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FALL FOODS October 16, 2012

Posted by lycan librarian in Uncategorized.

        Our ancestors always celebrated the fall harvest and took advantage of their last days of nice weather for the year. The tradition continues, especially  in those places that really know it’s winter once that brutal season arrives. I went to our Huntsburg Pumpkin Festival, but there isn’t a whole lot to say about it. But this past weekend I went to the Burton Apple Butter Festival and ate my way through it. Before stepping onto the grounds of the event, it was necessary to pass numerous vendors displaying their wares. The jewelry was as tempting to me as the food, but, unfortunately, nobody was offering free samples of the jewels. There were tables and tables of food for sale, and every few steps there were new interesting treats to sample. So I nibbled fudge, truffles, salsas, breads and apples. I did buy some incredible truffles. They were labeled as “Adult Truffles” because they contained alcohol. I bought the Ramped Raspberry and Christmas Cherry flavors because they contained 100 proof vodka, my drink of choice.

        Once reaching Century Village, there were more options presented. One simply has to taste the delicious, warm apple butter being produced before your eyes. The aromas of apples and spices hung heavily in the air, which was just crisp enough to feel like fall, yet warm and comfortable enough to spend a day outdoors. My first food purchase was a half-dozen tiny donuts covered lavishly with sugar and cinnamon. Thank goodness I had a friend along to help me eat them. But then she spotted the apple butter spread on homemade Amish bread and I had to help her eat that. We shared a tub of french fries sprinkled with vinegar and lots of salt, and washed it down with some cold apple cider. We walked around some more and went into the fabulous historic buildings that had been plucked from their original sites and planted in the village through the years, and marveled at how easy our lives are today. Wringer washers, hundred year old kettles and pans, and hand-operated woodworking tools were sharp reminders of the hardships of life past.

        My last bit of food was chicken fajita. When I passed the stand on the way in, I decided that was what I would have. I considered having it without the chicken and with only the grilled veggies, but decided at the last minute to include the meat. I often don’t, because I prefer free range chicken or no meat at all, but was told these were made from local poultry who had normal lives and had been permitted to peck for bugs in the grass and enjoy the feel of the sun on their wings. (Now I just made myself feel bad for eating one of them.)  Once we waddled to the car, I felt fuller than I have in a very long time. But, oddly, was hungry later that night. So I ate an apple, had some tea, and that was enough.

          This is my favorite time of year because it is a treat for every sense. There are beautiful colors, amazing aromas, delightful things to taste, crisp breezes to flow along your skin, the crackle of dried leaves under your feet, and intoxicating bonfires that also provide wonderful smells, sights and sounds. Fall is gorgeous here, and is the favorite season of many people in the area. To me it’s worth it to put up with winter because the other three seasons provide such a wealth of wonderful experiences. Of course, it’s easier for a writer who works from home to say that than the poor sap who has to drive to and from work five days a week. I get to play with the dogs in the snow, sip tea as I stare out at a raging blizzard, and, best of all, ignore those weather forecasts that are wrong about as often as they are right. Lucky, lucky me!

        Enjoy your autumn.



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