It’s officially autumn which is my favourite season of the year. Don’t get me wrong, there are things about winter that I love and there are certainly things about spring and summer that I love as well, but nothing compares to the leaf-crunching, crisp air, hot chocolate and a good book, smell of distant smoke, perfect weather for baking loveliness of autumn.
And, boy, am I ever excited!
One thing, though, autumn here is just not as good as autumn in Ohio. The leaves on the tress change colours differently (it seems to happen overnight here…) and the air is more damp than crisp (read: constant rain). There aren’t (as far as I can find) any orchards nearby where I can go apple-picking. There are no choose-your-own pumpkin patches. No haunted houses. No trick-or-treating (unless you’re under the age of 7). I can’t find any non-alcoholic apple cider and there’s no anticipation of deep winter with feet and feet of snow. Not to mention their screaming lack of THANKSGIVING.
But I have resolved to make the most of it.
Attempt number one was my baking of Smitten Kitchen’s Jewish Apple Cake whish has to be my favorite First Thing To Bake in Fall. This would have worked wonderfully, I had visions of myself seated on the stairs of our deck drinking hot coffee and enjoying this cake in the mist of a chilly Sunday morning, however this was not to be. Why? Because after the cake was in the oven for nearly 3 hours and still liquid I had to admit to myself that the oven just isn’t working. So. Until we figure out what is wrong with our new oven I’m afraid my enjoyment of fall has been thwarted.
There will be no delicious apple cake, no dense and sticky gingerbread, no Christmas Morning Muffins fresh and hot from the oven. The way of tackling this problem is three fold. First I am going to ask my In-Laws if I can bake cake at their house (understanding I’ll surrender half shares in all baked goods), second I am going to plead with my husband to figure out how to fix our oven (thermostat? auto-shut off? who knows!) and if we can’t get it fixed I am going to beg my sister and brother in-laws (hi Alan!) to give us their old oven when they get their new oven installed during their kitchen renovation. Although the broken oven in our kitchen right now is the result of one such charitable donation and I’m wondering if it’s just a bad idea to begin with.
So, to take my mind off the broken oven and the startling lack of sweet cinnamon and apple smelling kitchen, S and I are redecorating our lounge. This is an ongoing task which is sapping my will to live. First the wallpaper had to come down which took forever, then we had to wash the wallpaper residue off the walls, which took forever. Since then we have painted two coats of white paint over the (lovely, ha) teal blue paint which had been hiding beneath the wallpaper (and I thought it couldn’t get worse than peach!). Now all that remains is gloss paint on the woodwork (loads of it!) and two coats of our chosen color on the walls.
We’ve been taking our time with this task so as not to wear ourselves out, however now we have a deadline in the form of S’s flat-screen television purchase which will be delivered a week from tomorrow. A race to finish the lounge so we can hang a television on our wall. Apparently it’s 3.8cm wide which is, apparently, amazing.
So this weekend will be spent not baking, but painting. My trip down to Galloway Forest Park will have to wait another week, although the leaves are still green so there’s no point in going until they start to change. I just hope they don’t do their spectacular changing colour in one evening and then falling off the trees in one fell swoop all over the course of 24 hours trick (see the Whomping Willow in Harry Potter 3), like they usually do. Because if I miss the leaves falling off their trees I might just cry until spring time.
Do yourselves a favor, though, and bake that apple cake. It’s delicious and the perfect treat to have ready when returning into the house after raking a metric tonne of leaves off the lawn in the backyard. And go to an orchard and pick-your-own apples to make it with.