Rach shares what she loves most about the harvest season—and how she's spending it with her new pup!

Rachael Ray leaning against tree
On the grounds of beautiful Barr Mansion outside of Austin. Little did I know this would be my last trip to my second-favorite city.
| Credit: Photography by Mark Williams + Sara Hirakawa

Fall, to me, officially starts soon after my birthday, one of my least favorite days of the year. It's not because I care about getting old—I don't—but because it's still summer and still hot. John and I make the best of it, playing bocce until it's dark out and we've got a million mosquito bites. But after my birthday, and all the way through October, is everything

Autumn is my favorite time of year for so many reasons. It's when you're most comfortable in the great outdoors and in your no-longer-smoldering kitchen. The world is abundant with color and abundant with food. And you start to get that "Oh, yay, the holidays are coming!" feeling that makes you want to chat and make plans with your family and friends. The cool nights of early fall are my favorite of all. The first time you reach for your favorite sweatshirt or sweater and step outside and feel a chill on the back of your neck while you're sipping a glass of red wine, that's true luxury. Fall—it's the luxurious season. 

I grew up in upstate New York, so we are apple-picking people. This makes me think of our dog Isaboo. We recently laid her to rest in our small orchard, her favorite place to play "apple ball." She would roll on her back in the grass for hours, but if we picked an "apple ball" off the tree (just a plain old apple to the rest of us) and threw it, she'd make a perfect catch and furiously work it down to its core. Then she'd throw the core back at us to dispose of. We recently adopted a new pit bull (see the insanely adorable photo below), and we're hoping that Izzy will be a guardian angel and third base coach, as this will be Bella Boo Blue's first autumn in the orchard. 

Fall is waiting! So get together, get outside, get some fresh air, and get cooking.

Meet Bella Boo! 

World, meet the new addition to our family, Bella Boo Blue—Triple B. She's stupid-cute, as you can see!

photo strip with three photos of Bella Boo Blue
Credit: Dog photos courtesy of Rachael Ray; Frame: Jena Ardell/Getty

This article originally appeared in our Harvest 2020 issue. Get the magazine here