Simple Pleasures Of Autumn’s Golden Days

the golden days of autumn

Autumn pleases all the senses as days turn cooler and the landscape becomes a riot of golden colors. Leaves crunch under our feet as we gather pinecones to decorate our homes and our kitchens are filled with sweet aromas of pies baking as we prepare to gather in thanks for nature’s bounty.

Autumn or fall, depending on where you live, is my favorite season. It is the time for apple picking, carving pumpkins, old quilts, cozy throws, soft flannel, fuzzy socks and relaxing by a fire with a piece of cake and a warm cup of cider or cocoa.

During fall, the light becomes softer and the sky turns a deeper shade of blue. Leaves on the trees change from vivid green to beautiful shades of yellow, orange and red. As leaves begin to carpet the ground, the air turns musky and often mixes with a hint of woodsmoke from nearby chimneys.

As we transition from the long hot days of summer, life seems to slow down a little. Sandals, crisp white cottons and brightly colored summer clothes are replaced with boots, plaid flannel shirts, soft sweaters and loden green jackets that will provide just the right amount of warmth for a crisp fall day. To me, there is nothing nicer than dressing in a soft sweater and a comfortable pair of slacks or jeans and spending the day outdoors on a sunny but cool day enjoying nature.

Not only do we make a change in the clothing we wear but we often decorate the front of our homes and change the decor in rooms to reflect the change of seasons. We drape a cozy throw over our favorite armchair and add seasonal pillows, candles, dried flowers and set out bowls of apples or nuts in the rooms we gather in.

When it comes to celebrating the fall season, we give special thought to not only how we decorate our homes but the foods we prepare as well. Cool weather crops are in abundance in our markets and meals usually consist of heartier, more comforting dishes. Main course lunches are often prepared with sturdy field greens, nuts, roasted fruits and vegetables or sliced cheese, meats and pickled vegetables.

Creamed soups, chowders, and thick stews replace the light vegetable broth based soups we served in the summer.

Baked pastas, hearty casseroles and roasted meats are served as the main course for dinner.

Desserts such a pumpkin, apple and pecan pies, fresh or poached fruit and aged cheeses often grace the table.

When my husband and I lived in New Hampshire, we would host a harvest weekend. Relaxing in the warmth of our kitchen fireplace with friends after a day spent picking bushels of apples, pressing cider and making lots of apple pies, was one of our most pleasurable experiences and a time of celebration that I will always remember.

Now that we are living in Florida, we have to travel to experience fall the way we used to. Up until Covid stopped our travels, we always planned a fall trip to Europe…usually driving the back roads through different regions of Austria, Germany and France where an abundance of traditional harvest festivals took place.

It is a time when farmers have harvested their hay, grain, gardens, vineyards and orchards and firewood has been cut and stored for the long winter ahead. Locals wear their typical regional clothing and gather to enjoy parades and fairs that celebrate the annual harvest with traditional foods, music and folk dancing. 

Whether walking through the woods with the sound of leaves crunching under foot as we gather pinecones and acorns, enjoying the giggles of little children on their first visit to a pumpkin patch or the laughter shared as we pick apples in an orchard with our friends, fall is a season to be relished.

Autumn is such a cozy, comforting season, especially when shared with friends and family. No matter where you live, I’m sure you have your own simple pleasures that you enjoy during the golden days of autumn. Perhaps it is finding the perfect pumpkin, making a child’s halloween costume, decorating your home in seasonal autumn decor, attending a college football game, sipping a pumpkin spice latte, eating a piece of apple strudel or a sitting down with family for a traditional Thanksgiving dinner. Enjoy!

“If a year was tucked inside of a clock, then autumn would be the magic hour.”

Victoria Erickson

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I travel the back roads of the world, sharing great food and interesting places and enjoyable pastimes.

33 thoughts on “Simple Pleasures Of Autumn’s Golden Days

  1. What a lovely tribute to the season! Autumn foods are always among my favorites.. and your display is beautiful! It’s finally cooling down here, and we can’t wait for the first fire in the fireplace!

  2. Fall is a lovely time here in Spain too as it is still warm and sunny but not hot and uncomfortable. We dont get the lovely colours you get in North America though. Greta pictures and mouth watering food. Enjoy.

  3. Great pictures! I love autumn — sweater weather is so lovely. And the heartier dishes we make are really satisfying. This is such a fun read — thanks.

  4. You certainly had some beautiful Autumn memories living in New England as well as your travels in Europe! The colors, the festivals and food . . . it all looks amazing!

  5. Karen, you certainly captured the essence of the season, even though it is still in the high 80’s here. In fact, you have inspired me to create my fall tablescape. I wasn’t planning to do that this year, but, why not?

  6. I agree, Karen, the autumnal colours are gorgeous. I’m not a fan of autumn though being a lover of the warmer months of the year 😊

  7. I love your photos and savor the sights and aromas of fall as you represent the season. We don’t hit a true autumn “feel” here in Southern California until sometime in November, and I marvel at other regions! Although we hold onto summer heat a bit longer, the nights are cool to cold, and there is a change that signals “fall is near.” I do love this transition time, and we can enjoy the lovely fall recipes even if it is a bit forced. LOL! We had a pumpkin-themed birthday party at my niece’s home yesterday and we all indulged in “everything fall” even though it hit 90 degrees. It was pretty funny. I think I’d enjoy a New Hampshire autumn with a great deal of pleasure. 🙂

  8. A lovely post Karen. We are in the prime of our autumn season now with the leaves having mostly turned red or golden and now falling to the ground. Here, one also knows that old man winter is just around the corner as smoke from the chimneys has replaced the smoke of the BBQs. Last night was our first autumn stew made with venison, prunes, juniper topped with sauteed apples.

  9. You have autumn worked out perfectly and I have to agree it is a wonderful and colourful time of the year. My main complaint about it is that winter follows and how I hate the cold. I was brought up in Rhodesia where a frost was a very rare occasion, I have just never got used to European winters (sigh).
    Keep safe. Have a great week, Diane

  10. Have been to Europe numerous times but never on a fall/autumn yet. Always go there on a summer to make the most out of it since that period is the middle of winter here in NZ. Autumn here looks nice as well, love the colours changing and agree food start to become heartier and comforting.

  11. We love your writing and photos. And what a lovely tribute to the fall season….. we look forward to seeing your posts every time.

  12. Such a beautiful celebration of this lovely season. What a happy post! I was stressed and rushing around this morning and reading this put me in a good mood! 🙂 ~Valentina

  13. I’m so happy to find a post from you, Karen as I try to get back in pace with blogging. First I have to say that you are such a wonderful writer; you’ve really captured the beauty of fall in all its glory. And of course, lovely pictures and recipes! I like seeing photos of you as well, so beautiful and put together. I need some of your tips on that!

    Traditions like pumpkin and apple picking are a staple in the fall here in the Midwest. I’ve found it more fun since we are going on our seventh grandchild in December. Just reliving and seeing the light in their eyes over a simple pumpkin or a corn maze. At home I like to decorate with nature…dried flowers, wheat, woven baskets with guards, and apples and pears. I start the ritual and traditions of hearty soups, stews, and casseroles. I’d like to have a a gathering to enjoy the season with family and friends as you do. I’m a little late and November is busy, but I’ll add it to my planner for next October.

    I hope you and yours are back to traveling soon!

    Jane 🍁

  14. Usually October is Indian summer time for us. But not this year. We’re getting cool temps and badly needed rain. It definitely puts me in the mood for heartier fare that sticks to your ribs. 😉

  15. Karen, did you just hear a huge sigh? That was me! I feel as if I’ve just had a much-needed little vacation. You’ve brought alive all the feelings of autumn and made me feel a bit homesick for places I’ve never been.

  16. Having had a wet and warmer late summer, early autumn, our colours weren’t as spectacular as they have been in the past but the cooler, crisp temperatures are surely appreciated.

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