More than Sweater Weather
by Barbara Schmidt
What cooler weather means in New York and Minnesota is the beginning of layering our wardrobe again. We start to look for jackets and scarves for those cool mornings on the way to work and school.
Fall fashion is comfortable – like these stovepipe silk pants and oversized “Elmo” jacket. Mixing and matching layers is one of the best parts of fall wardrobe, and we can’t wait to build more drama into the new season.
Afternoons are still warm so time in the garden and on the deck are important. Sacrifices are made to sit in the sun a little bit longer. We cherish each warm day knowing that it can snow in October, and then we will have to wait until March for those warm afternoons to return.
We get ready for winter just like the squirrels stash away nuts. Covering our planters with sheets every night in the fall allows some extended garden time until the hard frost forces us to bring our plants inside. Then our indoor rooms become nurseries for perennials and annuals that go dormant only to wake in January as the days gradually start to get longer.
Then we get out our shovels and buckets of pet safe deicer for the front door and the driveway. The garden hoses are brought in and the hummingbird feeder waits for the last migrating stragglers before a final cleaning and storage until next April.
During fall we reach for warm coffee, hot tea, and some harvest foods like squash and apples. So much of what we decorate changes into Halloween and Thanksgiving that it’s hard to see any other décor after back-to-school dorm room collections.
Local apples have been grown to withstand our early fall dips in temperature. One of my favorite apple varieties is the Haralson. It’s tart and a late harvester so we can enjoy fresh local fruit well into the holiday season.
Once the frost settles across the land, our ovens turn on to bake hearty foods. Kitchens become our warming houses for all things culinary. Some of my favorite desserts are pies made with peaches, apples, and berries. Nothing beats a homemade crust and warm slice of piping hot pie on a cold day.
When we were getting ready to shoot this apple story we harvested the apples ourselves from an orchard out near Stillwater. Then I baked the skillet pie myself the night before.
While we were sourcing the set elements I happened upon the Pie Box creative team. They custom make boxes for pies with leather straps and nifty slide-off lids. They were kind enough to send us one for our shoot, and I still have it our pantry stacked with other props waiting for another project.
Fall has a special meaning to the Midwest because it’s harvest time for a lot of crops in late summer and into fall. There is bounty across the land and a warm feeling of gathering and sharing. That feeling was exactly how I thought of the kitchen below – warm and inviting to create meals for the family. Happy fall everyone!