In improvisation, one of our exercises is a game called “Seven Things,” in which we go around in a circle giving each other the challenge, “Give me seven things that [whatever].” We are not going to go around in a circle here, but if you’re drawn to lists, this prompt is for you.
So, give me seven tastes or scents that define autumn for you.
Here is my list of seven things that define autumn for me:
1.) Pumpkins - nothing, and I mean nothing, reminds me of autumn more than pumpkins. Fat pumpkins, short pumpkins, skinny pumpkins, tall pumpkins ... orange ones, white ones, green ones, blue ones ... carved, uncarved, painted. I love pumpkins!
2.) Short days, long nights - I'm a night person, so I always relish the time change because the night seems to go on forever. Autumn is just the beginning of the long nights of winter.
3.) Crackling fire in the fireplace or a bon-fire in the backyard - Autumn is the perfect time of year to have bon-fires with friends. Smores, popcorn, hotdogs on a stick - these are just some of the foods I enjoy cooking over an open fire. This is also the time of year when colder nights call for fires burning in the fireplace.
4.) Pears, pears, and more pears - I always know autumn is here because my two pear trees are hanging full of ripe, juicy fruit. This is the time of year when I start canning pear butter, pear preserves, sliced pears and pear marmalade.
5.) Fallen leaves - I love walking through the fallen leaves on a cool autumn afternoon. I love seeing the leaves gathered along the road edges or blowing across sidewalks. Orange, red, yellow and brown - the trees give off a wonderful fireworks display of swirling color.
6.) Homemade Chili - yummy! This is one of my favorite cold weather foods. There is nothing better than the smell and taste of tomato juice, onions, beef and spaghetti (my family loves spaghetti in their chili, but don't like beans) that have simmered on the stove all afternoon. Add a dollop of your favorite cheese and a few oyster crackers and you have the perfect fall meal.
7.) Autumn rains - There is just something special about a nice gentle rain in autumn. The smell is crisp and clear, and it lets us know that winter is not far behind. It causes condensation on the house windows and the that warm snuggly feeling where you want to curl up with a good book and a fuzzy blanket.