Fall officially arrived September 22, 2016, which obviously means that summer is out of here. This is a sad time for people who love the warm temperatures and sunshine of summer, but I’m ready for gray days and drizzle. What can I say, I’m an Oregon native. Although I lived in San Francisco for five years, I never stopped being weirded out by the year-round sunshine and lack of rain. So while I do enjoy summer activities like cookouts and swimming in rivers and lakes, there are lots of things I’m looking forward to about fall. Here are ten of my favorites.
A few days ago I wore a light scarf for the first time in many months, and I loved it. Along with scarves, I’m looking forward to cozy cardigans, jackets, boots, and flannels. I’ve been pulling my boots out of the back of my closet, and pinning away to my fall fashion board in preparation.
2. Hot drinks
From tea to toddies, hot drinks are amazing on a cool day. I particularly love trying new types of teas, though I always end up returning to some old favorites: Candy Cane Lane, genmaicha, Good Earth Sweet and Spicy, Stash White Christmas, and lapsang souchong are some of my standbys. Why yes, I do stockpile the ones that are only available seasonally, and order them online when they’re not.
You can even make hot mulled cider in a slow cooker, which will make your house smell amazing. And while a hot toddy is traditionally made with bourbon, honey, lemon juice, and hot water, guess what–you can make them with tea. Basically hot drinks + alcohol is always a good idea, as hot spiked cider, spanish coffee, or spiked hot chocolate prove.
3. Colorful leaves and moss
While bright and colorful fall leaves are lovely to look at, crunching dry leaves under your shoes, and jumping into piles of leaves (that somebody else raked…) are both fun, too. In the fall I always look forward to the return of moss-covered surfaces. Everything looks so soft and verdant with a coating of green moss. (It’s less charming when it grows on your car, but that would only happen to someone who never washes their car. *ahem*)
4. Pumpkins and squash
What’s not to like about pumpkins? You can walk in their patches, decorate with them, eat them, carve them, and drink their spices. And the squash that arrive in this season are often taken for granted, but I think they deserve more appreciation. From butternut to delicata squash, there are too many delicious types to keep track of. For a vegetarian like me, they’re a staple in the fall and winter.
5. Nice temperatures
Summer is fun and all, but sometimes it’s just too damn hot. When I don’t want to go outside at all, and can’t sleep because it’s too hot, I start dreaming about the arrival of fall. In many ways, fall is the Goldilocks of seasons, not too cold yet, but no air conditioning required.
6. Soups and stews
I’m a big fan of making meals in my slow cooker, and while there’s no reason you can’t use it during the summer, it’s much nicer to eat a hot soup or stew on a chilly evening. Which reminds me, I really need to make another batch of West African peanut soup (pictured above). Though there are tons of recipes online, I recommend Fresh from the Vegetarian Slow Cooker as a great starting point for crockpot cooking.
Have you ever heard of the Danish concept of hygge? (It’s pronounced “hooga.”) According to the website VisitDenmark,
Hygge means creating a warm atmosphere and enjoying the good things in life with good people. The warm glow of candlelight is hygge. Friends and family – that’s hygge too. There’s nothing more hygge than sitting round a table, discussing the big and small things in life.
Isn’t that a lovely concept? I think the world would be a better place if we all stopped and appreciated the simple pleasures of life instead of constantly rushing on to ‘newer and better’ things, and fall seems like the perfect time to work on that.
After you’ve picked your own apples, do you eat them all fresh, or do you bake them into pies, tarts, crumbles, cakes, and crisps? The answer is obviously both. Crunch a few, make a few into rustic skillet apple cake, and be sure to grab some cider for mulling in your slow cooker, and making baked apple cider donuts.
9. New movies and tv shows
Fall tends to be when movie studios release their good stuff. Not the bloated blockbusters, but the movies that they think stand a chance of winning awards. And although I haven’t had broadcast tv in years, I do sometimes watch new fall tv shows online if they get enough positive buzz. So I’m looking forward to discovering some new films and movies in the next few months.
10. Knitting and needlework
While you can knit in the summer, and many people do, it’s not nearly as pleasant to be cuddled up with a half-finished sweater when the temperatures are pushing 100. Last year I made a hat and a giant blanket, and while I don’t yet know what I’ll knit this year, I’m looking forward to figuring it out.
If you don’t knit, the point is that there’s extra time indoors in the evenings, which you can spend on any handicraft (while you watch your new favorite show). Sub in embroidery, weaving, macrame, or crochet, and you’ve got yourself a cozy, hygge-friendly night.
Are you a fan of fall? What are your favorite parts about the season? Or if not, which season do you like better?