Layering On Fall









Ahhh, fall! My favorite season, my favorite colors, my favorite comfort foods, my very favorite temperatures! Bonfires, falling leaves, sweaters…welcome changes. Time to spruce up the house for Thanksgiving. I love the way this Trailing Jenny grew in this urn all summer, and I’m going to try my best to keep it around until time to decorate for Christmas, but it does need a little updating for fall, don’t you think?

In the same way that throwing on a cozy cardigan, a soft scarf, or a denim jacket can add the perfect touch of fall to your wardrobe, a few simple additions to what you already have can easily transition your home decor from summer to autumn without breaking the bank.

I started with the dining room table, replacing the summer place mats with a bronze paisley tablecloth I’ve had for six years. I promise I did press it, but by the time I got it to the table, it did not look ironed. The Southern Living fall cake stand that I’ve also had for years is the perfect color and textures for our dining space.










Now, on with the layering. Oil rubbed bronze charger plates I often use at Thanksgiving, and sometimes at Christmas.


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And earthy colored dishes. Oh, and there is that simple burlap place mat left over from the set I made last year. I think one in the center under the cake stand will be sufficient this year. And you can also see that I added a few mini pumpkins to the arrangement on the cake stand. Saint grew a ton of those in the garden this year.

Next, more fun layering on whatever I can find in my stash.










Gold rimmed goblets I got in a box of junk at an auction last summer, some raffia crocheted napkin rings I bought at a garage sale-8 for a dollar, napkins I already had, a sparkly fern leaf, and odds and ends silk leaves to scatter. I threw in a few sprigs of the bittersweet we try to protect here on Redbud Ridge.

And now, the piece de resistance…











A little table runner of paper flowers. I made these from natural coffee filters I learned about here:

I love, love, love paper flowers. Hers are prettier than mine, and this picture does not do justice, even to these, but I may play with adding more color, later.











On to the mantel. I liked what I did with it last year, but wanted a little change. You can see last years here.

This year, added some lighted twigs and a “Blessings” banner.










I made the banner from a wispy strip of cheesecloth, squares of leftover canvas from the drop cloth curtain update, burlap, and the one thing I actually purchased for this project…nothing says fall like plaid flannel. I bought the plaid ribbon at WalMart for a dollar. I kind of like last year’s mantel better, but this will be easier to dust. 🙂

Finally, I needed to layer up the outside a bit. I started with the door arrangement I had, added a dark brown burlappy bow for texture, and just stuck in some fall colored flowers and a bit of bittersweet.










I brought the wonderful birdcage Tiffany got me for Mother’s Day around from the deck and loaded it with Kale, and some of our garden harvest.  Purple eggplant screams fall, doesn’t it? And a few more random veggies and some more bittersweet. Don’t you love it?











Behind it, I propped one of our corn stalks…we grew some a-maize-ing Indian Corn this year…get it? And threw a few dried grasses and cock’s comb from the garden into the summer planter. I’ll add a couple of mums, later, if I don’t find anything free in the fields between now and…next week.


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And then I added some of our colorful corn to these iron candle holders.


So, there you have it.  The scarves, sweaters, and jackets of home. I have several other “layers” planned but I’m waiting for Elle Belle to come help me with projects.

Are you ready for some football bonfires?








I Can’t Believe I Ate the Whole Thing!









I know, right? This looks like the plate of fries you order, put in the middle of the table, and share among four friends. But, there is something very special about these. First of all they aren’t fried. Secondly, they aren’t potatoes!

There’s an old saying from Saint’s family. “If you plant turnips by the 24th of July, they’ll make turnips, rain or dry.”

It must be true because, for a couple of years, now, we have scattered seeds randomly in our gardens and the turnips have been very prolific.









And it just takes a couple of these babies to make a batch of turnip fries. I happened upon this idea one day when I had harvested several turnips, washed and peeled the veggies, and we had to leave before I had time to cook them. I decided to slice them up like this to store them in the refrigerator more easily.









And after seeing roasted sweet potato fries, I thought, why not? These sat in the refrigerator for a day or so, and I drained, rinsed, and patted dry. Then I lined my favorite old cookie sheet with foil, drizzled a bit of olive oil onto the foil and swirled it around with my fingers. Next, I added a single layer of turnip slices, drizzled a bit more olive oil over the top…not too much, now, and tossed the “fries” to distribute the oil evenly. I sprinkled them generously with kosher salt and placed them in a 470 degree preheated oven (next to top rack) and let them cook until the bottom sides started to brown.









The time for this will vary according to your oven, but it took about 10 minutes for mine. With long handled tongs, I turned the fries and cooked an additional 8 to 10 minutes, allowing them to caramelize a bit on top. I removed them to a paper towel to drain, and Wow!









Yep! I ate the whole thing. And I don’t even have to feel guilty about it. Very healthy and low carb!

If you are a turnip lover, this is like icing on a cake. If not, try these. You might just become one of us!

Just a few hints:

  • If you dry them well with a paper towel, they will crisp up better. Any extra moisture tends to make them steam.
  • When they look like they are browned, leave them a bit longer. That carmelization assures more flavor.
  • I added more salt after they were cooked. I like salt.
  • Try adding some fresh rosemary leaves or maybe some garlic cloves while cooking.