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Aaaahhhh, Autumn Has Arrived

"Autumn...the year's last, loveliest smile." ~~William C. Bryant. How to find harmony in autumn on Sept. 22, including making Pumpkin Dessert Squares as a special treat or straightening up Mother Nature. What is your autumn tradition?

"To be interested in the changing seasons is a happier state of mind than to be hopelessly in love with spring." ~~George Santayana

Sept. 22 starts the first day of the autumn equinox for 2012 in the Northern Hemisphere, according to The Almanac. With a change in the seasons, there are so many things to anticipate. It's the perfect time to entertain outdoors, for example. And traditionally, it's been a time of year that inspires much poetry.

The word autumn comes from the Old French word autompne (automne in modern French), and was later normalized to the original Latin word autumnus. There are rare examples of its use as early as the 12th century, but it became common by the 16th century.

This time of year some people clean up the environment prior to the winter coming. Open Space Council reports that volunteer participants in the Passport to Clean Water program included Robinson Rain Barrels, MO Stream Team, Friends of La Barque Creek Watershed, The Nature Conservancy, MO DNR, MO Wildlife Rescue Center, St. Louis County Parks and MRRA, MSD, The Wildlife Bird Sanctuary, The Endangered Wolf Center, and Ozark Fly Fishers. 

Beth Daniels and Boy Scouts, Pack 883, recently participated in the cleanup of Al Foster Trail in Wildwood. “We do this every year. Our families and boys love it.  This year. numerous hikers and bikers shouted out a thank you to all of us as we cleaned," she said.

As time allows, try this new way of enjoying autumn:

PUMPKIN DESSERT SQUARES

1 pkg. yellow cake mix

1/2 c. butter, melted

1 egg

2/3 c. milk

2 eggs

1 large can pumpkin (for pumpkin pie)

1/4 c. sugar

1 tsp. cinnamon

1/4 c. butter

Grease bottom of a 9x13-inch pan. Set aside 1 cup of the yellow cake mix.

For the crust: Combine the remaining cake mix, 1/2 cup melted butter and 1 egg. Press into pan.

For the filling: Combine canned pumpkin, 2 eggs and milk; stir until smooth. Pour over crust.

For topping: Combine reserved cake mix, sugar, cinnamon and 1/4 cup of butter. Sprinkle over filling.

Bake at 350 degrees for 45 to 50 minutes, or until knife inserted near center comes out clean. Serve with whipped topping.

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