So even as we laugh at things like this bit of genius, we all know that these days of sweater weather and boots and leaves and pumpkin crap and crispness and so forth really do make up a happy, too-brief window of seasonal magic before the decidedly less magical, freezing winter sets in. In short: There’s a lot of little things to love right now, fleeting though they may be. Here are our current obsessions.
Trader Joe’s Pumpkin O’s
You can’t swing a cat in a Trader Joe’s this month without hitting something pumpkin flavored. But trust me when I say that the Pumpkin O’s are special, like super crunchy Cheerios, but fatter, fluffier, and tasting vaguely of cinnamon-laced pumpkin pie. (Flavored with real pumpkin, Trader Joe’s assures us.) They’re not the healthiest cereal in the world, but neither are they Cookie Crisp … and every person in my family is obsessed. (Also excellent: Trader Joe’s pumpkin waffles, which, while extremely subtle in terms of the pumpkin flavor profile, still manage to make the kitchen smell like Thanksgiving.)
The Halloween Curious George and Other Netflix Specials
If I’m honest, Curious George, A Halloween Boofest has been on heavy rotation in our house since March. But it is charming, and pleasantly festive, and spooky enough to be, well, just a touch spooky, but not too creepy for a three-year-old (and not too grating to adult sensibilities). It’s been getting some play lately on WHYY and NJTV, so you might be able to catch it just by flipping on the TV, or searching Comcast. I also have to rave over the Netflix specials we’ve watched constantly for the past week, though they may be old news to some: The film adaptations of the books Room on the Broom and The Gruffalo might be the most charming, engaging, beautiful and smart little 30-minute films I have seen in my entire life. (British, naturally.)
Juicy, sweet, perfect and really, truly, unfailingly all-natural. Lord, they are good right now.
The Sip-N-Glo Great Pumpkin Smoothie
A much less cliche (and presumably healthier) fall obsession than whatever the latest pumpkin-spice-frappa-latte-mochachino featured Starbucks drink is. It’s pumpkin-y, with tones of vanilla, honey and banana, and absolutely worth the stop.
Swag from the farms.
Specifically, the apple cider donuts from Johnson’s Corner Farm in Jersey. (Ashley says they are the best cider donuts — possibly the best donuts, period — that she has ever eaten. And don’t forget, she’s a trained chef and certified foodie.) Also, the homemade apple caramel ice cream from Merrymead Farm‘s dairy.