As a kid growing up in New England, October always meant colorful leaves, apple picking, pumpkins, and big sweatshirts. It was part of every year’s pre-Halloween tradition to go to an orchard and pick as many apples as I could one weekend, followed by a pumpkin selection outing the next weekend. The days got shorter and cooler, and there were always more leaves to be raked into piles.
For the past nine years, I’ve lived in Los Angeles and, while I’ve thought about those fall memories, they always seemed childish and not the stuff of a California life. We have palm trees, and birds of paradise, and seemingly endless sunshine here…what could be better? I’m a sunshine gal. For eight years, that was enough for me.
And then this year, I began craving fall! Maybe it was my husband and my friends rubbing off on me—they all favor fall as the best season—so all of a sudden, I just had to get back to New England and my home this year. I had to feel a change in the season.
Luckily, I had the flexibility in my schedule to arrange a visit and just returned from a road trip through western NY and my home state of Massachusetts! It was glorious! The hills had more shades of red and orange than I remembered were possible, and my early morning runs were chilly and refreshing. I kept spotting apple cider on menus, and walking around town, everyone wore jackets and scarves fresh from the closet after months of neglect.
A change was in the air, and it was just what I needed.
To honor the change in the season, here is a fall recipe and some fall foliage to help us get in the spirit all the way over here in LA.
Roasted Pumpkin Seeds
Snack – gluten-free, vegetarian
Whole pumpkin seeds, scraped out of one pumpkin, cleaned and washed
Drizzle of olive oil
>Pinch of salt
Additional seasonings as desired (try garlic salt and cumin for savory or cinnamon, cloves, and ginger for sweet)
- >Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil and preheat oven to 300 degrees.
- Toss pumpkin seeds in a bowl with oil and salt (and additional spices if you wish).
- Bake for 30-40 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes until golden brown.