Sunday, October 3, 2021

Does the start of Fall change your routine? Around the Kitchen Table + #Giveaway


It’s getting dark earlier, the air has a bit of a nip and the grill is looking a bit
lonely. Cotton is banished and soft and cozy sweaters emerge again.


Fall is here. I am usually dragged kicking and screaming into the season but once it arrives I find there’s so much to love, especially in the early part.

For one thing,  it’s easier to walk dogs without the heat and humidity or the snow and ice, or the relentless mud of early Spring.   I also love brilliant colors in the trees, the crunch of the fallen leaves underfoot and the search for the perfect maple leaf.  Raking them up, not so much!    

On our walks we are enjoying the smell of wood smoke from stoves or burning leaves and in my kitchen, there’s the aroma of soup.  I’m rustling through recipes for stew and pumpkin muffins. 

And I must mention that Fall brings back knitting projects, always put away until summer’s over and then it’s clickety-clack until the spring flowers come back.

We Mystery Lovers Kitchen authors live in many parts of Canada and the United States with quite varied climates. Our readers are from around the world, so Fall (or Autumn) will mean something different to each of us.  Perhaps this isn't Fall where you are! So, how does this new season change your life? Do you love it or …?  

Come by and leave comments and opinions and don't forget to leave your email address for the giveaway!

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LUCY BURDETTE: I love fall, but I admit that's partly because we head south for the winter and skip the hardest part! Sleeping is better, T-bone and Lottie love the weather, and I make more soups and stews. MJ, pumpkin muffins are on my agenda today!


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PEG COCHRAN: Fall has always been my favorite season although after nearly twenty years in (very) snowy and cold Michigan, I have started to appreciate summer more. 

It's funny that you've brought this up, MJ--on Sunday I officially ushered in the fall season of cooking by making shepherd's pie!  And then I made a big pot of chicken, spinach and bean soup.  Right now the thermometer is going up and down and some days we are still in T-shirts and shorts but not for much longer.  I've been known to grill in the winter but that tank of propane will last a lot longer than it does in the summer.



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VICKI DELANY: I'm a summer person, I'm afraid. The saddest day of the year for me is swimming pool closing. I read far more in the summer than I do the rest of the year, mostly because I love to sit in the sun by the pool with a good book and when I'm in the house there always seems to be things to do. But I do love autumn and winter cooking. This year I've been given an extra-ordinary amount of vegetables and I've started canning tomatoes.  I've frozen foods before but never canned, so this is something new and I'm totally addicted! 


I also love making hot soups and here's a favourite with butternut squash and sweet potatoes I shared with you a couple of years ago.  Mystery Lovers' Kitchen: Harvest Soup with Butternut Squash and Sweet Potatoes (mysteryloverskitchen.com)


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LESLIE KARST: Like Vicki, I’m a summer person, which is why, like Lucy, I retreat to a warmer clime—from Santa Cruz to Hilo, Hawai‘i—once the days become longer and colder. But I do enjoy the foods that come with the arrival of fall: roasted butternut squash and delectable late-season tomatoes and corn. And right now is actually the best time of year in Santa Cruz, when the tourists have left town and the coastal fog has finally left, bringing us 80-degree days with that beautiful yellow light of autumn. And of course there’s also our fabulous surfer statue, wearing his October best!


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MOLLY MACRAE: I get excited about every season change and tell each one it's my favorite. So, thank you, Fall, for showing up again with your soups and stews and pasties and pies, your colors and spices and leaves and warmer layers. Here's a picture of me with my brother Andy, already into mysteries, looking for clues in a leaf pile a few falls ago. 


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MADDIE DAY: Yes, sigh, fall changes my routine. I've already dusted off my morning writing hoodie, and I put on socks every morning. My cooking routine tends more toward using up the supply of red tomatoes and late eggplants in a stew rather than dining on grilled chicken with corn on the cob and a salad of cucumbers, gold cherry tomatoes, and fresh basil, eaten on the deck.


I'm also a summer person, but unlike Leslie K, I have nowhere warm to hike off to for more than a week at a time.  So I dig out the scarves, the yeast and whole wheat flour, and the lap blanket, and get ready for the big chill!

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LESLIE BUDEWITZ:  Fall is glorious in these parts -- NW Montana -- except when it isn't. As we all know, summers are getting longer and hotter, the other seasons shorter, and that means that while we unexpectedly hit 32 long enough one night to nip the zucchini blossoms, everything else is still growing! We have an ancient Red Delicious apple tree which needs a decent frost -- somewhere between that light nip and a hard frost -- to fully ripen, and it's always a toss-up whether we'll get any apples before the bears get them all. Ripeness, shmipeness to them! They also don't bother with ladders. I'm shaking my fist at you, you fat grizzly who broke one of the main branches! (From safely inside my house, I assure you, concerned readers.) It's also the time of year that some of Mr. Right's patients bring us bounty from their gardens -- pears, tomatoes, spaghetti squash, and more. (Two of my favorite recipes: Stuffed Spaghetti Squash Bowls and Spinach and Artichoke Stuffed Spaghetti Squash.)  

As for change? Well. Socks. Enough said about that sorry turn of events. (Photo -- a little black bear stopping by for morning coffee last June. And yes, BooBoo drinks it black.)
 
 
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TINA KASHIAN: I’m a summer lover, too. I enjoy summers at the Jersey shore and strolling the boardwalk dressed in shorts and a T-shirt in the evening. I also enjoy swimming laps at our swim club and I’m sad when the outdoor pool closes for the season. I do swim laps indoors at our YMCA, but it’s never the same feeling as sunshine on the water. But my two girls always look forward to Halloween and carving pumpkins. Bu there is also something very nice about snuggling with a blanket while drinking a cup of tea and reading a book. Here's a picture of me at the shore this summer.




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CLEO COYLE: Truth be told, I melt in hot weather. Literally melt. Which means every year, when the sweltering heat and humidity of our New York summer is finally gone, one word resonates through every molecule of my being: RELIEF! The arrival of fall with its cool temps and dry breezes means longer walks with my husband, finally letting my hair down (literally because I have to pin it up all summer!), and cooking heartier meals again—stews, soups, and roasts that we don't make during the summer months. One example is a recipe that Marc and I just shared here at Mystery Lovers' Kitchen: HOW TO BRAISE SHORT RIBS AND FALL VEGETABLES IN OKTOBERFEST STYLE. In our house, autumn also brings the return to baking! Our small, NYC kitchen is not air conditioned, so fall means the weather is finally cool enough for me to bake bread again, and pies, and muffins. These tender, sweet COFFEE SHOP DOUGHNUT MUFFINS are among our favorites. We enjoy them with warm mugs of coffee in the morning and during our afternoon writing breaks. They’re just one of the many happy new routines we welcome with fall. A fun (and timely) topic, Mary Jane. Have a joyous autumn, everyone! ~ Cleo 

For Cleo's Doughnut Muffins recipe,
click here or on the photo above.


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MAYA CORRIGAN: Though the fall colors on the trees are beautiful, I'm sorry to see summer go. I miss peaches, corn, and garden tomatoes. My only consolation is crunchy local apples for snacks and for baking. One of my favorite sweets is the French upside-down apple dessert, tarte Tatin. If it's on a restaurant menu, I always order it because it's really hard to make at home. But I recently discovered a simple way to make the tart and shared a recipe for it on Mystery Lovers' Kitchen. The recipe makes single serving apple tarts, easier to invert than to turn a full-sized tart upside-down. Happy Fall!


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GIVEAWAY! 

To be entered in this week's drawing, 
join us in the comments! 


How does this new season change your life?
Do you love it or …?  

Include your email address, 
so we can contact the winner. 

Comments Open through
Wednesday, October 6


>> THE BUSY WOMAN'S GUIDE TO MURDER
by Mary Jane Maffini

>> DEADLY SUMMER NIGHTS by Vicki Delany

>> CRYPT SUZETTE by Maya Corrigan

>> ON THE LAMB by Tina Kashian

Comments Open through
Wednesday, October 6 

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61 comments:

  1. Love it! The colors, the air, the smells, the food!

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  2. So glad to see I'm not the only one one who loves summer. I was beginning to feel like I was the only person in the world sorry to see it go. (No need to enter me in the drawing.)

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  3. I love fall! I really enjoy the cooler temperatures, the changing color of the leaves, pumpkin spice goodies, fall festivals, my birthday and Halloween are both in October. What's not to love! cherierj(at)yahoo(dot)com

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    1. You sound just like me, Cherie! Except my birthday is in the winter. Brrr. Aren't you lucky to have yours in the fall!

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  4. I really like fall. I love the cooler temps and watching the leaves change. Jholden955(at)gmail(dot)com

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  5. We don't get much fall color in Southeast Texas, but the cooler temps are heaven. I'm able to bake again and all the soups and stews are a nice change from grilling. Oh, and Pumpkin Spice is back! Win! 3labsmom@gmail.com

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    1. I don't know how you cope with those hot summers, Brenda! No wonder you like this season even without the colors.

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  6. I love the autumn season! It is my favorite season by far. The cooler temperatures and the colorful falling leaves are delightful after the summer heat. In the autumn, I tend to start cooking more soups, stews and chili. I also tend to do more baking when it is getting cooler. Happy Fall, ya'll!

    Nancy
    allibrary (at) aol (dot) com

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  7. The beginning of fall reminds me to appreciate each and every day. We love sitting on the front porch where I'm either reading of watching for some of our daily critter visitors to arrive so I can try to capture them with my camera. Cold weather aggravates some medical issues so it won't be long until those relaxing times are very limited. For now, I'm going to enjoy the time as often as I can.

    Fall also means the trees are quickly losing their leaves which makes it easier to see the geese flying over as they go south, the eagles as they fly over and the other critter that are normally hidden by the trees canopy.

    Fall is when I seem to be able to sleep just a tad bit longer on occasion since it's the sunshine that usually helps more than an alarm clock to announce it's time to get up. Enjoy this because when well rested there's less apt to be nap time in the afternoons. :)

    Since yard work and gardening are starting to slow down drastically, it gives me more time to do the inside chores that I've been putting off. While some talk of spring cleaning, I'm more prone to do a thorough cleaning in the fall or winter just because there's more time spend inside. There's also more time for my love of reading because there's less time running or doing all the outside chores.

    Although hubby smokes/grills all year long, fall is when we start to thing of such foods like stews, soups, chili as well as roasts and other dishes that require long uses of the oven (cause who wants to heat up the house in the summer), and doing more baking like cinnamon rolls that take a great deal of time to make, but oh so yummy.

    Each season has it's good points and not so good points, but I've found that it's best to embrace each season as it arrives and to make the most of each and every day. Thankfully being retired we can change or plans at the drop of the hat if weather changes (as it often does in the fall) or something better for todays to do list.
    2clowns at arkansas dot net

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    1. Wise words about embracing each season, Kay! I can see you enjoy all of them.

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  8. I Love Fall, my favorite time of the year. Love the changing colors on the tree, crisp Fall weather, Pumpkin spice smell, the cozibess of fall snuggled in a blanket with a good book.

    strgth4yu(at)hotmail(dot)
    com

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  9. I change from making entree salads to soups, chili and shepherds pie. And once the last of the late vegetables are picked I’ll be getting the garden beds ready for spring.
    sgiden at verizon(.)net

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  10. I enjoy the leaves changing colors and look forward to Halloween. I like watching the scary movies all month. I don't like knowing that pretty soon there will be a ton of snow and ice and cold!
    kozo8989(at)hotmail(dot)com

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  11. Autumn is definitely my favorite season (especially because my granddaughter's name is Autumn!). It's supposed to be 89 degrees today in sunny Northern California, but in a few days it will be a high of 66! It's too early to put away all of my summer clothes, but hopefully it will be time for that soon. I've already bought a couple of new hoodies and a new outside jacket. I'm also looking forward to the end (soon?) of the devastating fires in our state.

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  12. Summer is my favorite season. I enjoy the warmth and strong sunshine, going for walks in the evening and the long days. Fall is beautiful where I live. Perfect temperatures, bright blue skies and sunny days ideal for long walks during the day. I make soups, applesauce and apple cake. With the change of season I enjoy the new menu. saubleb(at)gmail(dot)com

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  13. Fall/autumn is one of my favorite time of the year. I live in Florida, which is mainly sunny and hot, but we have a cool breeze every now and then. What I like most about this time if year is the color changes of the leaves and trees, orange, yellow, red, and brown colors. Those are literally the colors of fall. So beautiful. I do not bake, but would love to. One day I'm going to learn to bake my mom's sweet potato pie the right way.

    jacolbie_riggins@yahoo.com

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  14. Love the leaves changing color and the cooler temps. cheetahthecat1986ATgmailDOTcom

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  15. I love fall!! The colors, cooler temps, smells! I really start doing more decorating and cooking.
    bmedrano34@yahoo.com

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  16. I like the warmth and sunshine ☀️ of summer. I also like the fall - for football 🏈 and hockey 🏒. Morning coffee ☕️ is always a necessity. What I don’t like is the season that follows 🥶. Michael.Moskovic@gmail.com

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  17. I'm a November baby so fall has always been my favorite season. I love the changing colors, the cooler weather (eventually), college football season. Fall was always the start of the new school year, so new beginnings!
    patdupuy@yahoo.com

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  18. I'm always happy to see Fall arrive. Cooler temps, better sleeping at night, hopefully fires will start to recede and the air will improve. I love changing out placemats and tablecloths and everything else scattered throughout the house that says Fall, and the live-in granddaughter loves Halloween so urges me to let her decorate right now. And it's time for the old favorite comfort foods - homemade chicken/pasta soup, oven beef stew, mom's stuffed peppers... Now I'm hungry. Happy Fall!

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  19. Cleo, NO a/c in your kitchen in NY?! I can't imagine surviving that.

    I've always been an autumn person.
    In high school they had a school dance where each person filled out a questionnaire about likes and then got a list of similar people. I think most kids did not choose fall as a favorite. Sadly, I was paired up with only one person, who I disliked!
    libbydodd at comcast dot net

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  20. Welcome ladies and thanks for sharing. It started Fall a few weeks ago. Now it is starting to get a chill in the air. I love this time of year. Put away summer things and pull out fall/winter things. I love the changing of the leaves. Another promise of God that life continues, but a little differently. Colors are still there, just different. I have started canning and love seeing my work enjoyed and appreciated. I have had some time to start my quilting again. To start making greeting cards for next year. To open the doors and windows and feel the lovely breeze throughout the house. Agghh the smell of fresh air is wonderful. I love to start cooking soups and chili and stews and put them up for the winter. Also a great time to clean the house from top to bottom. The anticipation of Thanksgiving and Christmas is in the air. quilting dash lady at comcast dot net

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  21. Fall has always been one of my favorite seasons, but now that I live in the Arizona desert, it is hands down my favorite! Outside activities no longer need to be done by 6:00 am. We can hike without worrying about heat stroke and walk in the park instead of the mall. Patio eating is a must. Much like Cleo, we can now turn the ovens back on and bake. This season supports my love of the "foods of fall", soups, stews, shepherd's pie, roasted meats and vegies. Someone gave me a couple of spaghetti squash recently, so Leslie, I will be trying your recipes. They look delicious. Sadly, we don't see lots of leaves changing colors without driving a few hours, but flowers start popping up again, so color!

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  22. Today is my birthday, and now that I live in Canada, I get to celebrate it in the fall/autumn like when I was a little little kid. I enjoy walking the dog (kids as well) in autumn as it’s not too cold or icy. Plus we have fun watching the squirrels scampering about. As an added bonus our new neighbourhood has chestnut trees, as well as oak, so plenty of squirrels.

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  23. Fall is my favorite time of year. I make more soups and stews in the fall, and I wear cozy socks and sweaters. It's a grand time of year. Thanks for the giveaway! aut1063(at)gmail(dot) com

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  24. I love Fall! I love the cooler weather and the beauty of the leaves changing colors. It's a cozy time of the year! Cozy meals and cozy clothes and cozy Reads.
    diannekc8(at)gmail(dot)com

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  25. I LOVE fall!! The changing leaves, the cooler weather and the fall foods of chili, stuffed cabbage, soups and stews, etc.
    lindalou64(@)live(dot)com

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  26. Fall is good; Spring is better. Fall means fire season is in full force here. Hopefully, we will get a rainy season soon, and a good one for a change. I like the cooler temperatures of Fall.
    lkish77123 at gmail dot com

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  27. Fall is by far my favourite season! So thankful for cooker temperatures. Our dog walking routine changes from evening walks to afternoon walks. We live out in the country and have no lights to make sure we don't run into a skunk or two.
    Now that our bounty is in from the garden,it's time to can some chili sauce, stewed tomatoes and spaghetti sauce. We also have a bumper crop of leeks and butternut squash this year which we cut up and freeze.
    Cozy blankets and hot tea are all available as my husband plays his favourite game of " How long can we go without turning the furnace on?!"
    sandra shenton 13 at gmail dot com

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  28. Love Fall temps and walking in the leaves. Thanks for the chance!
    Jess
    maceoindo(at)yahoo(dot)com

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  29. Fall is my favorite season! We don’t get a lot of cooler change in North Texas, but the cooler temperatures are most welcome. My dog and I love going for walks without the heat and humidity. I also start thinking about soup and chili. Thanks for the chance! cking78503(at)aol(dot)com

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  30. I was originally going to say no, that fall doesn't change my routine, but I spent some time today making a list of the festivals coming up this month. I'm more likely to go to them than summer events because I can't take the heat.

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  31. I'm a summer person. I like fall but I live in Minnesota and really dislike winter. Everything takes longer, you have to bundle up, shovel the snow, warm up the car. I start knitting and baking again in autumn. And the holidays are always wonderful.

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  32. Love when it changes to fall. Love the cooler weather, pumpkin baked goods, Texas State Fair, and hot chocolate.
    Kitten143 (at) Verizon) (dot) net

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  33. I LOVE fall! I try to appreciate each season, but honestly, I have never been a summer person. I tolerate it now because my children enjoy it, but fall is when I can enjoy being outdoors, having coffee on the porch, baking, and everything else that creates that wonderful cozy feeling! I enjoy cooking more and can certainly see a change in the recipes I tend to use in fall/winter vs spring/summer. Plus, I'm crazy for the holidays and that means more family get-togethers and of course special family recipes!
    kjp1025(at)gmail(dot)com

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  34. I love the cooler temperatures in the Fall! Our routine really doesn’t change. We just keep rolling along LOL

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  35. I am looking forward to cooler temperatures, but I hate that it starts getting dark so early! I feel like I get so much less done in the fall because of the “shorter days.”

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