It’s hard to believe that it’s been nearly a week since autumn descended upon us. In the continental United States, it’s time for pumpkin flavored EVERYTHING, fallen leaves, and that Fall smell. You know the one I mean!
It’s also time for relief from the scorching heat of summer, but still warm enough that a sweater is all you need. I’d like to wax poetic about how much I love Fall fashions. Sweaters, sweater dresses, infinity scarves, boots, boot cuffs… these are a few of my favorite things about Fall. It’s also nice to be able to open the windows at night instead of using the air conditioning, right?
This time of year is also when some of the best home décor starts appearing in stores. All the bold reds, browns, oranges, and greens just speak to me. It’s time for leaf motifs, pumpkins, and corn stalks. Oh, and hay bales! I love to use tea towels, placemats, and tablecloths to change the feel of my house. I do it to some extent for every season, but Fall is really the time of year when I ramp up the decorating. I guess I don’t really confine it to the inside of the house, either. Because chrysanthemums are so beautiful and such a hardy plant, I’m usually pretty good at keeping them alive. Normally I have a black thumb, but those plants are some of the ones that stay alive with barely any attention. I like to put them in a nice decorative pot or planter. Sometimes I can’t find quite the design I want, and so I buy a plain terra cotta pot at a home supply store and then paint it with inexpensive acrylic paint from the craft store.
I live in one of those neighborhoods where everybody has a mailbox flag. Well, everybody except our next door neighbors. Since I don’t want to fall to the trend of boring mailboxes, I always change ours for holidays. I have several cat themed ones that tide me over between holidays. This fall, I’m going to set up some little pumpkins and some miniature corn stalks by my mailbox. I may even put a miniature crown on one of the pumpkins to be cute.
Here’s a bonus recipe for a Fall favorite!
Pumpkin Spice Syrup
1 ½ cup water
1 ½ cup caster (superfine) sugar
4 cinnamon sticks
½ tsp ground cloves
½ tsp ground ginger
1 tsp ground nutmeg
2 Tbsp pumpkin puree (canned pumpkin)
Combine sugar and water in a pot and simmer until the sugar dissolves.
Add the spices and pumpkin and continue to simmer, stirring occasionally. Do NOT boil.
Strain the syrup through a cheesecloth or clean tea towel. Pro Tip: do not use a tea towel or cheesecloth that you have washed with a scented detergent or have dried with a dryer sheet. Why? Because straining hot syrup through the fabric imparts any flavors it may carry to the syrup. It doesn’t make any sense to have a Tide flavored pumpkin syrup. Don’t make my mistake.
Allow your syrup to cool before transferring it to a jar or bottle. You can store this syrup in the fridge for up to a month in a tightly closed container.
Posted: Thursday, October 01, 2015