Before I get started, I want to thank each and every one of you who read my story about Ivy earlier this week. It’s amazing how much this little furball means to me. I loved reading the responses, especially those of you who had personal stories to share about animals or rescue pets. While I’m clearly passionate about animal rights, rescuing and adopting dogs is the cause nearest to my heart. I’ll definitely be talking about it more in October, which is Adopt a Shelter Dog Month.
But back to the yums. We’re just starting to see the first signs of fall in Connecticut, and it’s been almost simultaneously punctuated by an surge of autumnal recipes from the blogosphere – which I am LOVING. Everyone’s been talking about their favorite fall “things”, whether it be #pumpkinspiceeverything, autumn foliage, cool weather, apple picking, etc. I wish I could send out a public service announcement saying, YES! THIS!!
While it may be rather redundant of me, I’m just dying to share my favorite things about fall too. I’m a fan of the obvious things, of course (like apple cider donuts and pretty leaves), but since my birthday is in September (next week actually!) I’ve always looked forward to autumn with a certain anticipation. It’s crazy how much more important birthdays seem to you when you’re young, right? During my childhood I remember looking forward to mine all year. My parents always tried so hard to make that day special for me…. For example, on my fifth birthday, my parents rented a pony for my party, and my friends and I got to ride the pony around my backyard! My dad wore his cowboy hat, and he led the pony around with one eager five year-old on it at a time. There’s this photo he has in his study of him leading the pony with me on it, and I’m pretty sure I’m wearing a pink Barney sweater and purple leggings. Oh, 1997. I remember that day so vividly… the temperature was cool and crisp, and maple and oak leaves were falling from the forest that lines my backyard. It was magical.
Autumn also marked the time when my grandparents would take me to the orchard to pick apples and pumpkins. We went every year without fail, and I remember my grandpa would pick me up and help me reach the apples on the higher branches. Unfortunately, when my grandma died of breast cancer in 2001, we stopped going as a family. But I still look upon those memories with such warmth and fondness. And while growing up I may have been convinced that winter was my favorite season, the beautiful nostalgia I have for fall may give the winter some competition.
But I would be remiss if I didn’t talk about autumn food, which may be the best food of the year. I’ve been seeing so many amazing recipes across the web that I felt inspired to share some of my favorites:
1// Maple Crumb Donuts // Faring Well
2// Vegan Pumpkin Spice Latte // The Vegan 8
3// Hippie Harvest Hemp Gazpacho // Will Frolic for Food
4// Aberdeen Apple Crush Cocktail // The Clean Dish
5// Pumpkin Spice Muffins // Bakerita
6// Fall Veg and Lentil Bowl with Goji Ginger Tahini Cream // The First Mess
7// Apple Spice Cake with Coconut Cream Frosting // The Frosted Vegan
8// Zucchini Spice Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting // The Pretty Bee
Now to this lemonade. I know when people think “fall” they don’t necessarily think lemonade, but hear me out. As it’s still fairly early in September, the weather is in that awkward phase where the mornings are really cool but the afternoons are really hot. (Seriously though how do we go from 52 to 82 degrees within 8 hours?!) Enter Vermont maple-sweetened lemonade. The other week when I was in Vermont, I stocked up on a bunch of maple syrup from local farms, which make the perfect sweetener for any drink (or anything really).
Vermont Maple Lemonade
- 4 Cups Water
- 4 Lemons juiced by hand
- 1/3 Cup Maple Syrup
Juice the lemons by hand. Try to squeeze every last drop you can out of them!
In a blender, combine water, lemon juice, and maple syrup. Pulse for about 10 seconds, until all ingredients are combined.
Note: you can mix the lemonade with a spoon or a whisk but I've found that blending it helps the maple syrup distribute evenly!
Serve with ice.
IMPORTANT NOTE - I don't like super sweet drinks, so this lemonade is fairly tart. However, you can add more maple syrup if you like!
Song of the Day:
Take More Than You Need – Denison Witmer
A Person Recommendation: Grab a glass of this lemon, listen to this song, and watch the clouds or the leaves fall or the sunset with someone you care about.