I've never been terribly fond of it before. It's cold and wet and chilly. The fresh berries are gone. The trees lose their leaves. Winter starts looming.
(Oh, how I detest winter.)
But no. This year I will enjoy fall. And so far I have. It was helped along by my growing interest in food and sustainability. What grows in what season? What should I look for? What are the local farmers selling now? What new in-season foods can I add to our menu? What new recipes can I try?
Last week it was apple butter and apple sauce. Nothing fancy, but I've never made either before so it was exciting enough for me. Tonight it was roasted butternut squash. That stuff is delicious!
I've also been enjoying apple cider this month. This intrigues me, as I've always hated apple juice. To be perfectly honest, it looks and smells like pee. Which makes me think it tastes like pee. But apple cider? YUM.
Fall also means the return of the pumpkin hat! Oh pumpkin hat, how I adore thee. (Though not nearly as much as I adore the little boy whose head you sit upon.)
Fall means carpets of leaves to wade through in the wooded area behind our house.
Why have I never properly appreciated this place before? It's beautiful. Our own secret land to explore...
...or just to admire as we sit and contemplate.
So I've decided - fall isn't so bad after all.
Perhaps next year I can work on appreciating winter too.
Peel and quarter 10 apples and place in large pot.
1 1/2 cups brown sugar
1 1/4 cups apple juice
1 Tbsp ground cinnamon
1 Tbsp lemon juice
1 tsp ground allspice
1 tsp ground nutmeg
1/2 tsp ground cloves
Admire your spice rack for the umpteenth time.
Heat all ingredients to boiling, stirring occasionally. Reduce heat. Cover and simmer for 1 hour. Mash apples. Simmer uncovered for 1 hour more, stirring occasionally.
Cool for 2 hours and store in the fridge for up to 3 weeks (alternatively, freeze or can it). Serve with the most amazing biscuits ever. Make a mental note to thank your MIL for that Betty Crocker cookbook.
Peel and quarter 4 apples and place in crock pot.
You'll notice mine are unpeeled. Big mistake. I'd read that they were easier to peel after they had been cooked. Again - big mistake. It didn't even give my applesauce the nice "rosy glow" I had been promised. Next time, I peel my apples before cooking them.
1/4 cup water
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
1/8 tsp ground nutmeg
Cover and cook on High for 2 hours or until apples are tender. Stir/mash/puree to desired consistency.
Store in fridge (or can it).
I'm beginning to love fall.
Next up - making pumpkin bread with that cute little pie pumpkin. Assuming I don't change my mind and decide to make pumpkin butter instead. Or pumpkin pie. Or pumpkin cookies.
Oh, the decisions.