Miller: Happy fall, y’all!

Published 1:31 pm Tuesday, September 28, 2021

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Dew danced on the tiny webs creepy crawlies had created all along our path this morning. I peered here and there failing to catch a glimpse of one of the webs creators, but their handiwork glistened in the early morning sun. Although it was the plan to get out early in the cooler temperatures we have relished, the air though pleasant, had lost a little of its crispness.

No matter, the sweltering heat is a thing of the past for this year, and with the welcome yet subtle changes come a myriad of wonderful delights! I remember how much fun my siblings, cousins, and I had at the little green farmhouse in Neshoba County as yet another summer came to an end. All of us anticipated days filled with crackly leaves, bon fires, and hot cocoa.

Is anything better than a hot dog roasted over an open fire? Even if they get a little crispy that just makes them better. I have always been partial to putting my marshmallows into the flames and blowing them out once the outside chars a bit. There is nothing quiet as yummy as the gooey inside. I wonder if people who slowly and methodically turn their marshmallows gingerly close to the flames for what seems hours to get that nice golden color have more patience than those of us who thrust those babies into the fire?

We have been picking up sticks and limbs on our land in the country since Ida blew through and have been waiting until the weather changed and it had a little time to dry out to light her up. I love a fire on a chilly day, and have even been guilty of turning up the air conditioner to get the house cool enough for one in the fireplace!

Fall also makes me want to find new soup or chili recipes. I have a large collection of cookbooks that I love to thumb through looking for something new and yummy to create. Over the years I have experimented with a few dud recipes, but I can usually change an ingredient or two to get the taste I want. If a recipe has too many ingredients I begin to think that it is more work than fun so I move on to something a little less challenging.

After seeing the movie, Julie and Julia, a few years back I was inspired to become a magnificent French chef. I bought “Mastering the Art of French Cooking” and promptly dreamed of all the dinner parties I would host. My guests would be delighted by my newly acquired culinary abilities! Julia did inspire me, and I love hosting parties, but I’ve never gotten around to trying one of her recipes.

I don’t know if I just got side tracked or if something else derailed that fun idea. Maybe her recipes have a lot of ingredients, and I was a little intimidated, but it’s never too late to try something new or follow through with a plan. Now to find Julia’s book and get busy!

Jan Penton Miller can be reached at