TBT: The Joy of Autumn

It is—to use a Southern expression—hotter than blue blazes here in South Carolina, as it always is in early September.  Lately, the extreme heat and humidity have made any outdoor activities unbearable, at least for yours portly.  The air is thick and muggy.

But there is some relief in sight.  We’ve had some rainy days here and there that have given brief—fleetingly brief!—tastes of autumn.

Autumn is, by far, my favorite season.  After the brutal oppression of summer, autumn is a welcome relief.  Autumn in South Carolina is brief, but lovely—the days are warm, the nights crisp.  The season makes it stately arrival fashionably late, usually late in October or early in November (though Halloween always manages to be hot; just once I want an Indiana Halloween!).

The cooler weather brings with it better smells:  pumpkins and spices replace the persistent smell of cut grass and sweat.  Food tastes better in autumn, too.  There’s a reason candy apples are an autumnal fair food:  that thick, sugary, caramel coating wouldn’t last in the humidity of summer.  There’s also the pies:  pecan and pumpkin, of course, but also sweet potato.

Oh, and there’s college football.  The SEC hasn’t (yet) betrayed fans like the West Coast conferences.

So, here’s hoping autumn returns sooner rather than later to South Carolina this year.  With that hope—and prayer—in mind, whip out the pumpkin spice and enjoy November 2019’s “The Joy of Autumn“:

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Lazy Sunday XLI: Food

‘Tis the season for excessive consumption, dear readers.  For a blog with a synonym for “fat” in the title, I’ve yet to feature a Lazy Sunday about food.

Well, that’s about to change.  Here are four succulent pieces about food—and my favorite vice, gluttony:

  • #MAGAWeek2019: Fast Food” – One of the pieces from MAGAWeek 2019 (all exclusive to my SubscribeStar Page with a $1/month subscription), this little essay is an ode to the glories of fast food.  Fast food truly is a modern-day miracle, bringing together advancements in agriculture, food preparation, logistics, etc., into one gloriously low-priced, high-fat package.
  • The Future of Barbecue” – The inspiration for this post was a piece at the Abbeville Institute, which detailed the deleterious effect of “mass,” or mass-market, barbecue chains on mom and pop barbecue joints, as well as the tradition of community barbecue.  It’s one of the many interesting chapters in the negative consequences of unbridled economic growth and efficiency at the cost of tradition and community.
  • Shrinkflation” – Another SubscribeStar Saturday exclusive, this piece examines the shrinking size of beloved foodstuffs.  Did you know a two-liter Coke isn’t really two-liters anymore?  Ever noticed how Twinkies don’t seem as big as they used to appear?  Well, in an effort to cut cost (and, presumably, to bamboozle consumers), many food processors cut the sizes of their products in order to hide cost increases from customers.  I’ve had the gnawing feeling lately that the future we live in is far less amazing than it’s supposed to be; here’s another example of reality disappointing us yet again.
  • Bologna” – I was really stretching when I wrote this post (just this past Friday), but, well, I love bologna.  In our current age of hyper-politicization, even the sandwich meat we consume says something about socio-economic status and our outlook on life.  Bologna is the humble mystery meat of the workingman, and I cherish its delicious, cost-effective flavor.

That’s it!  I’m looking forward to stuffing my face with gleeful abandon over the next few days (you know, to celebrate the Birth of Jesus).  Then I’ve got to reverse course; my jeans are ever-snugger, and my double-chin has slowly made a comeback.  Yikes!

Happy Eating—and Merry Christmas!

—TPP

Other Lazy Sunday Installments:

Lazy Sunday XXXII: Festivals

This fall, I’ve been hitting up a number of small-town festivals in an attempt to get out more to see the forgotten by-ways of rural South Carolina.  I work pretty hard during the week (indeed, most of today will dedicated to finalizing first quarter report grades), so I’m making a point of enjoying my weekends more.

To that end, this week’s Lazy Sunday will look back at some recent festival-going.  I should note that the full versions of these pieces are Subscribe Star exclusives; to read them in full requires a subscription of $1 a month or more to my Subscribe Star page.

  • Aiken Amblings” – This piece detailed my trip to my hometown for Aiken’s Makin’, a sprawling, two-day crafts festival that brings vendors from all over the Southeast to ply their wares.  I have fond memories of this festival from my childhood, and it’s still a major fall event.
  • Yemassee Shrimp Festival 2019” – This post is all about a long day trip to tiny Yemassee, South Carolina, for the Yemassee Shrimp Festival.  The trip also included stops at the historic Old Sheldon Church ruins and St. James the Greater Catholic Church in Ritter, South Carolina.
  • Candy Apples” – My paean to a typically autumnal fair food, the sticky, tart candy apple.  We had some good ones last weekend.
  • Festival Circuit: Ridge Spring Harvest Festival and Clinton Scots & Brats” – Yesterday’s post detailed a two-for-one festival day—my trip to the Ridge Spring Harvest Festival and Clinton, South Carolina’s Scots & Brats celebration, the latter of which was the source of the candy apples that inspired the previous Saturday’s post.

Hopefully there will be more festivals to come.  For now, I’ve got to get back to grading.

Happy Sunday!

—TPP

Other Lazy Sunday Installments:

SubscribeStar Saturday: Candy Apples

Today’s post is a SubscribeStar Saturday exclusive.  To read the full post, subscribe to my SubscribeStar page for $1 a month or more.

Today continued the series of autumnal festivals my girlfriend and I are attempting to hit up as the long South Carolina summer turns to fall.  I’ll write a full account of our trip to the Ridge Spring Harvest Festival and Clinton’s “Scots & Brats” next Saturday.

Tonight, I’d like to write briefly about a delicious treat that only exists in the fall:  the candy apple.

To read the rest of this post, subscribe to my SubscribeStar page for $1 a month or more.