Autumn Aromas

The trees are glorious with color, the air has a crisp feel, and you hear the leaves go crunch under your feet. If the wind is right, you can catch the smells of fall - musty leaves and bonfires. You hear kids laughing next door as they jump into large leaf piles. That's right, it is the fall season! It's a great time of year to be outside - not too cold - not too hot. The sights, smells, and sounds are some of my favorites - maybe yours too!

In the Midwest (where I call home), fall is the time of campfires, where you roast hot dogs and make s'mores. It's the season for hayrides, and soothing hikes where you drag your feet on the path to hear and smell the rustle of leaves. It's time to take a drive through beautiful golden woods or watch combines harvest acres of corn. You attend fall bazaars, garage sales, football games and homecoming. Outside you walk in the woods to gather hickory nuts and you bring in the last of your garden produce.

Apples are the fruit of the season and you devour caramel apples and drink hot cinnamon apple cider. Who could ask for better sights, sounds, and smells?

It's also a great time to be in your kitchen turning on your oven to let the delightful aromas of autumn fill your home. After such a hot, hot, summer it will be nice to do some baking. Anything coming out of the oven smells good this time of year like brownies, cookies, pies and bread. Who can resist the smell of bread baking in the oven? Yummy! Or how about pie? The aroma of something baking will draw your family to the kitchen like a magnet and put big smiles on their faces, especially when they discover it's for supper!

Try one of the following recipes to win the smiles of your family this fall...

Chocolate Mint Cookies
by Nicole Oden
  • 1 cup softened butter
  • 3/4 cup light brown sugar
  • 1 3.4 oz. pkg. instant vanilla pudding mix
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 2 eggs
  • 2-3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 cup chopped Andes mints
  • 1/2 cup slivered almonds
Cream together butter, brown sugar, pudding mix and vanilla. Add eggs, beat well. Add flour and baking soda, mix completely. Stir in mints and almonds. Drop by rounded spoonful onto cookie sheet. Bake at 375 for 8-10 minutes. You may substitute any of your favorite kind of sweet or semi-sweet chocolate or chopped nuts.

Raw Apple Cake
A moist cake that keeps several days if it lasts that long.
  • 2 eggs (3 if small)
  • 2 cups flour (sifted)
  • 2 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1 tsp. soda
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1 cup salad oil
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1/2 to 1 cup English walnuts
  • 4 cups apples (thinly sliced)
Mix all ingredients together with a spoon. Do not use mixer. Batter will be stiff. Spread into greased (13 x 9 x 2) pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 45 to 60 minutes. Serve cake with whipped cream or frost with icing made by combining 2 pkgs. (3 oz.) cream cheese, 3 Tbsp. melted butter, 1 tsp. vanilla and 1-1/2 cups powdered sugar.

Cornmeal Buns
by Barb Hagen

Cook to thick mush and remove from heat:
  • 2 cups milk
  • 1/2 cup cornmeal

  • Add:
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 tsp. salt

  • Let Cool. Add:
  • 3 beaten eggs
  • 3 cups flour
  • 2 pkgs. yeast - dissolved in 1/2 cup water
Let stand 20 minutes until bubbly. Add flour until soft mix (3 to 3-1/2 cups). Knead, let rise, punch down. Let rise. Form into buns. Rise. Bake.For 2 dozen hamburger buns - Bake 12 minutes at 400°. For 3 dozen dinner rolls - Bake 20 minutes at 350°.

So after you are finished taking hikes, riding bikes, or watching the leaves gently make their way to the ground as you rake... come inside to some pleasing aromas and the warmth and golden time of fall!