It is September 25th and currently 80 degrees here in Naperville, IL. I don't know about all of you, but we are indeed entering fall very slowly this year as we have had these temps for the past several weeks. I wore a scarf on my walk yesterday and ended up tying it around my waist; I keep opening the windows thinking there should be a lovely breeze and then have to crank back on the AC because the house is too hot. I know many people look forward to fall (my sister Lisa included!), but I usually am sad to say goodbye to the swimming pools, flip flops, and hot summer days. However, this year, I am finding that I am READY! I am ready to bring out the scarves, cozy sweaters, and I am even longing for an evening fire!
I love summer cooking, as I have mentioned before my oven gets a 3-month break over the summer as I grill almost every night. I love the simplicity of summer cooking, protein, and veggies on the grill, and you are done! Bam! I also enjoy winter cooking full of stews, crockpot dinners, and spaghetti bolognese! All the comfort foods. However, fall cooking holds a special place in my heart! For me, my absolute ideal Sunday would be as follows (and in looking at our calendar I might be able to pull one of these off this coming weekend):
Weather: A sunny, but fresh, fall day (maybe 60 degrees ish). This way, I can open the windows and backdoor and let the fresh air flow through our house.
Activities: I love fall walks, especially when there are crunchy leaves on the ground. I love watching the kids enjoy the leaves. A board game out on the patio while wrapped in cozy sweaters also sounds perfect.
What to cook: The perfect fall meal for me is making Jamie Oliver's roast chicken and potatoes. The chicken is smothered in olive oil, wrapped in bacon, and stuffed with lemon, garlic, and thyme and served with a side of green beans with almonds and orange zest. For dessert, a traditional Irish bread and butter pudding with whipped fresh cream! Preparing this with a glass of chardonnay in hand sounds like pure Sunday fall heaven to me!
Evening: Sitting on my hammock, wrapped in a blanket reading a good book with a decaf latte in hand
Fall can be so short, and it really is one of the most magical times of the year. This year, I am going to ensure that I Pause. On. Purpose, create the above 'perfect fall day' and soak in every moment. I hope that you will do the same. We might be falling into fall slowly this year, but why not go for a hard landing -- grab the family and go for a walk, admire the fantastic colors of changing leaves, whip up your favorite fall meal and make sure you take advantage of any of those times where it's cool enough to bring a book and blanket outside and have a few moments of fall amazingness to yourself! I might get the hubby to put up the hammock right now in fact!