Celebrating Autumn: Put a Pumpkin In It!
After months of unbearable summer heat and hearing the constant hum of cicadas, there is a promise of cooler days to come here in town! Although Starbucks’ attempted to will fall sooner by serving up pumpkin spice lattes over a month ago, the true beginning to fall was Sunday, September 22nd. For the first time in what seems like ages, the weather got the memo and has been acting fall-ish! But living in a part of the country where there is pretty much a year round growing season and where the leaves change colors for a day before they fall off, it can be hard to get excited about the harvest season. That’s the very reason I like to get in the seasonal swing with a few tried and true fall mood setting methods.
Bring the outdoors in: While out on an evening walk enjoying that delicious fall breeze, collect some bits of nature here and there. Acorns, colored leaves, fuzzy magnolia pods and their bright red seeds, the last of the summer’s blossoms. This is a great way to familiarize yourself with the changing cycles of nature on your very own street. Keep them in a little dish on the coffee table or incorporate them into a wreath that you can hang on your front door. Another way to use these little bits is to have them in a small basket in a child’s room along with a magnifying glass so the little ones can enjoy them as well.
I personally am a fan of fresh cut flowers and this is the perfect opportunity to bring in some colors of fall. Soothing mauves, sunny yellows, mellow oranges. Fresh flowers on the dining room table are a sure way to create a warm, inviting autumnal atmosphere in the home.
Pumpkin flavored everything: Lattes, soups, biscuits, waffles, bread - you name it, I bet it’ll taste better with pumpkin in it. Pumpkin is a native North American squash variety that, along with being delicious, is nutrient packed. One cup of cooked pumpkin contains 254% of your daily recommended vitamin A, 564 mg of potassium (which is more than a large banana, Vitamin C, beta carotene and fiber. Tasty and nutritious! If you’re looking for a way to incorporate this heavenly squash into your diet, try some pumpkin scones or skip the high priced pumpkin spice lattes and make your own at home with this homemade P.S.L. syrup recipe.
Go on a picnic: Now that the evenings are cooler and the mosquitos aren’t so persistent, it’s the perfect time of year to enjoy an outdoor picnic. Instead of eating dinner in, load up a basket with all those pumpkin filled foods you’ve been baking along with a Thermos full of your favorite hearty soup and set out for the Miccosukee Greenway or Lichgate Gardens. Bring that tattered old quilt to lay down and maybe a book or two and just enjoy the season for what it is.
So long, cicadas. Sayonara, mosquitoes. Your days are numbered, temperatures in the 90s. Fall is here and we Tallahassee folk are ready to enjoy it.