Ah yes, Autumn. With the leaves turning orange, our palm trees looking a little less green, and plenty of mid-semester angst to go around, fall spirits have never been so high. Yes, nothing gets you in a spooky mood like the anxiety of grades mixed with a terrible perception of time. California weather especially really just projects fall spirits, its 100 degree days practically screaming misty-cottage. Obviously, everything I just said was sarcasm. As truth be told, fall spirits are collectively rather low. Perhaps it’s just a few of us but it sure does feel like a random day in March, not the beginning of October, something that should be fixed now. “How?” one might ask. With a recommendation list of course. Crafts, food, movies, music, let’s begin the list of things to help you catch the fall spirit.
Starting with the absolute best, of course, we have food. Whether your go-to fall snack is candy corn, pumpkin pie, caramel apples, or a seasonal in-between, what you eat and bake can really set the tone for the season. The following are two simple recommendations.
Both beautiful and tasty, this celestial pie is a great way to set the mood for Halloween. Personally, I’ve made it once before and it was delicious. Though not the most amazing pie I have ever had, it was definitely the prettiest. My only recommendation for someone following the recipe is to make slightly more crust as you will run out of dough fast. Other than that this was fun to make, relatively simple, and as a bonus, vegan!
2. Roasted Pumpkin Seeds
With pumpkins carved and a mess left to clean, it may be tempting to just throw all the guts away without a second thought. However, I advise you not to. You see, there is a much better use for the guts. Well, the seeds at least. That great use is the creation of roasted pumpkin seeds. Delicious! Simply made by coating seeds in butter (1½ cups seeds to 2 tbsp butter ratio), a bit of salt, then baking till golden brown (about 45 minutes) at 300 degrees Fahrenheit, they are an amazing snack. After prepped, they can be coated in salt and pepper, or a crowd favorite cinnamon and sugar. Full credits to Lily Avina for this delicious recipe; now go make it.
Following up on the delicious consumables we have a list of songs that embody the fall spirit. If you’re looking to feel like the main character or a really cool side one, I recommend you stick in your headphones, sit on the edge of campus, and give these songs a listen.
Loverboy by A-Wall
Oh klahoma by Jack Stauber
‘Tis Autumn (1993 Digital Remaster)
California Dreamin by The Mamas & The Papas
Hey Lover by The Daughter Of Eve
Twist and Shout by The Beatles
Whether it's nostalgia, horror, or mystery, movies can just throw you into the fall season. So with the lacking autumn spirit, it only felt right to include some movies to fix that. Below are 5 great ones we all should have seen, with strong nostalgia, and an attached link to even more!
It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown: A 1966 release and childhood essential, just watching this movie alone will make you long for a pumpkin patch and some apple cider. Free to watch on YouTube and Dailymotion, and only 30 minutes long, you can play it pretty much anywhere. Procrastinating homework? Go ahead and press play.
Clue: From 1985 and a classic mystery film, Clue is a masterpiece. Though I didn’t find it to be intensely scary, it was hilarious and well thought out. The ending leaves you applauding and the cast is phenomenal; overall a good choice for a mystery movie.
Scooby-Doo: TV shows, movies, specials, and games, Scooby-Doo is a pretty large franchise. Nothing compares to watching some teen monster catchers and their loveable dog. And after ten years I’ll still tune in to watch! The original 1969-70s episodes are top tier, of course, and are mostly free to watch on YouTube. They will easily put you in the autumn mood! As for a good movie, the 1988 Scooby-Doo and the Ghoul School is a chaotic fall film, though it only features Shaggy, Scooby, and Scrappy. Overall the whole franchise is a personal childhood favorite for sure and a great fall series to watch whenever.
Coraline: Many have seen it at this point but if not, Coraline is the spooky kid’s film to watch. With a nostalgic claymation style and a twisted plot, this movie both intrigued and terrified me as a kid. Button eyes, a perfect world, and a sly black cat make this movie what it is. I highly recommend you watch it, and believe me, it will add another fear to your list.
Disney Halloween specials: And finally we have one for the Disney kids, all those old Halloween specials. So much nostalgia. I’m referencing Jessie, Austin and Ally, KC Undercover, Girl Meets World, Boy Meets World, Hannah Montana, and more. “Monstober,” as they called it, is perhaps the peak of children’s fall. Along with the candy of course. So go through your childhood favorite titles and watch all their dedicated spooky season features!
(Check Briana Garcia’s 2020 Your Guide to a Pandemic Halloween on Eagles Scream for more recommendations)
The Random Additions:
As we near the end of this collection we’re left with the random bits and pieces that make fall feel like fall. The toilet paper roll bats, pumpkin spice everything, and the great pumpkin patch trips. These little things can really make the season, so here are 4 small ones:
Candles, just candles: Light a fall candle, and try not to burn the house down. Come on, I believe you can do it! Don’t have any pumpkin candles because you somehow avoided the inevitable purchase of one for years? Not an issue, go down to bath and body works, they have hundreds. And if you’re still trying to delay the purchase of one, make a fall simmer pot instead; just know you can’t avoid the pumpkin spice forever… it will get you one day.
Sweaters: Moving on, we have sweaters! Yes we may live in California and it is 90+ degrees 98% of the time, but you can make it work. Sacrifices people, sacrifices. This may just be the only time of year you can wear sweaters in LA and only die a little on the inside. Take advantage of it, go online or head to a thrift store and look around, grandpa sweaters work best. Sage greens, warm browns, deep reds with oranges, even navy blues are all good colors to look for!
Trader Joe’s: Just go there. So many holiday things, and delicious pumpkin bread mix. Whatever season it is, they will have a special for it. Grab 20 dollars more than what you think you’ll need and head down to the closest one. Buy snacks, buy all the snacks. Credits to Sofia Casias for this amazing addition.
Pumpkin carving: Ending on the most common and loved tradition, we have pumpkin carving. Jack O’lanterns lining the front porch, fake spiders in the bush, and witches cackling from the back, the perfect picture of Halloween are painted. As the days get closer and closer to Halloween your chances of convincing your parents to let you invest in a pumpkin are only getting higher. In a week or so you’ll be golden.
And that’s it, folks! The list has come to an end, and now it’s time for you to try some of these out. No excuses, it’s autumn and you better embrace it… as I said, the pumpkin spice will be coming for you. So turn on a good movie, grab your roasted pumpkin seeds and drink some butterbeer!
...Fall is here.