Give me color or give me spring

One of the "love" grasses, I can't remember the name with 'Annabelle' hydrangea and arbor in the background.

I mean, really, this fall has been nearly devoid of color, and I’m not one bit happy about it. Last year, I wrote rapturous melodies about the extraordinary color we were having. This fall, not so much.

Only last week, we had some cool nights and warmer days along with a good rain of two inches at my house. Cool nights and warm days prime the pump for a good display, and this afternoon as I walked around the garden just perusing what is left; what needs a bit more mulch; and where oh where will I plant the rest of these bulbs; I was astounded at some of the color.

I sighed in happiness at the beauty, and so, I guess I can wait for spring.

Hamamelis 'Diane' I did not alter this picture at all. This is exactly what I saw. See why I was stunned?

This time of year I crave color more than a gluten free snickerdoodle cookie (they are my favorite cookie above all). I can’t use one of Ginger Lemon Girl’s master baking mixes because it has dried milk, but I like the flour mix in Gluten-Free Baking Classics so I would substitute it for hers. However, if you want to keep it really simple, you could use Gluten Free Bisquick.

Yes, Virginia, it really does exist. It’s not very good for you, but these are cookies after all.

Now, I’ve gone from fall color to cooking. I’m sorry, but with less to do in the garden, my mind wanders to other hobbies like reading and cooking.

When it’s cool, don’t you also crave soups? I make one nearly every night, alternating a more difficult recipes like Julia Child’s Beef Bourguignon with some handy little gluten free mixes I found at our local Gourmet Gallery, but also online. Tonight is Homemade in Minutes South of the border tortilla soup. Easy, as long as you have either canned tomatoes with green chilis or salsa, along with chicken broth in your cabinet. By the by, check out the labels on the broth. Some have gluten. Progresso does not. The other night I made Frontier’s Homemade in Minutes chicken soup (gluten free with corn pasta), and it was so good. For those of you who can eat without allergies, I know you’re thinking, What? But, for those of us, who have to read every label, convenience is extremely rare. These soups are delicious and nice to have in the pantry for a Sunday night supper.

Saplings near the barn. To me, they look like little kids waiting in line.

Speaking of recipes, while at Best of Books last week, I bought three new cookbooks. Allergy-Free Desserts: Gluten-free, Dairy-free, Egg-free,Soy-free and Nut-free Delights, by Elizabeth Gordon looks promising. The rhubarb galette will need to wait for spring, but I am ready to try some of her pie crusts for Thanksgiving. The Allergy-Free Cookbook: More than 150 Delicious Recipes for a Happy and Healthy Diet, by Eileen Rhude Yoder, Ph.D. also has promise. I’m a pretty experienced cook and now understand how to manage my allergies, but she had some recipes which I found interesting. Finally, I bought The Earthbound Cook: 250 Recipes for Delicious Food and a Healthy Planet, by Myra Goodman just because the photographs of farms and harvest were so beautiful. What can I say? I’m a sucker for garden eye candy.

Is there anything better than fall color, the love of children, hot apple cider and soup? I don’t think so. How about you? What are you doing and preparing now that winter is nearly here?


  1. Les says:

    I am sorry your fall has not been very colorful, perhaps the color showed up further east where we have had one of the most colorful in recent memory.

    I work on a board who produces a hort. conf. in January. This year the speakers will get among other things, a pack of gluten-free cookies made by Glow in NYC. We taste tested them at our meeting Tues. If I didn’t know they were different, I would not have figured out on my own.

  2. VW says:

    This is great soup weather! I’m sorry you have to be so careful about foods because of gluten. But it sounds like there are many more options now for gluten-free foods.
    How nice that you had a bit of color. After a crazy windstorm this week, most of the colored leaves are gone from the trees and it looks very wintry around here. Oh well.

  3. I just ate lunch and now I’m hungry again! Yes, fall has me thinking of soups. I’ll have to try one of those handy soups you mentioned, even though I don’t have allergies. Don’t you just love this time of year?

  4. You should have made a drive up this way, we have had a little bit of color and would have loved to seen you.

    Once my kitchen is up and running again I am making a big pot of homemade soup.

  5. What I like best about having met you is that now I can actually hear your voice in my head as I read this post. 😀

    I LOVE soups this time of year. Seriously love them.

    But I’m staying away from the cookies.

  6. Lona says:

    I am so with you girl! I am ready to start Spring again. Snickerdoodles! I love them. Where is the milk? LOL!

  7. I really appreciate all your gluten-free tips. It’s so much easier these days to go gluten free, with more companies making an effort.
    Hammamelis ‘Diane’ has much better fall color than my witch hazel. Well, maybe not “better,” but mine doesn’t get red, and I prefer red to orange. If I ever planted another witch hazel, it will be ‘Diane.’

  8. Lisa at Greenbow says:

    I have made several soups lately. Chicken noodle, lentil and sweet potato soups. Yumm. I am getting hungry again. Hot tea and a couple of those cookies would suit me right now.

  9. Kelly says:

    I was thinking the gorgeous fall colors were going to skip us this year but they finally arrived. Unfortunately, the leaves are falling pretty fast. Soup sounds so good! Right now I am looking for new desserts. The last thing I need!
    Have a great week, Dee

  10. Cindy, MCOK says:

    That last shot of fall color is so lovely! Down here on my corner of Katy, fall color rarely appears before December. If it’s not a cold winter, January can be a great month for tree color.

  11. Layanee says:

    I am sorry that the garden is not more colorful for you this fall. New England was less than bright in my estimation although I saw glorious color in spots. As for soup, love it and you know that the new wild kittens are named Campbell, Lipton and Swanson although I haven’t really seen Swanson. Progresso was just too long a name. Made chicken soup on Saturday. Yummy. Bon apetite.

  12. Debbie says:

    Hi Dee,
    I’m sorry you’re not getting your COLOR FIX this fall… but your post made me hungry! Why don’t you grab one of your favorite cookies and come on over to my blog… you might remember,I’m a New England Blogger and we have had one glorious fall this year! When you’re done visiting pp over to my homeschooling blog where we are making a Fall Leaf Picture Book in watercolor! you won’t be disappointed with the color there either! As I raked the last pile of leaves from my wild English garden today, I imagined a more beach y theme next year…. Hydrangea, medium sized grasses, and knock out roses. If I wasn’t so tired from raking, I might have turned the soil today! Let the daydreaming begin!

    Happy Fall,

  13. Carol says:

    This post made me hungry! I love a good soup, and a good garden, and you have both. I think I’ll come and visit!

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