DAILY DIRT: Welcome, September … and did I say I like pie?

rock pie gif

If you smell what Steve is cooking.

Daily Dirt for Friday, Sept. 1, 2023

Have I ever mentioned I like pie? … Welcome to today’s three thoughts that make up Vol. 713 of The Daily Dirt.

1. Today we welcome September, and in my mind that means it’s officially autumn.

(I know, I know, autumn does not officially start until Sept. 23, but it’s hard to say “summer” and “September” in the same breath. It’s fall, bay-bee.)

The best — and most obvious — things about fall are the changing colors of leaves, steadily cooling temperatures and earlier sunsets. I realize I’m in the minority, but I honestly don’t mind those 6 p.m. sundowns. There’s something comforting about them.

Here are some things we tend to overlook about the coming days, weeks and months that also make this time of year rather delightful:

Comfort food: At least that’s what they call it. You now, mashed potatoes, roast beef, steaming soup, warm pie — all the stuff we kind of drift away from come warm weather. Did I say pie?

New TV shows: Granted, with the current writers’ strike in Hollywood, much of the new offerings are on delay for awhile. But that strike will eventually be settled, and we’ll have a new TV season at some point. It’ a rite of passage in the fall.

Reading: Catching up with some books, magazine articles, online offerings, etc., always seems like an integral part of cooler days and evenings.

Warm blankets: It’s Saturday afternoon and your favorite college football team is on TV. Nudge that recliner back and cover up with your favorite blanket. It’s football, it’s fall… and it’s great.

Road trips: My wife and I love to take Saturday road trips in the fall, many of them south of Quincy to the little towns along the way to and close to the Metro East. One of our favorite stops is Grafton, just a few miles above Alton.

Farmers markets: There’s something about those outdoor outpourings of food I find intriguing, and the Little Woman loves them. Did I mention I like pie?

Halloween: My wife absolutely loves Halloween “season,” and all that goes with it — the weather, the costumes, the decorations. Me? I kind of like the candy. Did I mention I like pie?

Flannel sheets: Is there anything more inviting on a crisp, fall evening than to crawl between the covers and be greeted by those flannel sheets? Oh my …

Hot chocolate: I like hot chocolate about two or three times a year, and the outside temperature cannot be above freezing.

Thanksgiving: A great, great holiday that is the epitome of combining families and televised sports. And did I mention I like pie?

2. I love pastries. Always have, always will.

And I’m pretty sure at or near the top of my list of favorite pastries would be doughnuts. Frosted doughnuts. With coconut, if  possible.I recently discovered the doughnut made its first appearance in North America in 17th-century New York City, then a Dutch colony known as New Amsterdam. This “fried dough recipe” was known in Dutch as “olykoeks,” or “oily cakes”. 

Oily cakes, however, were missing one important innovation of the modern doughnut — the hole in the center. That particular characteristic didn’t take shape until the 19th century. Although there are several competing theories, it’s likely that New England ship captain Hanson Crockett Gregory, spurred on by indigestion due to his mother’s oily cakes, decided to cut out the doughier middle of the cake. 

Gregory soon discovered that his mother’s cakes received a more even fry, and thus the modern doughnut was born.

Thank goodness for Hanson Crockett Gregory.

3. OK, this is at least mildly disturbing.

The late Heath Ledger was known for his intense method acting. He would completely bury himself in his roles, going through extreme measures to “get in the mindset of the characters he was hired to play.”

Before filming his iconic role as The Joker in “The Dark Knight,” the second film in Christopher Nolan’s Batman trilogy, Ledger locked himself in a motel room for six weeks. Ledger, according to needtoknowfacts.com, refused to leave or have contact with humans, and even went as far as peeing in milk jugs — and drinking it.

I feel can safely predict you weren’t expecting that tidbit of information. 

Heath Ledger as The Joker in “The Dark Knight”.

Steve Thought O’ The Day — Did I mention I like pie?

Steve Eighinger writes daily for Muddy River News. He likes pie.

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