This is the craziest fall I can remember, with muggy 90-degree heat and lightning storms, but I am holding onto hope that autumn really is coming! Here are some ways to celebrate one of my favorite months.
1. Go hiking. In St. Louis, there is no better month for hiking than October (well, usually). Check out some of the amazing fall colors along the Lewis and Clark Trail, Powder Valley Nature Center, Pere Marquette State Park, or any local park, or make the drive to Elephant Rocks or Johnson’s Shut-Ins.
2. Make some cozy hot drinks. Tea, hot cocoa, fancy coffee drinks, apple cider, wassail... ‘tis the season for hot drinks! (If you don’t know how to make any of these, Google is your friend.)
3. Don’t rake your leaves. Just joking... sort of. Instead of bagging up leaves and setting them out on the curb, think about how you can use this huge pile of nutrient-dense carbon to your advantage. Start a compost pile, mulch your garden for the winter... or give them to a neighbor who likes to garden!
4. Learn how to roast vegetables. Autumn is the beginning of a season of hearty vegetables that are best roasted in a hot oven until caramelized. Try out butternut squash, sweet potatoes, beets, turnips, onions, carrots, potatoes, Brussels sprouts, broccoli, or cauliflower with the same method: chop into bite-sized pieces, spread on an oiled rimmed sheet pan, drizzle with olive oil, salt, and pepper, and roast in a 450º oven. Check after twenty minutes by piercing one of the pieces with a knife to see if it’s soft. Toss and roast the pieces further if necessary. Roasted veggies are delicious mixed with rice or pasta, spread onto toast with a sprinkle of cheese, scrambled into eggs, tucked into a burrito, or simply drizzled with sauce (kung pao, sweet chile, herbed melted butter, gravy, and more).
5. Press some autumn leaves. Gather colorful leaves that suit your fancy, and press them between any kind of paper in a thick book. In a couple weeks they’ll be dried out and ready for fall-themed decorations! You can glue them onto greeting cards, use them for crafts, or simply scatter them around the home for decoration.
How do you celebrate October?