all So CA natives will appreciate the lack of a heatwave but declare temps “too cold!” I like to say that anything below 64° feels like snow to us!!!

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    • Lol, in truth, I was amazed! The plain orange ones have always been rather pricey back in Oklahoma so imagine my delight to find that even the rarer green and white varieties which were so outrageously priced back home, were so cheap! Of course I had to nab a few of those. My grands both chose orange pumpkins but both decided on the largest ones they could find. My granddaughter made a beeline for hers and I died laughing watching her with both hands gripping the stalk, swat down throwing both her legs and back into it and still not being able to lift it from the ground! Once I composed myself, I sent my hubs to help her and drag it to the cashier. …just $7! Felt like we’d found pumpkin heaven! Lol
      I’m just hot natured so never a fan of excessive heat. When it hits 65°, I’ve found my xanadu! A few years ago, we left our home in Oklahona in August with temps at 110°F for Ireland for 2 weeks. The temps there were around 65° and Clay darn near couldn’t get me on the plane to go back home! Lol

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    • Girl, I feel that! My entire young life was spent running up & down Texas from Corpus Christi to DFW to Angleton, Freeport, Lake Jackson and my son born in Clear Lake. Maybe that’s why I have such live for living where there are clear defined seasons.

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    • Thank you so much, Cheryl! It occurred to me that I left acorns. They are the bane of my existence in the fall. Lol My home is surrounded by about 29 very large, very mature oak trees. They fall like rain and at times I’m certain the squirrels are throwing them hardball style at me. The porch is forever covered in them which reeks havoc on bare feet and a slip risk in shoes…but In spite of my distain, there is a blessing. The deer love them and how lovely the sight of them gracing my yard to eat. 😊💕

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