This week was the unofficial end of summer and the beginning of my favorite season – Autumn! While many are holding on to every last bit of summer, I am welcoming Fall with open arms, pumpkin spice candles, and my best French girl attitude!
Here are just a few ways to embrace the new season with a French twist:
- Shhh, We’re Hunting Mushrooms – While most Americans are hunting deer from a tree fort, the French are hunting something else, much lower to the ground – mushrooms. Foraging for mushrooms in the Fall is second nature to most French nationals, although it can be tricky and a bit dangerous. If you’re not an expert mushroom hunter or going hunting with an expert, stick to woodsy mushrooms from your local market – you can still make a mean mushroom marsala!
- A Pot ‘O Honey – Although honey can be found all year round, it is often harvested in late fall, after those little bees have been busy all summer. Many French girls learn the benefits of honey, and how to gather it, at a very young age. In fact, Mireille Guiliano, author of French Women Don’t Get Fat, remembers gathering honey as a girl growing up in France. Even if you can’t gather honey yourself, buy a quality brand from the store and add a spot of nature’s natural sweetener to your hot tea, a cup of plain yogurt, or a bowl of hot oatmeal.
- Start a New Routine – French girls know that change is inevitable and can even be refreshing. So with the days getting shorter and darkness coming all too soon, change up your routine to accommodate. This could mean taking an indoor exercise class to compensate for darker hours or going to bed 30 minutes earlier to help your body acclimate.
- Go Back to School – The always culturally-savvy French girl knows you never stop learning, even after you grow up. You may not be inclined to enter graduate school, but you can take a language or dance class at the local college, attend a lecture at the library or community center, or take an amature wine tasting class through a wine shop.
- Cook with the Seasons – Just as Guiliano points out in ther book French Women for All Seasons, a true French girl takes full advantage of the flavors of the Fall, indulging in creamy butternut squash soup, apple cobbler, and hearty potatoes au gratin. It’s Autumn – get cookin’!
- Head Outdoors – A little wind and chilly air won’t stop a French girl from getting outside – quite the opposite. A French girl takes advantage of the cooler temps by engaging in some of her favorite pasttimes – working in her garden, raking leaves into a huge pile, walking or riding her bike to work sans sweat, and sitting by the fire with her amor.
- Bring the Outdoors In – When the Autumn air turns too cold for even a French girl – she doesn’t fret, but rather brings those natural things she loves inside! Take a tip from the French and decorate with dried leaves, pinecones, acorns, etc adding a bit of pumpkin spice or cinnamon to enhance the Fall experience.
- Wardrobe Change – While American women may cringe at the change of seasons, for it means possibly not fitting into last year’s denim, the French welcome the cool weather by sporting their chic trenchcoats, flowing scarves, and fisherman sweaters.