Welcome to Fall!
If you’re in the northern hemisphere (and more specifically in the northern stretch of North America) I think you can safely pull out your scarves, sweaters, and tall leather boots, because I don’t see temps higher than the 70s in the extended forecast. More leaves cover the ground than they do the trees every day, and I smelled the comforting scent of woodsmoke drifting from a neighbor’s chimney last Saturday evening. It’s officially autumn!
What is it about this season that enchants people? I think enchantment is exactly it. Autumn in the northern hemisphere ushers in a host of holidays around the world: Yom Kippur, Diwali, Halloween, Mawlid al-Nabi, Thanksgiving, Hanukah, Winter Solstice, Las Posadas, Christmas, Kwanzaa, and the New Year among them. Holidays are occasions that evoke magic and wonder. Beauty and goodwill. Love and a festive spirit. Crisp fall weather and the taste of cider and spice are indelibly linked in our minds to these seasonal holidays.
A Recipe for the Holidays:
Taco Pumpkin Seeds
1 cups of seeds from a freshly-cut pumpkin, washed and dried
2 tablespoons of vegetable oil
1 to 2 tablespoons of taco seasoning
¼ to ½ teaspoon of garlic salt (to taste)
Preheat oven to 325 degrees. In a skillet, sauté the pumpkin seeds in oil for 5 minutes or until lightly browned. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the seeds to a large, ungreased baking pan. Sprinkle with the taco seasoning and garlic salt, stir to coat, and spread into a single layer. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until crisp. Remove to paper towels to cool completely. Store in an airtight container for up to 3 weeks.
(Recipe from Taste of Home’s Halloween Food and Fun, October 2004)
For my followers who are just now leaving winter behind, may you be blessed with a gorgeous and well-deserved spring. And for those joining me on the glorious descent into the snowy months, may you enjoy the abundance of seasonal opportunities that lay before you this fall. Sleep with the windows open. Enjoy a decadent cup of hot cocoa. Take your family to a corn maze. Cook up a batch of your favorite, belly-filling stew. Fill your home with the scents of cinnamon, nutmeg and pine. Wrap your neck in your favorite scarf. And rustle through a pile of colorful leaves.