Squash Love

I went for a stroll today and met this. I've never met a squash I haven't loved. Love squash. Just love squash!

Scenic Drive in a New England Autumn

Hubby was gone on a business trip all last week, so hadn't had an opportunity to see the beautiful countryside in all its autumn splendor. We decided to take a Sunday drive through a few of the scenic small towns near to us. And we chose our day well, because the foliage was truly breathtaking. Sometimes I have to pinch myself that we really live here, surrounded by all this beauty! What a blessing! Here's a glimpse at the sights we saw! 

First stop was Francestown (est. 1772), where we walked up and down Main Street and around the leaf strewn lawn and graveyard that surround the Francestown Meetinghouse. 

Then we drove over to Hancock (est. 1779), where I didn't snap as many pictures (raining just a bit by then), but this profusion of yellow was dazzling!

We passed Skatutakee Lake.

Then we arrived in Harrisville. 

Their town website describes the town as...

Harrisville is a small New Hampshire town centered around a uniquely preserved and historic 19th century industrial mill complex. Located in the heart of the Monadnock region it is comprised of 10 lakes and ponds, a rehabilitated brick and granite mill surrounded by a quaint village with a traditional New England general store and a summer farmers market. Our beautiful town, set just off Route 101 and nestled against a picturesque rural backdrop, boasts a vibrant community with active farms, people practicing traditional and digital-age trades, and a wealth of artists and artisans. It is a much-loved vacation destination for families escaping hot urban summers as well as a great place to live year-round, raise a family, or retire in peaceful quietude. 

First stop was the general store, where our patient dog was happy to finally escape the car. And the general store sells dog treats!

And they sell very tasty little gingerbread cakes dusted with confectioner's sugar...just right for sharing!

Then we walked about the town, which is dominated by this mill, Harrisville Designs. It is still a working, water-powered mill, and sells looms, yarns, and all sorts of wonderful goods!

Ahhh...it was a delightful drive! Then it was home and Sunday dinner, followed by hot chocolate and Poldark. A perfectly lovely day!

Taking in the Views

It's been a busy, busy week of sewing around here. But every chance I get, I'm off enjoying views of the autumn foliage that just take my breath away!

Autumn's Bounty

Thy bounty
In autumn
And spreads a
Common feast
For all that live.

- James Thomson

The Autumn Front Door

Every year, we try to do something a little bit different to decorate the front door and porch for autumn. Last year, we filled the urns with a variety of cold weather-hardy plants. This year, we used our own homegrown cornstalks, filled the urns with pumpkin topiaries, and plunked down a giant pumpkin on the top step. The giant pumpkin was named...Mortimer.

Pumpkin Choosing with the Littles

This week, we made our annual trip to our favorite farm stand, Lull Farm in Hollis, New Hampshire, to meet Felicity with the little ones for some pumpkin choosing fun! They really do have a stupendous display of large carving pumpkins, tiny pumpkins, and heirloom pumpkins! As an adult, I find it dazzling. It tickles me to think of the memories the kiddos will have of the place with ALL those pumpkins!

You've got to love that arched eyebrow!

These beauties came home with us!

Tailgate Party in an Orchard

We had plans to tailgate at a polo match Sunday afternoon. Days of work and gathering of supplies and most of Saturday cooking, and we were ready. We finished loading the car Sunday morning, intending to leave straight from church to tailgate and watch the match. Colette checked the field's information en route to church, only to discover that, due to the rain the previous day, the match was cancelled. Everything ready to go...and no place to go. Oh dear.

After a flurry of flying text messages between Colette and her friends, and a little regrouping and research after church, Plan B became tailgating in an apple orchard. And an excellent plan it proved to be! Colette had the vision and did all the styling, and I did most of the cooking, and friends provided companionship and fun!

I set up the cocktail table, while Colette readied everything else.

Then our friends showed up and the fun began!

Time for serious faces.

And happy faces!

Dinner time!

- Menu -

Adirondack Margaritas (recipe here)
Roast Turkey Breast
Thyme Roasted Apples and Onions (recipe here)
Potato-Leek Gratin (recipe here)
Sage Pumpkin Seed Bread (from a local bakery)
Assorted Cheeses: Brie, Gruyere, Beecher's Marco Polo cheese,
 and Vermont Farmstead Pumpkinhead Ale Cheddar)
Assorted Autumn Fruits
Apple-Cranberry Upside Down Cake (recipe here)
Lindt Chocolates
Hot Apple Cider

Since I'm endlessly fascinated with historical picnics, I've done quite a bit of research on the topic. In the past, a picnic was nothing more than a meal eaten outdoors. So, while our set-up might seem elaborate, it's really not much different than picnicking a century or more ago...in the day and age before paper plates, Solo cups, and plastic forks.

If you'd like to recreate our tailgating party, here's a useful list of supplies:

- folding table
- wooden folding chairs
- vintage wool blankets and comfy pillows
- picnic baskets and hampers
- silver trays, breadboards, and serving dishes
- glassware, china, flatware
- tablecloth and napkins
- portable bar stand
- something to make the table look pretty (pumpkins, wheat, flowers)

And, yes, it was a lot of work. But we created some precious memories with dear friends and our family, and that's worth it all!

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