Autumn & The Last Drops Of Summer
The storms finally arrived bringing with them falling temps and tumbling leaves. I have counted the days for months, longing for the turning of the season and shift of the breeze. Impatient as I am for the favored colder months, I have already planned autumn activities, pulled out recipes and served a celebratory soup.
It’s Fall at last as evidenced by the fiery colors teasing the edges of green valleys, acorn covered steps and crisp leaves along the drive. I am anxious to unpack my pumpkins, hang Autumn wreaths and replace summer flowers with brightly colored mums. I am anxious too, for chilly breezes, sweaters and boots but I fear that that is still some weeks away.
Things to do: Free to Frugal
Unpack our hiking boots! As the cooler weather rolls in and the trees bursts into vibrant colors, we will hike through the wooded mountains of HaHa Tonka park. Turkey Pen Hollow is a 6.7 mile, moderate trail looping through the heavily forested hills. The castle trail is but a short stroll but it is my hope to visit it during the height of fall to capture some pics of the castle ruins that sits high upon the bluff above the lake.
*Wish list item: tour the Ozark Caverns by lantern.
*Attend The Old Tyme Apple Festival in the heart of the local mennonite community in the nearby city of Versailles providing they hold it this year. .. There will be a sock hop, arts & crafts, apple pie contest, antique car show, baby dumplin & darlin contest, a fiddler’s contest, live music and everything apple!
*Bake, Bake, Bake! Apple and pecan pies, apple walnut cakes, pumpkin bread and pumpkin dog biscuits for my spoiled dogs.
*Carve pumpkins that I’ve picked from a pumpkin patch. I’m bored with the same old Jack-O-lanterns that are seen virtually everywhere and not being one for Halloween decor, I want to try my hand at a filigree type pattern for lovely lanterns on my porch.
*Go window shopping: I love strolling past the shops fragranced with apple, cinnamon and pumpkin spice. We’ll stop along our way, popping in for a warm drink to carry with us. Clay usually has a pumpkin spiced latte while I, a hot cocoa. We stop in the Yankee Candle shop, stocking up on the candles of the season and Bath & Body Works.
*Make Popcorn balls, candied and caramel apples & pears. Carry them to nieghbors to celebrate the season with them. I’m excited to simmer hearty soups, stews and chili. I am ready for the first fire in the fireplace and the smell of it on the frigid night air…the inklings of winter soon.
*Spend hours curled up on the couch with a blanket and good book. I love retrieving a loved book from the shelf that I haven’t read in a long while, flipping through, discovering the brightly colored fall leaves that I had pressed between it’s pages in seasons past.
I haven’t been camping in a long while but Autumn was my favorite time of year. I loved waking in the morning to the scent of the campfire and blowing frosty breath over cups of steaming coffee. I loved the long meandering walks we’d take with the dogs down trails and winding country lanes, stargazing and talking for hours by the fire with no phones, computers or TV’s.
*I want to take a hayride, get lost in a corn maze, follow the wine trail, visiting Shawnee Bluff and Seven Springs vineyards. Maybe we’ll see an evening concert at the outdoor amphitheater or picnic in the park.
I am ready for Autumn, anxiously awaiting the turning of the season and the leaves but for now, I’ll spend these last few warm days wringing out the last drops of summer. I’ll swim off my dock, kayak around our cove and take the last few afternoon cruises around the lake before packing Summer and my toys away.
Granted, I’m not one for withstanding heat very well so Summer is my least favorite, yet I am reminded that each season is a gift and holds it’s own unique blessings and beauty….each its own flavors, fragrance, activities and each with a hope
and anticipation of the next to come. 😊
Always with Love – Laura💕
CHEESY POTATO & BROCCOLI SOUP
1 1/2 cups of diced onions
1/4 cup of butter
4 cups of diced potatoes
1 grated carrot
2 cups of water
1 teaspoon of salt
1/2 teaspoon of pepper
1- 2 tsp minced garlic
can of evaporated milk
2 tablespoons of chopped parsley
1/4 cup of potato flakes
diced green onions
optional add, 1 cup frozen chopped broccoli
may add velveeta
sauté onion & carrots in butter until tender. Add potatoes, water and seasonings. boil until potatoes are tender then add remaining ingredients plus optional ingredients if desired.
I shop the day old bakery shelf and found these wonderful large roll. I wrapped them in foil and placed in the oven while making the soup then hollowed out for bread bowls!
PUMPKIN DOG BISCUITS
3/4 cup pumpkin puree (NOT PIE FILLING)
1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
1 egg yolk
1 cup flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
Preheat oven to 375F and line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.
In a large bowl using an electric mixer, stir together pumpkin, peanut butter, and egg yolk until completely combined.
In a separate bowl, whisk together flours and baking powder.
Gradually add flour mixture to pumpkin mixture until completely combined (dough will be quite dry).
Transfer dough to a lightly floured surface and roll out to approximately 1/4″ thickness.
Use cookie cutters to cut shapes out of dough and transfer cut out cookies to prepared cookie sheet, placing at least 1″ apart.
Re-combine any dough scraps and re-roll and then cut out to use all of your dough.
Bake cookies on 375F for 20 minutes for small cookies and 25 minutes for large cookies.
Allow to cool completely before sharing with your pet.
Keep uneaten cookies in an airtight container for up to two weeks.
*Please double check the ingredients to ensure that the peanut butter does not contain xylitol, which can be toxic to dogs. Most peanut butters do not contain this, but always double-check the ingredient list just to be safe
***You can drizzle with while candy melts if desired.