It's that time of year again. When I begin to scan the magazine shelves regularly, looking for that first smiling jack-o-lantern staring back at me. So far, there have been only a couple of autumn offerings to tempt me. And then, as anticipated, the first true sign of Halloween.
I greet the appearance of this magazine each year with mixed emotions. I know it's filled with cutesy crafts and recipes recycled and modified only slightly from year to year. I couldn't begin to count how many versions of the Rice Krispie jack-o-lantern I've encountered in my lifetime. But as I stand there in the grocery aisle, it is unfailingly the first glimpse of a Halloween magazine that I receive every summer. And I can't resist it.
So maybe it's just me. Maybe this summer's incessant rain is making my brain soggy. Or maybe it's simply a result of my diminished expectations. But this year's offering seems to be a modest improvement over recent years. Particularly in the beverage section.
This cider is at the top of my list if the Valley's apple crop survives the summer.
And if September's weather turns out to be warmer than August's (as it sometimes does) I may opt for a cold smoothie instead of hot cider.
Yes, as I eagerly turned the pages, I was impressed with several of this year's recipes. Maybe there has been a conscious effort on the part of the magazine's producers to add some variety and freshness to their standard repertoire. Or maybe I'm still giddy from that first glimpse of orange.