Welcome to October, friends! It’s a fresh, new season, and with it come cooler temps, tasty eats in the kitchen and the best time of year for outdoor fun and gatherings.
If I were to choose seasonal favorites, I would have to choose fall. It is the season Isaac and I married, the season we celebrate both of our birthdays and our first born, John Braxton, was born November 18. I want to cook all the pumpkin things, take a hundred evening walks on the farm and dance in my kitchen to Van Morrison singing Warm Love.
Add into the mix ‘still living in pandemic life’ and we have the makings of simple joys we often overlooked. How much tastier is pecan pie going to be this year? And how much more beautiful is the maple tree going to be when it turns 10 shades of orange just before Thanksgiving. Oh, be still my heart, we are just at the beginning.
What are your favorite things to do in the fall? I encourage you to make a list for yourself or with your family. Keep it simple and be sure to include people you want to see and spend time with. It may be hiking or biking forgotten trails or cooking up your favorite pot of chili. The idea is that it’s yours. Your season to soak in crisp moments of time, to find simple joys and bring the warm feelings of fall into your home.
I have given you a little bit of a head start with the following. Take a few of these ideas, maybe all of them, and get inspired to feel all this season has to offer. And don’t forget to share with others; many are still physically distant, but their hearts are longing for human connection. My hope is we can all be the Warm Love of Fall.
1. Backyard Chili-Dog Supper. This is so easy and practical. It gets everyone outdoors for dinner without all the fuss and to-do. I add in Fritos or Tater-tots. Maybe even a backyard game!
2. Outside Fire with Friends. Bring on the cozy and new scenery for fellowship. I can imagine red wine, kids with marshmallow sticks and catching up with neighbors. No plan or agenda, just simple and savory.
3. Family Hike: Lake Martin or Chewacla. Get out a bit and explore. There are multiple trails in Dadeville around Lake Martin: Smith Mountain Fire Tower and Cherokee Ridge Alpine Trail. And one cannot beat Chewacla State Park. Outdoor adventure in our own Alabama backyard.
4. Jackson Lake Island: Millbrook. This is the loveliest southern day trip; wild goats wandering over a luscious green island, covered in meadows and massive oak trees, drooping with moss. It is a dream. If you haven’t been, it’s a must!
5. Pot-Luck Dinner. Set up a few tables outside for your favorite people and ask everyone to bring a dish. Gather blooms and branches to decorate the tables and keep it easy with paper plates. We must remember to gather together. We cannot give up this important piece of our southern roots and culture.
6. Pretend tailgate. Whether with kids included or adults only, enjoy the football! Order your favorite takeout or barbecue. Set up all the fun as before, just with no campus and less work (I’ll take that!) Get out the pom-poms, the drinks, the chairs and maybe even your tent. Do what you must and host the perfect at-home tailgate!
7. Bake Pumpkin Muffins. This is one of our favorites! I love baking and having homemade treats for my kids in the morning or after school. Pumpkin muffins are a favorite for anyone, old or young. And I’m giving all my fine readers a bonus … my recipe!
Happy fall from me to all of you! If you have some favorite fall things you enjoy, I’d love to hear from you too. Feel free to email me at Bradley.firstname.lastname@example.org.
2.5 cups Sugar
1 cup oil
I can Pumpkin
Mix all well together in Mixer.
Add in 3 cups flour, 1 teaspoon each: cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, baking soda. Add 1/2 teaspoon each salt and baking powder.
Mix all together well.
Bake at 325 degrees for 25 to 30 minutes for standard muffin size.