Fall

It’s here!  My favorite season.  So, happy fall!  Happy Autumnal Equinox!  Happy Mabon (for all you pagans out there)!

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The house is ready.  Away have gone the bowls full of shells and vases full of summery flowers.  Taking their places are dried wheat stalks pulled from Belgian and Kansas fields, orangey colored candles and the only pumpkins I’ve been able to find so far.  Oddly enough, this is the season that makes me miss the U.S. the most.  At home the Halloween decorations have been for sale for months, everything is covered with fall leaves, from hanging banners at Target to the grocery store deli case, and, the ultimate sign of fall, everything is pumpkin flavored.  From coffee and scones to beer and Oreos.  Belgium has not jumped on the fall bandwagon yet.  As a matter of fact, I’m pretty sure a Belgian would be highly suspicious of anyone who tried to order a pumpkin beer.  Be that as it may, fall is still on my mind.  I mean, how could it not be?  The weather has been fall-like for at least six weeks now.

So, while we can’t head out to Brookdale Farm to go pumpkin picking followed by a stop at Bergey’s to take a spin through the corn maze then make our way inside to stand in the unending line for a pumpkin ice cream cone, we can do our best to find some fall themed activities.  So, step one this year was apple picking.

Some friends told us about a local farm that grows apples and pears for picking so Saturday we headed out to Culture Fruitiere du Point du Jour in Henripont to see what apples were available in late September.  Several kinds were ready, nearly every one I had never heard of so we picked some of each to do our own tasting.  Jonagolds (which were the only ones I knew) are perfect for eating out of hand, Karmijns are tarter with roughish skin, Suntans are small and less crisp, Coxes we haven’t tried yet but I’ll get back to you.  They also had a few pears left but the ones we’ve tried are a little tasteless.  Maybe they were better earlier.

It was a warm day and the sun was out.  Very summery for our first scheduled fall outing, but I’m not complaining.  In fact, it reminded me even more of home as the first fall outings we have in southern Virginia tend to happen during very warm weather.  The only disappointment?  I had all the windows open while making apple bars so the cinnamon apple baking smells didn’t stay trapped in the house.

Now if someone could please stop by the Starbucks in Brussels to let me know if they’re serving Pumpkin Spice Lattes, that would be great.

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