Be careful what you wish for. That sticky heat and humidity was becoming a drag, and, for everyone who wished for cooler temps, well … they are here. All of a sudden it seems like the real Fall has arrived, so it is finally appropriate to don flannels, sip cider and chomp on cinnamon-sugar donuts.
When I left the house this morning it was 52 degrees. I added some layers but they weren’t enough to keep that chilly air at bay, so I was grateful for every turn in the perimeter path that took me out of the shady areas and into the full sun to help warm me up.
Shortly after Labor Day, the first signs of Fall emerged as people hauled out their harvest décor, and simultaneously, the grocery store amped up the sugar-and-spice-and-everything-nice Fall flavors.
It used to be we just associated Fall with apples – the sweet smell of apple pie bubbling in the oven, bobbing for them at Halloween parties, or enjoying those wonderful caramel apples, especially those that go by the moniker of “Affy Tapples”. How wonderful those crispy apples with the caramel coating studded with crunchy peanut chunks taste. Or, if you prefer a DIY project, produce bins are overflowing with apples and a display of those ooey-gooey, cellophane-wrapped Kraft caramels are always nearby. Manufacturers made it even easier to make your own caramel apples by offering caramel wraps.
But now, it seems the caramel craze has taken a backseat to this pumpkin spice drink and food frenzy. Not only is it frappés and lattes that are infused with pumpkin spice, but, every year it seems there are new pumpkin-flavored treats enticing us with their descriptive and colorful packaging. Not to be outdone by other sweet pumpkin treats, I noticed Nature Valley Granola Bars has succumbed as well and created their own pumpkin seasonal favorite, and, even Pop- Tarts has risen to the occasion with a pumpkin pie flavored toaster pastry. All were displayed prominently on my last trip to Meijer.
Pumpkin has even infiltrated more breakfast foods with Pumpkin Spice Life cereal and Pumpkin Spice Cheerios which were touted on the endcap at my Meijer store. When I was a kid we only had regular Cheerios. They were bite-sized oat “Os” that tasted kind of blah, but they were good for you. Now, Cheerios crowds out the other breakfast cereals with a whopping 15 different flavors.
I saw a sign for Meijer’s own brand of ice cream called “Purple Cow” which had a featured flavor of pumpkin pie – pumpkin flavored ice cream with pumpkin pie chip pieces.
There’s certainly something for everyone, eh?
I don’t recall all the hoopla with seasonal cereals, bagels, cream cheese and sweet treats around Christmastime . I guess one can’t have eggnog- or peppermint-flavored cereal and sweet treats, or perhaps I missed those seasonal goodies on the store shelves. Maybe someone should invent fruitcake-flavored cereal. I know I have poured egg nog on cereal and it is pretty tasty. Well, if you are going to enjoy Fall, might as well be a Fall foodie and go for it with gusto.
I’ll bet that after that long hot spell, the folks that decorated their homes while the weather was still chilly at Labor Day, may be in for a rude awakening with their gourd displays. Those pumpkins gracing their porches might have turned to mush inside and become pureed just like the Libby’s canned pumpkin you use for your Thanksgiving pie.
I enjoyed this cool and beautiful Fall morning by walking five miles, and, once I finally warmed up, I hated to end my walk and go into the house. The Autumn allure is just beginning and there is a beautiful weekend promised for us as well.