Some people love fall and can’t wait to be done with summer’s sweltering heat. Others of us are sad to lose the bright sunny days of summer, slipping into cold, rainy days. For those of you happy for crackling fires, sweatshirts and soups: I am happy for you, please celebrate it. For those of us that wear sweatshirts all year and are lamenting the shorter, colder days: here are some simple ideas to help you ease into the season.
Bring back your favorite cold weather foods
While you are thinking about yummy foods, let’s not forget that fall and winter mean the comfort foods of soups and casseroles. We might do a few of these in the spring and summer, but not nearly as much. I’m looking forward to roasting then freezing some tomatoes and peppers for soups. Some of my favorite recipes are here.
Make ahead and freeze
As I think about making casseroles, I’m considering doubling the first few and freezing them for a couple quick and easy meals. After school snacks are a thing again, too (and in-school snacks, too), so I’ve been making cookies and freezing ½ batch of dough balls at a time to make baking cookies on another day, super easy. See, I’m more than willing to do the work, but why not do just a little extra the first time and have it super easy the next time? Check out my Pinterest board for all sorts of yummy desserts. Once we try them and like them, I usually copy them onto a 3×5 card, and they live in my kitchen. In the past two weeks, we have made lemon, Not-Peanut butter (I use a substitute because of the food allergy in the house), and gingersnap. Next up will be oatmeal raisin and chocolate chip.
Our recent culinary experiment was making corn dogs from scratch. They were good enough that the kid had a second. So after they cooled, I froze them and we’ll see how they do on reheating. We adjusted the batter already (add honey and do two layers so it’s thicker). But next time we make them, I’ll either use skinless or a different brand. I didn’t even think snapping through the skin would potentially cause the batter to crack off. It was a good critique.
The bread machine has been used too, for cinnamon raisin bread. I’m hoping to do a good plain white tomorrow. It’s ok to cheat and use a bread machine, or buy a premade dough.
The other day we made pizza dough. My recipe says the dough freezes well, so I made a double batch so we can have pizza next week. Half the dough we turned into mini calzones. My intention was for them to be homemade hot pockets, but really it’s more like calzones as they rise while baking. I made several pepperoni and cheese for my husband and kids, and I made two with pepper and tomato for me. I tried one right after baking, and then one the next day after freezing. We found them both to be excellent. The dough was soft, and the whole thing heated through when I warmed it up in the microwave.
Embrace an autumn holiday
Most people were not able to visit their friends and family last fall. Vacations were cancelled, trips put on hold again. Disappointment and fear had all the power, despite brave faces and fake smiles. Those smiles weren’t around for long as people realized that with masks, they didn’t need to pretend.
This year, people are determined to return to normal. With so many vaccinated and feeling safe, social gatherings are again happening (except for the lockdowns…). Some people have had a whole year to consider how to create a Halloween costume using a mask or incorporating social distance. Others are looking forward to the closeness of Thanksgiving. You need to choose your reason to celebrate and run with it.
Be your own crowd, instead of joining the masses
Choosing a Hallmark Holiday may not be your style. You may choose to celebrate something more Pagan, the Autumn Equinox, perhaps. I don’t really like holidays. I don’t like the crowds, I don’t like the expectation of gifts, I don’t like paying $8.99 for a token to say “I love you” which just gets tossed away. It would be better to give that $9 to a food pantry. Instead I’m choosing to find and appreciate the beauty of the season. I appreciate the warm sun on my face, the mist obscuring the turning leaves, the full, bright moon. The other day at market I found this tiny, red maple leaf. The leaf itself is far from perfect, but I love how tiny it is.
Find a book, show, or movie with a fall release to look forward to
I am really looking forward to a tv show based on a book series I began reading in elementary school that was finally finished about ten years ago. The Wheel of Time comes out on Amazon in the middle of November. The trailer looks great and they are filming Season Two. I’m excited! So excited that I started rereading the series. I decided to listen to it on audiobook this time. I get a little grumpy when I can’t listen every day. I’m on the fourth book now so I’m waaaayyyy into future seasons, but I hope to be done by the time it comes out. Turns out I forgot a lot in about 30 years!
I think another series that I have enjoyed on audiobooks is also coming out this fall. I’ll update you when I know for sure. Lastly, my husband and I would like to watch more seasons of our favorites like Gentleman Jack, Yellowstone, Billions, and that other one that I can’t think of the name of at the moment. Covid delayed a lot of good things, but the world is getting caught back up with the fun stuff again.
New workout routine
For some people, autumn means cooler weather and so they are willing to exercise outside again. For me, I just need something, anything to get my butt in gear. I just bought a new sports bra from Just Strong (here’s a code for you because I like it so much that I became an affiliate: “RACROY110”) so I can be comfortable and feel kinda cute. Trust me, there is nothing else cute about me running! Lol! I have a goal to lose another ten pounds and, more importantly, tone up. Right now throwing and stacking firewood (CordFit) has got to be toning my arms, but I haven’t been doing much else, for a workout routine.
Find what works for you. Is it cool enough to walk or run outside? Does fall foliage mean you want to hike? Is now a good time to do a yardwork project? Gyms aren’t crowded now, it can be a fantastic time to try something new, don’t wait for the January “start new habits” rush.
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