I've loved Autumn forever. It's my favorite season. I always thought I'd get married in the Fall. An outside wedding among the beautiful fall leaves. Pumpkins & mums to decorate the aisle. Fall leaves trailing all over a tiered wedding cake... But I didn't. We got married in March, the month I hate the most. When winter has reared it's ugly head months ago and now it's dragging on and on and on and on in a seemingly end dredge of ice and sludge, potholes and salted roads. When its been below freezing for weeks and 55 degrees feels like a heat wave. When it came down to it, I gave into the my lazy-self (I like to think I'm simplistic) and let the Tropical Hotel in Key West plan every detail of my big day, so I could just relax and feel awesome in a month that I normally am totally depressed in. It was wonderful and warm and perfect.
Ok enough reminiscing. As I was saying, I love fall. I love our farm in the fall. The sheep are all out in the fields getting it on so that we can experience lambs in the Spring. The apple trees are full and we are eating applesauce, apple pie, apple dumplings, apple cake, apple cider, apple soup....ahhh I love having apple trees. The canning of the summer veggies and fruit is done and put away. The garlic, onions, and potatoes are dug and stored for the winter. The fall honey is harvested and put away. The grass slows it growth so the yard that gets neglected doesn't look like the jungle it did in August. The kids are back in school and life just feels a little more organized and routine.
This weekend Hubby was busy repairing the roof on the sheep barn and putting up more fencing for the sheep. He stocked the barn with hay for the winter months and he even had time to take his family for a hayride. I got the peppers in the freezer, mucked out more of the sheep barn, got my herbs and plants in for the winter, picked the last of the tomatoes, and got my fall mums, pumpkins and gourds all placed around the house in a decorative fashion.
Today I made a batch of apple dumplings. I was reminded of my childhood, when each year the county fair would host a Fall Festival, a celebration of all things Fall. A haunted maze, hay rides, fresh made apple cider. Apple butter & scrapple churned in large cast iron kettles and the best homemade apple dumplings ever, trays and trays of them. I've had many an apple dumpling, but there is nothing out there that can possibly ever beat a tray of apple dumplings made by a dozen or so of the local Grammy's, Nan's, Nonny's, & Mem's. Those ladies could make a crazy awesome apple dumpling. They are also the same grandmothers who would sit and peel the fresh peaches for the fresh peach sundaes during the summer county fair. You just can't be a grandma made baked good. I only hope to someday be able to honor those ladies as I hone my baking skills over the years and someday become a grandmother myself. I want my children and grandchildren to know the taste of love that is heavy in the baking of a country grown grandma. Until that day, I'll keep practicing until I've got my sticky buns perfect, my whoopie pies worth whooping for, and my dumplings in a delicious row.