Monthly Articles

It’s Fall Y’All!!!

 

If the above images give you shivers of joy, then you are officially not my people. Fall leaves are pretty and all, but my theory is that if you absolutely love the change of colour and falling of leaves, then you have not had to rake acres and acres of them for 30+ years. And pumpkin spice latte is not coffee. Enough said.

I have a love hate relationship with Fall because I absolutely LOVE summer. I love heat, beaches, summer cocktails and wearing my dresses too short – which, at my age, you can only get away with when you can literally fry an egg on the sidewalk. Fall means an end to all of my summer loves and the beginning of school, frost at night, and ripping out all of my beautiful summer flowers. In short, it means work. BUT, it also means that it’s cool enough to be drinking specialty coffees such as Spanish Coffee and other beauties that you can find the recipes for in Fall for Our Special Coffee Recipes.  It also means that it’s time to stock up at the last few Farmer’s Markets of the season and get busy making pickles, hot sauce, and finding new ways to use the apples off your 15 apple trees (thanks, grandma). My grandparents lived through war, a depressed economy as well as a new and often rocky life as new immigrants. If you didn’t have the foresight to look after your food needs, a winter of eating cabbage and turnips was a very real threat. Since we now have my grandma’s old house, as well as her fruit trees, I see the need for a bigger freezer in my very near future.

Fall is a great time to tour your local corn maze as well as participate in our other Top 10 Fall Activities.

Best of all, fall means boots, fleece lined leggings, the return of dark make-up and no pink clothes in stores! Every good Dolly knows that you need to go through your closet seasonally to make room for new, or new to you, clothes.  Enter the Clothing Swap Party. Invite friends and random people with awesome style who look like they may be your size – I’m not kidding, although I’m not responsible if you invite a klepto or a mass murderer into your home. Everyone brings a bag of clothes, accessories, shoes and they get dumped organized in the bedroom. All guests pull a number and take turns going to pick one item. When you reach the end, you go backwards through the line up again, so if you had 13 lucky people, the 13th person gets first pick of the second run through. Afterwards, you take the leftovers to goodwill.

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As we all know, every party needs some food and drinks, even if it’s a simple one with no real theme. If we ever had anyone over and they didn’t have the opportunity to leave drunk (with a designated ride) and a distended stomach from overeating, then we haven’t done our job – part of the reason why leggings have become my new pants.

In keeping with fall harvest, our spread involved a charcuterie tray and Moscow Mules. Simple and delicious! – R. Dolly

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Top 10

Top 10 Fall Activities

 

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  1. Haunted Corn Maze – My most prized fall activity is the local haunted corn maze. So prized that it gets it’s very own article! Look for one near you for both daytime and evening haunted corn maze activities. Pro tip: make sure you take along a human shield for maximum survivability.
  2. Hiking – Fall is the most beautiful time to hike or even meander through the woods. Take a camera and you’ll end up with the most amazingly colorful pictures. If you’re accident prone, like I am, beware of the slimy composting leaves underneath the newly fallen ones. I’ve wound up on my ass, staring at the sky and covered with slime on more than one occasion…from the leaves!…not from doing dirty stuff in the woods with my husband!
  3. Coffee Date With Nature – Choose your poison: “Special” coffee, regular coffee or tea and take some time each day to sit outside and relax. Take a sip. Let the warmth flow through you. Watch the sunlight filter through the multicolored leaves and think about what fall will look like during the zombie apocalypse…or, you know, normal shit.
  4. Preserving – Canning or freezing fruits and vegetables will be a timesaver throughout the year. The local corn I pick freezes so well that it’s like I’m eating it fresh off the cob every time we cook it. My mom used to can shelves of food. I prefer freezing if at all possible, except for peaches. Canned peaches are my family’s favorite fruit and I have to ration them throughout the year so my husband doesn’t take a whole jar to work for his snack.
  5. Pumpkins – I will spend an hour picking out the perfect carving pumpkin. Pumpkin patches are fun for the whole family and I’ve always let the girls pick their own pumpkins, even if they were the most hideous looking pumpkins in the patch. My pumpkin has to be perfect for whatever design I’ve picked out. Last year, my girls invited their friends to carve with us at the last minute. Since I was short on time, I went to Safeway and the wonderful people in the produce department let me pick through two gigantic shipping boxes of pumpkins in the cooler. I tried really hard not to fall into the massive boxes by dangling my legs over the edge, but there were a few sketchy moments. I left the grocery store with a shopping cart overflowing with pumpkins and received more than a few questioning looks. It was so much fun and I hope we can do it again this year. I also always find a way to carve a little penis somewhere in the design. Don’t forget to grab pumpkins for pies and homemade pumpkin seeds to snack on.
  6. Antiquing – Sometimes you find the most amazing treasures while wandering through antique or thrift stores. It could be an old dish or piece of furniture that reminds you of something special or would be a great restoration project. I don’t hoard, but I do have a few things that I’ve picked up while scouting around. There’s a shop in the city next to us that I check whenever I’m there. They have some cool, weird and creepy items that are overpriced so I just stop in whenever I’m there and see if they’ve gotten tired of looking at it and will let it go for less.
  7. Roller Derby – Every city has a different derby schedule. Our city starts up in the fall and I had the opportunity to watch my first match 2 years ago. Luckily, they handed out a paper at the door with derby rules and terminology on it. The bruises those poor girls walked away with. I feel sorry for their significant other. I bet they end up with a lot of spit in their food when they go out to eat with their bruised derby girl.
  8. Fall Fair – Who doesn’t want to watch wiener dog races and a wiener dog costume parade? Pig racing? Duck racing? It’s an event for the whole family. Kids can: win prizes for their costumed farm animals, enter LEGO building competitions, make crafts, learn to container garden, watch the horse and donkey shows. For the adults you can watch all the kids competitions and events, join a free preserving workshop, enter a scarecrow making competition, listen to local musicians, watch barrel racing and so much more.
  9. Corn Picking – Check your local area for U-Pick cornfields. Take your family and wander the cornfields picking a whack of corn to take home for fresh eating and preserving. I get a few dozen huge, juicy cobs of corn to blanch and freeze. It lasts my family for the year. If you cut the corn off the cob after blanching it, like I do, make sure to lay the kernels out on a cookie sheet, freeze them and then put them into your freezer bags. You don’t want to end up using an ice pick to chip corn for dinner.
  10. Winery Tours – Aside from our yearly wine tour weekend, my husband and I visited a few wineries while we were in Penticton this weekend. There are less people wandering throughout the wine shops and tasting area. It’s just a totally different vibe in the fall. Things are winding down, the environment is more laid back and less crowded.

~C. Dolly~

Recipes

Fall For Our “Special” Coffee Recipes

 

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When I was 12 years old, my Grandma began taking me for dinner at Savalas, a local restaurant that became “our restaurant.” She would pick me up, leaving my parents and siblings behind in a cloud of dust as we headed off into the sunset for our night out. She told my family that my love of escargot was the reason she took just me, but I know it was because I was her second-born favorite (my older cousin holds the title of firstborn favorite.) We’d arrive at Savalas and she’d ask for a corner table. I don’t even know if I truly liked escargot in the beginning but I ate it like a champ just to spend that special time with my Grandma and, over the years, I grew to love the taste of those slimy little buggers. Grandma would order wine and I’d have a Pepsi. From our first dinner date at Savalas to our last, she’d sneak me sips of wine throughout our dinner. Every dinner was the same: we’d share an order of escargot, have dinner and then Grandma would order 2 “special” coffees. Each dinner featured a different type of coffee. Monte Cristo, Irish, Bavarian or Spanish. After the waitress delivered the coffees and walked away, my Grandma would slide one over for me to drink. Apparently, the liquor laws were either a little more lax back then and they didn’t give a shit or my Grandma knew the best corner table to sit at to avoid detection. Fall always reminds me of those moments and nothing warms you up from the inside out better than a hot liqueur coffee.

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*When we made our “special” coffee at home, my Grandma told me to warm up the Irish coffee glass/mug before filling it with the ingredients to keep it warm longer.

  • Boil a kettle and fill the Irish coffee glass with boiling water while you get everything ready

or

  • Fill the Irish coffee glass with water and heat it in the microwave for 1-2 minutes while you get everything ready.
  • Do not use chilled liqueurs as this will also bring down the temperature of the drink.

*For years we’ve used freshly ground coffee beans to make our coffee. I hate when my highly anticipated first cup of morning coffee looks and tastes like I’m drinking watered down cream with a little bit of coffee flavor. Good quality medium to dark roast freshly ground coffee beans that are brewed thick and rich is what we use – especially for our “special” coffee.

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Spanish Coffee

  • 1⁄2 oz Tia Maria coffee liqueur
  • 1⁄2 oz Bacardi Rum
  • 6 oz thick & rich hot coffee
  • Whipped cream
  • Maraschino cherry
  1. Pour the liqueurs into a warmed Irish coffee glass
  2. Add the hot coffee
  3. Top with whipped cream and a cherry

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Monte Cristo Coffee

  • Lemon juice
  • Sugar
  • 1 oz Kahlua coffee liqueur
  • 1/2 oz Grand Marnier liqueur
  • 6 oz thick & rich hot coffee
  • Whipped cream
  • Maraschino cherry
  1. After warming the Irish coffee glass, moisten the rim with lemon juice and dip it into the sugar
  2. Pour the liqueurs into the glass
  3. Add coffee
  4. Top with whipped cream and a cherry

IrishCoffeee

Irish Cream Coffee

  • 4 oz thick & rich hot coffee
  • 1 1/2 oz ​Irish whiskey
  • 2 tsp ​brown sugar
  • 1 oz lightly whipped ​whipping cream – use a whip or fork and vigorously whip the cream until it’s light and fluffy
  1. Pour the sugar into a warmed Irish coffee glass
  2. Add the coffee
  3. Stir until dissolved
  4. Add the Irish whiskey and stir again
  5. Float the cream on top of the coffee by pouring it over the back of a spoon
  6. Do not stir again
  7. Drink the coffee through the cream

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Bavarian Coffee

  • ½ oz Peppermint Schnapps
  • ½ oz Kahlúa
  • 5 oz thick & rich hot coffee
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • Whipped cream
  • Grated chocolate
  1. Pour the liqueurs into a warmed Irish coffee glass
  2. Add the coffee
  3. Add the sugar and stir
  4. Top with whipped cream and chocolate shavings

peppermint patty

Hot Peppermint Patty

  • 1 oz Peppermint Schnapps
  • 1/2 oz Dark Crème de Cacao
  • 1/4 oz Crème de Menthe
  • Hot chocolate mix added to boiling water, to taste
  • Whipped cream
  • Chocolate shavings or chocolate syrup
  1. Pour the liqueurs into a warmed Irish coffee glass
  2. Add hot chocolate
  3. Top with whipped cream
  4. Garnish with shaved chocolate or drizzle with chocolate syrup

~A wonderful Italian couple invited us for dinner this evening. After dinner she made me an espresso with a little something special in it. It was hands down the best espresso I’ve ever had the pleasure of tasting. I’ve never liked Scotch whiskey but this espresso was sweet, gently flavored and smooth. It was the perfect end to a wonderful meal.~

espresso

Spiked Espresso

  • Grant’s Scotch Whiskey
  • 1 shot of espresso
  • 2 demitasse spoons of brown sugar
  1. Make the espresso
  2. Add just a taste of Grant’s Scotch Whiskey to a demitasse cup
  3. Add the brown sugar
  4. Pour the espresso into the cup and stir
  5. Serve immediately

~C. Dolly~