Friday, September 13, 2019


Today, while my husband mowed the lawn, I started trimming some of the plants and shrubs that look like they were dragged behind a fast moving car on a dirt road. I know I’m jumping the gun on my transitional plan of moving from summer to autumn this year, but our outdoor vegetation seemed to have reached its peak and gone over the proverbial edge.

Most of the leaves on the flowers are brittle and brown. The ferns are brown-tipped and tired-looking. The Black-eyed Susans have lost all their petals. And many other drooping flowers have gone to seed with the exception of goldenrod and asters that line the roads.

So when exactly is fall?  This year, it will be Monday, September 23rd. The first day of fall lands on the Autumnal Equinox in the northern hemisphere and lasts until the Winter Solstice in December which starts on the 21st —the shortest day of the year—and in the Northern Hemisphere, the darkest day. 

In the stores and landscape centers, mums, gourds, and pumpkins have popped up on displays. Pumpkin spiced coffee is in the cafes and donut shops, and apples are piled high in the supermarkets. Cider is now available.  The scents of cinnamon and nutmeg drift in the air.

 I have to admit, autumn is one of my favorite seasons. It brings cooler, crisp temperatures, colorful maples leaves, and a cozy feeling when you break out the homey fall foods. What is better than the smell of a roast with vegetables in the oven, pumpkin pies or cookies baking, or applesauce simmering on the stovetop? And who doesn’t like a cup of hot chocolate at night?

Are you a fan of fall? Or do you like another season better? 

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Saturday, September 7, 2019


September is here and so are the pumpkins. Leaves are beginning to dry or take on color, sumac is turning red--and all the smells of autumn waft in the air. Everyone knows I’m a fan of the taste of pumpkin whether it's pumpkin cookies or pumpkin pie (with lots of Kool Whip or ice cream to accompany it). Here is a little recipe for pumpkin cake.


 Pumpkin Cake with Apple Cider Glaze

For the Cake:
1 Yellow Cake Mix
1 15 ounce can of pumpkin puree           

For the Glaze:
1-1/2 cups powdered sugar
3 Tablespoons apple cider
3/4 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice

Empty the contents of the boxed cake mix and pumpkin puree into a large bowl. Using a hand-mixer or stand mixer beat until well incorporated. The batter will be very thick, but will come together nicely.

Pour batter into a greased 7 x 11 X 2 pan.

Bake at 350 degrees for 28 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Do not over bake.

Let cool for 5-10 minutes in the pan, then flip onto a platter.

Make the glaze while you're waiting.

Combine powdered sugar, apple cider and pumpkin pie spice. Glaze should be thick but pourable. Add more sugar or cider if needed. Pour over the cake while still warm. Reserve some to pour over each slice when served.

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