There is nothing like being out in the autumn air in the evening.
It has it's own unique feel and smell. Right now there is just a hint of chill and earthiness mixed with far off wood smoke. Delight!
So, it's time to make an 'autumn night' of it by celebrating with a fire outdoors.
This is what an outdoor fire looks like for our family.
(this is another place where Husband is USEFUL)
Perhaps for you it's a bonfire in your field, the charcoal grill on your deck full of glowing coals, or a simple candle lit on your balcony. It's really all about ambiance. :)
And don't forget the s'mores.
- fireside, marshmallows, chocolate and graham crackers are all meant to be enjoyed simultaneously.
Note: other perfect fireside companions for a fall evening outdoors include: mulled cider, hot cocoa or a glass of wine.
-or beer; Husband would insist that the ideal for any occasion would be a pint of frothy IPA-
So to be specific we have: extra large marshmallows that had to be cut in half, honey grahams, and dark chocolate with sea salt and caramel.
The quality of the evening goes up with the quality of the ingredients- trust me. ;)
Now to gather the family.
Or your loved one. Or a good friend. Or your neighbor. Or your cat, if he'll come- though, he may prefer a bite of roasted hot dog to marshmallow and chocolate.
(or beer; our cats will drink beer. sigh.)
Or you could even just gather up yourself for a perfect evening of fireside reflection with the stars.
And then let the toasting begin!
Some people around here insist on 'the perfect toast'- it's all about the sides getting brown with even crispness while the inside is filled with soft, springy goo.
Others of us happen to be more interested in the state of the gourmet chocolate that seems to be melting this close to the fire. I'm all about rescue in this case. ;)
(note: after warning those gathered over and over about how hot the marshmallows are after toasting, DO NOT proceed to carelessly grab your own marshmallow and severely burn your left three middle fingers and spend the rest of the lovely evening icing them. Just a thought.)
As the evening darkens, you may find yourself looking up and taking in any stars that may be found.
And as you sit, warm and toasty by the fire (or in a soft cable knit sweater if your fire isn't so big) you may find the inspiration for some story telling. And if this sounds at all uncomfortable to you, all I can say is despite some 'looks' from guests over the years, we have yet to find anyone who hasn't enjoyed the storytelling once the 'shock' has worn off! ;)
Sometimes we tell them 'spooky' or sometimes 'goofy', but everyone gets a turn.
But be forewarned- there may be a certain member of your fireside party that on their story telling turn comes up with a tale entitled 'The Dead Squirrel on 20th Street'- which has lots of references to said squirrel 'looking for his nuts' and ' His nuts were not above. His nuts were not below. ' and so on. And then your cozy evening may end in endless giggling and constant references to 'nuts'.
That. Doesn't. End.
Oh yes, it could happen.