Fun, flavourful fall festivities

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Illustration: Flo McQuibban
Illustration: Flo McQuibban
Illustration: Flo McQuibban

The leaves are changing colours, Tesco is selling canned pumpkin at a ridiculous import markup and Starbucks is once again peddling their absurdly famous Pumpkin Spice Latte. All these things mean that fall is upon us. However, if you do not enjoy the fall foliage or would rather not choke down something that tastes like a pumpkin candle, there are other ways to enjoy the season. Read on for some ideas on how to make the most of fall.First things first: Grab your friends, put on your Barbour and hop on a bus to Cupar. What is in Cupar? A pumpkin patch! The Cairnie Fruit Farm opens its pumpkin patch every year, replete with everything you could possibly want, from apple desserts to warm soups served at their farm café. But the most impressive of its offerings is the corn maze. Covering six acres of land, this maze is not for the faint of heart. To make it more fun, split your friends up into two groups and see who makes it through first. If you want an even more spirited experience, wait till 30-31 October, when the farm puts on its Torch Light Maze from 7 to 9:30 pm. Tickets for the event cost £8.75.

If you do not have time to head to Cupar, then soak up fall right here in St Andrews. On 12 November, the student radio show It’s a Wise Child will be hosting one of their bonfire storytelling nights. Taking place on Castle Sands, this event includes s’mores and excellent stories that will make you laugh and reflect on life. Who knows, some of them might even scare you. There is nothing more stereotypically fall than sitting around a bonfire with friends, so bring your flatmate along and enjoy the night.

Pro tip: Bring along a beverage to keep you even cosier. A personal favourite is chai tea mixed with cinnamon whiskey, and it could not be simpler to make. Take a bag of your favourite chai tea, throw it in a travel mug and fill with hot water. Do not forget to leave room to add as much or as little cinnamon whiskey as you deem necessary to keep you warm on a cold November night. (For more details on the event, check It’s a Wise Child’s Facebook page. And if you are feeling especially keen, volunteer to share a story of your own.)

Finally, if you really cannot be bothered to leave the comfort of your home to partake in the autumnal harvest, then here is your solution: Put on your comfiest cable-knit jumper and bake a fall dessert. Not only will you feel like Martha Stewart dipped in cinnamon, but you will also be incentivized to finish your coursework so you can eat your homemade treat in peace.

What is the quintessential fall dessert? Apple crisp. What is a crisp? It is basically a crumble with oats (and the added benefit of being strongly associated with the current season). Best served warm, it will satisfy all those fall cravings with its rustic topping and warm apples. To begin baking, make sure to pick up the following ingredients on your next trip to Tesco, Sainsbury’s or M&S (whichever you fancy):

5 cups Granny Smith apples, peeled and sliced

3 tablespoons granulated sugar

½ cup oats

¼ cup packed light brown sugar

¼ cup packed dark brown sugar

¼ cup all-purpose flour

¼ teaspoon nutmeg

1 teaspoon cinnamon

¼ cup room-temperature butter

To begin making your delicious crisp, place the apples in a 9 x 13” pan (but a pie or cake tin will do the job in a pinch). Stir in the granulated sugar.

To prepare the topping, combine the oats, brown sugars, flour, nutmeg and cinnamon in a mixing bowl. Cut the butter into small chunks and add, mixing until it resembles crumbs.

Sprinkle the topping over the apples and bake at 190°C for 30 minutes. It should be golden brown on top, and the apples should be tender. Servile while warm either plan or with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.

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Do not wait in that atrocious line at Starbucks or lament the falling leaves from in side the library. Instead, go to a pumpkin patch, gather round a bonfire or bake yourself into the autumnal mood. Before you know it will be wintertime.

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