With the school year in full swing, it seems the days—especially the weekdays—just fly by. My weekends become more precious than ever, and they’re usually taken up with a happy but frantic mix of kids’ sports, household errands, birthday parties, pumpkin picking, leaf raking… you know the drill.
Each fall, I try to squeeze in a family hike on a Saturday or Sunday afternoon, even if it’s just for an hour or two. It’s a great opportunity for fresh air, exercise, getting an eyeful of those spectacular changing colors, and family bonding. My town has a few easy trails that are close enough for spur-of-the-moment hiking, so when the weather looks promising, off we go for a walk around the lake, through the woods, etc.. (To find a suitable trail in your area, check with your local or state park department. You’ll be surprised at the number of choices.) (more…)
It’s October, and in my house that means baseball fever is stronger than ever. It makes no difference if “our” teams are out of the race. Every morning we check scores and at night, talk of standings and playoffs dominate the dinner conversation.
Whether your love of the game extends to being part of the crowd at a major league ballpark, enjoying a game on TV or—like me—rooting for an energetic team of Little Leaguers, baseball is best when enjoyed in the company of another wholesome All-American—popcorn. A few weeks ago I was in charge of the team snack so I brought an enormous bag filled with popcorn; the kids couldn’t have been happier and gobbled it up.
And while everybody loves classic popcorn (with just a touch of butter and salt), I score a major home run every time I serve this Easy Oven Caramel Corn. There’s no need for a candy thermometer to make this recipe, and it’s foolproof.
Every year I look forward to those crisp autumn days spent at our local pick-your-own farm. It’s a family tradition, and we come home weighted down with apples, peaches, pumpkins—and more apples!
The pick-your-own experience is more than just a way to get amazingly fresh produce; it’s an opportunity to help children understand the role of agriculture in the foods we eat everyday. They learn that the abundant produce helps feed the farmer’s family, and that it is also shared with the surrounding community and markets from coast to coast. Plus, a trip to a local farm lets kids experience firsthand the taste of a peach or apple plucked right from the branch. Yum! (more…)