img_1911The morning air has that cool, mossy, dried-leaf scent. The days are growing shorter. Fall is upon us.

One of my favorite times of year, autumn, comes with an instinctual urge to make comfort food and travel to the mountains and the high desert in Oregon.

I’ve put together this list of my fall favorites in honor of the season.

Top Five Fall Fancies:

  1. Stopping to smell the fall air. Really. It has its own unique essence.
  2. Getting out the crock-pot and slow cooking your favorite comfort food. We just enjoyed a hearty beef stew with meat so tender it fell apart with barely a touch of the fork. Along with potatoes from the garden, carrots, onion, red wine, beef broth and salt and pepper, the stew was delicious. Just like my mom use to make (and still does). Thank you, Mom!
  3. Fall get-aways. My two favorites at the moment are SunRiver ( near Bend, Oregon and driving the Oregon Outback highway across Hart Mountain and the National Antelope Refuge, ending up at the historic French Glenn Hotel ( Plan for two nights and three days.
  4. Bringing fall inside. I hang my fall wreath on the front door, plant mums in the planters on the front porch and nestle the gourds and pumpkins in for the season. It is a welcoming sight. Simmering cinnamon sticks, cloves and orange slices in a pot of water on the stove adds a spicy smell to the house as well as moisture to the dryer air.
  5. Putting the garden to bed for the winter. Pruning, planting trees, harvesting and putting up the last garden produce for the winter during the cooler weather of fall is one of my favorite past times of all.

Clockwise from left: Petroglyphs along Oregon Outback Highway; storm nearing Hart Mountain; French Glen Hotel.