Autumn Splendor and Pumpkin Flavors0
by Evelyn J. Mocbeichel
Each year the warm colors of autumn inspire me to shift the interior decor of our house away from the pastel tones of summer. Changes do not have to be costly, and over the years sale purchases have been made to reflect a seasonal makeover that is both easy and inexpensive. Think of the red, gold, orange, rust, browns, and deep maroon colors we see on the changing leaves.
There are easy projects that will give your home a cozy, autumn feeling now that more time will be spent indoors. Walk around your house and review each room, making mental notes of potential changes. I started with our kitchen and switched to placemats depicting falling leaves and took out hand towels with similar patterns. A new floor mat by the sink also reflects that theme. We have one wall where I replace framed pictures according to season and switch to a beautiful fall scene from a summer fruit one. Dining room changes are made simple by just changing the tablecloth to a fall color and replacing pastel candles on the holders. The centerpiece is an autumn arrangement of silk flowers. On the coffee table I have a large bowl of colorful, miniature gourds to complement the room décor as well as cloth placemats with fall images placed beneath the lamps.
This is a beautiful time of year to visit your local garden center for decorating both the interior and exterior of your home. I love to see homes where the front steps or lawn have gorgeous chrysanthemums, haystacks, Indian corn clusters on the door, and corn husk decorations. And of course, the most important decoration for autumn — pumpkins! Placing several pumpkins on the front steps is both a welcoming and a pleasurable sight.
Speaking of the glorious pumpkin, don’t forget to enjoy the flavors of the season that are just about everywhere you look now. Advertisers jump on the proverbial bandwagon to boast about their menus and baked goods that include pumpkin flavors. My daughter called us the last week of September just to say, “It’s started.” and I questioned “What?” She laughed and said “pumpkin season!” and had her first pumpkin latte that day. Now we will see pumpkin pancakes, muffins, donuts and pies on restaurant menus. Last year I even noticed one ice cream company offered “a limited edition” pumpkin flavored ice cream.
Several years ago our other daughter, whose specialty is pasta dishes, found a recipe for ravioli and sausage with a pumpkin sauce from a Rachel Ray cookbook. When she invited us for dinner and told me what she was serving, I was a bit hesitant about what it would taste like since it was replacing the typical red sauce. We were pleasantly surprised! Our other daughter continually teases her somewhat timid parents when it comes to trying something new…“Step out of the box,” she chides. We have, and the reward is often worth it. I can’t imagine someone who doesn’t care for pumpkin flavor and will miss out on the treats in store just for this time of year.