I’ve been in the fall spirit lately. I’ve embarked on two major baking projects: amazing cranberry-orange muffins and an old family favorite. I made the most delicious autumn-inspired chicken dish, to rave reviews from the Hungry Hero. I drank a fall shandy. I keep remarking about Washington’s gorgeous fall beauty; not just colorful leaves, but community apple orchards, sunflowers, and golden sunshine. I’ve been cozied up reading Dead Wake (review to follow; I’m about 75% through at the moment).
It’s my favorite season, and I think my bookish tendencies have more than a little to do with it.
Here are eight reasons why readers love fall.
1. Stews, Soups, and Sauces
Gone are the quick salads of summer, and back are the “chill on the stove for 2-3 hours” homemade Bolognese sauces, hearty soups and beefy chilis, made with thick fall vegetables and generously spiced. Gather your ingredients, throw ‘em in a pot, and sit back to read (or watch an episode of the Real Housewives) while stirring occasionally and savoring the amazing smells in your kitchen.
2. Blankets and Warm Drinks
A little fall chill means perfect weather for snuggling under a blanket with a nice warm cup of coffee (or tea). Also known as coziness overload, or the perfect reading position. I do this in the summer too, but you know, it just feels more natural in the fall. Plus I don’t get as many weird looks from the Hungry Hero.
3. Red Wine
The heartier soups and red sauces of fall mean that my alcoholic beverage of choice is coming back into vogue again, and thank goodness. A nice glass of red wine is perfect for sipping, reading, and relaxing. The red-stained smile is just proof of the deliciousness of the evening (carefully curated social media photos be damned). Don’t forget the cheese.
4. Apples, Pumpkins, and Squash
Unlike summer’s ingredients that work beautifully with just splash of olive oil and a few grinds of pepper, I think fall’s ingredients taste best with a little extra love (and cook-time). It’s not as tasty to bite right into a squash. Roast pumpkins and squash with your favorite warm spices (maybe nutmeg and cinnamon), maybe puree that into a soup, or pile it onto a casserole dish with your meat of choice and pop it in the oven. It will take a little bit longer, but that just means more page-turning time and a delicious fall feast.
Pies, muffins, cookies, even doughnuts… it’s time to pull out those under-used pans and give them a spin once the air cools down. A floury kitchen and a full belly of treats make for a great environment to cozy up on the couch with a book, and put off the clean-up efforts for a little while.
6. Roaring Fireplaces
One of the strangest things about moving into this Washington apartment was finding that it had a fireplace. Wood-burning. On the third floor of large apartment building. While I’m not sure how this is considered safe practice, I know I am grateful for it, and especially for the Hungry Hero, whose knowledge of fire-safety makes me feel that it is at least somewhat unlikely that we will burn anything down.
7. Scarves, Sweaters, and Hoodies
Fall threads make reading cozy anywhere. You’re basically wearing a blanket. Even work lunch hours are made cozier with the addition of a cozy scarf or wrap, which makes reading all the more enjoyable (wherever you are). Anyone ever tried one of these? I think I’m putting it on my Christmas list. Cozy factor is off the charts.
8. Toasty Baths
Long ago, I perfected the art of reading while taking a bath, and I maintain it is one of the most relaxing ways to spend a fall Sunday afternoon. During the summer, I’d rather be sitting outside next to a pool, but cooler air means baths are back in. Breathe deeply, light a candle, and zone into your latest read.