Fall is my favorite season, but it wasn’t always so. As a child, fall meant an end to summer freedom and a return to order, structure, and wearing shoes. But now that I am older ( and I hope a bit wiser) I truly relish this special time of year. I savor each day with an intensity I find difficult at other times of the year. I try to live with a “Carpe Diem” attitude each day all year, but it’s hard. Sometimes the summer seems to stretch out endlessly before me. I put off that trip to the beach or camping trip. Holidays quickly become rushed and I feel like a giant countdown clock ticks inside my head. I confess, that feel myself grow impatient at times waiting on spring. But Fall I can savor. Each warm sunny day a gift before winter’s cold. Each cool night a refreshing change from summer’s intense humidity and bug battle. The visual announcement of first changing of leaves are joyfully spotted.
The last family picnic at the beach is enjoyed with wet feet. The first fire of the season seems extra magical. Opening up the stored cashmere, boots, and scarves is like unearthing familiar treasures. The dinner menu changes over to offer comforting flavors and regains a heartiness. The pure fun of pumpkin or apple picking farms and fresh cider.
Here are a couple links for some apple cider drinks I’ve been enjoying this fall. They come from a great food blog I enjoy , Fabtastic Eats. Aliana is a Mom and a girl after my own heart in her simple yet delicious take on family foods. The Apple Cider Margarita was a fast favorite at my house after our Apple Picking and fresh cider weekend. The Apple Ginger Smash recalls some of the flovers of my favorite bundt cake. Great for making a large batch and entertaining. I really like it in the non-alcohol version with sparkling water for myself and the kids in the afternoon. Here’s another great resource for mail order of in person shopping we enjoy, Carolina Cider Company. Their Peach or Apple Cinnamon Cider work really well in this recipe as well.
When I was a little girl my Mom didn’t bake much. Usually cookies at Christmas and a cake or two in the fall. Perhaps that is why this taste memory is so strong in my mind. Her Pumpkin Bundt cake would appear with the arrival of cooler weather. The house filled with the scent of warm spices and pumpkin. As I recall she often put cooked apples in her cake, which used to cause the cake to often fall apart when cut. I’ve altered mine a little. Omitting the apples and upping the spice with the addition of ginger in two forms. She often just dusted hers with a little powdered sugar from a sifter. I do that sometimes. Sometimes I omit any decoartion on top. I too, rarely bake. So in our home this cake is more often eaten for breakfast or an afternoon snack than as dessert. The opportunity just comes sooner. Somehow no frosting seems more appropriate. But if I’m serving this for dessert or giving it away, I glaze it with a simple confectioners sugar glaze and sprinkle it with crystalized ginger. I hope one day years from now, my little girl remembers this pretty cake on our island and recreates it for her family. Remembering our colorful fall walks and talks together which sometimes ended in a big slice of Pumpkin Cake or a glass of fresh apple cider. I hope you find time to savor this season. Go for long walks and soak up the colors and scents of the season. Don’t pack away your patio cushions and grill. Enjoy the early dark to star gaze together under less humid skies. Grill up some savory fall meals. Fire up the firepit. Roast a s’more together by firelight. Resist the rush into Holiday season evident all around you. The constant urging to purchase and plan. Instead, may I recommend you simply enjoy the fall in it’s own right and not as a prelude to winter holidays. For it is fleeting and temperamental by nature. You never know exactly how long it will last. .
Pumpkin Ginger Bundt Cake
- 2 1/4 cups sifted unbleached all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
- 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 2 teaspoon fresh ground ginger or sub 1/2 teaspoon dry
- 1/4 cup crystalized ginger finely minced
- 3/4 cup pecans, lightly toasted finely chopped
- 1/3 cup golden raisins,presoaked in cider/water to soften
- 1/3 cup butter, room temperature
- 1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
- 1/3 cup vegetable shortening
- 3/4 cup granulated sugar
- 2/3 cup light brown sugar, lightly packed
- 2 large eggs
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1 cup applesauce
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spray a 9″ fluted tube pan with oil or butter then dust it lightly with flour and invert to tap out excess flour. I do mine over sink.