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Recipes for Relaxation: Baking in the Spirit of Fall

Cranberries, pumpkins, apples, and allspice—the start of fall calls for nothing less. ‘Tis the season where students find new ways to enjoy the crisp multicolored atmosphere before school starts rapidly picking up pace. On the list of fall “must-dos,” autumn stirs up a culture of relaxation and baking, occasionally with a side of warm apple cider and candlelight. 

Many cherish memories of making pumpkin-flavored treats in the kitchen as they hum to the beat of Norah Jones (or another relaxing artist of choice), occasionally peeking out at the red or orange trees. It just feels so good to stir the ingredients together, sprinkle in some cinnamon, and jam out to good music with friends. 

In terms of sweet items, some fall favorites include pumpkin chocolate chip cookies, lattice apple pie, apple spice donuts, and pumpkin bread. So long as you have the baking basics lying around (flour, sugar, eggs, baking soda, baking powder, etc.) there are so many variations of these recipes that one can make. 

As for the apples and pumpkin ingredients, students at the College can make a fun day of apple picking with some friends down at the Apple Farm in Fairfield, Maine. 

For those who prefer more of a lazy vibe, the Waterville Walmart sells both pumpkin purée and apples for the humble prices of $1.45 a can and $1.30 an apple. 

Who knows, your neighbor might even have quite the stock of ingredients they could share with you, as long as you ask nicely, of course! 

Another popular fall treat is apple turnovers. For one student, who wishes to stay anonymous, this delicious recipe makes for an excellent fall experience that sweet lovers can take solace in. 

“I made some apple turnovers the other day with my boyfriend after we went apple picking and they were both so fun to make and so tasty,” she said in an interview with the Colby Echo. 

Some people even maintain baking traditions, sticking to their usual recipes of the season, and delighting in the simplicity of knowing that a good recipe is still good, even after a couple of years. 

One student, Tegh Khosla `24, shared one of his fall family favorites in an interview with the Colby Echo. “My favorite fall recipe would probably be my mom’s paneer which she cooks for me usually on Diwali or whenever I am home,” said Khosla. 

Paneer is a cheese cut in a cube-like form. It is used in traditional Indian cooking and is commonly served in savory dishes during Diwali (the Hindu Festival of Lights). Though the dates of this holiday change every year, it is always celebrated in autumn between October and November. 

Walmart also sells this creamy, vegetarian-friendly fall dish in a variety of packages with differently-styled cooking instructions. 

Inspired by one Trader Joe’s specialty item, one can also learn to make pumpkin-stuffed samosas, another Indian treat that synergizes the sweet, savory, and even spiced flavors of fall. 

To make this specialty dish, one must first mix up the dough which consists of typical household baking ingredients, before getting to work on the stuffing. 

For the stuffing, one can grill up some chopped potatoes and veggies, stirring in a few tablespoons of pumpkin purée. 

Like all recipes, of course, it’s up to the cook to play with the ingredients, choosing some vegetables that go well together. This dish can also be flavored in a variety of different ways. More traditional samosas contain curry spices and red peppers, but those of us with more of a sweet tooth can sprinkle in some cinnamon and nutmeg for a softer flavor. 

All in all, baking is an excellent way to make use of the wonderful fall days here at the College. It can be a great way to relax, have some moments of introspection, or facilitate bonding with roommates or friends. Now, with some more ideas floating around, you might even feel inspired to make some treats of your own, embracing the cozy season that is fall.


~ Jenna Boling `24

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