Fall activities keep going spite of heat
By Peggy Walker, R.D.
Okay, okay, I’m fessing up. Enough with the hot weather (I can’t believe I’m saying this.) I really do like summer and hot weather, but maybe not so much, so hot, and for so long. It’s even unseasonably and uncomfortably hot up here on the east side of west Tennessee.
No pumpkin lattes for me, I’m still sipping sweet tea and ice water. I’d even settle for upper 80-degree days and 60-degree nights to make us think that fall is getting here. Though the temperatures may not say it, fall is actually here.
Fall décor. In spite of the scary summer temps Mack and I have decorated. Pumpkins, gourds, black cats, scarecrows are now all around…and just as he selectively placed everything. (I did snap some pictures just in case anything gets moved.)
His criteria for Halloween decorating is that it must look creepy. Guess I’ve been falling short in my Halloween decorating all these years, so now, there’s a pumpkin sitting on top of an old clock and a witch’s hat on the hearth surrounded by battery operated candles and a string of candy corn lights. But, when I said no to turning on the fireplace, he said I was acting a little “witchy.”
Fun at the fair. DW, Mack and I made the Lexington Free Fair last week as did everybody in Henderson county it seemed. The fairgrounds are right downtown and there’s no gate fee! Fair goers purchase tickets or arm bands for the rides and pay for games and food. There were two midways with rides for all ages. Local groups offered burgers, BBQ, fries and nachos along the perimeter of the fairgrounds, each given the same sized booth space, seating, and even menu…to keep things equal we surmised.
Patrons choose the group they want to support; we sweated over BBQ with the Rescue Squad. And the fair food vendors filled the middle. Who eats funnel cakes when it’s 90 degrees? Me and a lot of others. Mack cooled off with a Slush Puppy (smile) in a tall red cup, which he had to be assured he could keep and reuse… a fair treasure no doubt.
He rode the rides, played the games, and brought home carefully-selected prizes for his winnings. At the dunking booth he hit the target with his third and final ball and the 4-H agent went down! She was probably glad to cool off.
Inside the air-conditioned exhibit hall we saw the 722-pound prizewinning pumpkin, which made second place look really small.
A pumpkin on the porch would melt in this heat so our homemade concrete pumpkins brought from Batesville stand at the front door, perhaps not as creepy as a giant pumpkin.
Fall foliage. Next door the golden rod and purple thistle are completed undeterred by the heat and in the neighboring fields soybeans are ready to be cut. Out front I replaced the once pretty and pleasant smelling lavender with ornamental cabbages.
It’s still too hot for pansies, but maybe some mums. So, concrete pumpkins move over, though it is a little scary to try to keep flowers alive while we wait for fall temperatures to finally arrive. But, come to think of it…dried up flowers do look a bit creepy.
It’s fall when football starts. The games go on and so do we with hats, sunscreen, fans, water, and white shirts…it’s too hot for maroon. Creepy it may sound, but we’d relish a cloudy sky at game time. Goodness it’s hot in Starkville, as it is in Oxford, on Saturday afternoons in September. But, ‘tis the season. Just not the temperature.
Happy hot fall y’all!
Recipe of the Week
Chocolate Oatmeal Quickies
DW loves these quick, tasty and no-bake cookies.
2 cups sugar
4 tablespoons cocoa
½ cup milk
¾ cup butter or margarine
1 ½ teaspoons vanilla
2 ½ cups quick oats, uncooked
3 tablespoons smooth peanut butter
½ cup chopped nuts
Mix sugar, cocoa, milk and butter together. Boil for 1 ½ minutes. Remove from heat; add other ingredients; mix well. Drop by spoon onto waxed paper. Let set 30 minutes to one hour until firm.