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

Paula Deen
Paula Deen
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Paula, I love watching you and your family. I miss seeing your show, I watched you everyday. My son lives in Charleston S.C. He took me to the Lady & Sons to eat. Oh my goodness! People are always telling me that I look just like the cooking lady Paula Deen. I always tell them that you are my hero. May God Bless You Mary Ann
Mary Ann Tharp in A Summer of Burgers on August 15, 2014 at 10:48 pm

Add a few spoonfuls of parmesan cheese to the flour and cornmeal breading and it kicks the tomatoes up another notch. Bev
in Crispy Fried Green Tomatoes on August 15, 2014 at 10:33 am

I just bought Paula's Peach Salad Dressing and wondered if anyone has a good recipe that they use it in?
Melissa in Taste Testing 101 on August 13, 2014 at 8:36 am

Congrats Bobby. Loved the family picture miss you Paula on TV will be watching online. Jack is getting big. Looks like his mom but Matt aka moose has your face. Your eyes cheeks hair even falls to his face like yours except to the left. Good luck on your next venture. You give us other 60+ yr women strength to move on. Keep up the good work.
Carol Bryant in Love at Last on August 11, 2014 at 6:12 pm