Firstly no, this post has nothing to do with the American election.

I have something to say about fall.

I think I like it.

I always pretend to hate it but I might actually have a tiny little spot in my black, black heart for fall.

Fall means I can finally let the summer planters die, I can abandon the flapping sound of flip flops around the house in favour of the soft smooshing of socks and I can make pumpkin pie.

Which I can then eat.  Which I might as well, on account of the world coming to the end and all.

Just last week I saw a zombie at the grocery store picking up some apple juice. Zombie’s are one of the more popular indicators of the world coming to an end.  It was to be expected after this Apocolypse-like summer.

In fact, I bet if you take a look around your neighbourhood you’ll see any number of Zombies walking around with baked, crispy, skin and hollowed out eyes because they’re so tired from the relentless summer Armageddon heat.  Mere ghosts of their former selves because it was too hot to cook or eat.  Plus they’re super-cranky about being Zombies.

After looking back on this summer I’m not sure why I ever had anything against fall.

Oh wait.  It’s all coming back to me.  It’s the fall to-do list.  When you live in a climate that has extreme seasons like Canada, there’s a lot to do to get ready for the next season.

Only some of it has to do with pie.  O.K., a lot of it.

These are all the things I do in the fall, quite frantically, when I remember to do them. So I thought it would be smarter to put all the things that need to be done in the fall all on a fall checklist.  THAT way we can all refer to it.  And promptly not do them.




I’ll do most of these, especially the ones that could result in my house burning down if I don’t.  And I’m going to do my eavestroughs because last year when I didn’t do them they got clogged, filled up with leaves and water and fell off of my house.  So there’s that.

The other thing I’ll definitely do is make pie.  Homemade Pumpkin Pie made with real pumpkins served with Maple Syrup Whipped Cream.  If I’m especially ambitious I’ll puree some pumpkins and freeze it so I can do the same thing later in the winter.

Because if the world is going to end  NOBODY has ever said “The world’s going to end, break out the green beans.”

Nope.  If the world is going to end, I’m going to eat pie.  My zombie friends?  They’ll probably be reaching for blood pudding.




  1. Brandy Ballard says:

    If the world is going to end can my pie be pecan? And I think cinnamon flavored whipped cream would be appropriate. šŸ™‚

    • Bobbles says:

      Fall started for me last week, at least where it comes to pie. I baked a pumpkin pie (made with Splenda because I’m diabetic) and have been enjoying that each day for breakfast. And I spiced pecans to give to the neighbors to help them welcome fall. And wine. The light whites and roses have been finished up and the heartier, blood warming reds and mulled wine and cider has taken the place. I’m ready!

      • Brandy Ballard says:

        We are still hitting 100 degrees during the day…the thought of turning on my oven to bake hasn’t even crossed my mind yet!! šŸ™‚ Can I be your neighbor for the spiced pecans?

        • Bobbles says:

          We reach a lovely 70 during the day and 30s at night. I’m outside of Boston, we need this weather to make the leaves celebrate. Give me your address and I’ll mail pecans!

      • Grammy says:

        Bobbles, my husband recently was diagnosed with diabetes, and I’m still figuring out what and how to feed him. It doesn’t help that he’s the pickiest eater on the planet, but I’ve been dealing with that for almost 40 years now, so we’ll just set that aside. My question is, do I substitute Splenda in exactly the same quantity for sugar? I’ve used it in a couple of things and it seems to be sweeter than sugar in the same amount I’m used to. Thanks in advance if you have a tip for me about its use.

        • Jen says:

          I use less Splenda even though the directions say to substitute 1:1. I find it tastes chemically if I use what my recipes call for. Use as little as you can get away with. And try stevia too.

        • Bobbles says:

          Jen!be careful with the stevia. In most that you buy in the stores, it’s closer to 60% or more just sugar! Buy it through Amazon but be sure to read which are actually pure stevia. I don’t care for the real Stevie flavor.

        • Bobbles says:

          For me, it depends on what I’m cooking. For something that will brown or raise, I’ll use 20-25% sugar and the rest Splenda. For me, I use about the same measurements. Splenda works well for me and the taste is fine. So many aren’t. For pumpkin pie, I use 100% Splenda because it’s not needed for raising or coloring. I just experimented. One thing I will do is use Splenda in a recipe where I know it needs color and sort of a sugar glaze. Then I’ll sprinkle some Sugar in the Raw over the top. That teaspoonful really makes a difference

        • Grammy says:

          Thank you! I knew I couldn’t expect Splenda to behave exactly like sugar, but your suggestion to use it in the recipe and then give a sprinkle of sugar when color is needed sounds like I can make this work. Looks like I’ve got some experimenting to do, but this gives me a start.

  2. Jen says:

    The only zombies we’ve been seeing in Alberta after our crappy summer are the ones wandering around staring at their phones playing Pokemon! But seriously, it’s supposed to snow this weekend where I live. Your checklist might be a little too late for me!

  3. Toni G says:

    Checklist item #20 for me. I do love all the lovely soft, cuddly, warm, fluffy winter jammies! Summer is so hot here in Texas, even with the air on, nekkid is the only way to go. But winter PJs, ooooh baby … right up there with hot, mulled wine (or cider), gingerbread cookies and pumpkin pie!

    P.S. My chickens thank you heartily for the suggestion in checklist #19.

  4. Karen Dixon says:

    I followed the links to making pies from real pumpkin and then did a search on best squashes to use. Found this, it was VERY informative. In past I have used Hubbards, but now will try Butternut and Acorn. Also will do them without crust… thanks for this great article!


    • Gayle'' says:

      My father wouldn’t eat squash. I used Acorn squash to make a “pumpkin” pie and, although he never knew that it was squash –and, yes that is what a pumpkin is–he loved the pie.

    • Karen says:

      Hey Karen! I’d be a bit careful with the Acorn squash because they usually have a pretty high moisture content. They’d work as long as you drain them well and you’d just have to remember to cook more of them because you’d lose quite a bit of volume after draining. šŸ™‚ (I’m saying all of this w/out having read the article which might mention those things) ~ karen!

  5. Kat says:

    I love PIE! Everyone at work knows I love PIE! I eat one pumpkin pie every other week no matter the season… all year long, every year. My co-workers know I love PIE and we have Pie Day once a month! They schedule it while I am on my days off! The Jerks! But that might have something to do with when I first started there and the first Pie Day they had I ate 7 pieces! One of every type they had. So ever since they schedule it on my days off and they always say that I am welcome to come in and have a piece… on my day off. The Jerks! I sing that song from the movie Micheal with John Travolta. You know the one where they are in the bar and Andie MacDowell sings my, my, me oh my I love pie! I’m kinda lucky though I only weigh 107 pounds and can not gain weight so I can eat pie! I love PIE!

  6. Paula says:

    Don’t forget to plant garlic (or is that included in the bulbs planting on the list?). Similar list and the only thing that I have done is make and eat pie…2 of them.

    • Karen says:

      That’s right! I forgot about the garlic planting. šŸ™‚ Yikes. I’m never going to get everything done I need to! ~ karen!

  7. maggie van sickle says:

    love the fall and love pumpkin pie. Enjoy both Karen.

  8. Ev Wilcox says:

    My thirty-something youngest son’s birthday was yesterday and always gets a pumpkin pie instead of cake, so I will be baking some this weekend. So thoughts of pie and whipped cream have been in my head too! Maple flavored whipped cream? Cinnamon flavored? Must find recipes!
    Your fall worklist is very sensible-hope we all get them done soon! And keep a good thought for us poor Americans-our world may indeed be ending soon-whichever way it goes, shudder….

  9. whitequeen96 says:

    It was 104 F yesterday here in Southern California! Our summers usually aren’t too bad, but it gets really hot in September. But this month, we had days in the low 70’s (perfect) until a couple of days ago, and now it’s so hot that I can’t imagine doing *anything* on your list. All I want to do is mist myself and sit in front of the fan!

  10. Nicole says:

    Argh! Karen! One of your ads started talking to me when I opened the page… fortunately, no one was nearby to hear, but that could’ve been bad. I guess I need to remember to read your stuff at home. šŸ™

    • Karen says:

      Hi Nicole. If anything like that happens you need to take a screen shot. NONE of my ads are supposed to automatically play sound. Unless you perhaps clicked on it? If it happens again let me know what the ad was for. ~ karen!

  11. Thera says:

    Also in S/W Ontario, love the Fall, I intentionally have a chair by the back door that I crack open in the mornings to let the cool air in, so need a light blanket, as I sip my hot coffee and watch the squirrels

  12. Erin says:

    From our list:
    Stack 10 cord of firewood
    Split kindling
    Mark lane way with stakes for snow blowing
    Put snow fence up on the neighbour’s side
    Now I’m kinda bummed.

    • Karen says:

      Ha! I have 8 cords of firewood to stack. But only face cords not bush cords. I have NO idea where I’m going to put it this year. It normally goes where the almost immoveable furniture is now. ~ karen!

  13. Wendy says:

    I love, love, love fall!!!
    October is my most favourite month ever. I love pumpkin pie, and sweaters, and my leather jacket. I love going outside less naked without sweat pouring down my back.

    And . . . it ends with Halloween, my most favourite holiday ever.
    Can we count Halloween as holiday? Technically we don’t get a day off, so I guess not, but it’s way more fun than anything else we do throughout the year. And we get to wear costumes!!!


    • Karen says:

      Holiday? Halloween? Yes. Yes indeed. ~ karen!

      • TucsonPatty says:

        Halloween is the only and the best holiday of all!! I live for it, I need to begin digging my gravesite in the front yard – it has been raining, so it should be easier than usual. I need a pie in my life right now.

  14. Valerie says:

    A great reminder list of things to do as we move toward our winter/freezing/snow time, particularly the removal of precious ceramic planters which one year I forgot and was sad when they cracked and were ruined. Add to this list to remember to turn on water pipe ribbon heaters if you have your own water line to prevent freezing. Getting a good scraper for your windshield and sticking it in the car now can be added to the list. While no one is expecting mice in their house setting at least one mouse trap in the basement is always a good idea – those critters can get into the house through the tiniest of spaces that defies belief; peanut butter is the best for luring them over in that direction.
    I re read the pumpkin pie directive you put up some time ago and although not identical is similar to the recipe I used to make. Then one year I tried another recipe which I am going to recommend as I have found it to be also very good. It is very simple: 2 cups of pureed pumpkin, one can of condensed milk and spices of your choice. There is no egg added to this recipe.

  15. Victoria Taylert says:

    I love the change of seasons, and Fall used to be my favorite until we moved from western NY to Florida. We still have four seasons: hurricane season, loving season, tourist season and summer. It must still be summer, because it was 93 degrees yesterday. “Winter” is any day a sweater is required Outside, not in air conditioning. We still bake and enjoy our pies, and consider ourselves fortunate we can skip your winterizing to-do list. Do we miss snow? Hello, no!!

  16. Lois Baron says:

    Damn, I’m supposed to divide hosta? Ignorance IS bliss.

    Pie, pie, pie, pie. I love pie.

  17. Marilyn meagher says:

    I’m with ya on the pie .. You have made me a convert to the real pumpkin pie! I am evangelical about it..preaching to anyone who will listen and even those who won’t . It is simply the best.

    • Jan in Waterdown says:

      That is without doubt one of the most brilliant lines ever!! I am going to steal it and use it … hope you don’t mind …

  18. Elaine says:

    Oh boy, after reading that list, Karen, it validated my (wise!) choice of two years ago to move into a condo after my husband’s passing! With my old arthritic joints, etc., I’d never be able to climb up a ladder and clean gutters, etc. You are amazing! I’ll now check out your pie! Yum.

  19. Patricia says:

    I just can’t get enough of your blog! As a fellow Canadian ( but living in new england) it gives me a sense of home, though this is my home that I love šŸ™‚ I love fall! And will leisurely ease into this season with pie and roasted root vegetables!

    • Karen says:

      Aw, thanks Patricia! You aren’t too far off from a Canadian life in New England, at least in terms of the seasons. šŸ™‚ ~ karen!

  20. Liz says:

    I live in California and don’t even though what half the things on your list are! I’ll stick to just eating pie while in my pajamas. šŸ™‚

  21. Mindy says:

    In Portland, Oregon, we call them tweakers. They do, however, exhibit zombie-like behavior.

  22. Barbie says:

    …..if the world is coming to an end then I’m personally going to be eating all the pasta and bread I can get my hands on and deep fried greasy mexican food. Yep!

    However, I will be one of those people who will be moving to Canada if Trump wins! OR if Hillary wins….well….I guess I will just be moving to Canada….see you soon!

  23. Beth W. says:

    Argh, I wish it was a downloadable file… and kind of calendar’ed like the Christmas Pledge is. I’ll have to just copy paste and finagle something up myself for October, seeing as my November one is almost ready to go šŸ™‚

    Thanks for the Canadian kick in the pants! The leaves are starting to turn and I always lose myself in their pretty colours

  24. Sherry says:

    Can I just say, I’m new here, but I absolutely adore this community! You all are a joy to read,beginning with Karen, of course, but including just about every commenter I’ve read too. Looking forward to the next post eagerly!

  25. Nancy Blue Moon says:

    Pumpkin is an honorary true pie isn’t it..lol..I miss that man..he knew what he liked!

  26. Cred says:

    Awesome! I love lists. I’m still on the fence about fall, though. High summer is too hot for my sensibilities and the cooler days are much more comfortable, but as the days shorten and I anticipate my gardens hibernating, I get bitter (Much like having a 107lb friend who considers pie a food group- you may like her but she still pisses you off)

    No sprinkler so #4 will be fertilize lawn (see #12)
    For #12, I will change nematodes to “apply ducks to lawn” (if you have ducks, you don’t have grubs)
    No a/c since we are surrounded by shade trees, so I’ll change #14 to clean out more leaves
    from the gutter since we need to do this at least twice in the fall with all the stinking shade trees around.
    And without chickens to feed baked apples to, I’m going to make that an apple crisp with maple whipped cream- Mmmm!

  27. Cred says:

    Glad to see the lilies and hostas on the list. I have a lily I wanted to transplant but still had to look up whether this is a good time to do so. Great list!

  28. Dale says:

    If you eat enough pumpkin pie,
    you won’t need those buttock implants….
    just sayin’.

  29. Darla says:

    I LOVE pumpkin pie and will usually eat a whole one myself.
    That is why I don’t make them often. I had great dreams of making them from my sugar pie pumpkins this year. Not happening. Out of a dozen seeds I planted I had six vines grow and only two pumpkins. One was the size of a tennis ball and the other the size of a softball. Not sure what went wrong. I had lots of blooms and then next time I looked the leaves were starting to shrivel and die. Better luck next year I guess.

  30. Phylicia M says:

    You are on it! You are so on it, you’re IN it!
    I am going to have to steal some of these to-do lost things since I am a clueless Californian living my first Fall and soon, Winter in Colorado.

  31. Kari says:

    Homemade pumpkin pie with MAPLE SYRUP WHIPPED CREAM. That gets me going. I LOVE fall and I’ve realized it’s because on the gulf coast there is literally no oxygen in summer. I could tell it was October just by breathing. I feel so alive and excited. Plus I love Halloween!

  32. Edith says:

    Here is my to-do list to get ready for winter in Texas:

    1. Exchange flip flops on patio with close-toed Crocs.
    2. Buy makeup one shade lighter.
    3. Make sure the lawn crew switches over to every-other week. Same for pool guy.
    4. Switch from the light purse to the brown one.
    5. See if jeans from last year still fit, if not, contemplate going back to the gym.

  33. Jan in Waterdown says:

    So I went back into the dimness of time to read all ’bout your real pumpkin pie recipe & the family pie tasting. I could not believe how many people gave you a hassle about fresh vs canned, the multiple comments that asked the same question (don’t people READ?) and then the language police and self appointed squash authority from the apparent pumpkin capital o’ the world piled on too! Sheesh! Actually, it was quite entertaining in a $hit show kinda way but at times I just wanted to reach out and smack a few. But I digress. What I really wanted to say was I miss Jamieson. Wonder where she went? Best comments and very funny, imho.

    • Karen says:

      Well Jamieson is a he, and I was actually just out with him a few nights ago, lol! He’s a friend of mine from way back in the day when we both worked for Moses Znaimer in the Chum City Building. šŸ™‚ He reads my posts every day and still comments occasionally. ~ karen!

      • Jan in Waterdown says:

        Moses Znaimer! Now there’s a blast from the past! Sorry, Jamieson, if you’re reading this . . . there was something that I remembered that led me to think you were a “she”. . . my bad

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