Fall is my favorite time of year. I love the way the air feels as the summer heat gradually surrenders to the cooler temperatures of autumn. It is bliss to have to pull the bed covers up to my neck in the early morning hours when the chill settles into our bedroom. What a perfect setting for sleeping in (if only I could).
I love the anticipation of the coming holidays… Halloween and visits to the pumpkin patch, candy corn, apple cider, and trick-or-treating. Thanksgiving and family, turkey, pumpkin pie, and stuffing. Christmas and… oh, better not go there. Yet.
So, what happens when the arrival of my favorite season is combined with my favorite grocery store? Autumnal enlightenment. Since most of Southern California isn’t blessed with the stereotypical signal of fall’s arrival, I have to rely on Trader Joe’s to announce that, in spite of the non-changing color of the trees, summer is gone and autumn has taken its place.
Sure, there may be a change in the temperature and the days may become noticeably shorter, but when Trader Joe’s displays its annual giant logo-pumpkin and has orange and yellow geraniums for sale, I sense a change in the air… fall is here.
For the past few years (since they opened our neighborhood Trader Joe’s) I have found that- for me– autumn officially begins once I can purchase Trader Joe’s Pumpkin Bread Mix. I went to Trader Joe’s yesterday, hoping to get my hands on a couple boxes but they were all out. I found out from one of the helpful employees that they were getting another shipment in that night.
There was no question in my mind… I would be back at Trader Joe’s the next morning to get my pumpkin bread fix.
And that’s what I did. I picked up two boxes of the pumpkin bread mix… along with a box of their new apple spice bread mix, a box of pumpkin pancake mix, and a bottle of apple cider.
I baked the apple bread tonight. It was a hit with the entire family and it left the house smelling the way a Norman Rockwell painting looks: Homey, warm, and simple.
I have not tried the pumpkin pancake mix (I think it’s a new item) but I’ve been assured by a reliable source that it is “rather yummy”. I think pumpkin pancakes will be on our morning menu within the next few days.
I am happy that fall is here. I will savor it. I will enjoy being able to wear a sweatshirt. I will look forward to the holidays and all my beloved family traditions associated with each.
I will enjoy this short period of time… because I know that in about a month, my signal that Christmas is on its way will arrive at every Starbucks in the nation in the form of a caloric little beauty known as the Egg Nog Latte. Mmmmmm…