Beth Siegalkoff

Have you been to Apple Hill yet? Might be a good day to go and have a cup of Hot Mulled Cider. Yes, even though it may reach 100 degrees in the valley, it is Hot Mulled Cider Day, and what better area to enjoy a cup than to go up to Apple Hill. It has got to be cooler than the valley.

We are so fortunate to be able to travel a little over an hour and see the fall colors, purchase one-of-a-kind Christmas gifts, pick up a lug box of crisp apples, a dozen apple donuts to eat now with the mulled cider, a couple of frozen apple pies for later, and a half dozen apple dumplings for tonight’s dessert. Can you say yum?

But back to celebrating Hot Mulled Cider Day – mulled cider is made from warm apple cider mixed with brown sugar and spices, such as cinnamon, nutmeg, mace and cloves. Just the scent of it steeping on the stove will warm the home and lift the spirits of everyone. The fall season welcomes tasty mugs of mulled cider to wrap our chilled hands around. Such a cozy way to spend an evening, sipping the tart, spiced beverage on a chilly evening while gazing at the trees ablaze in crimson, gold and orange.

Sounds good, doesn’t it? And maybe, in a few weeks, we will actually get those chilly evenings to be able to enjoy hot mulled cider.

Did you know that, technically, cider is an alcoholic beverage made from fermented apple juice? In many parts of the world, however, cider usually refers to non-alcoholic fermented apple juice, while hard cider refers to the alcoholic version of the juice.

Enjoy a cup of hot mulled cider tonight and promise yourself to go to Apple Hill and take in the sights, make a memory, and don’t forget the apple donuts.

And speaking of Christmas gifts – there are only 86 shopping days left until Christmas. Yep, just like a snap of the fingers, two weeks goes by when there were 100 days and now 86 days. See how time is flying by?

Tomorrow is the first of October, the official first day of decorating for the fall season and Halloween.

Ha! Who am I kidding? The Galt High School library has had Halloween and fall decorations for two weeks in anticipation that the students will be back physically in school soon. On my way to work, I have seen several homes with decorations. One route I take is on Marengo traveling south past Liberty Ranch High School – if you look through the grill fencing of the new subdivision, you will see homes with all sorts of inflatables, pumpkins, huge spiders, scarecrows, etc. And then go further down Marengo and turn west onto Simmerhorn, and there is a home with two 10- to 12-foot lime green inflatable ghosts in the front yard. The first time I saw them, they made me chuckle. It was like, “In your face, it is time to celebrate!” They will brighten your day.

Recipe of the day: Chocolate Pumpkin Cheesecake; Flowers of the Day – Freesia

Dates to remember:

Tonight: Full Harvest Moon

Oct. 12 & 13: Quarter Break for the high schools – No school

Oct. 31 – Halloween and the Full Hunter’s Moon

Until next week – Be strong, be courageous and make a memory.