Today feels like fall. This morning it was grey outside, and the clouds let go of their rain. Later, the sun came out, and the grey gave way to vibrant blue, while big, puffy clouds drifted across it. A glance out the window now, and grey is winning at the moment, but still there is color; the reds and yellows and oranges of leaves on trees and on the ground, and, in those magical moments, fluttering in between. Inside we are warm and dry, and the house feels cozy. My Mom came over this morning and together we made a big pot of applesauce. It's sweet and spicy scent lingers in the air and mixes with the maple candle burning on the table. I have a dish cooling right now, and my mouth waters at the thought of it. Most of it will go in the freezer for the months ahead. On the baker's rack we have our "ode to fall"; a few small pumpkins and gourds in outrageous shapes and various shades of orange and green and yellow, and some pretty leaves the kids and I have picked up outside.
Have I said how much I love Fall? Susan asked me about the wax leaves I mentioned in a previous post, so I thought I'd share this simple project with anyone who is interested. And if that's not your cup of tea, then I'll share a recipe for Pumpkin Scones, some of the best I've ever had. (To go with whatever is your cup of tea, of course!)
Waxed Leaves This is a project we learned years ago from my Grams. It's not suitable for children too young. First you need to gather some beautiful fall leaves in various colors and shapes. We usually make an event of this and call it our "Leaf Walk". Make sure your leaves are dry before you start this project.
Melt some parafin wax on the stovetop in a disposable pie tin or something of the sort. Keep the heat very low. You can add a red or yellow crayon to enhance the color a bit, but it's not necessary. While the wax is melting place aluminum foil around the burner to protect your stovetop from drips, and spread a couple sheets of newspaper on the counter next to the stove. Holding the stem of the leaf, dip each one into the wax just until it's coated. Hold it over the wax while it drips, just a few seconds, and then lay it gently on the newspaper.
There you have it- your leaves will be preserved all fall with a lovely, shiny layer of wax. They look really pretty in a basket with some gourds or pumpkins, or my Mother-in-law pins them on the wall so they look like they just blew in! Happy Dipping!
Pumpkin Scones This is a variation of the recipe found here, to give credit where it's due. And if you've never baked scones, they're quite simple and you can learn more about them here. Make sure to make the yummy spread to put on them. And eat them warm out of the oven. Mmmmmmm.......
- 2 C Flour
- 1/3 C Brown Sugar
- 1 t. Pupkin Pie Spice
- 1 t. Baking Powder
- 1/4 t. Baking Soda
- 1/4 t. Salt
- 1/2 Cold Butter
- 1/3 Cup Buttermilk or Sour Milk
- 1/2 C Pumpkin Puree
- 1 t. Vanilla
- 1/2 C Hershey's Cinnamon Chips or White Chocolate Chips or Chopped Nuts
- 2 T. Milk
- 2 T. Sugar
Mix all the dry ingredients in a large bowl. Cut the butter into small pieces and cut it into the flour until it resembles course crumbs. Add chips or nuts to dry mixture. In a separate bowl mix milk, pumpkin, and vanilla. Pour this into the dry ingredients and mix gently with a fork until it forms a sticky dough. If it's not quite sticking together, add a bit more milk. Don't overmix. Turn it out onto a floured surface and knead gently just a few times. Form it into a circle about an inch thick. Rub the top surface with the milk and sprinkle sugar on top. Cut into wedges. (A pizza cutter is great for this.) Place on a greased cookie sheet for about 18-20 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean.
Cream Cheese Spread
- 1/3 C Softened Cream Cheese
- 1/3 C Pumpkin Puree
- 1 T. Maple Syrup or Sugar
- 1/4 t. Cinnamon