Tag Archives: Fall

Goodbye October

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Goodbye October.

I hate to see you go.

I think you might be my favorite month because you bring with you so many of my favorite things … beautiful crisp weather, radiant leaves, comfort food, jeans, and warm sweaters.  And if Mother Nature had to pick a favorite child, I think you’d be hers too.  Not because she loves the others any less, but because you bring such beautiful changes to this season – long-awaited, much-anticipated and greatly appreciated cool temperatures, landscapes painted with colors not easily replicated, new life breathed into stale air, and early nights when everyone is inside. Together.  You are perfection with your cool days that are not cold, warm days that are not hot, gray skies that make us long for afternoon naps in front of televised football games, and Carolina blue skies that make the whole world want to go outside.

You bring perfect pumpkins that decorate porches and magically transform into a dizzying variety of delicious baked goods. We joke around here that Halloween kicks off the holiday eating season as plastic handled jack-o’-lanterns are rummaged through for favorite candy treats.  As your days stretch on, traditional family favorites that we wait to indulge in all year are finally enjoyed.  Again and again, from now until New Years.  Or maybe January second.

You remind us that the holidays are coming.  And soon.  They will be here before we know it. And there is a calm, happiness in anticipating all the joy that comes with them without being caught up in the hurried bustle of it all – quiet yet. I can still flip through glossy, festive magazines while checking out at the grocery store, pondering tables settings, Thanksgiving menus, Christmas cards, and gift ideas without having heart palpitations and a sweaty brow, knowing deadlines are looming.

You are a giver, October.  Sharing  your beauty, selflessly handing it over at its peak.  November starts today, granting an extension to so many things I love.  And this weekend she comes with an extra hour of sleep.  November might be my favorite too.

Okay.  Second favorite.

 

 

How To Make Easy Caramel Apples

Easy Caramel Apples

Yea! Fall is here and the girls wanted to celebrate the start of our favorite season with caramel apples.  In all honesty, I was a wee bit hesitant, but they couldn’t have been easier to make. We took a shortcut and used packaged caramel candies, but if you want to get fancy and make homemade gourmet ones from scratch  then here is a good tutorial.

I was in charge of using the big knife to chop up the M&M snack mix and taking the hot bowl of melty caramel out of the microwave. Other than that, the girls really did most of it by themselves. Including photographing each other, trying to engage the apples in conversation on what they would like to “wear” with their caramel, and reenacting the poison apple scene from Snow White.

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Here’s what you’ll need (besides photographers and actresses):

2 bags of caramel candies, unwrapped
2 Tbs milk (start with just one tablespoon and add more as needed)
8 apples
8 wooden sticks
Silicon mat or parchment lined cookie sheet for setting finished apples
Toppings of your choice

Direction:
1. Wash apples, insert sticks into stem sides, and line ’em up on the countertop.

2. Prepare toppings in bowls. (We used mini chocolate chips, toasted almonds, and coarsely chopped sweet and salty M&M snack mix.) Set them close by the prepared cookie sheet.

3. Melt caramel and milk in microwave, about 90 seconds total. Stop and stir about every 30 seconds and adjust melting times accordingly.

4. Working fairly quickly, dunk apple in melted caramel. Swirl and/or use a spoon if need be. Once the apple is coated, let it rest on the cookie sheet until all apples have been dipped.

5. Once all apples are coated, go back and dip and roll them in the toppings, gently pressing the goodies into the caramel. Return them to the cookie sheet.

6. After all the apples are topped, dressed, and coated in all the goodies you have set out, chill them in the refrigerator for a bit to set completely.

7. If sharing with friends, transfer to a small disk of parchment that generously covers the base of the apple and loosely bag with a cellphone treat bag. They will last a couple of days until the moisture gets the best of them.

Enjoy!

First Day Of Fall

I We Some of us have been waiting for this day for a while around here. I bought a pumpkin for the porch last week and everyone thought I was nuts. But fall was so close I could feel it and I couldn’t help myself. Not everyone felt the same enthusiasm. After a few “why is there a pumpkin on the porch?!” questions I decided to play it cool and wait a few days before adding anything else. Tough crowd. Sheesh.

Ionely pumpkin

But today, fall is finally here. Maggie has been ready for fall too and last week she started counting down the days. She rescued me from yard work grabbed me near the precise hour she had been patiently waiting for. We listened quietly to the hands on the kitchen wall clock tick towards 4:44 and we waited to see the anticipated numbers illuminate the microwave. She let out a little squeal of delight and hugged me tight when the magic numbers finally appeared. Then we went outside and she jumped for joy, as happy as I was to have fall here.

Maggie jumps for joy

And I smiled at my lonely pumpkin as I introduced it to a new friend, ready to do my own happy dance and leaps in the air as we welcome my favorite season. Only I really won’t be leaping. That’s not likely to end so happily.

pumpkin and mum

Happy Fall!