Autumn is in full swing and with it, I feel just a little happier. From pumpkin spice lattes to leaves turning beautiful shades of red and gold, it’s time to dust off those cardigans and take a stroll down an old cobblestone footpath. To celebrate my favourite season, here’s a look at ten of my autumn essentials.
Autumn is the best time of the year to go on a candle binge. With the weather starting to cool off, I find nothing more comforting than my home scented with nutmeg, cinnamon and vanilla. My go-to autumn selection is always Bath & Body Works/White Barn. Usually I choose one scent to last from September through November, but this year I decided to mix it up.
Pumpkin (and/or Apple) Picking
Similar to a pumpkin pitch, going to an apple orchard and picking apples is another activity autumn is known for. Once you’re done choosing your apples, make the day even more memorable by dipping the apples in caramel or making a fruit pie.
Nothing rings in the beginning of autumn like the return of football season. Standing in cool air with friends, sipping on cocktails or chugging beer, it just doesn’t get more quintessential.
Autumn really is the best of all worlds, as it also happens to be the spookiest time of year, thanks to Halloween. I love to indulge in the anxiety-ridden, fear-inducing tradition of haunted houses with friends.
If you can’t make it to Germany for the traditional Oktoberfest, there are sure to be festivals near you — or host your own! Check out these photos from Kate’s (of Mountain Cravings) Oktoberfest party guide. To really get in the spirit, set your table with the traditional blue-and-white diamond pattern and serve beer from steins!
Once the temperature dips and the leaves start to turn, it’s time to break out the spiced, sweet and toasted brews. Here are some of my picks for best autumn beers…
Samuel Adams Octoberfest
Southern Tier Warlock
Dogfish Head Punkin Ale
Unfamiliar with this term? I was, until several years ago when a friend told me that her parents drive all over New England viewing the colourful leaves. I was intrigued. Leaf peeping is just that — traveling to view and photograph autumn foliage. A few weeks back, I mentioned a bucket list item on a Friday Favourites — watching the foliage change aboard Amtrak’s “Great Dome” car through Upstate New York [x].
A warm home with the aroma of pumpkin pie or cinnamon apples… it doesn’t get much better than that (hence why I love autumn candles). I made this autumn fruit pie (apples and blackberries) this past weekend and it was quite scrummy!
Don’t limit your baking to just fruit pies. This is also the perfect time for savory pies, such as the classic chicken pot pie or a beef pie with filo crust.
Decorating for the Season
Proper decorating can really help put you in the spirits of ghouls and goblins, or perhaps you prefer a more traditional and rustic look. Either way, bring the pop of colour to your front porch can really make a difference. I start decorating the front of the house the first day of October with a Halloween theme (this year is a take on Disney’s Haunted Mansion Holiday — photos to come in a separate post).
Next week’s Tuesday Ten will feature my ten quintessential Halloween-themed films, so I’m going to be brief here and just saw that the curling up on the couch with a glass of red (or a pumpkin beer), some popcorn and tucked into a blanket is the perfect way to watch Debbie Reynolds in Halloweentown, Jamie Lee Curtis as the OG scream queen in Halloween or the Scream franchise. (P.S. I’ve mentioned it here and here, but have you watch MTV’s Scream: The TV Series? It’s pretty good!)
What’s on your autumn checklist year after year? Share in the comments or @ me on Twitter (@BobbyRemis).
Photography: Kate Hubbard, Mountain Cravings; Emily Malan, Town & Country Magazine; Michael Kiser; craftseeker.tv; newschoolbeer.com; Rob Palmer