Wednesday, October 14, 2009

It's Fall Y'all!

Well it's probably not yet Fall to my Southern brethren to whom the "Y'all" cries out, but here in New England, it is indeed Fall.

The first sign was the fact that we turned on our heater. I think it was on about September 27. It had been cold at night for a while, and I asked Terry if he wanted me to bring the space heater into our room from the living room, where we had been using it for at least the last week. He said, "Why don't you just turn on the heater?" I replied, "But it's not even October!"

You see here in New England turning on the heater and turning on the air conditioning is quite a big deal. A few mornings where the temperature hovers at 60 degrees (inside the house!) is not just cause. No ma'am. You must wait until you are sure that it's good and cold to stay. So, against my new New England sensibilities, I turned it on, and found out that others chose this day to fire up the oil tank as well. You might think that there's something other than adjusting the thermostat temp involved in "turning it on." There isn't, but I think it's a sign of heartiness or something. The same goes for the air conditioning. Again, I was quite in sync with the "real" New Englanders when a muggy streak in late July warranted turning the air conditioning on.

The second sure sign of Fall hit me square in the nose yesterday when I opened the front door to take Kyle to the bus stop. It smelled crisp, but also a bit musty. The colorful leaves have begun to fall and we've had some wet weather, which produces that distinctive smell.

So I suppose the first sign really should have been the turning of the leaves, but they started turning back in September due to the cold nights, when it really wasn't quite fall, in spite of the fact that the calendar said it was.

But tonight I sealed the deal. For dinner we had a hearty bean stew and some delicious cornbread.

I've made this soup several times before, and I've even posted the recipe right here, but this time it tasted so much better. For one thing, I used half and half instead of heavy cream (which might be the right answer), and for the first time ever, I actually used the blender on 1/3 of the soup, as directed. It was delicious. Just as in the posted version, I cooked it on the stovetop, not in my slow cooker.

And the cornbread -- it was really really great. It's the Jalapeno Cornbread from my Texas Home Cooking cookbook. The regular cornbread (1/2 flour, 1/2 cornmeal) is jazzed up with the addition of jalapenos (I actually used green chilis), buttermilk, frozen corn kernels, cheese, and melted butter.

What says Fall to you?


Melissa @ Breath of Life said...

The fire we had tonight! Rainy & only 50° here today, so it was a perfect night for a fire.

foodieplus4 said...

The wood stove is cranked up and there's apple cider in the fridge - it's Fall. Oh, and those chilly soccer mornings (and evenings).

morninglight mama said...

Fall in New England... wonderful childhood memories!! It's been chilly today, but we're still not quite ready to turn on the heat yet... we'll see when that happens...

Stephanie's Mommy Brain said...

I think you summed up fall in New England very well. We ran our AC (central! I know!) for exactly 1 month (August) and managed to hold out to last week for the furnace. I think our weather is a little warmer than yours though. Lower elevation and close to the water. Our trees have also waited until the last couple of weeks to really start changing. It's beautiful right now.

Hey! Totally off topic. I'm headed your way Saturday for the Iron Sharpens Iron Women's Conference. 3000 women. Should be a blast. :)

anner1010 said...

Since (with the heat index) our temperatures exceeded 105 twice last week, and this week is the same forecast, I will just have to experience Fall vicariously through your blog. We do have fall the floral section of Hobby Lobby.

planetnomad said...

The last two days, I've worn socks and boots--the first time wearing closed-toe shoes since it stopped raining in about April. Of course, this afternoon was so hot that I took them off as soon as I came home and put my sandals back on. But still--this is a Moroccan coastal fall.

Katrina @ Callapidder Days said...

At the moment, I'm feeling like we skipped fall and jumped straight to winter -- it's COLD here, with promises of snow soon. Ugh.

But...we have beautiful trees right now. The maples are all red and orange and yellow -- we're all loving them. Plus, I started making homemade bread again this week, something I had no desire to do for months and months. Must be fall.

Martha said...

It is fall down here in Texas. We have run the heater already and it is very cool today (even though the AC was on this morning)it will be cool all weekend. We are just happy that the rain has stopped. We have had almost 10 inches this month already! I love seeing the sun!