Dress Your Home for Sweater Weather

Go beyond the gourd when warming up your home for autumn. The changing of the seasons should sweep through your home as it does the outdoors.. Below are ways to delight each of your five senses in a sweater weather kind of way.

Scent

Fill the air with spices using a warm simmer pot. Cinnamon apple is fitting for the crisp air. Fill a pot with cinnamon sticks, apple peels, orange rinds and whole cloves.Bring to a boil, then simmer all day long. Add water as needed. 

Taste

What's better than the scent of a simmer pot? Something baking in the oven. Specifically, a chai pumpkin cake with browned maple butter frosting. It makes pumpkin spice seem basic.

 

Eyes

Always bring the outside in, because this season is focused on what's going on outdoors. White pumpkins have always made a striking statement, but wild things are necessary. Bring in branches with red leaves, Jerusalem artichokes and pine cones. In fact, build a fire and throw a pinecone in it. It glows orange.  

Touch

Throw your windows open and let the fresh air filter through. Your home will feel  crisp and clean. If you're lucky, you may catch the scent of woodsmoke. Throw faux fur and chenille blankets on the couch, pull off  your socks and settle in.  

Hearing

Play Simon & Garfunkel. Trust me on this. 

 

The Great Pumpkin Spice Debate

Love it or hate it, pumpkin spice is here to stay. What started as a seasonal treat from Starbucks has turned into a market-driven phenomenon. From benign products like pumpkin spice candles and pancakes, to the extreme, such as pumpkin-spiced Spam, facials and deodorant, it's everywhere. 

Years ago, an astute food writer mentioned that pumpkin itself isn't a very tasty vegetable. In fact, it isn't used in many recipes as is. The mild flavor is dominated by cinnamon, nutmeg and allspice, then baked into pies.

But I'm not sure that even matters to pumpkin spice fanatics. Because for many, it's more than a novelty latte at the coffee shop. It means an end to humidity and the unending bikini selfies on Instagram. It means cool nights by a bonfire, apple picking, cashmere sweaters and changing leaves. What began as a flavor has become an idea.

Besides, what's Thanksgiving without pumpkin pie? It's also a great source of beta-carotene, fiber and vitamins B, C and E. And if a burning pumpkin spice candle doesn't make you feel a little warm and fuzzy, it's an economically-sound way to gage whether or not you're dead inside.