Monday, September 19, 2005

Wishing for Fall

Dear Cathy - The plants in the front of the picture are what I brought home from Just Fruits. They aren't agaves; I was afraid the agaves would get big and become a safety hazard to anyone walking to the front door. These are yuccas, but unlike Spanish Bayonets, they don't have sharp points on the leaves.

Despite the heat I did some gardening this weekend. I planted the yuccas, spread mushroom compost on low spots in the lawn, junked two roses that had been growing in pots (they were succumbing to old age and neglect) and fixed the low voltage lights. All except fixing the lights got done before noon, so as to avoid the worst of the heat.

I also planned the menu for the dinner party. Gary and I have participated in a "gourmet" club for about 15 years in which 4 or 5 couples (we've had some membership changes) get together about 8 times a year, with each couple taking turns hosting and planning the menus. The host couple provides drinks and the entre, and assigns the other dishes. Here is the menu for Saturday:
The Multi-Source Menu

Green Pea Soup with Garlic and Herbs
Kitchen of Light
Beef Tenderloin with Mustard-Horseradish Sauce
Bon Appetit (
Roasted Vegetable Torte
The Barefoot Contessa Cookbook
Buttermilk Yukon Golden Mashed Potatoes
Everyone Can Cook
English Cheddar-Plum Tart
The Tallahassee Democrat

I have nearly all of the menus plus recipes for all the dinners we have ever done. It could be a cookbook, but I really don't think the world needs another cookbook.
Fall Favorites
I'll take up your fall favorites challenge, although fall seems like a distant dream.
Favorite fall dessert: Apple pie made with fresh apples.
Favorite fall holiday: Halloween, although we never have many trick-or-treaters.
Best fall memory: Going back to school. When I lived in Virginia you could count on a significant change in the weather by late September, no matter how hot is was on Labor Day weekend, when you were moving your stuff into the dorm or apartment.
Worst fall memory: 9/11/2001
Most puzzling fall memory: I'm puzzled.
Best thing about fall walks: There is a different smell because of the drier air and changes in vegetation.
Favorite fall chore: Hanging ghosts in the tree.
Least favorite fall chore: Watering the garden--fall is drought season in North Florida
Best change in the home: Turning off the AC and opening the windows.
Favorite flower: Barleria is covered with purple blooms for about a week in the fall.
Best tree in the fall: I have a beautiful Japanese maple that turns fabulous colors every year at Christmas. For fall, I think the hickory trees have the best color.
Fall ritual: Going to the Southern Economics Association meetings with my husband. We always see lots of friends.
Most frustrating thing about fall: Just when the weather gets nice the days get short.
Favorite childhood game: Roller skating (on the sidewalk)
Favorite childhood memory: Field trips to the National Gallery of Art.
Favorite decorations: Pineapple ginger flowers; they last for weeks after they are cut.
Favorite clothing: Wool socks, once it is cool enough.
Best scenery: I made trips to the midwest (Ohio, Western PA, Wisconsin, Illinois, Missouri) to visit colleges with both my daughters in October. The fall color up there really puts North Florida to shame.
Best fall travel tip: My best tip is to avoid the Skyline Drive in Virginia on fall weekends.
Favorite drink: I don't really have a fall drink, but at some point I switch from iced tea to hot tea.
Traditional fall candy: Candy corn!
Favorite Sound: The outdoor sounds that can be heard after you turn off the AC and open the windows.
Fall song/hymn: We Gather together to ask the Lord’s Blessing
Reliable prediction: Sometime in the middle of October I'll hear someone complain about how hot it still is, and I'll remind them that you can't count on it being cool inTallahassee until after the fair. Some years it isn't even cool then.
Best fall television show: Monday Night Football. I love John Madden!
I made really good progress on the project this weekend. I expect to ship it out by Wednesday, and I'll post a picture a few days later.

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