Fall is by far and away my favorite season. And as a former Midwesterner, I can confidently say there is nothing better than a Midwest fall. The sights, smells, cooler temperatures, fall activities, fall clothing – it is all good. When we moved to Arizona, a proper fall is one of the things I missed most. My husband reminds me we get our fall-ish weather in January and is quick to point out how much better that is than a snowy winter from back home. But every year when it is still 95 degrees in October, I find myself missing the signals of fall.
In more recent years, we have resigned to making our own fall-like atmosphere – a ‘perfect fall day’ we call it. Though I am not sure any of these things are exclusive to the Midwest, when all paired together, it sure does make me feel like I have a piece of home. Basic? Yes. But if a basic fall day is wrong, I don’t want to be right.
Midwest Fall Must Haves:
–Apple cider donuts: These are surprisingly hard to find in AZ! A staple at every farm stand, orchard, and bakery back home, you kind of have to hunt for them here. Trader Joe’s makes a decent option. I have heard some of the artisan donut places will pay homage to these selectively as well. They are best warm so if you are feeling Martha Stewart-ish, make your own!
–Leaves candle from Bath and Body Works: Trust me on this…it will be your favorite fall candle.
–Turkey Pumpkin Chili: You want to up the fall-ante on chili? Add pumpkin. So good!
–Pumpkin bread with pumpkin butter: Williams Sonoma has the BEST mix/butter if you are looking for ease. Trader Joe’s also makes a variation of this. Serve on the side of the aforementioned chili.
–Homemade applesauce: Are you sensing a food theme here? Let’s go with it…fire up the crock pot and get the kids to help mash.
–Pumpkin carving day/pumpkin seed making: One thing we learned the hard way is that without the cooler temperatures we are used to in October, pumpkins don’t last very long around here. Have a pumpkin carving day to kick off the season and then plan to do it again closer to Halloween. We love roasting the seeds for snacking or topping on that chili you made earlier!
–PSL or Pumpkin Scone: Real talk…I am NOT a PSL fan. One thing I fully embraced about fall in AZ is that my coffee can be iced all year round! That said, you do you, boo! My personal fav is when the pumpkin scones roll out. If you haven’t already, try one!