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Sunday, September 14, 2014

It Feels Like Fall ... and We All Know What That Means

That means I start cooking!

 During the summer, I eat a lot of salads and grill everything from meat to fresh fruits to vegetables. But when the weather starts turning cold ... and this year it's turning cold MUCH earlier than usual ... I start making "winter food".

Most people love fall, but I'm not a fan. I hate waking up in the morning and shivering until I get get into socks and slippers and a robe. To me fall is like early labor when you're getting ready to have a baby. It might not be too painful yet, but it's going to get very painful ... very soon. When it gets below 70º, my nose start running, and it doesn't stop until it gets warm again. From November until April, I have to have a ready supply of tissues on hand. I hate having to wear long sleeves and socks and shoes ... I'm more of a sun top, shorts, and sandals kind of gal. I hate having to wear jackets and coats and layers and jeans. This time of year we're normally in the 80's, but today the high is only supposed to be 72º ... and that's the high ... which means most of the day we'll be in the 60's.

Like most of the eastern half of the US, the summer of 2013 was very rainy and I didn't get in the pool much past June. This year it was colder than normal, and the water was uncomfortably cold most of the summer. I haven't been in the pool, once again, since June. I spent the summer pouring in chemicals and cleaning the pool ... not enjoying it. I sure hope we have a nice, hot summer in 2015. I want to enjoy the pool instead of simply pouring money into it!

I'm sure the weather will warm up again before autumn settles in for good, but it sure feels like fall right now. So, I went to the grocery yesterday to get the fixin's for chili, and it seems everyone had the same idea I did, as tomato sauce was in short supply. Like everyone else, I like the chili my Mama made the best. It's spicy and thick and rich. I've had a lot of chili in my day, and it's never as good as the chili I make ... which is exactly like the chili my mother made. I don't like chili with Tabasco or hot peppers. My chili is spiced with chili powder, onions, salt, and pepper ... no Tabasco or jalapeno's. To me, those things ruin an otherwise good pot of chili. My chili is plenty hot and spicy ... but it's not painful. My chili is also very thick. I'm not a fan of thin, runny, watery chili.

In keeping with my cold-weather menu, I bought a roast to make in the crock pot, and everything I need to make chicken and dumplings. Tomorrow before I leave for work, I'll throw the roast and carrots and potatoes into the crock pot and will come home to a delicious dinner. I'll pop from crescent rolls into the oven when I get home and enjoy another one of my favorite meals!

My kids love roast now, but when they were little, they considered it punishment. When I had eaten all the hot dogs and macaroni and cheese I could force myself to swallow, I made a roast for dinner. It smelled so good! I was drooling as I set the table. Thing 1 walked into the kitchen and burst into tears and asked, "Why are you doing this to us?!"

I'm so glad my kids are now old enough to enjoy ... and look forward to real food! The huge pots of food I used to make that would go to waste now get gobbled up so quickly I rarely have enough leftovers to take for lunch.

All this talk of food is making my mouth water! It's 10:00 in the morning ... too late for breakfast and too early for lunch, but the perfect time for a brunch of chili and peanut butter sandwiches!

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