November is all about… crunching your feet on the first frost, hearty casseroles, being thankful, the flutterings of bright lights and bonfires, reading in front of a roaring fire and misty mornings.
Something to eat: Slow cookers are your best friend during the colder months, so set yours to start and try this sausage and bean casserole, or go veggie and opt for this vegetable stew with dumplings.
Something to make: An advent calendar. Although you can buy one for pennies, I always think it's much more exciting to make your own. My sister and I used to make each other a calendar each year, and would make little gifts for each day; it took us forever to construct but it gave us so much joy each December morning that it was completely worth it.
Something to celebrate: Stir-up Sunday. Although this isn't exactly a celebration, it is nevertheless a tradition that is firmly set in our household. On the final Sunday of November (the 30th this year) I will be making my Christmas pudding and giving everyone in the family (with the exception of perhaps the puppy) a chance to stir the mixture and make a wish. I also make mincemeat around this time to ensure there's plenty ready for mince pies as December begins. Most of my Christmas recipes come from the queen of the kitchen, Delia, and these are no exception. Head over here for the pudding and here for the mincemeat.
Something a bit different: Try out some seasonal music and listen to Sting's album If On A Winter's Night... We always start to play it around this time of year; peaceful and folky, it is unobtrusive and is particularly appropriate to listen to when the elements are wild but you are safe and warm inside.
What do you have planned for the month ahead?
Eleanor is obsessed with stories. She writes for a number of online spaces including This is Your Kingdom, edits Creative Countryside, curates #aseasonalyear and teaches at Chalk House. In addition, she is currently studying for an MA in Creative Non-Fiction Writing. You'll find her roving the fields of the Lincolnshire Wolds or planning her next rural adventure.