Don’t Mess With My Autumn Food

During autumn recorded messages that fill my head start to play back to me. These recordings contain information regarding right and wrong. Not only do they dictate how Halloween and Thanksgiving should be done and how my home should be decorated, they also dictate recipes for foods and drinks that produce aromas and tastes guaranteed to help me make the transition from summer to fall.

Since I now have time in my life to read magazines, I’ve discovered that there are a lot of food editors out there messing with traditional fall recipes. The November issues of the three publications (yes, three) that currently occupy my magazine rack are filled with examples of recipes that put new spins on my old favorites. 

Apple cider is a drink that, in my opinion, can’t be improved. Heat, pour in mug, curl up, read a book, sip cider, enjoy. How hard is that? But now, in order to “get in the winter spirit,” I apparently need to add ingredients such as hibiscus tea, allspice, cloves, cinnamon sticks, bourbon, orange juice, sugar, pear nectar, honey, brandy, and club soda to my cider.

Hot chocolate has always been a quick and easy warm drink. Right? Wrong! Imagine my surprise when I discovered that hot chocolate needs ingredients other than cocoa powder, sugar, milk, and marshmallows. Modern hot chocolate recipes call for ingredients such as: chocolate bars (both semi-sweet and white), chocolate chips, chili powder, cinnamon, vanilla, maple flavoring, crushed candy canes, instant coffee, butter, eggs, sweetened condensed milk, and whipped cream. I've decided I might be too tired or too old to make modern versions of hot chocolate.

What else might be wrong with modernized favorite fall recipes you might ask – or not. So I’ll pose some questions of my own here. Why would I add:
  • pureed sweet potatoes or pumpkin to cheesecake?
  • bourbon to pecan pie?
  • blackberries to apple pie?
  • port or jalapeño peppers to cranberry sauce?
  • carrots to my sweet potato casserole?
  • asparagus to my broccoli casserole?

No wonder recipes call for various kinds of “spirits.”  The cook needs a bottle to tip occasionally in order to deal with all of these messed-up recipes!


  1. Why? indeed. Okay, I might just like the jalapenos in the cranberry sauce. And as for the broccoli casserole, go ahead and put in the asparagus-- and leave out the proccoli!

  2. Vanilla, you surely have some of your mother's tastes. Do you also enjoy dandelion greens?