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Exploring Womanhood > Heart of the Home > Holidays & Seasons > Seasonal Fun

Autumn Treasures
by Arleen M. Kaptur

The colors of the Season: Crimson and Burgundy Reds/ Bittersweet Orange, Sun Yellows, Hunter Green, and Beige - These brilliant hues of Autumn can be mixed, matched, or just enjoyed - your choice!

Outdoor decorations:

Haystacks, scarecrows, pumpkins, in all shapes and sizes, bushel baskets of gourds, apples, Indian apples, and squashes. Corn stalks, and Indian corn are decorative touches that add so much to areas around your home.

Use these Harvest items on porches, decks, or on steps and near front door-ways. Wheat, mums, and willows add a Fall dimension to flower arrangements and centerpieces. Use the colorful leaves available under your centerpieces, on windowsills, mantels, shelves, etc. wherever you need a "touch of color" and the warm hues of a very exciting season of the year.

Party Themes:

After the Pumpkin Patch Supper
After a hard day of searching for and choosing the gourd that truly symbolizes Fall, your family and friends will need some nourishment!).

Apples Galore Fun-Time Fest
Apple picking is fun - don't forget the camera-as everyone reaches for that one treasure on the very tippy-top of the tree. But picking apples, sampling, and breathing in the aroma of the orchard excites appetites, creates instant giggles and fun, and old-fashioned enjoyment! Let everyone make their own taffy apples, of course, with adult supervision with the hot taffy, and add sprinkles, nuts, etc.

Raking Leaves Party-Time
Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn - stories from the past - get family, friends, and relatives to pitch it with rakes, brooms, and baskets to rake and clean up your landscape, but "jumping in" is just part of the fun. Also if your area permits, burning leaves is truly the aroma of Autumn - great to sit around, munch on apples, and dream about the Holiday Season just ahead. Throw in a great meal and you have - instant party time fun!

Harvest Time Bon-Fire Get-together-
Freshly baked apple pies, grilled hot dogs, chips, and apple cider - it just doesn't get any better than this!

However you decide to celebrate - enjoy Autumn and Nature - it only comes once a year - but the memories will last a lifetime!

Table Decor - Make a centerpiece of one large pumpkin, surrounded by smaller ones, baby squash, gourds, acorns, and leaves, Let your imagination go wild! Use fall leaves that have been dried between sheets of waxed paper on windowsills, shelves, and mantels. Use large leaves or baby pumpkins as place cards and tie napkins with "autumn colored" yarns, or raffia. Add an acorn, or pine cone and you have a very impressions napkin ring. Colorful felt placemats with cut-outs of apples, leaves, etc. are fun and inexpensive.

Meal-time menus:

Cornish game hens, with wild rice stuffing, Baked Sweet Potatoes, Cornmeal fried tomato slices, tossed green salad, and chocolate mousse

Beef Stroganoff on poppyseed noodles, Green Beans, Garlic Biscuits, Taffy Apples

Italian sausage and pepper grilled sandwiches, English Pea salad, Ice Cream Sundaes

Barbecued Pork Sandwiches, Potato Wedges, Pineapple Chunks, Leaf Cut-out sugar cookies

Harvest Pork Roast, Pan-fried squash and tomatoes, Baked potato, and hot apple pie

Beverage: Try cider, apple lemonade, tea, or apple juice

Use a large pumpkin to serve stew, soup, or chili. Use smaller pumpkins as individual servings of these "cooler" weather treats.

Italian Sausage and Pepper Sandwiches:

  • 4 -6" long Italian sausages
  • 4-6" Hoagie or submarine rolls
  • 2 tsp. olive oil
  • 2 red/green sweet peppers, cut in strips
  • 1 hot pepper, diced
  • 2 onions, sliced into rings
  • 1/2 cup spaghetti sauce
  • 2 cups Shredded Mozzarella cheese
Place sausages on grill or broiler. Grill until thoroughly cooked, about 10 mins.

Cut rolls in half, scoop out tops and reserve "insides" for bread crumbs.

Place rolls on grill and brown until golden.

Place oil in pan, add onions, and sweet peppers.

Heat until soft.

Warm spaghetti sauce in pan.

Chop hot pepper and place in small bowls and drizzle olive oil over.

On each roll, place sausage, peppers, and onions, and top with sauce. Sprinkle cheese, place under broiler for a minute or two until cheese is melted.

Great tasting, and you may just have to double this recipe!

Taffy Apples:

  • 6 apples, washed
  • wooden sticks
  • 1 (16ozs.) bag caramels
  • 2 tbs. water
Insert stick into each apple. Microwave caramels and water in glass bowl on high for 3 mins. stirring after each minute until sauce is velvety smooth. Dip apples into hot caramel and turn until completely coated. Scrape excess from bottom, and dip into nuts if desired. Cool on waxed paper and enjoy!

Potato Wedges:

  • 2 tbs. vegetable oil
  • 1/4 cup Italian-seasoned bread crumbs
  • 2 tbs. grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 tsp. oregano
  • 1/2 tsp. paprika
  • 1/2 tsp. garlic salt
  • 5 potatoes, unpeeled
Spread oil in bottom of baking pan. Combine all the ingredients, except potatoes in bowl. Cut each potato into wedges and thoroughly dip into mixture. Place in single layer in pan and bake, uncovered (350) for 45 mins.

Autumn Cider:

  • 1 gallon apple cider
  • 1 can (12 ozs.) frozen lemonade concentrate, thawed
  • 1 lemon, thinly sliced
  • Several cinnamon sticks
In large bowl, combine cider and lemonade until combined. Pour into hollowed-out pumpkins. Place lemon slices on top and float a few cinnamon sticks as well. Ladle out into glasses with a little crushed ice.

However, you decide to enjoy Autumn, do just that- ENJOY!

© Arleen M. Kaptur 2002 September (Excerpts from Arleen's Book - Autumn Splendors)

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