Fall-spiration: Get Excited for Fall with a Little Help from the BCAE

Posted by Kim Wieczner on Thu, Oct 01, 2015

Saying goodbye to summer is just as sad every year. Somehow we just can't seem to get used to it -- shorter days, colder nights -- but it is often easy to forget that while we say goodbye to one glorious season, we say hello to what may be the most glorious of seasons here in New England, fall!

We swap our swimsuits and flip flops for sweaters and boots, switch from iced drinks to frothy hot ones, and we go apple picking surrounded by stunning postcard-perfect scenery. Yes, it means 1 step closer to winter, and after last year's winter, we're not sure we can survive another one, BUT it's fall's job to help ease us into the chillier weather. It's fall's job to get us excited for scarves again, and soup, and hot toddies...and all the other glorious things that keep us living in a 4-season climate, and prevent us from buying that 1-way ticket to Florida and never looking back. Having trouble getting excited for fall this year? Here are some bits of fall-spiration from us here at the BCAE.

TOM: Countdown to Christmas, proving that winter isn't just something to dread, grin & bear

I love the fall because as the weather gets cooler, I actually seem to find new energy for cooking and house projects. I love to kick-off my holiday prep by making a fruitcake in early October.  In particular, I love its weekly feeding of brandy.  For me, that’s the real countdown to Christmas.

BROOKE: Family & food-- don't worry bathing suit season isn't for a long time...

Every fall I go to the Topsfield fair with my family and eat a bloomin onion, a corn dog, and fried dough. It’s a tradition! We don’t even go on the rides…


JAMIE: So many things to do and see and taste! Embracing fall with all 5 senses.

Apple picking – we go annually, have a picnic, then make boatloads of apple sauce, apple cake, and apple pies.
Football – hosting and going to Pat’s parties
Warmer clothes – the bite in the air and needing to layer and BOOTS!!
My front steps – pumpkins, hearty mums, trick or treat signs
Halloween – decorating, costumes and taking Meredith out around the neighborhood and to other Halloween events around…like Zoo Howl!
Leaves – we take leaf walks and pick out all the colors we can see (yes, I have a toddler), and rake a billion bags of leaves even though there isn’t one tree in our yard and then jump in them.
My dad’s cooking – he goes crazy in the fall and winter with hearty soups, breads, desserts, casseroles, you name it. 

KIM: Clichés aside, it really is all about the pumpkin.

When asked what my favorite food is, my answer is pumpkin anything, regardless of the season, but for some reason this "seasonal" flavor is "limited time only." Fall is the one time of year when pumpkin flavored everything is everywhere, and it is therefore acceptable to incorporate pumpkin into all things cooking (finally!). For me, it's not about the faux pumpkin syrups and coffee drinks, etc., but all about the real stuff. Sweet? Of course. Pies, cakes, breads, muffins, cookies, brownies, bread puddings. And savory for sure. Pasta, chilis, soups, sauces, and sides. The kitchen has cooled down from summer so bring on the baking & cooking (and yeah, eating)!

ANDREW: Football, smoked meat, and acting like a kid again.

Most Sundays in the fall I meet up with a group of friends, make smoked meat, and drink a couple of beers while watching football. This may seem like a less than cultured way for grown men to spend time, but there’s something beautiful about trying to get the temperature just right on the meat smoker (about 225 degrees) while that crisp fall air—air that seems to almost have a personality-- reddens your cheeks and you sniffle from the cherry wood smoke that wafts with the wind and inevitably blows directly in your face.  You hear a faint roar from inside and rush to open the sliding glass door to trade high fives with friends when the Patriots score another touchdown. There’s something beautiful about not forgetting how to play.


Still struggling to get inspired? Browse our fall classes to find one that suits you and join us in the excitement!

Topics: BCAE, fall activities, Boston, boston things to do, fall in Boston, fall food, fall classes, fall cooking

BCAE 2012 Fall Bucket List

Posted by Becky Brackett on Thu, Sep 06, 2012

Fall Bucket List











20 must-do adventures, experiences & projects for the fall of 2012

My favorite season is quickly approaching and this year I’m making sure to be well prepared. As we approach the end of August it’s nice to daydream and plan ahead for chillier days ahead. Fall always seem to come and go in a flash and 2012 is the time to make the most of it. I encourage you to explore, soak up the city and enjoy the season!

Here are the 25 things to do that top my list.

apple picking








1. Go apple picking
A fall tradition! Last year I went picking at Cardigan Mountain Orchard in Alexandria, NH. The trip made for a scenic drive and the farm is beautiful. They offer pick your own McIntosh, Cortland and Macoun apples along with fresh cider, jams and homemade apple pie. Nashoba Valley is another fantastic option. In addition to having an orchard they have a vineyard so you can add a wine tasting to your apple picking excursion.

2. Make a recipe with your fresh apples
Hand-picking is half the fun but tasting and baking the apples is just as wonderful. While it’s nice to make classics like apple pie it’s also fun to experiment. If you’re not sure where to begin, Instructor Dustin Rennells has a recipe for Caramel Apple Cupcakes to get you started.

3. Visit the Tent during Boston Fashion Week
BFW grows more robust every year. This upcoming Boston Fashion Week runs Thursday, September 27 - Saturday, October 6 and has been upgraded from 7 days to 10. Check out the great line up of shows and purchase tickets here. If you can't make it to the Tent there are lots of other great events taking place around the city, starting with Fashion Night Out this Thursday, September 6.

White Mountains

4. Take a hike in the White Mountains
It can be so refreshing to escape the city - and a trip to New Hampshire is just what the doctor ordered. The White Mountains are especially stunning in the fall as the leaves start to change. The Falling Waters trail which takes you up Little Haystack Mountain, along Franconia Ridge and down Mount Lafayette. includes picturesque waterfalls is a Brackett Family favorite. If the White Mountains are a little too extreme for your taste Blue Hills is a great option closer to home. 

5. Attend a Gallery Opening
From Newbury Street to the South End Boston has lots of great galleries. Free First Friday Open Studios in the South End are a nice way to kick off the weekend. The Gallery at the BCAE is also free and open to the public. We'll be hosting two receptions this fall - "UPscale: Boston Goes Big" with photographer Chris Padgett on Friday, September 14th and "Dreaming in Color" with painter and photographer Patrick Maloney on Friday, November 16. To join us RSVP by email to marketing@bcae.org.

6. Mix a pitcher of autumn sangria
Sangria, typically a summer staple, is just as good in the fall. It's easy to mix a large batch and serve to friends and family. This recipe calls for oranges, apples, lemon, triple sec and bourbon. Cheers!  

Brimfield Antique Show









7. Brimfield Antique Show (THIS WEEK!)
Brimfield, the largest antique show in the country happens just three times a year and is a short drive from Boston. For a week, the small town of Brimfield, MA is infiltrated with thousands of dealers and shoppers. Vendors fill the fields along a half mile stretch through the center of town. The show runs through this Saturday, September 9. I reccommend you go prepared with a list of what you're looking for and comfortable walking shoes. Happy Hunting!

8. Cook with a Celebrity Chef
You know and love them. Why not take the opportunity join them in the kitchen? In September & October we're excited to welcome Michael Scelfo of Russell House Tavern, Andy Husbands (to school you on Barbeque), and many more. Here's the full Celebrity Chef line-up.

9. Knit a scarf
Even the most basic knitting projects can be intimidating, but it's such a hand skill to have. I’ve knit a scarf before but am in dire need of a refresher. Here at the BCAE we’ve got a great course called "Learn to Knit" to teach you the basics. I’d love to graduate to giant knitting needles so someday.

Pumpkin Picking

10. PYO {pick your own} pumpkin
Pick your own and then carve your own! As always I'm turning to Martha - the queen of Halloween - for inspiration on carving. She's got great ideas on how to transform your gourd in her Pumpkin Carving and Decorating Guide. If you're looking for a more functional use for your pumpkin you can hollow it out to use it as a vase or bowl for serving soup.

11. Shop at SoWa Open Market
Spend a Saturday or Sunday in the South End shopping at SoWa - "Boston's Original Art and Indie Design Market." Support local artisans and discover unique handmade pieces. Be sure to say hi to Emily of The Fashion Truck and grab a gourmet grilled cheese from the guys at Roxy's. You won't be disappointed.

12. Make Your Own Pasta
Think of the serious bragging rights you'll earn! We'll get you started in "The Art of Pasta Making" on October 4th. You'll learn how to craft ravioli, gnocchi, and tagliatelle along with some simple sauces. Our Instructor Diane is a pro and you'll love being able to replicate what you learned in class at home.


13. Visit a local bookstore
Brattle Book Shop in Downtown Crossing is a great one to explore. They offer used books and their third floor is filled with rare and antiquarian books. Trident Booksellers on Newbury Street combines a bookstore and cafe and is the perfect escape from the fall cold. They have an incredible perpetual breakfast menu, fresh juices, and free WiFi. The Banana & Caramel Stuffed Pancakes are unbelievable. 

14. Create a Fall Playlist
Every season is better with a soundtrack...and for some reason the playlist for fall is always the easiest one to make. I do a new one every year (they're fun to go back and listen to) and this year my go to artists are:  Bon Iver, Ray Lamontagne, Mumford & Sons, David Gray and Ben Howard. Who's on your playlist?

15. Treasure Hunt at a Thrift Store
Update your wardrobe with some "new to you" pieces. Second hand stores like Buffalo Exchange, Goodwill and the Garment District are fun places to find one of a kind pieces and can help you re-invent your wardrobe. Second Time Around (in Beacon Hill and on Newbury Street) is a staff favorite.


16. Spend quality time at a local cafe
Bring a good book or your laptop, get a hot beverage and settle in your own corner. My top reccommendation is L'Aroma at 85 Newbury Street. Boston Common Coffee is another nice coffeehouse and has several locations around the city.

17. Create your own Thanksgiving Centerpiece
With just a few materials you can create a stunning centerpiece for your Thanksgiving dinner table. You can get crafty in our "Make It & Take It: Thanksgiving Floral Centerpiece" class in November. Laurie Marino will teach you the tricks of professioal floral designers and you'll leave wiht your own long-lasting table decoration. **Registration for this class opens on Monday, September 24.

18. Take a Brewery Tour
A great and inexpensive weekend activity, make a stop at Sam Adams in Jamaica Plain or Harpoon Brewery in Seaport for a tour and a tasting. If you're interested in something a little more personal we have a great series here called Brew & Chew. Our next class is "Brew and Chew with Brooklyn Brewery & Harvest."

rustic table

19. Set a rustic table
If you're having a fall dinner party there's nothing more fun than moving the indoor furniture outside. Use inexpensive materials like burlap or butcher paper for a tablecloth or runner and mix and match your plates and silverware. If it's cold put a wool blanket on each chair so guests can stay warm. {images via Pinterest // photo 1 // photo 2

20. Go for one last stroll on the beach
Pick a warm fall day and take the opporunity to put your toes in the sand one more time. Reflect on your summer and think about all the great things you have already on the calendar for fall!

What are your favorite fall activities? Are there any upcoming events in the city that we should know about? We'd love to hear what's on your list.

Topics: BCAE bucket list, things to do in Boston, fall activities