Beyond the Kitchen

What are your Autumn projects?

I was riffling through my closet this past week looking for something with a sleeve.  It’s been three degrees less than a million degrees here in New Orleans which means Autumn is upon us.  

Every season I go digging through my closet hoping to assemble some sort of haphazard capsule wardrobe for the coming months, hoping that I have enough classic and and comfortable clothes to keep any shopping to a minimum.  It’s all fine.  This Autumn, like last is all about a straight jean, a silk button down, and flat a boot and a coat.  Keep it simple.  

This is also the second Autumn I’ve had lived in this little house in New Orleans.  Learning the rhythms of a little piece of ground with a house on it has felt good.  The leaves are falling and I’m still pulling weeds.  My young fig tree is trying to figure out its life, and the magnolia tree is ready for another bird to come nest.  

The best housewarming present I received last year was a mostly out of print book called The Home Almanac. It’s divided into months and has a list of tasks and chores to keep your house up and running for the year.  This book is more about prepping your house for actual (what I might even call extreme) seasons, but it’s really helpful to think through things like when to get your air conditioner looked at, and radiator know-how… wait, do I even have a radiator (actual question I asked myself this morning).  

What the book hasn’t talked me though is things like… how to effectively throw a giant cookbook at a flying cockroach, or how it’s smart to text a friend that you’re home alone and taking boxes up to the attic because the last thing you want is to be alone with bats or murder or ghosts or whatever else you might come upon in an attic.  

Suffice it to say, this transition of seasons, and the prospect of cooling temperatures and less summer rain, has me thinking about some of the Autumn projects I’d like to accomplish for myself and for my house.  The big task this season is to spray seal all of my fences and I think I’m about 5 more youtube videos and 2 more Home Depot visits away from figuring that out for myself.  

Here are some other things I’d like to do (besides spray the fence with sealer) .  What’s on your Fall Project list?  

 Because I’m always making new recipes, I don’t often go back and revisit.  This Fall, let’s revisit these Fresh Herb and Gruyere Puffs. They’re easy and cheesy! 

 Get a bird feeder.  Any suggestions? 

 Plan Spring garden! Have you done this?  Where do you start? 

 I can’t wait to put up a Christmas tree – this year with big paper flowers!  So… I’m going to make paper flower poinsettias.  I’ll share my own tutorial once I figure it out! 

  I want to show you how to make my very favorite chocolate layer cake!  I made a cake (several, actually) for an event in Portland a few weeks ago and it was absolutely my favorite chocolate cake.  The secret ingredient is black cocoa, get ready.  

 Bake from as many of the new Fall Cookbook I can.  I’m already into the Zingerman’s Bakehouse Cookbook and Cherry Bombe: The Cookbook.  

 Make bagels – get it down. I’m currently looking for the right book to really guide me through the process, though I may just need to get a job at a bagel factory for a hot minute.  

•  Make bay leaf ice cream.  Let’s steep green leaves in cream.  

What are your plans this season?  Are there any recipes you’d like me to explore and share here?  Let’s make a plan.  Also, I think you’re wonderful.

More soon!

xo Joy