Fall is my favorite time of year (and favorite for many of you, too), not just for the gorgeous color display that nature puts on, but also for the flavors that, even though we can enjoy them year round, seem especially appealing this time of year. Adding these flavors to your tea time makes sense, at least we think so.
Time to bring the flavors of Fall to your tea time, banishing the doldrums from the cup, the plate, the palate, and the very atmosphere. Certain foods just seem to go with Fall, dating back to the days when we had to rely on the local farmers around us and couldn’t get a steady supply of things like apples imported from around the world. We were confined to the seasons of the crops, and certain things were harvested in the Fall. Also, without preservatives and refrigeration/freezing, foods had to be eaten, canned, or otherwise treated to keep for awhile. Today, even though we have these things, we still maintain certain eating patterns based on that Fall harvest-time menu.
The flavors (click on each image to see details):
Harvested by the bushel and coming in several varieties, each with its own best use, apples are popular, healthy, tasty, and invoke a real sense of cool, crisp weather that relieves after the Summer heat. (Here’s a list of the varieties and their uses.)
Some apple treats for your tea time:
- Pie or tarts, of course, served warm with either a slice of sharp cheddar on top, a dollop of fresh whipped cream, or even a scoop of ice cream.
- Homemade applesauce served hot or cold with a sprinkle of cinnamon on top.
- Apple Cinnamon Scones served with the traditional clotted cream or butter or even some apple butter to make them extra apple-ish!
- Baked apples served warm with a spoonful of brown sugar sprinkled on top or even a dollop of whipped cream.
- Teas and herbals with apple flavoring added, or better yet real apple bits.
Depending on the weather, corn is harvested in early to even late September or early October. Much of this is not intended for human consumption. Much is for animal feed, another section is for seed to plant the next year’s crop, and still others are used to make corn-based products (non-edible). Corn is also one of those crops that has changed much since the Pilgrims were introduced to it by the American Indians. Natural GMO through the careful selection of traits to breed and encourage in future generations of the plant.
Some corn treats for your tea time:
- Roasted ears with a bit of melted butter and salt and pepper.
- Cornbread, corn pone, and other variations. Corn is hard for us humans to digest, so having it broken down in foods like these, where the kernels have been ground to a flour, is much better.
3 Pumpkin & Other Squashes
A key member of the squash family, the pumpkin became a feature of All Hallows’ Eve which we now know as Halloween. Carved into scary (or friendly) faces and lit from within with candles or little lights, they are meant to keep away the spirits roaming around that night. What they mainly do is draw to your front door strangely attired young humans holding bags to be filled with various goodies. They are also good for turning into various goodies. Hubby has been known to make some into pies. But many other possibilities abound.
Some pumpkin treats for your tea time:
- Pumpkin Spice Scones so tasty that I personally just eat them as is.
- Pumpkin Spice Black Tea where a blend of black teas and natural pumpkin flavoring and spicy cinnamon steep up a delicious cup perfect when served hot with milk and sugar.
- Pumpkin pancakes with some melted butter, some wonderful real maple syrup (not the fake stuff), and crispy bacon on the side.
There used to be meat in this dish but nowadays there is often not, especially in the jarred versions. They are fruits such as raisins and apples, and also spices.
Some mincemeat treats for your tea time:
- Baked goods (pies, tarts, and turnovers).
- Stuffing for your chicken or turkey.
- Filling for a crown roast of pork.
Endless possibilities here, and cinnamon, along with other spices, seems to dominate the flavor palette during Fall and on into the Winter Holiday Season.
Some cinnamon treats for your tea time:
- Cinnamon rolls, all warm and gooey with a nice drizzle of that lovely white icing.
- Cinnamon Raisin Scones that will have you drooling before they finish baking!
- Cinnamon Honey Sticks to sweeten your tea or add to your toast instead of, or on top of, the butter.
- Teas with cinnamon added or that have a natural cinnamon flavor.
Dive in! Fall is here!
© 2015 A.C. Cargill photos and text
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