Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Hello, Fall!

Fall leaves on the Blue Ridge Parkway-2007

I have always loved the fall.  It used to be my favorite season.  Now I kind of have mixed emotions about it.  I still love the season, I just don't like that it's a reminder of the winter to come.  I never really thought much about the winters living in Oklahoma.  For the most part, they were very mild.  But after moving to the mountains of North Carolina, I changed my tune about winter.  The first winter we were out here, it was really mild and we couldn't figure out why so many people would say, "Have you made it through a winter yet?"  Now, we know what that means.....and that's why I am not sure if the fall is my favorite season anymore. 

On the otherhand, the fall is beautiful in the mountains of NC!  The Blue Ridge Parkway is just stunning and there are just so many picturesque scenes during the season.  Here are a few of my favorite fall pictures I have taken over the past few years:

Crabtree Falls-Blue Ridge Parkway

Blue Ridge Parkway

Hiking on a fall day-2008

Blue Ridge Parkway-2007

Valle Crucis, NC

I still love the fall!  I love the colors, the smells, the tastes.  I love getting my jackets and sweaters out and wearing them at night.  I still love all of this!  I also love hiking in the fall.  Most of the pictures above were taken out on fall hikes.  This picture below was also taken on a hike around a lake:

Trout Lake, NC

I also love fall festivals!  The picture below was taken at the Wooly Worm Festival in Banner Elk, NC.  The Wooly Worm is supposed to determine how harsh the winter ahead is supposed to be!  The Wooly Worms race up a string!

I also love pumpkins!  Carving them, eating them, growing them, etc.  My mom carved this cute jack-lantern below:

I love making pumpkin recipes.  I love pumpkin in sweet and savory dishes. 

I also love apples!  I love that they are in season in the fall and I can buy them locally.  The county next to where I live is one of the largest producers of apples in the country.  SCORE!  We make apple sauce and apple butter and it always smells so delicious when we have the crockpot full of apples!

Old red barn and apple tree near Boone, NC

This fall, I want to try some new recipes and also make some of my old classics.  Here's a list of some recipes I want to try:

-Harvest Bread (Happy Herbivore)   I can check this one off the list!  Yay!  I made it this weekend and it turned out great.  I made a few adjustments that I will talk about in a minute. 

***Note about the Harvest Bread recipe--I decided to make it into muffins.  I also didn't want to use maple syrup so I bought some maple extract (imitation) and just used stevia as a sweetener.  They turned out great and were very moist.  I halfed the recipe and it still made 7 muffins.  Oh yeah, and I used oat flour (Bob's Red Mill GF) so they would be gluten free.  I was thinking I might add some raisins or a few walnuts next time too. 

Some of my fall recipes to make again:
-Cinnamon Apple Oatmeal  (No recipe but I just cook the apples with some cinnamon, water and a bit of sweetener and then add them into my oatmeal.)

Things I LOVE about the Fall
-roasted root veggies
-Pumpkin Spice candles
-pumpkin food
-wood burning
-fall decorations

Some of my other favorite fall pictures:

An early fall leaf--I love the contrast of colors!

Blue Ridge Parkway

Bass Lake, NC

What do you love about the fall?  Do you have any fall traditions or recipes? 

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