Autumn has always been my favorite season…not that I saw much fall weather where I grew up in Southern Alabama. There’s really only two seasons there—blistering hot and frigid. Despite this, every now and again, there was a cool, crisp day that let me know that the holidays (and winter) was on its way, and that the unbearable heat would soon be over. Thank goodness.
It’s funny what sticks out in your memory when you think about the seasons. For me, fall reminds me of being at P.E. in elementary school. Sometimes, there would be a low-lying fog, and we silly kids would pretend like it was heaven. Imagine fifteen eight year olds prancing through the fog, saying things like, “I’m an angel!” Yep, it was as fun as it sounds.
When I was a teenager, I remember getting up early on chilly mornings and sitting on the front porch’s railing to eat my brown sugar and cinnamon pop tarts before school and watch the sun come up. I also remember the LEAVES. Oh my gosh—the LEAVES and pine needles! I swear, when I look back on my teenage years, I feel like half of them were spent raking the yard! I hated it! All my friends would walk around the block and look at me like I was being kept prisoner in my yard. All I needed was bars and a tin cup to run across them.
As I got older, autumn meant something else entirely to me. One, it meant no raking. See, people of my subdivision, there IS a reason for my horrible looking yard. (Hurray for terrible looking lawns and tolerant neighbors!). Two, it means…FOOD! Is there anything better than Thanksgiving and all the yummy cinnamon and nutmeg flavored delights you can find during this time of year? No way. I don’t think I could make it without my Trader Joe’s brand Salted Caramel Chai mix. Talk about the holidays in a cup! It’s so good! And then there’s the turkey, and dressing (not stuffing…thankyouverymuch), and potato salad, and pecan pie—I’m drooling just thinking about it!
Okay, I’m getting carried away. Autumn is great, but it does have a flaw, in my opinion. What could this flaw be? Pumpkins. Yes, pumpkins—those cute, orange squash that everybody (including me) decorate their house with and carve at Halloween. Why all the pumpkin hate? I’m allergic. Yes, to pumpkins. It’s life’s greatest travesty—I’m an autumn lover who hates pumpkins. I hope you can forgive me.
To help gain a little forgiveness, I will give you a recipe for my favorite sweet potato pie (see below), AND because everybody should be eating turnips this time of year (hello…I’m from the South), my favorite recipe for perfect greens. I’ll ignore the fact that my eight year autumn-loving self would be horrified that I just called a vegetable recipe perfect.
My Favorite Sweet Potato Pie
Makes One 9″ Pie
1 pound sweet potatoes
1/2 cup butter, softened
1 cup white sugar
1/2 cup milk
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 (9 inch) unbaked pie crust
1 hr 50 mins
2 hrs 20 mins
Boil whole sweet potatoes with the skin on for 40 to 50 minutes, or until done. Run cold water over the sweet potato and remove the skin.
Break apart the sweet potato in a bowl. Add butter and mix well with mixer (You can do this by hand if you don’t have a mixer). Stir in sugar, milk, eggs, nutmeg, cinnamon, and vanilla. Beat on medium speed until mixture is smooth. Pour filling into an unbaked pie crust.
Bake at 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) for 55 to 60 minutes, or until knife inserted in center comes out clean. Pie will puff up like a soufflé, then sink down as it cools.
makes 4 servings
½ pound ham hock
2 bunches fresh turnip greens
salt and pepper to taste
1 hr 30 mins Directions
Add ham hock to 3 quarts water into a stockpot and bring to a rolling boil. Reduce heat to medium and cook for one hour.
Rinse the turnip greens thoroughly to remove dirt, place the leaves on top of each other, and cut them into 1” ribbons. Place in pot and bring to a rolling boil.
Continue cooking at a full boil for 15 minutes, then reduce the heat to low, and simmer for an additional 30 minutes, until tender. Season to taste with salt, pepper, and hot sauce/pepper sauce.
So, there you have it. Autumn is awesome. Pumpkins are not…you know, cuz…
Thanks for letting me ramble, guys, and don’t forget to tell me what your favorite part of fall is! J
JD Nelson is an Amazon Bestselling Author of Fantasy Romance and Erotic Paranormal Romance. She is also the owner of Chaste Moon Publishing, an independent publishing house. A transplant from Mobile, Alabama, she gave up Mardi Gras and frequent hurricanes to move to the earthquake capital of the United States, the San Francisco Bay Area. She now lives in Central Valley, California with her amazingly supportive husband and three cats who think they’re dogs.
Always short on time, JD has long ago mastered the art of procrastination and was recently crowned Procrastinator of the Year by her editor, which is only slightly better than her being voted Most Likely to Waste Time by Watching Vampire Movies by her readers last year. All jokes aside, JD is a boringly normal person who thinks that coffee pretty much fixes everything—as long as it’s before 6:30AM and the planet Mars is in retrograde. When she’s not spending time with her sexy Swedish husband, you can find her writing, reading, or on her commute to her day job where she wrangles paint onto canvas for the entertainment industry.
JD loves to hear from her readers. You can contact her through her website, AuthorJDNelson.com, or on Facebook, where she spends an alarming amount of time chatting to her many author and reader friends, much to the dismay of her continually neglected manuscripts.
JD Nelson’s Official Website – www.authorjdnelson.com
JD Nelson’s Night Aberrations Series Website – www.nightaberrations.com
JD Nelson’s Wicked Ways Series Website – www.wickedwaysseries.com
JD Nelson’s Goodreads Page – http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6060770.J_D_Nelson
JD Nelson’s Facebook Page – www.facebook.com/NightAberrations
JD Nelson’s Facebook Fan Page – www.facebook.com/JDNelsonsNightAberrations
JD Nelson’s Super Secret Fan Club – http://www.facebook.com/groups/269730583130725/
JD Nelson’s Blog – www.nightaberrations.blogspot.com/
JD Nelson’s Google + – https://plus.google.com/u/0/115772111161122207827/posts
JD Nelson’s Twitter – https://twitter.com/authorjdnelson