Some of my fondest memories were made during autumn. Growing up, my family would take day trips to Taylors Falls in search of colorful fall scenery. After an afternoon spent hiking the craggy bluffs and scenic river trails of Interstate State Park, we’d slake our heroic appetites with a stop at the old-school The Drive In Restaurant, still heralded by a towering mug of Frostop root beer.
If we’d gone north one weekend, we’d head south the next and hunt for the perfect Halloween pumpkins at a stop-off in Red Wing before swinging down to the quaint Pepin Heights Orchard store for a bag of Honeycrisps and some hand-dipped caramel apples.
October and November are accompanied by a cornucopia of seasonal foods and traditions.
For a taste of fall, be sure to explore our Noteworthy section, where blogger Emily Maxson shares a recipe for homemade pumpkin spice lattes and a salad recipe that will put your own orchard apples to good use.
Our October/November food and home issues tend to incorporate Halloween and Thanksgiving, but this year, we’re adding something new to the table (although there’s something for trick-or-treaters in our On the Town Opener).
Ana Rayas has brought the flavors of Mexico to Plymouth for over 10 years with her take-and-bake restaurant La Cocina de Ana. Rayas and her friend Judith Díaz bring us a new taste of tradition by sharing their Día de los Muertos celebrations with us.
Day of the Dead is sometimes interpreted as analogous to Halloween, but my conversations with these two women challenged that impression. Where Halloween advises a wariness of the dead, Día de los Muertos embraces them. The spirits or the memories of the departed, depending on the family celebrating, are welcomed back into the homes of their families. As Rayas says in our interview, “It’s not a sad remembrance. You try to remember the good and the fun and what [the dead] liked.” As someone who lost a grandparent this year, her sentiment greatly resonated with me.
Here’s to spending time with family this fall, in whatever form that takes.