Fall Is Here

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By Paula Deen

Life’s a little slower down South than it is in the rest of the country. No one is in a hurry to get anywhere because down here anywhere can usually wait. Even fall sneaks in as sly as a fox.

One mornin’ I step out on my porch and I feel that something is missing. Humidity. Without that suffocating blanket of heat, I can catch a chill when it’s 65 degrees. So I cover my goose bumps with a warm coat even though I know that I’ll be sweatin’ by noon like a big girl writing her first love letter. Come nightfall, I’ll need that coat again, otherwise my Southern blood will just about freeze solid.

But that first chill of the season sure takes me back. I get to thinking about high school football, cheerleading, and pullin’ on a warm sweater as us girls reluctantly headed home after the game. We’d stretch those nights out as long as we could, as if we knew that someday soon we’d have to grow up. Eventually we did ¬– well, sort of.

I still consider autumn the season of friends, football, and comfort food. I’m no spring chicken, but I can still tear up a pile of leaves with the best of ‘em. And after a hard day of work and play, there’s just nothing better than digging into a big bowl of Creamy Squash Soup to warm me right up. If the change in weather does start to get me down, I’ll get creative in the kitchen with my grand baby Jack, who always lifts my spirits. Together we’ll pour candy corns into the Crispy Rice Candy Corn Treats and eat up all the misfits that don’t make the cut. 

This season, take a lesson from the children and cast away your grown-up inhibition. Join in the Halloween fun by dressing up with the kids (I’m going to be a “lady pirate” this year), or turn your house into a haunted one and don’t even bother cleaning ¬– the more cobwebs the better! Because before you know it, the trees will be bare, the blue sky will turn gray, and the kids will be trapped inside with so much pent-up energy it’ll make your head spin.

So with my mug of Hot Cranberry Cider (or pint of brew – it is football season, y’all), I salute you, autumn. Because you remind me of a special time when I was no longer a child, but not quite a grown-up either. It may be the “in-between” season, but it’s a miracle just the same.

More of Our Favorite Fall Foods:
Cheesy Squash Casserole
Baked Apples
Spiced Lemon Apple Cider
Turkey Pot Pie
Pumpkin Baked Ziti

Read More From Holidays and Entertaining.

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Reader Comments:

Hey there, Paula!
Oh Girl, your article brought back so many magical memories of football games on a cold Friday night…getting a quick kiss from your fella…didn’t matter one bit if your nose was runny from the cold air either! After the game, we’d all go back to my house and build a blazing fire to cuddle by, drink hot chocolate and roast marshmallows.
You know, I married the love of my life seven years ago (at age 52) and we now cuddle by our outdoor fireplace on these cool nights, listening to the local high school band playing just over our tree line…getting all excited when they score a touchdown. We’ll hold hands over a glass of wine, roast a marshmallow and yes….still enjoy that kiss…even with my cold runny nose! It just doesn’t get any better….or on second thought…it does everyday when you’re in love…don’t it Paula?

By Lynn Deatherage on November 01, 2010

dear paula, i watch your show everyday with my 12 year old son and my 31 year old daughter we love your show, but most of all we love the way you talk, we love your sence of humor and it is a pleasure to be able to look forward everyday to watching you,. i am from argentina and love the food you make hope if i am ever in your state i can get to meet you in person.  noemi

By noemi higareda on October 30, 2010

Miss Paula, I am still sweating away down here in Tampa…not fall yet.  Lordy, I wish it were.  I sit outside in the morning waiting for my Brody (my sheltie) to tend to his business and feel like a sopped up kitchen rag by the time we get back in the house.  I know what you mean by no humidity and 65 degrees.  When it gets below 60, I am inside with the heater running.  I miss the days of having a fireplace and sitting by it all day long or in the evenings while munching on snacks and drinking cider.  I still say that youth is wasted on the young.  Oh well, as I do to, I look forward to the brisk fall breeze to cool us off.

By Greg Kantner on August 16, 2010

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Paula Deen
Paula Deen
The Lady's Blog
The Queen of Southern Cuisine muses about her recipes, life and family. See Posts

Brooke Deen
Brooke Deen
Deen Mother
Advice on raising two boys (three counting Jamie). See Posts

Brandon Branch
Brandon Branch
Southern Style
Decorating Inspiration from Paula's Design Director. See Posts

Julia Sayers
Julia Sayers
Hot off the Press
Step behind the pages and let the Associate Editor of Cooking with Paula Deen fill you in on what goes into creating every issue. See Posts

Lisa Scarbrough
Lisa Scarbrough
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Mom on a dime advice from Paula's Digital Properties Manager. See Posts

Andrea Goto
Andrea Goto
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Tips from a real-world mom with comedic tendencies. See Posts

Martha Lee
Martha Lee
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Practical, earth-conscious ways to live and parent in the 21st century. See Posts

Susan Greene a.k.a BUBBLES
Susan Greene a.k.a BUBBLES
Bubbles' Corner
Ideas and advice from a 21st Century young at heart Grandmother. See Posts

Cindy Edwards
Cindy Edwards
Southern Proper
Etiquette advice from a true Southern belle. See Posts

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hi! wink i was wondering if you could share the recipe for the chiken/grape salad-the one that is pictured on the croissant above? thanks! wink sandra
Sandra Neuheimer-Huller in Chicken Salad: A Southern Staple on April 19, 2014 at 10:37 am

Where do I buy these magazines
in A Basketful of Traditions on April 19, 2014 at 8:22 am

I WISH I COULD COOK. COULD I COME WORK FOR JUST ROOM AND BOARD AT YOUR NEW RESTURAUNT IN PIGEON FORGE FOR THE SUMMER? I WENT TO COLLEGE NOT FAR FROM THERE - HIWASSEE COLLEGE. YOU WOULDN'T HAVE TO PAY ME, I WOULD WORK FOR FREE JUST FOR THE EXPERIENCE. TAMMY LEVAN 19 SPENCER WAY KINGS PARK, NY 11754 HAPPY EASTER! CHRIST IS RISEN!
TAMMY L LEVAN in A Basketful of Traditions on April 19, 2014 at 4:31 am

Hi Bubbles, You have some great tips. Can't wait to read your other blogs! Please give Aunt Peggy a big hug from me and here is one for you! (((HUGS))) See you in May!
Jaci Pardun in 10 Quick Household Tips on April 18, 2014 at 11:05 pm

Paula, I am glad to know that I am not the only person who makes Easter Baskets for their adult children and mail them across the United States. My Daughter lives in Long Beach, CA and I not only sent her a basket but her husband and my granddaughter Reese. We also buy special Russel Stover Bunnies for each child too. My husband has the list in his phone... Sara .. Cookies 'n Crème.... Sidney and Stephen.. Peanut Butter Etc. It one of my favorite things to do for my kids.. no matter how old they get. And passing it along to my Grandchildren. It's even more special to me knowing we share a family tradition. Blessings and Happy Easter!!
Sharon Cason-Card in A Basketful of Traditions on April 18, 2014 at 11:03 pm