I have always loved the Fall. Give me crisp evenings, snuggly jumpers and boots over heat and flip flops any day. I’m not too sure where my love for all things autumnal comes from. It could be from my days in Marching Band where I spent chilly fall nights marching on a football field. Or maybe it is because Upstate NY is one of the most beautiful places on earth in the Fall (I dragged ThisIrishDad and his family home to get married during one autumn). Who knows, my entire life I have loved all this time of year.
I could go on and on about all the things I love about this time of year but instead I’ve recapped 5 of my favourite things about Autumn (although it’s really hard to chose five):
Sports Under the Lights
Whether its American Football ‘Friday Night Lights’ style or catching an evening Munster match there is something special about watching any sport under the lights. Autumn is a HUGE time for sport and going to sporting events with the family is always fun. And if you don’t feel like venturing out there are always plenty of sports on television to watch this time of year!
Nothing beats coming home to a roaring fire on a chilly day. It’s when you smell fire in the air that you know Autumn has finally arrived. It’s taken me almost a decade to really hone my fire starting skills in Ireland, but now I can’t imagine life without an open fire or stove.
Slow Cooker Chilli
What else is there to eat while watching sports sitting by the fire but Chilli! It easily serves a crowd and can be made as spicy (or as bland) as the kids will eat it! We love the slow cooker in this house and it really comes into it’s own in the Fall with recipes like chilli, soups and stews. Slow cookers let you enjoy a healthy family dinner even if you choose to be lazy on the couch or outside running through the leaves for the day!! By the way my go to for slow cooking is Stephanie at http://www.ayearofslowcooking.com (she cooked for an entire year using only a slow cooker & she has a ton of easy recipes) but really the beauty of a slow cooker is you don’t even need a recipe!
Every September America is taken over by pumpkins! There is pumpkin in everything and I love it all!!! While it hasn’t quite caught on as much in Ireland I still love baking pumpkin bread, sipping pumpkin spiced lattes and of course enjoying pumpkin pie (I also search hard for pumpkin ale). By the way if you get your hands on tinned pumpkin puree (sometimes Aldi/Lidl stock it) shoot me an email I have one thousand recipes you need to try!!! (and if you spot it anywhere definitely let me know where so I can go buy it all).
Of course we can’t forget carving pumpkins at Halloween!!! It wasn’t until he met me that ThisIrishDad carved his first pumpkin – and he has upped his game year after year. We’ve fallen into our own pumpkin carving roles in our family and goes a little like this:
TheseIrishKids: idea & concept
ThisIrishMom: cleaning pumpkin insides and the all important pumpkin seed roasting
ThisIrishDad: carving for hours to create the masterpiece of the year
Want my very secret pumpkin seed roasting recipe??? click here.
I searched high and low for years as to where we could go apple picking in Ireland. And I have to give a shout out to one of my favourite places the Apple Farm in Cahir, Co Tipp. The Apple Farm is open for pick your own apples the October Bank holiday weekend. There is nothing that says Fall like Apple picking. Hot apple cider, apple crisp, apple sauce……apple everything!!!
Autumn in Cork wouldn’t be complete without the Cork Guinness Jazz Festival in October! Like most parents of young kids ‘the jazz’ has changed for us over the years. ThisIrishBoy can’t hear a beat without starting to move so going ‘jazzing’ with the kids has become one of my favourite ThisIrishFamily Autumn traditions. We usually wonder around town on the Saturday afternoon and listen to some of the street jazz before heading over to the gigs in the Metropole Hotel. If you haven’t done the Jazz with the kids you’re totally missing out!
I could go on and on about everything else I love, scarves, boots, walking on fallen leaves etc etc and maybe I will over the next few weeks but if you have a favourite autumn thing we should be doing drop me a comment and let me know!!
Also follow ThisIrishFamily on IG here and check out all the other awesome fall things we’re getting up to!