I love this time of year and I always have. That first day when you realise you have to put the flip flops away and dig out your boots is delicious. Yes it’s colder than you’re used to but it’s not reached that biting winter cold. Crispy mornings with the sun reflecting off orange leaves, when you need your boots and coat but not your gloves and scarf? Love it.
So here are the 5 things that I do every autumn without fail. I strongly advise you to be a copy cat….
1) Make a rich stew or soup once a week as a minimum. Nothing says fall to me more than beef slowly cooked in red wine and shallots and a mountain of buttery mashed potato. There are a million recipes online but my first “ooooh yes, it’s autum” meal was pulled pork with roast potatoes and veggie cheese (broccoli, cauliflower and carrots in a cheese sauce)
Get a boneless pork shoulder and pop in a slow cooker with about a mugful of liquid. Anything will do; cider, coke, apple juice, water. Whatever you have lying about. Cook on low for 8 hours. Take it out and cut all the fat off the top and bin it. Pop the pork on a plate and shred it. I use 2 forks and it falls to bits. Now make the bbq sauce. I use this recipe from Allrecipes.co.uk but change it as and when i need to. Last time I only had white wine vinegar and no garlic and it was still yummy. Make the sauce, mix with the shredded pork and eat as you like. It’s amazing with potato wedges and corn on the cob.
2) Buy new clothes. I know, you still have last years coat. And boots. And scarf….. We all do but I love buying new things every year. I mean, get a coat and boots too if your budget allows it but even just a new woolly jumper for £10 in Asda makes those misty mornings easier to take.
3) Take pictures. Get your camera out from the cupboard, wrap up in your new jumper and get out there. The world around us changes so much at this time of year and it’s nice to document it. Get the children on the case too. They see things that we don’t (maybe because they are shorter…) so pass the reins over and I bet they will surprise you. Yes, a phone is fine. Some camera phones are catching up and over taking the cheap compacts now and there is no shame in expoloring the world of iphoneography
4) Be a kid again. Our favourite thing to do in autumn is to go out a walk and collect stuff. Leaves, conkers, seed pods, sticks…the list is endless. And then come home, get a big sheet of card and some glue and make a picture. A horse chestnut seed casing can be glued on, add tippex pen dots and you have a hedgehog. A leaf becomes a tree. Regress and let your mind go. You might be amazed at what comes out!
5) Embrace the change. Ok I am going to sound a bit hippy-ish here but roll with it. Autumn is a time of huge change and for some people it gets them all negative as the clocks change and the nights draw in,and you know it’s going to be cold and rainy. But don’t be that person.
In the Wicca world they see it as a time to celebrate death and rebirth. The crops are harvested and the fields are empty but they need to be so we can sow new crops in the spring (see, i warned you about the hippy bit)
Put up your collage picture, buy some different squashes and arrange them somewhere, light some candles, get your new jumper on, put the pork in the cooker and settle down to watch a good autumnal movie like Good Will Hunting, Halloween, Rushmore, Practical Magic or Dead Poets Society and enjoy this time of year. It’s far more awesome if you give it a chance!