October 15, 2017

New England Fall Fabulosity

Fall has arrived!! Pretty plaids, the mixing colors of the leaves, pumpkins of all shapes and sizes, chunky sweaters, the smell of wood fires, DAHLIAS and of course football (New England Patriots) and cider donuts! It's an overload of the senses, each element more perfect than the next!
 I was lucky enough to meet and help (in the tiniest of ways), Colin Cowie, the master event planner to the Stars, at our dear neighbor's wedding. He and I were talking at one point during the festivities and I commented on what a neat coincidence it was that our house's tower was lit so perfectly. Colin looked at me and said, "Nanny, we did that intentionally. It's called theatrical fabulosity!" 
I LOVE the phrase! And in my mind, fall is all about FABULOSITY! 
 Gone are the lazy days of summer, and there is the transition to fall with a BAM! Let's do this - kind of thing. Growing up next to Salem, MA, I could never escape the allure of fortune-telling, Ouija Boards, tarot cards and every witch store around (and there are A LOT of them!). If you've never been to Salem, I HIGHLY recommend visiting. Not just for the complicated Salem Witch Trials history, or Nathaniel Hawthorne and The House of Seven Gables, but also the seafaring history that you can learn about when exploring the world-renowned Peabody Essex Museum. This picture shows just some of my Tarot card collection. I've been surprising trick-or-treaters and party guests for years with tarot card readings to the point where even my Dad, many moons ago, gave me this awesome sign!
If you have a chance to visit this area, you also CAN'T miss visiting Russell Orchards in Ipswich near Crane's Beach and gobbling up some of their famous cider donuts! 

The cider donut recipe is so secret that they just smile when you inquire how they make their soft-on-the-inside, with just the right touch of crispiness on the outside, yummy apple-y creations! I tried making my own version using cider and dropping them in oil, basing it off other recipes, but I wasn't even close. 
I surrendered to perfection and just buy them here, but do yourself a favor and add eating their cider donuts to your bucket list. Russell Orchards makes small batches all day long ensuring that the donuts are always fresh. It's fun watching them go from batter to fryer right in front of your eyes. One day, they made over 12,000 donuts!
There are lots of other goodies to also pick up like their apple crisp and peach cobblers made using their own apples and peaches, along with their freshly pressed cider, pumpkins, local cheeses and fruit wine too!

 You can't miss seeing Darryl the pig! He's big!

 It's really cool watching them make cider right before your eyes!
 And for added bonus, they have the sweetest dog waiting to great you!

I returned home and gathered bunches of dahlias from my garden and some I had as part of a farm share I belong to, and set the table with pretty arrangements in copper Moscow mule mugs, a platter of cider donuts and my tarot cards. It was the perfect way to spend a fall day before Halloween!

If I could only transmit the aroma of these donuts when they are hot from the farm, you would thank me! They are SOOOO good!
I played around with a few more dahlias, using a favorite spooky hurricane candle holder...
 I snipped some of the remaining greens from my garden...
 ...and built the backdrop to add some gorgeous dahlias.
Who says Halloween can't be chic! Even my design assistant, Prim, agrees!
Dahlia Fabulosity too!
Happy Halloween!!

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