The joys of the seasons


Count Chocula is back.

Spotted my first boxes of the year on Wednesday, and gleefully placed one in my cart. Before the next few weeks pass there will be more purchased.

It’s one of my seasonal treats. These are the things that are limited in time frame, but have become an annual pleasure, almost a guilty pleasure.

Now… before we tread too far down the road, let’s get this out of the way… everyone loves pumpkin everything. There, I said it. Ok? It’s not true, of course. But most of the people that are against pumpkin flavored everything fall into the same group of people that have gaskets blowing out when Santa arrives around Labor Day. In other words… could be a valid point, not really worth the energy to fight it, so let’s just go with the flow and enjoy. (Besides, I love pumpkin whoopie pies, though that isn’t where I plan on heading. Anyway… pumpkin flavoring… love it… mass rejoicing… back to the essay.)

So, Count Chocula has returned for the annual Autumn-Halloween-tis-the-season run. Awesome. And it has me wondering…

What are some of your favorite seasonal treats?

The thought extends beyond specific items. I’m mentioning Count Chocula. Someone else might chime in with a Cadbury Creme Egg. But what about seasonal locations?

Over my lifetime, one of the true joys of summer has involved summer ice cream shacks. Usually opening in the spring and closing in the fall, these places are true treasure chests of memories.

Quite often, my wife and I purchase our Christmas tree at a local tree farm near our home. While not a strict annual tradition for us, and not nearly a guilty pleasure, we on many occasions have joined other families in the journey that takes place in the days after Thanksgiving.

Over the years, the New York State Fair has been an awesome part of wrapping up the summer for me. And I am 100% certain many people across the country (and in many other countries) can attest to the joys of state and regional fairs.

These are all seasonal treats that I have in mind. Basically, anything that comes around at certain times of the year… maybe a limited clock on availability… maybe a limited calendar on when you might use it. Could be a single item. Could be a type of place. Could be a family tradition.

In our house, a generation ago in days of my youth, we were all involved in a variety of sports. Many of these seasonal items would get swept into the activities. Ice cream after a baseball game… hot chocolate after soccer.

Funny enough, there are some things I never thought too much about as seasonal treats when I was growing up. But now that I’m older and find myself traveling a bit more often—say frequent trips to my old hometown—seasonal ideas indeed.

Chowder and clam cakes might come to mind, and they certainly do. But several great shops offering that delightful combination are open year-round. Ahh… but heading toward the water, there are some places that are perfect destinations in the summer months.

Certain times of the year… certain weather… triggers specific thoughts. In so many ways, they are not just joys of the season, but comforts of the season.

In a few weeks, I’ll be breaking open the recipe book to find my favorite uses for apples. Pies… cobblers… crisps… and dear lord where are the pans and mixing bowls? I can guarantee you that I’ll have gingerbread in the oven soon enough. For me… and for my lovely wife… it seems as though the fall provides some of our most favorite seasonal treats.

For now, I need to put together a shopping list. I need some supplies before breaking out those recipes. I need another box of Count Chocula. Can you think of anything else I should add?


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