I know it would be easy to think things are all happy and cookies around here. But between you and me, I have a hard time with this time of year, when the days darken an hour before I leave work and we gear up for the long (snowy! icy! bitter cold!) winter.
There are those who would say, fairly maybe, that if you declare autumn your favorite set of months, you have to take it with all its flaws, as well as its gorgeous colors and crisp breezes, caramel apples and cider doughnuts, colorful gourds and adorable pumpkins.
That you can’t be a fickle lover, using the season for what it gives you and wishing it away when the good things end.
When every work day I walk to my car in pitch-black darkness, when the weather reports threaten a snowfall, when I eat dinner and want nothing more than to curl up on the sofa with a soft blanket, I tell myself these are the small sacrifices.
That, in exchange for dense golden forests and carved Jack-O-Lanterns, I give up a little daylight, a little warmth. That, because fall is so wonderful, winter has to follow. It’s the way of things.
You can’t have everything you want or you’d be terribly spoiled, right? You can’t have just the beauties of fall year-round or you’d forget to appreciate them, yes?
I want to be mature about all this. I am trying, all right? I’ve been finding what I like about these darker days – sunny mornings, for example, or the fact that I usually wake up before my alarm.
Meanwhile, I could use a hug, if not a plane ticket to someplace lovely where I can wait out the next few months. Of course, I’d also settle quite happily for a bite of something delicious. Maybe something pumpkin, as another reminder of fall’s virtues?
Still on the hunt for the perfect pumpkin recipe, I baked these muffins last night, taken from a Gourmet recipe from 2006.
They’re not overpoweringly sweet, more savory in fact, with a moist, moist center and flecks of cinnamon and sugar on top. I wouldn’t say they’re THE recipe, but they’re a step in the right direction.
They’re also a whisper in my ear that fall hasn’t left entirely and, that I must enjoy it while it lasts.
Adapted from Gourmet, November 2006.
About Shanna Mallon
Shanna holds an MA in writing from DePaul University. Her mantra? Restoring order and celebrating beauty through creative content, photography, and food. Shanna's work has been featured in Bon Appetit, The Kitchn, MSN.com, Everyday Health, Better Homes & Gardens, Houzz.com, Food News Journal, Food52, Zeit Magazine, Chew the World, Mom.me, Babble, Delish.com, Parade, Foodista, Entrepreneur and Ragan PR.