blaze of summer’s last
fling; scarlet burns in sunlight
leaves aflame with light
fire by Angie Quantrell
Photo credit: Angie Quantrell, November 2019, Columbia River State Park, Washington
leaves, pumpkins, frosty fall-yes
but not freezing temps
dig out the hats, scarves,
mittens and gloves, heavy coats
cheers for toasty drinks
sixteen degrees by Angie Quantrell
Brr, baby, it’s cold outside! Low teens in October? Frozen pumpkins, water sources, fingers, and noses. My grand thinks now it should snow and there will be icicles and sledding. It’s definitely cold enough, but clear blue skies portend otherwise.
To a week complete with an earlier tiny window of snow flurries (we saw nary a speck), come on winter, we’re bundled up tight.
How’s your weather? What’s your favorite cold weather toasty drink?
why, precious wee orb
fall is here, you are fragile
i fear no hatching
out of season by Angie Quantrell
I discovered this nest yesterday while on a walk. Several other eggs were spread about willy-nilly, but these two were nestled as much as possible. I felt so sad for the out of season eggs. No chance at hatching or survival. Why?
But still beautiful.
Yesterday, while I was watching the Seahawks shoot themselves in the feet, I mean LOSE but with style, I gave in to my urge to bake. The day went like this.
Home from church. Make tuna salad for lunch. Clean up.
Tuna Salad: two cans tuna, drained; 1 celery stick, chopped; 1/2 red onion, diced; about 1/4 c. dill relish; 1/4 c. chopped walnuts; fresh ground black pepper; cayenne; cumin; and enough mayo to make it mix well. I ate mine over cherry tomatoes. My honey ate his on his favorite whole grain bread. No pictures of this, but it was tasty!
Bake Gingerbread Muffins. Clean up.
I found this recipe at the What’s for Dinner Moms? blog. I’ve found quite a few tasty treats on this blog. As usual, I adjusted the recipe to our tastes, using whole wheat and almond flour, and added allspice and cloves, and swapped out white sugar and added brown. I also doubled the icing. These are so yummy!
Bake Oatmeal Cups. Clean up.
Okay. So the recipe calls them Granola Cups with Yogurt and Berries. I was taste testing them for a Jello Molders weekend. They came out pretty good. I found this recipe in an old 2017 issue of Cooking Light.
Bake Mexican Chocolate Cookies. Clean up.
These spicy little treats are awesome. The cayenne livens things up a bit. And chocolate? Of course they are delicious. This recipe is from a May issue of Martha Stewart, but I’ve accidentally torn off the year…
Put a pot of chicken soup on to simmer. Clean up.
There are no pictures of this first soup of the season. But know I used up the rest of our Costco rotisserie chicken, celery, onions, a potato, kale from the garden, a bag of mixed frozen veggies, stewed tomatoes, chicken broth, Mrs. Dash, crushed red pepper, black pepper, and poultry seasoning. It was excellent served with a dollop of sour cream. My honey added corn chips to the top.
Eat dinner. Clean up.
I’d say for a Sunday, I spent a lot of time cleaning up! A friend and I consider washing dishes a workout. Including breakfast dishes, I worked out 6 times! You should see my buff arm and shoulder muscles. 🙂 In the RV, one must clean up EVERY time a new dish is prepared. Space and tiny sink and all.
The successes were ALL of the above. It was a tasty day. Other than the Seahawks losing.
How about you? What do you like to bake or simmer in the fall? Happy first day of autumn!
Written by Pat Zietlow Miller
Illustrated by Anne Wilsdorf
Schwartz & Wade Books, 2013
Meet one of my favorite fall books: Sophie’s Squash.
One day, Sophie falls in love with a butternut squash while shopping with her parents at the farmers’ market. And names her Bernice. While Sophie’s parents have culinary plans for the squash, Sophie adopts Bernice as her child and lovingly, protectively, and firmly cares for her new baby. Plans contradict each other as Bernice matures the way of other squash and Sophie’s parents attempt to put Bernice out of her misery. But Sophie remains committed to the relationship and cares for Bernice in such manner as dictated by squash. And then, surprise!
I won’t ruin it for you, but I love the ending. And the sequel, Sophie’s Squash Go to School, is just as much fun.
What I love: The VOICE of Sophie and the entire cast (even Bernice) is fantastic. I love her character. I adore fall books. I love stories relatable to young children. Everyone knows at least one kid who forms an odd yet endearing attachment to some random item. I love that about this book. I love Sophie and her commitment to Bernice.
Thanks to Pat for this copy of Sophie’s Squash in Chinese! How fun is that?!
harbinger of change
fecund to bursting with life,
sleep cycle begin
pumpkin by Angie Quantrell
Pumpkins are some of my favorite fall sights. Add colorful falling leaves, the crunch and swish of piles swirling as I walk, brisk air, silver mornings, and bustling life preparing for winter’s rest. Autumn is the time to stock up, cozy up, and cuddle in to enjoy hot soup, warm drinks, and wild weather. Who’ll join me?
What signs of fall do you enjoy? Add your favorites in the comment section. Bonus points for haiku!
See above official Nana bus work uniform when riding the rail between late summer and early fall. Near freezing temps in the morning, lovely 70’s in the afternoon. This is my AM solution, a perfect solution in my mind.
I know, I know. Wearing socks with sandals? A fashion faux pas on so many levels. We used to tease my daddy about wearing socks (white KNEE socks) with his sandals, a haute couture nod to blindingly pale flesh-colored knees and leg skin.
But sometimes, the toes just get too cold. The tennis shoes reside in the trunk, ever ready for a walk when out running errands, the air felt too cold to stop outside in the pre-dawn and put on sneakers, and I must quickly be on my way to perform Nana bus duties.
Socks with sandals won.
So. What’s your vote? YES for socks, NO for no socks. Bonus points if you admit to wearing socks with your sandals.
By Lisa Amstutz
Pictures by Tabitha Shipman
Albert Whitman & Company, 2017
I love Applesauce Day!
Fall is my favorite time of year, when the apples, pumpkins, squash, and other great produce is harvested. I can’t wait to sink my greedy fingers into a box of apples or a trunk-load of pumpkins.
Applesauce Day takes me right into autumn. I can just imagine the fun and tradition of gathering with family to make large amounts of applesauce. What tastes better than homemade applesauce? Nothing! Ok, maybe homemade pumpkin pie or apple cake or pear tartes or . . .
This lovely picture book tells the tale of a family traveling from the big city to the orchards to pick apples and then to grandma’s house to put those apples to good use. What’s special about Applesauce Day is the family heirloom – the applesauce cooking pot. Family traditions and passed-down items are a passion of mine, so I immediately bonded with this tale.
I found Applesauce Day to be well written and beautifully illustrated. Flashbacks! I don’t know that I’ve seen other picture books with flashbacks, but the ones in this book are adorable.
Even though apple season is at an end, boxes of apples are still available. Go ahead. You know you want to read this book and make applesauce. Just imagine the scent of warm apples and cinnamon wafting through your home. See? I can smell it from here.
Make Crock-Pot Applesauce
apples, cinnamon, water
1. Wash, peel, and core apples. Slice into wedges.
2. Put apples in Crock-Pot. Sprinkle liberally with cinnamon. Add about 1/4 cup water.
3. Cover Crock-Pot with lid. Turn heat to high and let it simmer. Occasionally stir and check apples for tenderness.
4. When apples are soft and mushy, use a potato masher to mash the apples into sauce. I love chunks, so I don’t strain it.
5. Eat warm! Cool and put the rest in the fridge. Or freeze individual containers for later.
I love making Crock-Pot Applesauce with my students every fall. Everyone brings 2 apples, no matter what variety, and we put them all together to cook. By the end of the day, everyone in the school wants what’s bubbling in our room!
I’d love to hear (and smell and taste) how your applesauce turns out!