Musings About Fall (Mostly Food)

cbI’ve said it before, but I’ll say it again. Fall is my favorite season. The colors, the crisp weather, the cute clothes, and don’t even get me started about boots.

But best of all? Fall food.

It’s harvest time and we’re reaping what we sowed (or bought at the case lot sale). I recently learned to make pumpkin curry. Oh yeah. It’s now my second favorite pumpkin recipe behind my famous pumpkin roll. My pumpkin chocolate chip cookies are a close third.

Then there are the soups. Broths, bisques, chowders, chilis, stews, stocks – an entire meal in a pot, in a spoonful! Comfort food at its finest.

While my ode to soup could go on for stanzas, the two dudes in my household don’t share my adoration. They wince when I pull out my crockpot each fall to rekindle my seasonal love affair with soup. For some reason, guys don’t consider soup as a meal. Except for stew because it includes beef chunks and potatoes.

Whatever.

We attach a lot of sentiment to food. Seasons, celebrations, traditions and memories are defined by it. One of my dad’s favorite foods is boiled raisin cake. Eww, I know, but his mom used to make it. He knows chocolate chips have been invented and could easily replace in the recipe the dried shriveled fruit, which are reconstituted into soggy bloated fruit by boiling for some reason, but he doesn’t want to. He wants it how his mother made it.

Speaking of Grandma, there’s another famous food story about her. She, Grandpa and a couple grandkids were stopped at a gas station filling the car one day when Grandma had a crave for a maple bar from the pastry case in the convenience store. Limited in mobility by arthritis, she asked grandpa to get her one. Anxious to get on the road, Grandpa said no. Grandma pursed her lips, grabbed the door handle, turned to a grandkid and said, “Get my walker out of the trunk.”

Grandma would not be denied.

My aunt wanted to pay homage to Grandma’s 100th birthday for our family reunion this past summer with a theme celebrating her memories. I was assigned to help make breakfast one morning and my aunt asked if I’d make homemade maple bars in honor of the famous story. She requested this because I’d told her I had a friend who had a homemade maple bar recipe that should be made canon.

This friend brought over a plate of her homemade maple bars as a Christmas treat one year. There were enough for each member of my family to have one. After biting into mine, I knew my family would never know such goodness. I ate them all myself in one sitting and quickly discarded the evidence. I thought I’d gotten away with it until the friend came up to my husband at church to ask how he liked her maple bars.

Busted.

The next year she brought some over just for him and the kids when she was sure they were home.

Yeah, I love fall, and food, and soup, and maple bars, and Grandma, and any recipe with pumpkin in it, and boots. I hope you’re having a fabulous fall too.

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