Cozy, crisp October. When fall really starts to seep into your bones. When the sweaters come out from the back of the closet and you’d be a fool to leave the house without gloves and a scarf. When I think of October in Seattle, I think of perfect, crisp fall days. The sun is shining, but it’s not warm. There are not so many rainy days that you grow weary of the gloom… yet. I think of snuggling up in front of a fire with a good book and a cup of tea. And although I probably have only ever done that once in my life, October just puts me in that quaint state of mind. Plus, now that it’s truly fall, I consider it to be totally acceptable to start openly drooling at all the splendor that is the Christmas season.
As I was daydreaming about October and fall and all the delight that this time of the year brings to me, I began to wonder if I could pinpoint a single, favorite fall memory. A million things and no one specific thing rush to mind – I think what determines the definition of favorite changes over time, so it’s a difficult notion to capture. But nonetheless, in rifling through old memories, I thought of a few winners.
– Trick-or-treating as a little kid – we would walk around the neighborhood banging on doors and demanding candy (raging on sugar highs does not make for the nicest children). I remember specifically in 6th or 7th grade when our group of girls combined with the boys and we did a co-ed trick-or-treat excursion. Someone’s mom and dad walked behind us at an acceptably embarrassing distance and we ran up and down the hills thinking we were oh-so-cool. I just remember having so much fun that night.
– Carving pumpkins with my sisters – we would draw with black Sharpie the faces we wanted to make on our jack-o-lanterns and then our dad would carefully extract the cutout portions and we’d scoop out the gross, gooey insides, squealing and cracking up the whole time. Last year I did the “grown up” version and I cut out my creation all by myself. We had a little competition… which one do you think should win??
– FOOTBALL: pre-teen going to Husky games, high school football (we never won, but it was such a fun social event), college era Husky football (even though we were atrociously bad during my four years, the experience was nothing short of epic), and current Husky football (read: tailgating). I love getting bundled up, making/scromping on deelish tailgate appetizers, socializing, and rooting on my team – fall is always synonymous with football. Go Dawgs!
– Homemade chili on Halloween – my mom started making this one spooky Halloween night many years ago and it’s become a beloved tradition in our family. Before we went out in our costumes, we sat down to a scrumptious dinner of slow simmered homemade chili with homemade cornbread and homemade apple cider. One year I volunteered to help with the meal, offering to make the cornbread. Upon pulling it out of the oven, I immediately knew I must have done something wrong – it was as flat as my… it was very flat. I realized I had left out the baking powder, so I ditched round one and moved on to round two. Where I proceeded to use baking SODA instead of baking POWDER. Well, they say third time’s a charm… These days, I just use the Marie Callender’s cornbread. It comes in a bag (shameful) and it is perfection. Hard to mess that up.
– Last year I celebrated the first annual Mashed Potato Madness and besides a slight tiff about the proper way to do dishes (THEY HAVE TO BE RINSED BEFORE YOU PUT THEM IN THE DISHWASHER), it was a fabulous night and so much fun to cook with my sistah (who is a GREAT cook!) This year, I’m hoping she’ll host it at her new (and adorable) house.
What is/are your favorite memories of fall?
Here are a few things I’m looking forward to doing during this awesome season (all courtesy of Pinterest.com – I am an addict):
Pumpkin carving – thought this would be a cool idea: use cookie cutters and a hammer to make clean cut shapes (my hand is a wee bit shaky…)
Fun googly-eye nails!
Rolling up a “thankful” fortune in a crescent roll – everyone submits one before Thanksgiving and then you can try to guess whose is whose when you eat them! We’ll try this out at MPM 2011 and report back.
Looking forward to a fabulous fall!