Daniel is recovering nicely, but there's nothing really to say about that, except that I have watched entirely too many hours of Winnie-the-Pooh and related spin-offs (have you ever seen Disney's My Friends Tigger and Pooh? If you have any loyalty to the original A.A. Milne stories, you'd find it as intolerable as I do). So instead of blogging about that, I'm totally piggy-backing on Jessi's post from today and doing a Friday Five list of Fall Favorites:
1. Leaves. Really, who can argue with fall leaves? Fall foliage can be so stunning, the trees exploding with a riot of color before they drop them all and go dormant for the winter. (My husband grumbles about the giant silver maple tree in our back yard dropping all its leaves in the gutters, which he has to clean out a few times every autumn season, and since I never climb up on the roof, I'll allow him that.) Also, there is nothing more fun for little kids than playing with fallen leaves, jumping in piles, throwing them around, crunching the dry ones on the side of the road on the way to school.
2. Fall vegetables. I do love me some squash soup, fried potatoes, beets in any form, sweet and chewy spinach, shallots in salad dressing, sliced raw kohlrabi, celeriac cooked with white beans, carrots in just about anything, baked sweet potatoes with butter and a little brown sugar, and I even like parsnips. I'm alone in that last one, I'm afraid. I did just find a recipe for parsnip muffins by Alton Brown that I'm looking forward to trying out once they show up in the CSA box.
3. Halloween. I'm not as passionate about Halloween as some people out there, but it sure is fun for the kids. Since last year, Daniel has been planning to dress up as a skunk. He actually wants the whole family to dress up as skunks, which sounds like fun except that Anya wants to be a ghost (original, I know), so I guess we'll be three skunks and a ghost. I'm thinking with black hoodies and some white fleece or craft felt I'll be able to come up with skunk costumes without too much trouble.
4. School. I don't miss going to school myself, since I have spent so much of my adult life as a student, but as far as I'm concerned, Kindergarten is the best. invention. ever.
5. Apples. I suppose these could just fall under the "autumn produce" general category, but I am listing them separately. I love apples and all related apple products - cider, pie, applesauce - though I think the best way to enjoy a good apple is just to eat it down to the core. We're lucky to have several good orchards in the area, some who are vendors at local farmers markets, and nothing beats apple-picking in the sunshine.