Reasons why I am the least enjoyable person to be around this time of year (an abbreviated list):
- The only pumpkin-flavored things I like are pumpkins. I don’t want my coffee to taste like a gourd. I want it to taste like coffee. Same goes for my M&M’s and my gluten-free beer.
- And don’t get me started on fall colors. I love our condo. I don’t want to make it ugly with brown and orange stuff.
- I am allergic to wool. Your sweaters had best keep a safe distance from the hives that are about to creep up my neck.
- I’m not ready to say goodbye to tomatoes. If summer tomatoes were a person, and that person was my boyfriend and that boyfriend broke up with me, I would not give his stuff back.
Nick (who is very much a real person and was once my boyfriend) and I were married in the fall of 2012 and our caterer nearly sent me to a home with her “festive” dessert display at our menu tasting. I like to think I was a pretty easy-going bride (don’t we all?) and also thought I had made my firm “no fall colors” policy quite clear, so when she rolled out a table festooned with fake leaves and plastic pumpkins, I barely contained a simmering rage.
This year, though, I can’t help but look forward to cooler mornings, crinkling leaves and carving pumpkins. I am guessing I have my daughter to
blame thank for that. Seeing her experience new things is just the best, whether it’s her first time in the water, her first time eating solids, her first time being held by a strange man dressed as the Easter bunny or yes, even her first Fall (I felt like capitalizing the season would help you see that I meant that, and not that I delight in watching her tumble over and potentially become injured). Watching Grace reach for a giant pumpkin and squeal in delight as she grasped its stem has me changing my ways. All those adorable fall outfits hanging in her closet don’t hurt either. And if I really dig deep, I guess I could cop to an affinity for soup and scarves.
This weekend we took advantage of the late summer (very-nearly-fall) weather and spent the afternoon at Ward’s Berry Farm in Sharon, Massachusetts. It’s about 30 minutes from the city and not far from where I grew up. After walking around a bit, we ventured out to the pumpkin patch to find that their healthy, growing pumpkins were bigger than our healthy, growing child (and too big, frankly, to fit underneath her stroller… or like, in my handbag). So instead of picking one up there, we took 100 photos and then ventured back to the farm store and purchased a smaller, much more portable, sugar pumpkin.
I also picked out a few of these gorgeous heirloom gourds and white pumpkins. They’re like the gateway drug of fall decor… fall-ish, but not brown and orange. I am dying to make one of the succulent topped pumpkins I saw in the fall issue of Country Gardens (side note: I am 900% obsessed with Next Issue… which is how a city dweller with no garden comes across such gems as Country Gardens.) Perhaps I can make green and white the new
black brown and orange? And then maybe I will get a show on Netflix about my life as an over-tired working mom who wastes time making succulent topped pumpkins when she should be, like, sleeping?
In addition to a tremendous selection of farm fresh produce and local treats, Ward’s is also home to Sunny Rock 4H Club’s barnyard animals. Grace was sort of ambivalent about the goats, but Nick got right in there. The man never misses a chance to feed the animals.
Did I mention they have mini horses?
You know, fall’s looking pretty good, after all. (But do not tell that caterer I said so.)
Also On Tap for Today:
- More fall fun: From Tree to Table: Cooking with Apples at the BCAE
- Enjoying these last few hours of summer
- Baked sugar pumpkin soup from my leading lady, Martha
What’s on your fall bucket list?