Fall is my favorite time of year. I love the crisp dry air and the crinkle of leaves underfoot. Any time of year is a good time for reading, of course. I enjoy curling up under a blanket with a cup of tea and a cozy mystery these days.
This year I bought a half bushel of apples at the Farmers Market and have plans for apple crisp and homemade applesauce that I will freeze to enjoy all winter. I also have a couple pie pumpkins that I will roast and puree. Once I started pureeing my own pumpkin, the kind in the can just doesn't cut it anymore!
As we roll into November, I start to plan my Thanksgiving menu. Everyone has their traditional standbys. For me it's fresh cranberry sauce, mashed potatoes, and green beans with almonds that surround the roasted turkey. But every year I experiment with a new side dish or two. And for dessert, how about a pumpkin cheesecake instead of pumpkin pie?
If you need inspiration for your menu or ways to express gratitude at the table, check out some resources at the library. We subscribe to magazines such as Family Circle, Cooking Light and Martha Stewart Living that are full of menu suggestions and decorating ideas. We also have books such as “Thanksgiving 101” for menu ideas and “The Thanksgiving Ceremony” with suggestions for how to share your gratitude around the table. And don't forget to check online for some great holiday baking books in our Overdrive downloadable book collection.
To share the spirit of thankfulness and help to explain why we celebrate this holiday to your young friends, we have many picture books about Thanksgiving. In “The Thanksgiving Mice,” four mice re-enact the story of how the Pilgrims came to America and the first Thanksgiving. Stop by any of our branch libraries — our librarians will be happy to load you up with a cornucopia of books to feast upon!
I don't want to rush the season, but maybe I can help take some of the pressure off of some of your holiday shopping. Continuing a tradition started a couple years ago, both the Kiowa and Simla Friends of the Library will be hosting a silent auction. The silent auction in Simla started last weekend and runs through Nov. 22, and the one in Kiowa begins Nov. 15 and concludes Dec. 6. Both groups will have a variety of handcrafted gifts available, as well as themed baskets donated from local businesses and individuals.
I'd like to say that I got my holiday shopping done at silent auctions and local craft fairs last year, and it would be mostly true. What I never stopped to count was whether I bought more presents for other people, or for myself! Either way, come out and support your local crafters and libraries by bidding on items in our silent auctions.
Kari May lives in Elizabeth and is the director of the Elbert County Library District. She can be contacted through the library at firstname.lastname@example.org. Visit the library at www.elbertcountylibrary.org.