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Dinner Party: An Autumnal Meal with The Kinfolk Table & Cookbook Giveaway

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“The idea for the magazine Kinfolk,” Nathan Williams writes in his introduction to The Kinfolk Table, “was born in the course of trying to describe those evenings spent with friends when the hours pass effortlessly, conversation flows naturally, cooking is participatory, and the evening ends with a satisfying sense of accomplishment.” We’ve been huge fans of Kinfolk ever since its inception—not just because of its stunning imagery and down-to-earth writing, but because of this laid back, communal philosophy towards entertaining. Throughout the pages of Kinfolk magazine, it is apparent that the lifestyle being espoused is not one of lofty, exclusive soirees, but of calm, familial gatherings, one where easiness and enjoyment are key. The Kinfolk Table, the cookbook that accompanies Williams’ quarterly lifestyle journal, seems the natural extension of this entertaining philosophy. Within its pages, numerous cooks, artisans, and craftspeople share their own recipes for delicious food and beautifully simple gatherings—a warm antidote to overly-fussy and antiquated ideas of entertaining.

With our copy of the deeply beautiful Kinfolk Table in hand, we decided to throw a little dinner party of our own—with a dark autumnal twist. With warm, hearty dishes and easily crafted decorations (including a beautiful skull garland and a shibori-style tablecloth), it was the perfect occasion for some chilly-weather warmth.

Continue after the jump for more photos, two full recipes, and DIY instructions! —Max

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Giveaway: The wonderful people at Artisan books are allowing us to give away a few copies of this wonderful cookbook. To enter for your change to win a copy of The Kinfolk Table, tell us in the comments what your perfect fall gathering would be. We’ll choose our favorites! (Last day for entries 10/24.)

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Skull Garland DIY: We crafted these charming hanging garlands using Paper Source’s Sugar Skull Gift Wrap, Rhombus Black Paper, and Raised Grey Floral Paper . Skulls were cut out according to the pattern and circles were cut from the other papers. The cutouts were then attached, back-to-back, to black and white twine with a glue stick.

Shibori-Style Tablecloth DIY: We crafted this beautiful dyed tablecloth in the Shibori style using a canvas dropcloth and standard black Rit Dye. First, we folded the tablecloth zig-zag style lengthwise and then again, widthwise, bunching the whole thing together with several rubber bands. Following the directions with the dye packet, we then dyed the entire cloth. The process is quite simple, but the results are beautiful!

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Above image: Breakfast Bread from The Kinfolk Table cookbook, page 189.

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Above image: Mushroom, Tomato, and White Bean Stew from page 212.

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Above image: Spiced Raw Chocolate Mousse from page 127.

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Mushroom, Tomato, and White Bean Stew

Serves 4

  •  1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 medium onions, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 teaspoon ground fennel seed
  • Pinch of dried sage
  • 12 ounces cremini or baby bella mushrooms, trimmed and quartered
  • 1/4 cup chicken stock
  • One 15-ounce can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
  • One 14.5-ounce can petite diced tomatoes with juice
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped flat-leaf parsley
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • Freshly grated Parmesan cheese, for serving

Heat the olive oil in a large, heavy skillet over medium0high heat until shimmering. Add the onion, garlic, thyme, fennel seed, and sage and cook, stirring occasionally, for about 8 minutes or until the onion is soft and starting to brown.

Stir in the mushrooms and stock and simmer, covered, for 5 to 6 minutes or until the mushrooms have shrunk and released their juices. Add the beans, tomatoes, and parsley, then cover and return to a simmer over medium-low heat. Simmer for 10 minutes or until slightly thickened. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Serve hot over brown rice or whole wheat pasta (we chose black rice for a more creepy, Halloween-y feel!) or just in a bowl as a meatless stew. Top with grated Parmesan cheese.

 

Spiced Raw Chocolate Mousse

Serves 2

  • 1/4 Cup hemp seeds (see note)
  • 2 heaping tablespoons raw cacao powder
  • 1 ripe avocado, peeled and pitted
  • 1 large banana, frozen and coarsely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons raw honey, agave, or pure maple syrup
  • Pinch of cayenne
  • Pinch of ground ginger
  • Pinch of sea salt
  • Cold water, as needed

Blend the hemp seeds, cacao, avocado, banana, honey, cayenne, ginger, and salt in a blender until smooth. Add water 1 tablespoon at a time to adjust the consistency to taste. Serve immediately.

Note: The hemp seeds may be replaced by raw almonds, raw cashews, or raw sunflower seeds. Soak the nuts or seeds in water for about 10 minutes or until softened prior to proceeding with the recipe.

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236 Comments

Kate Sahler

Apples and cheddar, wool blanket from Gramma’s on the top of Bromley Mountain, sunset over fall colors in the Green Mountains. Favorite.

caridad isabel barragan

My favourite fall gathering would be a very laid back dinner with 2-4 friends. I’d start off roasting local chestnuts on an open fire and a nice glass of Prosecco. We’d then have a simple pumpkin cream soup garnished with extra-vergin olive oil from Umbria and homemade croutons sauteed in a little butter (very little!). To finish off I’d serve an array of cheeses with marmalde and honey on the side. Of course all of this would be served on Pardi linen (which I could never afford!).

minh

running through a corn maze, pumpkin picking, apple picking to end up with bags and bags of apples and a hot mug of cider waiting in the farmhouse. supper overlooking the shenandoah mountains with butternut squash and walnut soup and a slice of sweet potato pie

Susan M.

My perfect fall gathering would include good friends, a warm fire, and lot of delicious homemade treats!

Kimberlee B

Every year my Neighborhood has an Octoberfest. The night is crisp and everyone brings hearty foods to share. We light up everyones fire pits in the middle of the street. Our kids play all night long running up and down the street eating german foods. We gather around the hot fires and talk with every neighbor around way too late. Musicians play their instruments and somebody ends up telling a story to all the kids. Its perfect every fall.

Kristi

A great big pot of beef stew shared with friends, out doors at dusk, followed by a fire and spiced- spiked cider!

Lindsey

My favorite fall gathering is a collaborative curry party. Host prepares curry pastes and a giant pot of rice. Then everyone brings their favorite ingredients, curries are assembled while drinking wine, and everyone eats until they can’t move. The best.

Anda Alexandra

Hot choco with marshmallows and cinnamon and some pumpkin or apple pie and watch a period movie in the arms of my fiancee :)

Jessica

My favorite kind of gathering is always a potluck, so everybody can contribute something to the evening.

jaime

packing a picnic of wine and cheese and going apple picking…then after gathering all the fruits of our labor, enjoying our feast in the orchard!

The Junk Drunk

I celebrated my perfect fall gathering last weekend with a few of my out of town friends while visiting Maryland. We roasted two chickens with lemon and thyme, served with goat cheese mashed potatoes and local cauliflower roasted with caramelized onions. Add in some great Oregon pinot gris, a fall tablescape of heirloom pumpkins and a wood fire, and it was the perfect dinner party.

Luz

My perfect fall gathering is making tamales with my mom and sisters while Mexican fruit punch simmers on the stove and my family plays loteria.

Sarah Williams

Turkey with stuffing, creamy apple-walnut coleslaw, and mashed potatoes with gravy; with all of my extended family around the table. Then everyone goes for a long walk along the river, in the cool, crisp autumn air, with leaves cruching underfoot. The kids will, of course, make a big pile of leaves and have a ball jumping in them, until we have to drag them inside for bed.

Alicia Nieto

Six close friends around an old, battered table full of family memories. The autumn sun warming the room, no furniture but the table and the mismatched chairs. The menu: homemade hummus, tapenade, octopus salad and gazpacho (summer is not the only season for gazpacho, just the better). Ciabatta, a cheese platter and two varieties of grapes.

This is the perfect gathering to me. I can’t wait.

Lindsay

It would be less of a gathering and more of an outing. Just me and my husband, up early, and with a thermos of mexican nutella hot chocolate, we’d hop in the car and drive into the Rocky Mountains in search of golden Aspen trees. There’s something wonderfully relaxing and invigorating about driving in the mountains with the windows down, dressed in a tech vest with a scarf around your neck, sipping a warm beverage. The world is quiet in the mountains, only the sounds of nature. The air is crisp. And sleep comes easily after a day spent over a mile high.

Amy

Head to Avila Valley Barn to choose the perfect pumpkins while sipping fresh apple cider, drive home to carve ‘em up in the back yard while sipping craft beers, and then work on our Halloween costumes (with Hocus Pocus on in the background) over mugs of hot chocolate. Mine would have lavender-infused milk in it… but cinnamon or orange zest would be great, too.

Danielle

Gosh, this is just lovely! I wouldn’t expect any less from Kinfolk mag :)

My perfect fall gathering: closest friends and family around a big wooden table, a fire burning nearby, and scented pine as decor. Wine and fresh bread would be plentiful and the meal would be served in French courses: soup, main plate, cheese, dessert (chocolate), coffee.

Just thinking about it makes me long for this season in New York. It probably wouldn’t be the perfect, perfect fall gathering. But it’d be easier to make it pretty darn close!

Georgia

My friends and I have developed a tradition of gathering for apple picking and making an apple-y meal afterwards. It has become one of my favorite evenings of the year. Homemade apple sauce or chutney. Apple crisp. Chicken with apple and sausage stuffing or roasted pork loin. Various seasonal veggies and plenty of wine and beer. Lots of hanging out in the kitchen while we cook together.

Allison Roy

I’d love to host a Dia de los Muertos gathering where everyone brings a dish to celebrate a loved one who has passed—whether it be a pizza-loving pup or a great grandmother’s secret recipe. The DIY sugar skull garlands above would certainly be included.

marie

My perfect fall gathering is the one we had for my son’s second birthday a few days ago, of course.
I liked that everyone participated in it. While I prepared the sides (green beans and mashed potatoes with tapenade) and the cake (a Reine de Saba, a wonderful cake with almond meal and chocolate but no flour), my mon brought a pork roast, my sister flowers for the table, and my brother chocolates for after the meal. I had decorated simply with handmade 3D letters of my son’s name on the wall which my brother helped me to assemble. And that’s it. It was very simple but I think I can say that a good time was had by all.

Tara

A cabin in the mountains of North Carolina with friends sitting around the fireplace with something pumpkin flavored and sweet to eat, hot tea or chocolate, and a cheese and meat tray to snack on…this is my idea of a fall get together.

Shy

My perfect gathering is homemade carrot soup and a buttery bun on the porch with my boyfriends family that live by the sea. Watching the whales and listening to the waves. Simple :)

Tiffany

Living in Southern California, the evenings are warm enough to eat outside even through fall. Some candles, string lights, a blazing fire pit, and blankets for when the sun goes down… The menu: roasted squash and brussel sprouts (in a panzanella?), chili, and s’mores for dessert. Drinks: a signature cocktail (with mezcal maybe), and apple cider of course.

Milan

My fall dinner would be an evening potluck with 7 friends on a crisp fall evening, maybe even on the night of Halloween. The theme: comfort foods made in an oven. Quiches, roast chicken, pies, mac and cheese, also known as All of My Favorite Things. Ideally hosted at a home with a fireplace, and Bon Iver playing all night long…

wannie413

My perfect Fall gatherings happen around my parent’s wood stove, fire blazing to keep the kitchen warm while kids and adults stream in and out, harvesting veggies from the greenhouse and gardens, playing in the leaves, and tossing a ball around. A delicious, seasonal meal always materializes from this communal effort and is snugly enjoyed by all around an old farmhouse table, slightly too small to accommodate the growing family!

Sarah Ann

Picnic with family and friends in the north Georgia mountains. Colorful trees, cool air, warm food, blankets and lots of wine!

sydney85

My perfect fall gathering is having friends over for brunch. I plan to have this next Sunday with everyone sitting around a large table feasting on mini bagels with lox, mini donuts (creme brulee, fruit fritter, long john with bacon, mini pitas with lobster and potatoes, mini asparagus quiches, mini apple sweet potato and bacon turnovers, french toast muffins with maple syrup and glazed blueberries Drinks will be Peach Bellinis, orange and pineapple juices, tea and coffee. I love starting in the morning and continuing thru the afternoon with great friends.

Sarah

a perfect fall gathering would be a simple dinner with locally and home grown ingredients served out in our old barn followed by a bonfire right outside on a crisp fall evening.

Rachel

My perfect fall gathering would be to invite people over to read plays together (10 minute plays, probably) so that we can eat and entertain ourselves and do something different. If not reading plays, then I’d want everyone to read a favorite poem or something. That would be delightful. I’d make chicken and all the veggies and sides, pies and we’d have lots of wine.

Sarah

Children under the table,
babies asleep in arms,
candles flickering.

Dutch Oven dinner,
pies shared with love,
hands cradling tea.

Laughter,
comfortable silence amongst old friends,
fire crackling.

Chocolate.

K L

My favorite autumn party with friends would be a chili night with friends around the fire. Several different types of chili with fun add-ins like peppers, cheese and pepitas. The weather would be perfect up open up the doors, so friends could go in and out and enjoy the cool evening with their warm bowls. A few Octoberfest or pumpkin beers would be the finishing touch!

Jennie

My perfect fall gathering would be a movie night with soup, popcorn, caramel apples, and spiced cider or chai.

Katie

My perfect fall gathering would be me, my girlfriend, and a few of our close friends in our super tiny apartment. We’d leave the windows cracked so the cool breeze could blow through every now and then and the whole house would smell like sage and sweet apples and warmth. We’d eat my favorite cold weather meal of butternut squash soup with turkey/granny smith/brie pressed sandwiches and we’d have a cranberry pear crumble for dessert. Then, after a few bottles of wine, we’d move on to good local whiskey and hours of Trivial Pursuit. Which I would win.

Rory

My favorite way to celebrate fall in Chicago is to have one final dinner on the back porch of our apartment. On a late Sunday afternoon, we make a big pot of something warm, like beef and stout stew or butternut squash risotto, garnishing with the last of our windowbox herbs. Then we bundle up in our jackets and scarves, pop open a bottle of prosecco and soak up as much sunshine as we can.

Maria - TO

Perfect fall gathering would be held outside with long tables and benches with family and friends bringing their favourite fall dish and we’re all talking and catching up with lots of laughter and stories from the older folks!

JR Simmang

The leaves don’t gradually drift to the ground in a Texas Fall. Instead, the vibrant greens turn brown overnight, and the trees shed their coats, as if relishing in the cold, believing this time of year to be their summer and work on their tans. Under these trees, our friends and we would gather, first talking about how death begets life. We would each have a mulled wine aperitif and finger foods, perhaps an acorn squash and cinnamon crostini. Then, after the conversation dies, and we are all ready to eat dinner, we would retire to the table, where our Fall spread would be waiting.
Arrayed before us would be roasted chicken, with herbed potatoes and leeks. Green beans, soaked in a port reduction, would litter the spaces in between. Roasted green onions, perched atop pan fried dino kale, would cry to be placed on anyone’s plate.
Fully sated, we would move the conversation inside, where we would sip on coffee and devour the pumpkin pie with pecan crust. We would play Pictionary, and of course my wife and I would be the gracious winners. We always win.
The night at its end, we would say our goodbyes and set to the work behind the curtains. It was time to wash the dishes with smiles on our faces, knowing that our friends, new and old, were going home with full bellies and fuller hearts.

Jade Sheldon-Burnsed

My perfect fall gathering includes plenty of fine company, pumpkin carving, a warm fire, storytelling, plenty of seasonal fruits and vegetables, something filling and classic like beef bourguignon and at least three different pies for dessert (perhaps apple, peach crumb, and cherry).

Tori

My perfect fall gathering is on one of those days right before daylight savings when its still warm enough to be outside, and you feel like you have to savor those last moments before the frost comes. There is cider and Oktoberfest beer, and we use the grill because we can. There are lots of candles and deliciously seasonal food – cheddar cheese and apply chutney, Brussels sprouts with mustard and vinegar, cider brined pork shoulder, grilled sweet potatoes, and apple crisp. Nothing is too fussy, and everyone goes home excited for the upcoming holidays.

Margaret

My ideal fall gathering would be to host the biggest Friends-giving reunion ever with all of my closest friends. We don’t get together nearly enough as we live so far apart. There would definitely be homemade pies, a pig roast, a blazing bonfire, and tons of music and dancing!

Ida Acton

I just recently moved to Seattle after almost 20 years in the Bay Area. While I’m very happy about the move that my spouse (I know that’s awkward, but I strongly dislike the term wife) and I made and am still invested in the reasons we made it, which include multi-generational living and support for baby-making, there is something I’m really missing: my big scattered queer family of the last two decades. Queer community in SF has really experienced a diaspora, particularly in the last decade as rents have skyrocketed and the whole feel of the Bay Area has shifted. So right about now, my folks are everywhere. My perfect Fall gathering would include a big pot of long-simmered stew and fresh bread along with a salad topped with Fall fruits. It would be cooking and being eaten in an aromatic and convivial kitchen stuffed with friends, all the scattered family that I spent my 20s and early 30s doing every holiday with. Tons of ex-girlfriends of course, because I miss them, and we’d cozy our way through supper and into hot cider and hot toddies and shortbread cookies and the night would never end. I’m sighing loudly now, because damn that sounds like a good time.

S Fersner

Ideal Fall gathering: Standing around the kitchen with good friends cooking up some homemade apple sauce and knitting cozy hats or scarves after a day at the orchard, the scent of cinnamon and apple filling our nostrils as we took refuge from the chilly autumn air.

stephanie

Me and three of my friends are part of a “Supper Club”. Instead of going out for dinners we host each other at our homes. The point of the club is for each of us to challenge ourselves in the kitchen. October is my turn to host and my kitchen challenge has always been timing. I’m still working on it! :) So my perfect fall event is with my other 3 Supper Clubbers, enjoying my successful dinner (Shoyu Ramen) with a couple bottles of wine and good conversation.

Emily

My perfect fall gathering includes a casual evening meal outdoors around a warm fire with a few close friends and family. I envision simple foods, like a bean soup or stew, cornbread, roasted squash or corn, homemade applesauce, bourbon-spiked drinks and s’mores. This gathering might be in a cozy backyard with a fire pit, or perhaps a more rustic meal around a campfire in the Great Smokey Mountains. The finishing touches include conversation, laughter, acoustic instruments, cozy blankets, and a star-studded night sky.

Lizabeth

Biking Storm King Highway on a Sunday when it’s closed to cars; gorgeous views of the Hudson River; picnic lunch back at Trophy Point at West Point – a rib sticking stew with fall veggies and an apple strudel.

Ashley P.

I just moved to California from NYC, so my favorite fall gathering, which I’m so thankful is actually going to happen, is a Thanksgiving meal while camping in Big Sur. I’m so looking forward to a weekend of warm socks, bonfires, heavy sweaters, midnight hot springs, and most importantly – an intimate, low-stress gathering of friends and family quite unlike the chaos we’ve experienced the past few years with our extended family. This is our mission to take back Thanksgiving, we’re hoping this trip will bring the holiday back to what it’s really supposed to be about – friends, family, and a new tradition of campfire coffee. :)

I was so inspired by their post about meals over a campfire (http://www.kinfolk.com/hobo-meals-over-the-campfire/ – def incorporating those sweet potato packs into our thanksgiving!), and would love a copy of the Kinfolk table to start brainstorming more delicious recipes for our trip.

Debbie

TV football with the other women of the family; homemade chili; everyone’s favorite toppings.

Krystal

My perfect fall gathering would be a day with my new husband taking a stroll at the park with our dog Charlie. Playing fetch and people watching.
Then going home and cooking a meal together for us to enjoy with wine and candles.
Maybe even a warm bubble bath to follow :)

Shannon R

My choir has a Halloween-themed concert going right now, so it would be nice to have a chill gathering where we could just chat and get off our feet for a bit!

Isabella

I’d gather up my boyfriend and my dearest friends and we’d all put on our woollies and our walking boots after tucking a little herbed butter, a handful of dry kindling, and a packet of matches into someone’s backpack. And off we’d go, into the woods, for a morning porcini hunt in the piney woods. At lunchtime we’d build a wee fire, skewer our mushrooms on handy twigs, and roast them over the flames. Being civilized folk, someone among us would have remembered a loaf of crusty bread and perhaps a bottle of something, and we’d skootch close in a circle on a wool army blanket (picnic blankets have to change with the seasons, too!) and have ourselves a little feast.

Steph Sam

Perfect fall gathering: Hudson Bay blankets draped around my friends and family as we enjoy a meal around the fire at the cottage. Crispy autumn air and warm ciders/coffee cocktails (I hate cider…such a buzzkill, I know!) A simple pass-around-eat-with-your-fingers meal of fresh bakery breads, Ontario cheese, rich roasted beets/squash and squares of my grandmother’s famous fudge brownies (we cut them into small one-inch squares because they’re so rich!). The starry cold night and the last of the fireflies to finish it off.

Jessica L

My perfect fall gathering would include: my husband, a few close friends, a couple bottles of wine and a roast dinner (w/ all the fall veggies – Brussels sprouts, beets, potatoes, carrots and corn) at home followed by an intense game (or two) of Jenga.

mary

my favorite fall gathering is the annual punk-rock-get-drunkn apple pie contest we have in minnesota. it’s the best way to start the six month bender called winter. hot toddies and fresh picked apples. martha stewart won it for me this year.

Brittany Ruth

My perfect fall gathering just happened. I went to the Ludwigsburg Pumpkin Festival in Germany with my husband and two good friends. We got to tour the Ludwigsburg Palace and then in the gardens was the pumpkin festival. It was beautiful and this year’s theme was the Olympics. Pumpkins by the thousands were created as sculptures of Olympic events. There was every kind of pumpkin, squash, and gourd you could think of. Plus, the food was amazing. They had pumpkin spaghetti, rice dish, soup, streudel, muffins, cake, wine, oils, and liquor. Walk a littler further and you can see a version of a supposed Repunzel’s tower. What a perfect fall day!

Mandi

My perfect fall gathering would be me and my closest friends right as the autumn air is crisp, just starting to turn and the leaves are radiant. I envision us gathered around a small table under a pagoda with soft throws in our lap and a hot cup of spiced cider in our hands. A few people would be playing cribbage and others deeply engaged in conversation. We’d talk throughout the night and would have to regretfully pull ourselves away as the air would turn too cold. We’d leave our friends promising to see each other again soon, and we’d actually follow up on it.

Martha B.

Candles lit, leaves rustling, a simple meal of bread, cheese, and wine, and my loved ones. Those are all I need on a beautiful fall day.

Julie

My perfect fall gathering would be a small group of friends making a hearty brunch in a cabin in the woods (which would somehow have an amazing, non-rustic kitchen in order to make said brunch). We would eat outside next to a fire and watch the leaves fall as we drank our wine. Then we’d snuggle under blankets and all take a nice long nap.
(I’m assuming that the little elves who would clean up afterwards would also take care of my one year old so I could drink the wine and take the nap! :)

mary

Living LA, I need to create Fall. With no changing leaves or visible breath to signal the transition to winter, an Angeleno has to get creative.

My perfect Fall gathering would be with my sisters and brother, in the backyard, around a fire pit. It would be early evening, just around sunset, before the kids go to bed. Under an awning of brown paper leaves, handily constructed with the niece and nephews that afternoon, we’d feast on roast acorn squash alongside one of those slabs of meat that you roast low and slow all day. You know, lamb shanks lacquered with balsamic, pork loin with dates, or a pork shoulder rubbed with urfa.

Once the air cooled, the guitars would come out and we’d sing every song we can think of. Someone would rustle around in the fridge and find some crumbs of Roquefort to nibble on while we sip apple shrub.

As the younger ones doze in the laps of Aunt Becca and Uncle Brian, we’d toast cinnamon-maple marshmallows until they crisp and ooze. Then we’d slap them with some apple slices on homemade graham crackers for dessert.

We’d stay up too late. Sleeping toddlers would be tucked into carseats. We would wonder why we don’t do this more often.

And when I do laundry two days later, the shirts I pull from the hamper would still smell faintly of syrup and campfire smoke.

Phoebe

I love the Kinfolk mentality as much as I love the beautiful imagery. My idea of a perfect gathering would involve the making of something together, whether it’s a simple panna cotta to enjoy after our meal or pulling together a lovely beet salad to pair with some hearty soup (oh, and of course a nice dutch apple pie). I love conversations while cooking together as much as conversing over beautiful food. And if we happened to be in some warm cabin in the east Sierras watching the aspen trees wash the mountainside in gold it would just be icing on the cake.

Rebecca

My ideal fall gathering would be having my closest friends from both Texas and New York around a long table filled with laughter, good conversation, and of course delicious food! A few staples: pulled pork tacos, grilled vegetables, butternut squash pizza (with bacon and kale!), and of course, a warm pie, chocolate cookies, and french pressed coffee for dessert. Cardigans, red wine, and an endless playlist in the background are a must.

jaewon

an intimate dinner party with some of the most wonderful people i know, eating food that is so full and delicious, and indulging in conversation and multiple rounds of pie as the night goes on. the gathering would be simple and warm, but leaving me and guests feeling good for days.

Stacia Albiston

My perfect fall gathering would be at my grandparents house in McCall Idaho, up in the mountains with my family. Everyone complains about how hot the fire gets, but I always love the extra warmth. There are no matching place settings, and everything is worn and loved in their home. Glasses of champy for all, and a competitive game of pinochle would go through the night. And to make it perfect, we would have my grandpa back for one last perfect gathering.

a. Kahwajy

We love having our fave friends from the home-craft beer group mix with Robin’s friends from the riding club gather at our back yard fire pit.
I usually have some sort of light chili in a dutch oven over the pit, and a pie (usually apple) under some coals.
The beer guys always bring their best seasonals, pumpkin, etc.
I mix up a a large number of pre-mixed cocktails and serve in 4 oz. mason jars, usually pomegranite and maple syrup based.
Everyone brings some sort of starter course and some bring extra desserts.
We also fix a couple of veggie sides and another entree.
The main deal, of course, is just a gathering under the stars, some good soft lighting and music. A gathering is always nice.

Allison

The perfect fall gathering: going to pick apples with a group of friends, then coming back to my house to make and can applesauce together, sharing some hot apple cider (spiked, of course!) that we picked up at the orchard. And then, let’s be real, making and canning applesauce is a lot of work, so we would order pizza and have fresh applesauce for dessert.

Mary

A gathering with a few friends on our front porch, decked out in sweaters and vests, candles on the table, with warm food, apple cider, and a little wine.

Maree

My perfect fall gathering would be with friends in the country at our farm, enjoying some drinks around a bonfire, before heading inside for a warming meal. Chunky filling soup followed by an assortment of dishes to choose from. A dessert, perhaps an apple crumble, then back to the bonfire to chat, enjoy each other’s company and pass the rest of the night away.

edw

We live in a small house by the sea in Florida . Our perfect fall gathering would happen on a clear, crisp, star-filled night with our closest friends. We’d light the tiki torches and dance to a 0ne-man steel-drum band. We’d share a variety of hot soups and crusty bread. Watch the dogs and children chase each other in the shallow waves until they peter out. Pile the sleeping kids on blankets in the living room and sip mulled wine outside until we peter out.

Noel

I usually do a grown-up pumpkin carving party. We serve hot chocolate and cocktails while we carve and then have a hearty pasta dinner. It’s so much fun.

Denae

Hot cider and whiskey, pumpkin carving, and good music. The classic fall traditions are the best!

Leah

Anything with apple cider, a fireplace, a few good friends and delicious food.

Alicia

A roaring bonfire in the back garden with a bunch of good friends spending their time enjoying each other’s company accompanied by baked in the bonfire baked potatoes with grated cheddar cheese, homemade baked beans, fresh leafy salad with and olive oil and balsamic vinegar dressing accompanied by either/or a nice bottle of red wine and finished with thick Spanish hot chocolate in a mug which you can warm your hands around as the night falls and the dark clothes you.

Sarah

Is two too few for a gathering? We can make it three if you include our dog, who would object to being excluded from anything. Well, after a successful day in the woods, our favorite fall gathering is a sauna and outdoor shower, followed by grouse stew for three, with homemade wild game stock and foraged mushrooms. No, I’m not trying to sound like a hipster, that’s just what we do. But, yeah, well . . . we built the sauna ourselves, so we’re on the edge.

Giulia

The perfect fall gathering is not less and not more than a comfort blanket on the sofa, while you’re writing down your next Xmas menù, decorating pumpkins and drinking mulled wine… cinnamon flavour in the air, wood burning in the fireplace, an italian movie on Tv.

shanna

Last fall, my husband and I had our autumnal-themed wedding reception in a friend’s backyard. It was seriously the best night of my life and I’d love to do it all over again in a few years.

Shirley

My favorite fall gathering happens every Oct. 31. I make baked rigatoni and serve it to my Halloween-dressed kids on our front porch. We eat as the tots from our street trick-or-treat during late-afternoon hours. When they come to our porch, we marvel at their costumes and share stories with their parents. Then, I clean up, my husband arrives home from the train station, we light the candle in our jack-o-lantern and my kids go door-to-door in the neighborhood with my husband while I continue to hand out candy and chat with neighbors.

Ivy

simple… friends gathered around a camp fire with a pot of chili and good beer or whiskey in hand, laughing and telling stories while the sun sets…

Lucie

My boyfriend’s parents split up years ago and thus, rarely get together anymore. Both sides are amicable still. A dream of his, as well as mine, would be to host a gathering together at a place of our own (we currently live in separate small studios!) and invite his entire family, including both mom’s and dad’s sides of the family. I can imagine some wonderful comfort food, a delicious variety of beers, and most importantly, laughter and warmth all around from being surrounded with everyone we love.

Lucie

My boyfriend’s parents split years ago and thus, rarely get together. They are amicable still. A dream of my boyfriend’s as well as mine would be to host a gathering together at a place of our own (we live in separate small studios!) and invite the entire family, including mom’s and dad’s sides of the family. I can imagine there being wonderful comfort food, a variety of delicious beers and more importantly, laughter and warmth all around from being surrounded by everyone we love.

Hannah

Perfect fall gathering: friends, family, warm food, thick knits, campfire and a clear starry sky.

Erin Poettcker

With a fireplace crackling in the background and white lights adorning the window sills, the perfect fall gathering must have an aura of cozyness. We’d have butternut squash soup, roast lamb with lemon & butter potatoes, apple pie and generous amounts of red wine. Because we live only a few blocks from the ocean, we’d follow up the food with a brisk walk to the beach, then back inside to the warmth for a game of cards. Blankets & slippers are a given.

Mandy

I’d like to do a fall picnic outside on a blanket with a beautiful view of the changing leaves. I think it would be fun to have food with cheddar, and apple in it somehow. Perhaps beer cheese soup and apple tartlets? Even better is if we could go apple picking during this little outing. :)

Brett Torrey Haynes

Perfection:

Four of us, driving my old gray 240 wagon up Route 1 in Northern California, somewhere between Stinson Beach and Pt. Reyes. Stopping at a secret spot that I’ve gone to many times alone, with a perfect view of the open Pacific sky and sea.

Hatch back up and open, an old country blanket given to me from a friend long gone to rest. Hot lentil soup, a crusty baguette, smoked white fish and a block of manchego. Seal the memory with a touch of warm and spicy pear cider.

Perfection.

heather a

a small informal cocktail party around the coffee table while sitting on floor pillows in front of a roaring fire

jillian

LOVE those black and white skulls! my idea fall gathering is thanksgiving… i know cliche. but it’d be thanksgiving at my moms — complete with 2 large tables FILLED with family and friends. all of my favorite comfort foods (turkey, mashed potatoes, PUMPKIN PIE, biscuits!) lots of time to chit chat and play games (monopoly) xo jillian

Katie Martin

A perfect fall gathering would most certainly include stuffed pumpkins, thick socks, and a warm fire. For me, autumn evenings also seem to ask for hot apple cider with some good bourbon as well as all of our friends and their assorted instruments. Of course, our four legged friends would romp around in big yards and stick their noses in big piles of leaves.

Nicole Wood

A large, but intimate group of our closest friends. Fresh cloth napkins. A hearty sampling of cheeses and fruit. Crusty bread. Sparkling water. Soft jazz music in the background. A brisk cold breeze outside and a small fire started inside.

Lisa

Our treehouse cottage is the perfect setting for a cozy fall dinner. As darkness falls, the large ocean facing windows provide entertainment in the form of boats heading to and from the small harbor. The wood stove must be barely burning and the stained glass windows open as all the people and cooking will steam up the rooms. Candles light the dinner table and guests can lounge on the large window seat, around the table, or help finish cooking. We have some hardy greens growing on the wrap-around deck to gather and toss a fresh salad with. Seafood chowder is always made from family caught seafood and if I know my sweetheart- he has talked me into making biscuits too. We will enjoy some games of cribbage until the apple pie is ready. A little ice cream and coffee go well with pie and help keep everyone up later than intended telling stories. When it is time to leave everyone will walk the trail together with headlamps and flashlights because the bears are still out, then we will walk back up into the trees.

Zsuzsa

A barbecue in the our garden grilling some farm-fresh veggies, and drinking some nice wine. Having the kids paint some pumpkins we picked up at the pumpkin patch. We are in Hawaii, 83 degrees inside and out, so that is about as autumnal as it gets.

Jessica

Tailgate kinfolk style! It’s football season, friends, family and good food.

Sarah | The Sugar Hit

A walk into an auburn-toned wood before sitting down with thermos-hot soup, a few rounds of sandwiches, and a discreet bottle of cider. A spicy gingerbread cookie to finish, please!

Bonney

Me, my husband, my brother, his wife, and our children are planning an apple picking trip to the apple growing hills in Southern California. We are escaping the high desert and they the confines of L.A. where autumnal colors elude us all to enjoy the only family we have for 2500 miles. We will pick apples, pumpkins, press cider, and eat BBQ; perhaps the children will be costumed. Then we will return home with our bounty where I can revel further in fall, making sweet and hearty dishes with my pickings.

Allison Foster

DOG Picnic! I’d take all my friends with their rescue dogs. In Canada all the fall colours are out, and its a beautiful time to take a trip on the water. I’d load everyone into the motorboat and take off to a small island on the lake were the dogs could run around “wild” for a while. Cooking fresh fish and bison hot dogs (for the pups) over a fire! before the sun sets, we would climb back in the boat and watch the stars come out over the water, with the dogs, and hot cocoa to keep us warm! :)

Nevin

A night of card games and stew with a few of our favorite friends, topped off with rye bread, smoked peach jam, and a good bottle of Meade. (Sweaters will be mandatory, since we’ll be leaving our windows open to the autumn air)

Isabel G

Awesome giveaway!! I had a wonderful fall gathering just a few weeks ago; a few friends and I drove up to my family’s cottage by a lake, and between reading in the sun, playing doubles badminton, jumping into the very cold water (!), and going for walks to admire the fall colours, we cooked and baked and ate some delicious food. Highlights included shakshuka for brunch, a stew of kale and sausage, charcoal-barbecued chicken, and a tart of fall apples and raspberries, the last of which we ate snuggled in the living room by the fireplace as the night closed in around us.

Jackie

My perfect fall gathering would involve a hearty stew or soup, a bonfire and s’mores.

Cory

My perfect Fall gathering would be me, my wife, and a few of our very close friends coming together in a rented Beach cabin on the Oregon coast. There is nothing like the beauty of the grey skies, cold wind, and smell of salt in the air to accommodate a warm gathering of friends and loved ones coming together to sip on tea and coffee and share stories.

Sarah

My perfect fall gathering would be my wedding. We got married in a barn on the first day of fall and everyone there broke bread (challah) to celebrate coming together to celebrate the harvest and our marriage, before eating barbecued ribs and chicken, Mac and cheese, salad, corn, whoopie pies (real 600 calorie ones made by the Amish women who live near my grandparents’ farm), and a variety of homemade pies. We had a leftover whoopie pie this year on our first anniversary, and it was almost as good from the freezer as it was fresh.

Kelly

My boyfriend and I just moved to a new city. We love our cute one bedroom apartment with its tiny kitchen and out of work fireplace. Out windows look out to streets lined with yellow leaved trees and people hurrying by in toques and parkas. Yeah, this is the northernmost major city in Canada… Edmonton! This Saturday afternoon were having some friends from my boyfriends childhood over, as well as his mother and little brother. We’ll play cards, snack on candies and sip on red wine or maybe some pumpkin spiced ale, before devouring hot bowls of chilli :) I think that it’ll be a fave for sure.

Taylor Micaela

My perfect fall gathering would be a pre-Thanksgiving brunch. So often we are with our families on Thanksgiving, it’s always nice to gather with friends and give thanks for each others’ presence in your life. Cooking two birds in one month may be a bit much, so my pre-Thanksgiving (or Friendsgiving) would include roasted root veggie hash, kale frittata, with a pomegranate dessert. Most importantly, everyone would don sweaters, scarves, boots (the whole nine yards) and eat outside, where there’s so much more of a presence of fall.

Agnes

I actually just went to a perfect fall gathering! A 5-year-old birthday party at his family farm along the river, kids swinging from the tree swing and zipline, playing in dirt near Mocha the Goat, crafting ribbon kites, sitting on hay bales with a bonfire in the middle, roasting marshmallows for s’mores, while a friend plays the fiddle and guitar, eating fudge and taffy from their family candy store, yummy pizza and chicken for the kids, an assortment of yummy salads, casseroles, wine in canning jars, lego cupcakes, and a pinata, of course!

~Heather

The perfect fall gathering: outside. Me, by myself, gathering a sense of calm. Listening and watching the dancing leaves and migrating birds, breathing in the barely warmed spicy air that the weather gods have granted us at least one more day of. Maybe with a thermos of tea, to keep the chill at bay as the early sun sets.

Evangeline Brown

A perfect Autumn gathering would be in a small adobe casita just above the cottonwood-lined Chama River. We would light the first fire in the kiva fireplace and keep the shutters open to catch the sunset on the gold leaves. I would serve bowls of posole, with your choice of red or green chile. There would be a fresh pot of beans with ham shanks and roasted squash as sides. A stack of hot flour tortillas to catch the last morsels is a must. For dessert I would serve either natillas (a light custard) or scoops of vanilla ice cream with a bourbon sauce. Small cups of espresso to end it all.

Inga

I have been planning for the past week to repeat what my dear friend and colleague did. They gathered a group of people and everyone went to volunteer to an animal shelter. The shelter is a bit out of town surrounded by fields and it was a beautiful autumn day so they all stayed outside building dog houses for the winter, cleaning up the big yard where animals spend most of their days and planting bushes by the fence to make the space look less like a shelter but more like a home. They brought food for the animals and also packed a hearty lunch for themselves that they shared after all the laboring. I loved the idea and I think it’s a perfect fall gathering. I wish I thought of that years ago.

Yvonne Cornell

A late Indian Summer s’mores roast on the Northern California coast is the perfect fall gathering. A day’s worth of heated ground steam is shocked by the onslaught of cold evening air and it reminds us not to be fooled. Fall is here. One more s’mores sandwich and we can linger a bit linger in a summer reverie.

Samantha

I think for me the perfect gathering for fall is a small group of people gathering for soup and really good bread and then spending the rest of the evening drinking warm drinks around a fire.

BWFowler

A fire, a friend, and my love. Listening to stories old and new. The sounds of dusk to evening to dawn. A fall gathering is one that can be on your own with memories of those that came before us or with many who make you laugh. It can be in nature, trying to take quiet steps in crunchy leaves, or the streets of a bustling city, wearing a knotted scarf and seeing your breath and thinking you should have worn your gloves. Fall is a gathering of blessings and warmth and cold coming to our doorstep telling all of us that winter is on its way.

joanne

we just had our perfect fall gathering last weekend up in northern arizona! we had an intimate surprise wedding out in an aspen meadow under golden leaves and blue sky and dined outside under some twinkle lights and the stars. we prepped and cooked the dinner ourselves on site with the help of our friends and had beet salad, roasted pepper and corn soup, grilled soy sauce chicken, korean short ribs, and smoky pork ribs, corn, sweet potato, and grilled veggies. it was a feast and to be honest i was definitely inspired from kinfolk dinners and loved the idea of doing something like this preparing the meal together and enjoying the fruits of our labor together out in the wilderness. for dessert we enjoyed cake, pies, and smores around a great bonfire. the entire day was magical!

Lynda

my perfect fall gathering would happen right about now when it’s not so hot or cold. it would be at my sister’s backyard with my family – a simple bbq with salad, corn on the cob, warm apple cider – with the kids playing ball or tumbling on the lawn around us. a last horrah before winter, really. and i would string up x’mas lights so that when it gets dark, we can turn on the romantic lights and reminisce about the olden days. my family spends most of the year across 2 continents so it’s hard work getting all of us together!

Annette

I’m in college, but I still like to try to hold homey get-togethers once in awhile to have a change of pace from the usual college things…. A home cooked potluck dinner on the balcony with blankets and friends, and warming up and roasting s’mores in the fire pit afterwards is the ideal evening for me for a crisp fall evening!

Rebecca

Living a mile off the beach in Southern California, the ocean breeze pushes the beachy air over the west side without making it too cool to be outside in the evenings. This year I’m stringing lights and I think the perfect gathering would be a few close friends and family, candlelights on the tables (inside and out), and a few loose “courses” of flatbread with ‘choose your own’ toppings, maybe a hearty chicken tortilla or spiced lentil soup, and big bowls of dark green salad. Casual. Healthy. Fun!

Amulya

Just long nights with a hearty, one-pot meal, some good beer and lots of friends.

Robin

Living overseas, I love to gather several families to celebrate Thanksgiving with us. We include a few Americans, who bring their favorite dishes, and a few who have never had Thanksgiving before–our German friends, the Portuguese/Irish couple, the Kenyan/Spanish couple. They are all surprised and delighted by the abundant table, the flavors of cranberry, pumpkin, and stuffing. Kids run around and drink sparkling cider, the adults linger over their wine glasses.

Laura

The warmth of an open fire invites my sister over for a cosy dinner. The smell of slow roasted beef cheeks simmering in red wine & roasting freshly picked veggies in the oven. Sitting in front of the fire with a scrumptious dinner, great conversation & a good bottle of red. Finishing off with my famous apple pudding with butterscotch sauce & possibly a few more glasses of red & more conversation!

JC Carter

My perfect fall gathering was had already this year. To celebrate our engagement, my fiance’s cousins engagement, and their grandfathers 95th birthday the entire family (over 30 ppl) gathered at his mothers house in Central VT (Perfect backdrop). We set up one huge long table outside in the sun, covered with mis matched table cloths, plates and cutlery. Dumping huge baskets of bread, butter , and cheese at either end, and serving the tradtitional rosemary prok roast with saurkraut, dumplings, beats, and fresh garden pickles. Then as we finished off the beer, wine, and champagne the boys pulled out their guitars and bongos until late inthe evening. It was magical.

Fe

The perfect autumnal gathering would involve inviting my partner and best friend to the cooking school I am currently gardening in, in Sicily. We would begin by collecting ripe citrus, pomegranate and radicchio from the garden for our main course salad. The starter would be the last of the tomatoes made in to a fresh tomato sauce with local ricotta, perhaps with pasta. The main has to be seasonal cauliflower with a dressing and our harvested salad. The dessert would be home made cannoli using the remaining delicious ricotta, peppered with this year’s pistachio. We would eat all these lovingly made dishes outdoors with wine from the surrounding vineyards. These things I have here, but it would be all the better if my two favourites could share it with me.

Esther

My perfect Fall gathering would be all five of my children, with their spouses, home for dinner. It’s that simple:)

Charlie

Mushroom foraging in the forest, until our fingers are too cold or it gets too dark, then back to my place for communal cooking and craft session (my friend fall into two camps – ones who cook and others who make table decorations so it all works out rather well) then, we eat, drink, laugh until our stomach’s hurt and go to bed smiling.

agacz

Bonfire by the river, dusk and autumn smell, rosy cheeks and warm pockets, friends and simple garlic bread fried on a not-so-clean-but-they-were-there sticks.

Heather

bonfire. few friends. cider w/ rosemary brandy. wisconsin air.

Tracy

My perfect fall gathering would be a soup supper where all of our friends bring a pot of their favorite fruit to share. We enjoy them with sides of salad, crusty bread, and apple ale. There are pumpkins to paint and piles of leaves to jump in for the littles (or any kids at heart). Afterwards we gather around a bonfire in the backyard, snuggled in warm blankets and enjoying simple roasted marshmallows as a dessert and telling stories until late in the evening.

Olga

That would have to be back home in the wild Norwegian woods. My 3 best friends and I would set off on a Sunday morning with our backpacks filled with wood logs, food and cards. We would wrap bread dough with freshly picked blueberries around wooden sticks and bake it in the fire. It would be a lovely afternoon of catching up and relaxing with lovely food and surrounded by crisp autumn air.

Pamela

I live in the Florida Keys so we don’t get the change of seasons, but we all look forward to a little relief from the summer heat so we can do a lot of cooking and hang out at night with friends. My perfect would be a cool night at the beach with a bonfire, some good friends and family, potluck dinner, cold beer and wine!

Lisa

Perfect Fall evening– I live in Texas, so any day that is cool enough to feel like Fall, plus delicious homemade pumpkin soup and a pumpkin craft beer (like St. Arnold Pumpkinator) with a loaf of crusty bread and warm butter. Yeah!

Courtney

My perfect fall gathering would be heading down to the fruit farm with friends and picking apples. They have the best apple cider, so we would make sure to pick up a couple of gallons, and with a dash of honey whiskey for the adults. :) Once home, we sit around a fire and with blankets and drinks, grilling and talking. I have a close group of friends here and the past couple of months have been so busy, I miss seeing them all.

charlotte | the vintage vogue

I think my idea of the perfect fall gathering involves the bare essentials. Good people, good food, good music. We are outside in an open field, rolling hills in the distance, freshly cropped corn fields to our right. I see a fire at the heart of it all, burning away the crisp coolness of the air. We feast on mixed plates of tapas, as the sun has just settled below the horizon, stars beginning to blink awake. I’d invite some banjo playing friend or have my daughter taut her newly acquired acoustic guitar skills. Being held close or holding my loved ones close, everyone sits on blankets strewn casually on the grass all the while huddling under woven cotton throws. If I could throw in a silly game of would-you-rather, scattergories, or charades then this night would be all set.

Jane Y.

i would love to have a potluck gathering on a chilly night with close friends. then share warm pies as desserts.

Lynn

It all begins with friends. And a few soon-to-be friends. It’s truly the conversations and connections that count. After that everything falls into place. Sharing from our abundance…. buying local and preparing food that is simple yet flavorful. Creating a sense of ease and comfort for our guests. This fall we’ll stoke the fire, fill the house with the colors and aromas of autumn and set a “woodland inspired” table. A simple salad, a hearty stew and homemade bread. A house concert by the fire pit and a “S’mores Bar” for dessert. Friends + simple food + conversation + music = the perfect gathering.

Anna B

I’m gathering with all my siblings next week at my parents’ house for a spooky fall party. We’ve all agreed to write a scary story to read aloud by candlelight, and we’ve been working on them for weeks. The whole house will be lit by candlelight, with elegant ivory and black tapers in pewter candelabras. There will be hot, spiced spiked cider, pumpkin soup, and spooky food (e.g., marinated mozarella eyeballs). I’m sure there will be pumpkin pie for dessert. Cozy, with a dash of the macabre. Can’t wait!

Sarah H

Every year, on the day after Thanksgiving, my husband and I host a gathering that we call Friendsgiving! It’s a chance to celebrate (and celebrate with) our second family: our dear friends. Everyone brings a dish, often creatively reconfigured, from the feast the day before. My favorite is making hand-held pot pies using ALL the Thanksgiving fixings, plus fresh herbs to brighten it all, with homemade buttery crust and fresh gravy, as well. But the most important ingredient: friends, and now their kids and our kids, making memories and serving gratitude with love.

Melissa Wilson

Apple picking with your sweetheart, decked out in flannels, wool and denim. Take your harvest plus some local cheese, bread and wine for a farm-field picnic. Sunshine, cuddles and a portable radio is all you need. Some read-aloud poetry doesn’t hurt either.

Christine

My husband and I live in a small apartment in West Hollywood that isn’t big enough for family gatherings, with children and grandchildren. Because they are spread out across the country, this weekend becomes quite hectic for them as they attempt to see as many people as possible and cram as many activities as they can into the holiday weekend. We have a post-Thanksgiving Day Family Picnic at a wonderful community garden, on Friday. We spend an afternoon enjoying traditional pies and coffee, lemonade and hot chocolate, as we sit around a large round table under an umbrella, which is in a secluded corner of the garden under the trees. This provides a few hours of relaxation in a lovely natural setting, a respite from all of the activity and driving, a time to reconnect with family. I decorate the table with flowers, a beautiful printed French country tablecloth and hang a festive garland from the tree. It’s beautiful and everyone appreciates this family picnic.

Kari

My perfect fall dinner dreams I am hoping will come true in a few weeks when we host an intimate concert in our back yard with a friend and local musician. The theme is Italian Fall Harvest (i made that up:) and were asking our guests to bring a dish and the price of admission is a bottle of wine to share! We will gather around the 16 person table my husband built out of old barn wood under the twinkly lights and break bread, drink wine and celebrate local music, the season of fall, and our friendships!

Kayla F.

Wine and cheese of course, with some beautiful squash and pumpkin dishes to round it out. Good conversation and the warmth of friends because that’s all you need in life.

Lynn

A day of hiking, followed by a big bon fire with chili and homemade bread. Dessert would be hot cider and pumpkin bars/pie/cake or all of them!

Allie Kilmer

It’s been the summer of homemade ice cream this year, and I’m trying my darndest to extend the season a little further it into fall! I have a few recipes for cinnamon ice cream, sweet potato ice cream and a rum raisin ice cream that I think will do perfectly after a cozy dinner with friends. My trustworthy taste-testers don’t seem to mind ending a chilly fall day with dinner and some chilly treats. The dog gets to lick up any drops of cream that hit the floor in the process. These kind of friendly gatherings warm my heart more than anything else. My perfect fall gathering :-)

Desiree

Oh so excited because I get to host my kind of fall (in Florida) event next month. We’re hosting our (re)launch celebration at a beautiful new venue & barn complete with outdoor bistro lights, tables al fresco, light bites, delish pumpkin craft beer, live music, and lots and lots of our nearest and dearest in the wedding industry. I cannot wait! We’re totally inspired by the different meanings autumn brings to mind depending on your location. For Florida, we think “ahh we can finally get fresh local produce, sit outside without melting, and we get to crank through season!” woohoo :)

rebecca mebane

My ideal Fall gathering would be having friends from the neighborhood bringing food, drink, and their kids over to celebrate the season. Lots of candles, decorations, and warmth throughout our house. Lively conversations, music and dancing, and kids running around. That’s what I’d like. And all those delicious smells emanating from the kitchen! Lots of love and recognition of the simple blessings of life.

Christy Brink

A light version of a thanksgiving meal on a late Sunday afternoon when everyone is home and the beautiful afternoon light and shadows flood in the from the windows.

Alex Popken

Favorite Fall Gathering – a Haiku

A day steeped in love
Warm aromas of autumn
Joyful family

jenny

We’re moving to the mountains of North Carolina, from Austin. I can’t wait to HIKE and breath the cool mountain air. But one of the biggest things we are going to miss is our neighborhood and the wonderful family we’ve created with neighbors and friends. At least once a month, we get together at one of our respective homes and bring a dish to share. My (last) perfect fall gathering would be at our home, an overflowing pot of chili or stew in our red dutch oven, sides and desserts from our neighbors, mulled wine and hot cider on the porch, and watching the kids run in the yard. A few blankets, a bon fire later in the night, and great conversation. I’ll miss you Austin!

Chris B

heading to the pumpkin patch, picking out the narly ones and heading home to carve, scoop, bake and eat treats with good friends and all of the kids!

jessvii

A ladies night dinner around a fire pit. Wearing big wool sweaters. Enjoying tomato soup from stoneware mugs with fresh, plain naan on the side. Drinking spiced apple cider afterwards. Sharing stories about our future dream vacations and the cute things pets and kids do. Enjoying the little moments of silence that inevitably occur when dining al fresco, and watching the amber bits of flame float effortlessly into the sky.

Kiana Mosley

mmm… perfect Fall gathering… In the Pacific Northwest the nights are cold, but with a pitfire, a guitar, beach/reggae music, a dozen friends, drinking “Adult” hot apple cider (regular for the littles!) sitting under the stars (and the twinkling strung lights of the back porch -lol) It would be cozy, with benches and poufs and blankets, surrounded by our children and pets… very warm and of course very Boho… ; )

Fiona Tavernier

I am already planning my perfect fall gathering. I have two uncles and two aunts coming from England for Thanksgiving and we will be hosting a pre-Thanksgiving dinner for them. The rough farm tables overlooking my garden, which is mostly vegetables, herbs and fruit trees, will be covered with my favorite cotton drop cloths and the matching drop cloth napkins that I have sewn myself. Vases on the table will include whatever happens to still be green or flowering from the garden including my flowering sweet peas, but also some casual arrangements using the bare branches from our fig tree and some candles in small canning jars. The meal will be focused on whatever the garden is best producing including baby lettuces, snap peas and French carrots. I find my guests love nothing more than to help forage the garden before dinner as they get to participate in the making of the feast and stay busy while dinner is coming together. For the main course, I think a spatchcocked chicken with rosemary on the barbecue will round out the meal. Oh, and there will be wine to be sure….

Jane Corbett

An early fall picnic by the lake on my weather-worn cedar picnic table, with a menu of barbecued pork side ribs, home baked beans, creamy coleslaw and a locally brewed beer. Still warm apple crisp with ginger and walnuts and a side of vanilla bean ice-cream for dessert. Mexican hot chocolate to finish, and a bonfire crackling on the beach.

Nicole

I love this idea — the table is gorgeous, and the book looks amazing. Thank you so much for the inspiration. It was good for me to take the time to think about my ieal gathering — now I want this to happen!

My family gathers from every coast.
We fill the covered porch with long tables draped with gold and deep orange.
And flowers all around — Burgundy Mums and late-blooming Ranunculus.
Pumpkins are filled with twinkling lights.
Stories are shared and babies are passed around the table.
My Grandma laughs.
A warm meal starts with soup and ends with my Sister’s specialty cheesecake.
Wine is poured and more honest stories are shared.
Late in the evening, all trundle off to bed with a smile.

Hannah Elias

I love the beginning of Fall, when the evenings become chilly, hosting an outdoor picnic to celebrate the end of Summer and the beginning of Fall. The evening consists of a potluck of stews, root veggies, and pies. Nothing like a hot meal on a cool night with close friends to create an unforgettable night!

Susan aka paintermom

I love Thanksgiving. We make a traditional meal with lots of veggie dishes for the vegetarians. Every year, my daughter writes a questionnaire for everyone about the things they are thankful for, etc. We read previous years’ questionnaires, go for a walk between the main course and dessert, and play games together. A fire in the fireplace completes the festive setting.

nicole

I would love to take the kids, nieces, nephews and grandparents apple picking in the morning- come home and get everyone cooking. Homemade tamales, apple pie- fire in the fireplace and everyone together, that would be the best fall gathering!

Sarah L.

Back home in Missouri, celebrating pumpkin day with endless pumpkin infused delights.

Stela

Vermont with my husband and our dogs in a cabin. Hiking in the woods loving the colors of the fall and then back to cook dinner in the fireplace. Probably crusty bread with olive oil and oregano and a thick stew.

Sharon

The perfect Fall gathering would have to go something like this: Hayride and hot cider; picnic under a tree with lots of candles, hot stew, freshly baked breads, wine, conversation; campfire with guitar and song, wrapped up in blankets, staring at the stars and snuggling, and some sort of special homemade liquor

gloria

Indian summer. An evening fire outdoors. Lots of candles in globes hanging in the trees. Great bread, butter, dipping oils. Roasted veg on the grill. And lobster. Lots and lots of lobster.

Stephala

My perfect fall gathering happened last weekend!

My favorite people at the lake house, some carving pumpkins, some making homemade sausage, and some making homemade pasta. Everyone is cooking, drinking, and laughing. We have bolognese with roasted fall vegetables for dinner and apple pie for dessert with plenty of games of bananagrams in between!

Jen

I’m imagining a Fall Harvest dinner with a few friends. Pumpkin carving first. Then wine, cheese plate, homemade bread, roasted duck, butternut squash and something chocolate for dessert. Coffee, after dinner drinks around the fire or on the deck with the string lights on – must find the perfect wool cable knit sweater for the occasion :)

Anna Lee

Me and my love. Beef carbonnade and a cabbage, butternut squash, potato stoemp. Homemade apple pie with my great-grandfather’s recently rediscovered famous pie crust recipe. Belgian ale. Some spicy apple chutney on crackers (because I accidentally peeled too many apples and had to figure out what to do with them). A windy, thundery storm outside. Golden warmth and love inside. Last night.

Katelyn

My perfect fall gathering — as a young design student, this would begin with a welcome break from studio and end gathered around a bonfire with people that fuel my creative soul. It would be an evening decorated with wool blankets, hot mulled cider, and my grandmother’s pumpkin bread. We would share dreams, fears, and everything that comes with graduating from the comfortable nest that is college. We would vow to keep pursuing our dreams and never stop supporting each other. Our community may look small and naive, but it’s ours.

nina

i’m hosting a fall gathering tomorrow :). penne pasta with crushed tomato, garlic bread, salad, banana bread, and apple cider. what will make it grand are the folks who are coming, i’m counting on lots of laughs, reminiscing, and sharing new stories.

Shelly

A brunch record listening party filled with loads of new music, funny friends, spicy bloody marys, and breakfast grub.

Victoria Stefani

The perfect fall gathering is multi-generational, from tiny tots to grandparents, from both the family we’ve been born into or married into and our family of friends. The food is unfussy but abundant, a hearty stew or chowder with good bread and trays of snack stuff – fruit, cheese, crudités, dips & spreads, etc. We light the chiminea on the patio and (unless it’s too cold) leave the doors open so people can move indoors or outdoors. It’s all about relaxing with people you love.

Diane Callahan

Oven roasted sweet potatoes, winter squash and cauliflower served with warm lentil salad, mixed greens and crusty bread with spices in olive oil for dipping and drizzle. Tea and cocoa after dinner around the fire pit w/ marshmallows under a crisp clear autumn sky. Stories and laughs shared by a crackling fire. Plaid blankets and fingerless gloves, mmmmmmm.

Gigi

My perfect fall gathering would be a chilly October/November evening spent with the sort of dear friends that have gone beyond friendship and are truly more like brothers and sisters, all gathered up before the fireplace as we enjoy good food (think quail, wild mushrooms, aromatics…) and good conversation with a steamy mug of spicy wassail to wrap up the night.

Lena

A pumpkin decorating part is definitely the best fall gathering for friends.

Ernestine Nesby

What a wonderful time of the year, the air is crisp, the delicious food with family & friends is being served. I enjoy the wonderful stories of yesterdays as told by our ancestors after dinner. We love this time of year when we gather together .

Udenie Wickramasinghe

Never thought about “thanksgiving” like I do today as I became a mom, one is going to be 4 yrs old in this month and the other other one is on his way! When you are an immigrant, every holiday in the US is just another holiday because you are the only one who can fill that shift when everybody is having (most of them) a great time with family and friends. Most of my American holidays were spent reading stories to the kids in women shelters or crisis centers giving hopes and I tried so hard to ignore the fact that I missed my loved ones so badly, so far away. When fall leaves show off their colors, it’s a joy and a sadness in the air and I could never say why it’s the same emotion every year. After motherhood changed everything around me, I yearn to stay home with them even though we absolutely do nothing but sometimes hold hands and watch leaves fall and laugh at squirrels who are busy at planning their winter..well,they are just like us! my husband says – always planningf for the unknown- this is understood only by an immigrant :0)
I can never relate myself to eating pumpkin pies, fall decoration, Halloween, because I never grew up with that, but I can relate to the true spirit of thanksgiving-I am thankful for everything I have right now-the thought of itself makes me ever greatful for the love I see everyday around me. Every human being seeks only one thing: love and kindness, we all constantly look for the same thing, we are the same.

Aida

After one year in the States, and far from all of my life long friends from Spain, the perfect gathering for me would be with them. Something simple, with simple food, probably some tapas and wine, and the kids running around, and conversation and laugh and more conversation… It will come soon enough, but it will be a winter gathering…

Rachel

Picking apples from my parent’s garden on a crisp sunny autumn day, then going for a long walk through county lanes together, stomping through crunchy leaves and returning to their home to make hot spiced apple juice and a very informal meal of vegetable cawl (welsh stew) with fresh bread and lashings of butter.

Jackie

The ideal fall gathering for me would begin with a crackling fire (which is one of my favorite fall smells) and a warm mug of wassail as guests arrive. After some chatting and appetizers, a simple menu of comfort foods like roast chicken and vegetables, green salad, and fresh bread followed by an apple crumble pie and more wassail sounds like the perfect way to spend a chilly fall evening with friends!

Andrea Stoeckel

We are big localvores so I’m envisioning a turkey dinner, with locally sourced craft beer, pumpkin ravioli from the italian store, crusty bread, an arugula based salad, local cheeses and apples from the famers’s market on a big plank table in the backyard. Really simple, very adaptable. Our friends abd family gathered around to celebrate the bounty of the season

May

My husband had just left for yet another foreign tour with the Army, and it was the weekend after Canadian Thanksgiving. I went riding with friends late in the afternoon, and it was unusually warm, so we sat outside for supper, which we set up along the front of the house, in the dewy grass, around an old harvest table, lit by the harvest moon. It was a magical moment, and because I had a ham and lots of left-overs in the fridge I was able to enjoy the companionship of great friends, not run around cooking for the evening. I’d love to repeat that evening now that my husband is home, so he gets to enjoy it with us. No mosquitoes in late October, either!

caroline

living in los angeles, the weather is still warm enough to eat outside, so I would set up a table outside and have a california fall dinner. it’s odd because what we associate with fall doesn’t really happen here. the seasonal fruits and vegetables are an extension of summer, so I would serve foods that I enjoy during the fall with one exception, butternut squash risotto! that’s one thing I make every fall, although I am not sure how it would feel to eat risotto outside.

Kirsten

Dinner with friends, followed by some games and good conversation. I like to keep it simple for food….flatbreads, roasted veggies, food wine. Could use some new recipes!

Kendall

Finally having time with my family in the fall and preserving the fall bounty after a long grape harvest in Napa!

Claire

The woods of Northern Michigan. Old and new friends. Mammoth sized bonfire. Cast iron pot of green chili pork, corn tortillas, pickled veg and hot peppers, sriracha (of course). Apple cobbler. Hot toddies. Skinny dipping and star gazing.

Oh and Bill Murray.

Brit D

My perfect fall would be sitting around the fire pit surrounded by my friends and family. The air would have a slight breeze and feel like new beginnings.

bonnie

Perfect fall gathering – – fresh pressed apple cider (with some good rum added!) – spicy pumpkin soup and grilled root vegetables with fresh bread still warm from the oven….apple pie and ice cream (both home made) for dessert!

Nicole I

A gathering of my siblings (we all live in different cities in north America), where we meet in an apple orchard and dine in the waning sunlit at a long farmhouse table. Good wine, apple crisp and a hearty braised dinner dish. Woolen blankets, cozy fire and no where to be…just together, where we out to be.

Lisa

My new favorite fall gathering is taking my one year old little girl to the pumpkin and apple farms, and watching her discover exciting new things – like apple cider donuts!

Jessica

I just moved into a new apartment with my boyfriend and we have a small back deck! My perfect fall gathering is enjoying the evenings on the deck in the not-too-cool Oakland nights.

Margie

Getting lost in the corn maze, picking pumpkins, climbing trees and picking apples. Thrilled that our 15-year old still loves to spend the afternoon enjoying autumn and all it offers with us.

cheri

A weekend at a cabin on Fallen Leaf Lake. Watching the salmon spawn, then hiking through Desolation Wilderness to arrive back at the cabin on the lake for a hearty autumn stew served with a Paso Zinfandel and Happy Acres goat cheese.

Natalie

Once a week my partner and I try to wrangle various people from our town and sit down for a home-cooked meal. We spend the day in the kitchen — he’ll stir this pot, I’ll chop these veggies, we’ll dance to Elvis on the record player. Cooking has become our favorite part of whole event. I would love to be able to share that with everyone. Instead of just inviting people to come eat with us, my perfect fall gathering would involve having everyone come, dance in the kitchen, and enjoy cooking with us.

cristina

my ideal fall gathering would be living in the pacific northwest, in a rustic house with a beautiful kitchen while i would cook and bake, while surrounded by friends and families all gathered around sharing stories, recipes, laughter – good music wafting through the windows, christmas lights on tree branches and eating an autumnal meal

Alisha

Perfect fall gathering: Drinking hot apple cider around a fire pit in the backyard with family and close friends.

Sally Herman

The smell of woodsmoke when the door opens and ushers in a cold blast and my warm, beautiful band of girlfriends for our monthly gathering. Arms full of dishes, wine, gifts as we kiss both cheeks and settle in for the early dark and comfortable companionship we have come to know over the years.

Alaina

…a picnic in the center of lake bled, slovenia (on an island, of course)

Erika C.

Four best friends at a cabin in Big Sur. Campfire. Cast iron skillets. Sweet potato hobo packets and herbed butter. Boozey marshmallows for dessert. We’ve strung lights around the trees, brought fuzzy blankets and old guitars, and we are singing. Mostly we are singing off tune, but it doesn’t matter because we have boozey marshmallows, best friends, and great memories.

Heather

Going to a farm to pick pumpkins, go throw a corn maze, and then coming home to carve Jack-o-lanterns, toast the seeds, and sip warm apple cider.

Bryony

My perfect autumn gathering would have to be Thanksgiving dinner. As the American expat in a family of Brits, I love how my in-laws have really taken to our Thanksgiving celebrations. (And how it’s given me the initiative to learn to cook!)

We go to my husband’s parents’ house (an old converted barn!) and I spend the day cooking while our son and nephew run around the house playing with toy trains. Apple and pumpkin pies are requisite, and I’d get my animator brother-in-law to draw a nice seasonal design on a butcher paper runner for the table. A few decorative gourds from our annual trip to the Pick Your Own farms would make a nice centrepiece, and we’d all just sit and enjoy the chance to relax, catch up, and enjoy some scrummy food together! (Plus, the after-dinner YouTube video marathon and piano improv sessions are always one of my favourite parts of getting the family together.)

Victoria

My perfect Autumn gathering is a day spent on the wild coast of South Africa, which I miss a great deal. Cold winds, fresh fish, simple food with sand in your shoes and hot chocolates all day.

Cher

Thanksgiving! It’s the only time we get the entire extended family together in one place. The food is important, but second to the company.

Tamara

My perfect fall gathering would be to have my nearest and dearest friends over for some sweet breads and pumpkin stout while we relax in my backyard and watch our dogs play.

Gosia

October is already quite cold here, so my perfect fall gathering would be staying in with some friends. First baking apple tart and preparing home made mulled wine, then sitting together on pillows on the floor, playing board games, talking and listening to jazz on vinyl records.

norma

Clear skies, crisp air and such a relaxed time that no one wants to leave so we linger around an outside fire wrapped in blankets.

Leah

perfect fall gathering would be having an apple picking outing with friends and then coming home and making apple recipes together. we would share a aimple appetizer of sliced apples and some kind of cheese and honey (love the salty/sweet combo). We’d bake an apple pie while we ate and cooked. We’d make turkey sliders with sliced apples and a jam compote. And wash it all down with some spiked apple cider!

Miyuki Baker

A group hike to find natural materials to dye fabric (kind of like your shibori dyeing) like black lichen off of rocks plus ammonia for a light purple dye, bark and other goods. Bring it back to someone’s yard, and do some hand-dyeing before having a big veggie grilling cook out with pumpkin, squash, eggplant, tomatoes and other autumn foods while folks play bluegrass and other folks songs together. <3

Keli

The perfect fall gathering would entail getting friends together to listen to old records (we found a great record player in working condition at a garage sale) like Fleetwood Mac or Bruce Springsteen. Candle light. A simple roast chicken with garlic mashed potatoes. Homemade rolls. There would be some wine or cider. For dessert, we’d dig into an apple and pear crumble while dancing the night away.

Katie

Friends peeling apples, fireside, red wine, my son’s pumpkin pie, cream for the apples and some brandy, stars into the evening and plenty of smiles. Thank you – that was fun, Katie.

Tara Victoria

My perfect fall gathering would be under the stars around a campfire with my closest friends and loved ones. Having drinks, cooking food on our camping BBQ, sharing stories and laughs.

Heidi Seely

My perfect fall gathering would involve a group of us doing something active by the sea for the afternoon – surfing, crabbing, walking – then warm sweaters, thick socks and boots, and a fire on the beach to cook the haul. Yes please.

rachel

My perfect fall gathering would involve multiple generations: my parents, my children, my parent’s friends, my friend’s children. The air would be cool and time would be spent slipping between inside and outside, where a fire burned and people sat on haystacks with piles of warm blankets at their disposal. Soup would simmer of the stove and roasted vegetables would be pulled out of the over, there would be so much old, stinky cheese and cured meats, and a record would be spinning in the background, forgotten while friends and family laugh, recall old memories, and make new ones.

Diana from San Francisco

Fall is my favorite season and what I imagine is a late Sunday afternoon luncheon in an apple orchard. I see the rows of trees, and that perfect light of Fall (somewhat of an golden orange cast on everything. The table would be 3 or 4 long tables, set together so that it looks like one long table. Wooden mix-matched old chairs. Rough linen across all the tables. Buckets full of apples, run the length of the table along with branches of leaves that are turning color, small pumpkins, nuts strewn through the entire center. In between it all those wonderful tall mexican candles in their glass holders.
The meal – a huge pot of coq au vin, platters of cheeses and nuts, sliced pears, persimmons and apples, bottles of red wine or hard cider (apple cider for the kids) and wonderful freshly baked breads with home-crafted sweet butter. Dessert – a pumpkin mousse drizzled with a soft caramel and hand whipped cream. I hear laughter and an impromptu jam session where the musicians pull out their guitars and everyone gets up and dances (spanish gypsy music). There are kids running around, dogs and cats sleeping under the trees, birds twittering. In my heart and imagination – this would be a perfect Fall gathering.

Eunmi

My perfect fall gathering would be inviting my family who live in Seoul, Korea to My husband and My ‘First Home’ in Oceanside, CA (for the first time ever.) I’ve been married my husband for 3years now and we were ridiculously busy with new life and work. I didn’t get to meet my family for that long. They couldn’t even imagine that I’m cooking! So it will be so so amazing if I get to be with my family at least one of them:p.

fariha

my perfect fall gathering would be a hike up a trail, crunching on colorful leaves, with a picnic at the end of it all, overlooking the beautiful changing scenery.

Chris

A cool fall day in the foothills of the Smokeys, drinking fresh pressed cider and relaxing with the family. Some grilled food, nothing special.

Meagan

A fall gathering means family and closest friends. There is something about the crispness in the air and the cool breeze that makes me want to snuggle with the ones I love. This gathering would have all things pumpkins and squash. And an auora of burnt orange and amber would surround the table, and late afternoon sunlight streaming in the room.

Sheila Cody

My approach to gathering friends and family together resonates with what I have read about Kinfolk Table. It would be a sunny Colorado Sunday, the crisp air would invigorate us as we took a walk through the nearby Bluff Lake Nature Center east of Denver. We’d return to my place for steaming cups of spiced cider. After we warmed up by the fireplace, we’d move to the kitchen and collectively prep for our green chili cooking. As the pot of fragrant deliciousness bubbles away on the stove I would give everyone a demonstration on making chalupas which we would snack on while waiting for the green chili to finish cooking. There would be some fun salsa music playing and we’d all relish each other’s company.

Kathleen

I’ve always wanted to have an outdoor, evening picnic in the fall. Rustic tables, good bread, wine and a bonfire. And of course good company and maybe something funky like a face painter or magician. :)

chrissy

A perfect Fall gathering would be my closest friends gathered around a bonfire telling stories, laughing, and listening to the crackle-y night.

Rebekah

One of my favorite fall gatherings is having a small group of friends over for an easy dinner of homemade chicken noodle soup and chunks of fresh bread and then taking cider and hot chocolate out to the patio with extra blankets and sweaters and a fire going in the chiminea.

Melissa

a deck of cards | tasty pumpkin adult beverages | sonoran desert landscape | cozy socks | sharing memories with old friends | butternut squash & pomegranate seed soup | candy corn for dessert = happiness

Elizabeth Rusiecki

My favorite Fall gathering would be one with family from far, far away. In honor of my deceased parents, and grandparents, it would be rustic spins on traditional Czech recipes, and those I remember Grandma simmering in her Chicago bungalow: Chicken Paprika, cake dumplings, Pigs in a Blanket with her sour cream, dill dressing. And of course, peach dumplings. Not a dessert for us, but a main dish: Giant peaches surrounded by a tapioca-based dough. Served hot, topped with melted butter, teaspoons of sugar and cold cottage cheese!

Martina

My perfect fall gathering is coming to fruition this weekend! I’m flying to Boston to help an old friend throw a New England clambake for 30 friends and family in honor of her birthday. On Friday, we’ll harvest seaweed and clams by canoe in Cohasset harbor, go to a nearby farm for potatoes and root veggies, and pick up Maine lobster from a local purveyor. We’ll start the fire pit in her backyard at dawn on Saturday, and have a slow-cooked meal and warm cider ready for friends arriving with blankets and guitars for a long evening around the fire in the crisp New England air.

Emily

My perfect fall gathering would be an after-football-game party, with copious amounts of mulled wine, my grandfather’s chili on the stove as friends come-and-go, a football game on the tv in the background, but with most people outside huddled around a fire pit chatting and laughing the night away.

Ana Rocadas

My favorite fall gathering always includes baking together (crusty bread, anyone?) with friends while munching on almonds, cheeses, quince butter, and just barely baked brownies.

Schirin

A simple picnic on a meadow turning brown, stormy-but-blue skies, and flaming sugar maples all around.

Kelly

Chicken biscuits, spiked hot cocoa, and great music with my greatest friends. All the good things!

Nolan Hatch

Perfect Fall gathering. For me it would start off, the night before, with a full restful sleep. I would awaken to a stillness and the presence of sunlight on my eyelids. I’d enjoy a hot cup of joe on my balcony with a light breakfast, possibly some toast with a slathered topping of whatever is in my fridge or on my countertop. Then, I’d dress and head to the market to grab a few simple, beautiful ingredients. Food prep would have started the night before. Friends would arrive with pumpkins, which would then be gutted and carved. After carving, we would begin to prepare a simple but flavorful fall feast ranging from vegan to pescetarian; a barley salad with fresh herbs, fruits, nuts and onions, a fish stew of some sort, bottles of wine, ice-cold seasonal beer, a platter of cheese, figs, grapes and bread. Afterwards we’d roast our gutted pumpkin seeds, enjoy our beverages and sit around a fire, soaking in the day and connecting. Leftovers would be minimal so cleanup would be easy. I’d fall asleep on the couch wrapped in a blanket. Perfect day.

Marilyn Scalf

Fabulous brunch at home – biscuits and sausage gravy, eggs with grilled veggies, and cheddar hash brown casserole, then heading out for a long drive in Amish country to check out the leaves and do some shopping.

Eva-Marie

My perfect autumn gather is Thanksgiving! I’m surrounded by the people I love, eating recipes that have been passed down for generations like cranberry compote and cornbread stuffing. Heaven.

kate o.

homemade apple cider, great friends, the crackle of wood in the fireplace. we’d be sitting on cushions on the floor, circled around a table, playing board games. the autumn chill outside, and the warmth of the season of communing within.

xo

Carolsue

My favorite fall gathering is a small, intimate group of people — each bringing their specialty dishes geared around fall and the fresh foods available at that time of year.

Maggie

A wonderful fall gathering would involve just a few of my closest friends…and pumpkin pie.

Amanda

My favorite fall gathering is our annual pumpkin carving party.

jess

There are so many things I love in this post. The recipes look perfect! I love that the title of the book is The Kinfolk Table- again, perfect. I love that the photo of the girl on the cover reminds me of one of my favorite Gerhard Richter paintings (of the girl turning away), and I love the photographs, the styling, and the decorations you made.

But none of these explains precisely why I had such an emotional response when I first read it and thought about my perfect gathering. I think it’s because a very important section of my personal kinfolk are the friends I have made over the last decade. We’ve traveled together, had countless meals together, changed together. This year, this season, feels like a crossroads. Some dear couples are splitting up, others are getting married. All around us our peripheral friends are moving, having children, receding into their lives. So I am feeling very nostalgic. My ideal gathering would gather these lovely people once more to be again as we once were- perfect- animated, arguing, laughing, sometimes even dancing- our voices always growing louder into the night. I would show my love by preparing dishes such as these and breaking out “the good bottles”. The house will be scrubbed, candles in vintage jars lit, and the fire pit will be at the ready, but in the end all that matters is that we Kinfolk get to see each other.

I hope I haven’t waxed too poetic- did I mention I am feeling nostalgic :) Thanks for all you do!

Kelsey

My perfect fall gathering would be with a few close friends, wine- and cheese-tasting at a riverside vineyard. Surrounded by gorgeously changing leaves, of course.

Rachael

I really want to have a chili party. We’ve had such a gorgeous fall, we could even have it outdoors at a park, load up on chili and toppings, and then play on the swings.

Mary Kay

I confess it was lovely to consider this to it’s slightly unrealistic extreme. After some thought I finally happened upon my ideal. I always loved the idea of “midnight margaritas” from the movie Practical Magic (a ‘living in’ I would adore to see as that house is my dream, any qualms about movie quality aside) and I find it to be particularly appropriate for this time of year. I love how these women gather together, in the middle of the night to drink and talk, even if the movie takes a turn. In my ideal though, this would change to brunch. I would love to have a midnight brunch with some of my closest female family members, where we settle in amongst low light, wrapped in blankets and comfortable pajamas, eating every autumnal-flavored thing. Being the fan of pumpkin and apple that I am, there would be a decided theme present in the food- pumpkin pancakes, hot cider, roasted apples- basically any sweet carbohydrate of a seasonal variety. And then we would talk and tell stories about our family, those myths that prove so important in maintaining the bond of kin. My family has experienced the loss of several loved ones this past year, but amidst the difficulty, a wedding is being planned and a baby born soon. I want to hold onto that. I want to hold onto the good and every one that would be around that table . And fall, in all it’s dimming light and cooler evenings makes you want to pull things in closer around you, whether it is food or a blanket or loved ones. Ideally we would laugh and eat and talk til the sun would begin to rise and then we would blow out the candles and climb into bed for a nap, leaving dishes for the later hours. It’s mainly unrealistic because to convince certain people to spend half the night awake would prove difficult, let alone the logistics of gathering distant family members. But thank you for giving me something lovely to think about all the while, as corny as it may sound.

yalisha case

My favorite fall gathering is always Sukkot. I love building the Sukkah with my husband and kids, and filling it up with friends, colorful linens and dishes, platters full of the yummiest harvest foods. Stuffed squash, savory and sweet pies, challah, roasted veggies, a rib roast or brisket, a lovely great wine. The meal always ends in the dark, with paper lanterns glowing and everyone carrying mountains of dishes and furniture back into the house. Then the children dance in the grass with those paper lanterns and the grownups sip hot cider and relive hectic, loud summer adventures and look forward to cozy and quiet winter ones. Then everyone eats apple cake and sleepy children get tucked into bed or cars for the ride home.

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