Thursday, August 26, 2021

Autumn in the Air

August is still with us for a few days yet, but even with the red hot temperatures that come with summer, I'm beginning to see hints of the approaching season. Schools have reopened locally and the high school parking lot near our home is once again full of cars. Middle school children ride their bikes past me when I'm out for my morning walks, and the cute little girl who lives down the block walks to school, escorted by her mother.

Back-to-school sales have been in full swing for a few weeks already and bags of Halloween candy line the shelves in our supermarket. As far as I can tell, the only excuse for buying Halloween candy in August is to allow yourself to eat it all so you can buy more. Or is there another reason I don't know? 

While I adore spring, I'm also a fan of autumn. After a number of 100+ degree days (about 79 Celsius), I'm weary of heat and ready for cooler temperatures. Autumn is the season when our part of the world starts to receive its winter rains. Like all Californians, I'm hoping for a good rain year and praying it starts early.

Autumn colors don't ring my bells with the enthusiasm as I get from the spring, but the variegated shades of yellow, orange, and brown remind me of evenings by the fire, Thanksgiving dinner, and pumpkin bread. Autumn is worth celebrating if only for the pumpkin bread, and here's my favorite.

Pumpkin-Date Bread

1 2/3 c. flour
1 1/2 c. sugar
1 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. baking powder
3/4 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. cloves
1/2 tsp. nutmeg
2 eggs
1 c. pumpkin
1/2 c. vegetable oil
1/2 c. water
1/2 c. walnuts
1/2 c. chopped dates or raisins

Sift first 8 dry ingredients into a large bowl. Put in next 4 liquid ingredients & beat well. Stir in nuts & dates. Pour into 2 greased & floured loaf pans. Bake at 325º for 1 1/4 - 1 1/2 hours. Test with a toothpick for doneness.

That sounds so good, I may not wait for spring. Enjoy your last days of summer.

Susan Aylworth is the author of more than 20 novels. Her newest book is Kisses and Kittens in Christmas Town, Book 3 in the Christmas Town series, releasing today. Over the Rainbow, a prequel to the Rainbow Rock Romances, is available free for only a short time longer to everyone who subscribes to her newsletter. You can sign up on her website: Contact her on her Facebook author page or via or join her on Twitter @Susan Aylworth. 


  1. Yes, I can feel that summer is fading... but I want to hold onto it as long as I can. The recipe looks so good, Susan. I will try it once the weather gets cooler.

  2. Autumn is my favorite time of the year. Even though the days are still warm, the air is drier and the nights are cool here in Los Angeles. It definitely feels like autumn is already here.

  3. Summer is in full force here. 102 degrees today.

  4. Mmm, I love pumpkin bread. :) I definitely feel fall in the air in Oregon. It's still hot during the day but the mornings are much cooler. The air smells different. I think I associate the smell of wild blackberries with fall. They grow anywhere and everywhere here and are invasive.