by Allison Walton
Warm pumpkin spice lattes, the changing of seasonal restaurant menu features, spiked apple cider and pumpkin ales, the sound of Enter Sandman and the unforgettable Lou Holtz reminding me that finally, fall has arrived with open arms.
Born a summer baby, what’s not to love about soaking up the sun and having a valid excuse to be a beach bum all summer?
But after experiencing the harsh winters and heatstroke-inducing summers in the city, it is fall that I can finally embrace as a happy medium. Its two most valuable assets:
Flavors and football.
Think pumpkin, sweet potato, butternut squash, carrot and apple. And then for the Hokie connoisseur in me, everything begins to have a Virginia Tech connotation. Yes, I will purchase those orange TOMS and those maroon corduroys because I can proudly wear them to the football games. (Don’t worry, I already have a pinterest board solely dedicated to it.)
And yes, when I walk through Central Park and the leaves are in their prime maroon and orange autumn hues, I think of myself jumping up and down to the sounds of Enter Sandman in the north end zone of Lane Stadium in Blacksburg, Virginia.
Better yet, you can find me sipping on a Harvest Moon Pumpkin Ale while cheering on my team at the Village Pourhouse, while wearing my orange TOMS and maroon corduroys.
If I haven’t sold you yet on the idea of being a proud supporter of college football, maybe I’ll convert your tastebuds. Year-round, I bookmark recipes in anticipation for fall’s arrival so that I have an excuse to get myself experimenting more in the kitchen.
And the aromas that fill the kitchen aren’t a bad side effect, either.
With the holidays around the corner, I always try to find at least one dish to contribute to the dinner table for friends and family. My company also holds an annual bake-off and “Dunch,” and I need to redeem myself (big time) for my mishap in the kitchen last year.
New apartment. New kitchen appliances. And a new “spin” on the pumpkin roll.
One that turned out more like a brick.
Having burned rice on the same stove only a few days earlier, perhaps I should’ve known better.
Alas, a few recipes. Both upcoming and past:
And of course, a Spiced Apple Cider Cocktail to polish it all off.
This list could go on forever, but I’ll leave you drooling for more.
I do think that fall brings out the foodie and football fanatic in all of us. It’s an excuse to get everyone together in good company, explore our inner chef and embrace a little competitive spirit regardless of how much we truly understand about the sport.