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Patty Craig: A Slice of Time

This past week, I’ve been thinking about fall again. I believe each season brings its pleasures and its readiness activities. Writer Hal Borland said, “Summer ends, and Autumn comes, and he who would have it otherwise would have high tide always and a full moon every night” (https://www.brainyquote.com/topics/autumn-quotes). My recent attention has been on fall weather, fall decorations, and apples with caramel dip.

First, as my oldest daughter traveled to Michigan last week, I thought about our fall weather. The Michigan weather was nice, just a bit cooler than Kentucky. The temperature in Saugatuck on Lake Michigan was about 60 degrees, and the same day our temperatures ranged from 70-85 degrees. The Weather Channel’s forecast for our 2020 fall (https://weather.com/forecast/national/news/2020-08-11-fall-temperature-f...) said:

-“Most of U.S. will likely see above average temperatures this fall.

-Warmer than average temperatures could be most expansive in October and November.

-The expected development of weak La Niña conditions is the reason for the mild forecast.”

The Old Farmer’s Almanac (https://www.almanac.com/fall-weather-forecast) predicted: “Just when an early winter seems inevitable, October will roll in with milder-than-normal temperatures nearly everywhere—actually, make that “much warmer than normal” temps in the eastern two-thirds of the United States. But enjoy it while it lasts: As the leaves begin turning color and floating to the ground, above-normal rainfall will visit the Deep South and Southeast and range northeastward to New England, as well as predominate from central California northward through the Pacific Northwest. Most other areas will be dry or nearly so.” Putting those two forecasts together, we could have warmer-than-normal temperatures this fall. Nevertheless, I will still depend on a daily forecast to plan my activities.

Second, I’ve been thinking about decorating for fall. So far in my house, only one corner of my sunroom has anything fall-ish setting about. I’ve seen some beautiful locally-grown mums (purchasing a couple is on my to-do list). Gourds, pumpkins, pillows (having fall pictures or words or in fall colors), and scented candles are my favorite fall decorating tools. I also like to have a table runner and a plant on the dining table. Although I’m not as creative as many of you (and most of my family members), I do enjoy bringing fall into my home.

Third, one fall tradition I have is to freeze apples from a local orchard. Last week, I froze almost a bushel of apples. I also set aside quite a few to eat, and I made caramel dip to go with them. Fresh apples with caramel dip is a great snack! Someone gave me a caramel dip recipe years ago, and it is delicious. The caramel dip recipe I follow is below:

Caramel Dip

Ingredients:

2 bags Kraft caramels

1 can sweetened condensed milk

1 stick margarine

Directions:

Unwrap the caramels, and microwave in a glass container with margarine and sweetened condensed milk. Stir after each minute or two. When consistency is smooth, pour into serving or storage containers. Unused dip may be refrigerated for later use; to re-heat, microwave and stir in one-minute intervals.

The most difficult part of the dip recipe is unwrapping the Kraft caramel squares. So, this treat is definitely easy on the cook! And fall is the one time I allow myself the temptation of having the dip readily available.

John F. Kennedy said, “Change is the law of life” (https://www.brainyquote.com/topics/change-quotes). Fall weather, fall decorations, and apples with caramel dip are only a small part of the coming fall, but they caught my attention for a time. While we cannot change the seasons, we can decide how to welcome each one.

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