Pressed leaves taped to crafting paper make for simple seasonal art. Hang a few rows with removable adhesive strips for high impact above a bed or sofa.
Gourds come in all shapes and colors and easily become seasonal vases. Cut a hole big enough to accommodate a couple of florist tubes. Insert flower stems for a unique bud vase.
Wrap glass votive holders in textural flair. Tie raffia around three or four overlapping moistened corn husks trimmed to fit. A spotted guinea fowl feather (available at crafts stores) adds a flourish.
Creamy Scalloped Potatoes
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1 cup whipping cream, half-and-half, or light cream
- 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
- 2 pounds russet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/8-inch-thick slices
- Snipped fresh chives (optional)
- Butter a 2-quart shallow casserole or baking dish; set aside.
- In a small saucepan, melt 2 tablespoons butter over medium heat. Stir in flour, salt and pepper. Add whipping cream all at once. Cook and stir over medium heat till thickened and bubbly. Stir in Parmesan cheese (mixture will be thick).
- Arrange half the potatoes in overlapping slices along the bottom of prepared casserole. Spread half the sauce over the potatoes. Repeat potato and sauce layers.
- Bake, covered, in a 325 degrees F oven for 40 minutes. Uncover and bake for 25 to 35 minutes more, until edges are brown and potatoes are tender when pierced with a knife. If desired, sprinkle with snipped chives before serving.
Farm Stand Fresh
Do you love apple-picking time and cruising local farm stands for end-of-season produce? Use ideas from both for this display.
Fresh-picked apples fill vintage harvest baskets (stuff bottoms with newspaper). Dried cornstalks, attached to porch posts with wire hidden under burlap, add sizable impact. Indian corn, various gourds, and an old rake and pitchfork round out the country theme. Unite this riotous mix with pots of red mums and red fall leaves (we used fakes!).