Fall Phase Two

Darwin’s Cafe, Cambridge, MA, fall 2019

Dear Reader,

Daylight Saving Time ended today in the United States. Although I woke up early this morning, I wore sunglasses on my morning commute because we have fallen back one hour. The days are becoming shorter and the nights are beginning earlier. We are now in phase two of fall.

If I were to arbitrarily divide the seasons into phases, I would consider Fall Phase One to be everything from the first day of autumn in late September to the end of Daylight Saving Time in early November. Then, Fall Phase Two would start from the beginning of Standard Time in early November until the Winter Solstice in late December. With this division, Fall Phase One would be described as a somewhat warm, still mostly green season (at least in Boston) and marked by Halloween. The transition to Fall Phase Two would be marked by the bright colorful leaves, the brisk temperatures, and the turn from Halloween to Thanksgiving/ Christmas (again in Boston that is). 

Our temperatures took a plunge here in Boston as if “Fall Phase Two” were a legitimate phenomenon. While the weather was dry and sunny (beautiful!), the temperatures jumped from lows in the mid-50s to lows in the mid-30s seemingly overnight. Gone are the days of sitting outside. There is so much green space in Cambridge that is left barren, because outdoors becomes more of a place of transit rather than a destination.

Although the main attraction for me in Fall Phase One is Halloween, I am very happy for the transition to the second part of the season. I quite enjoy the holidays and knowing that Thanksgiving (Black Friday!) and Christmas are on the horizon are other great things to look forward to. To usher in the new Phase, I baked pumpkin cookies. I want to become better at baking, so I try to bake something once a month. Although I love pumpkin flavored everything, I have not yet made pumpkin cookies.

Butter not fully mixed in 😦

As a novice baker, I found a relatively simple recipe for pumpkin cookies with cream cheese frosting. (Quick note, if anyone cares, icing is thinner, more sugary, and more of a glaze, while frosting is thicker and more buttery). Although I tried my hardest to follow the directions to a tee (including letting the butter soften, cream until fluffy, etc.), things did not turn out 100% to my satisfaction. For one, I do not own a mixer, which makes it hard to cream butter and sugar. Even after I stir until my arms are sore, I still find little clumps of butter in the batter. Although things did not turn out perfectly, the cookies tasted pretty good and I’m excited to bring them to my coworkers at the office this week 🙂

Pumpkin cookies with cream cheese frosting

As the days grow shorter, sometimes people can find themselves feeling a bit blue this time of year. Finding little things to celebrate like Fall Phase Two, the end of Daylight Saving Time, or a new recipe is a small but effective way to spark joy into one’s life. In the spirit of celebrating the little things, if you are living in the U.S. (not including Arizona and Hawaii) I wish you a Happy End of Daylight Saving time — I hope you slept well! And, to you, Dear Reader, wherever you are, I wish you a happy Fall Phase Two and beautiful November!

Love,

Raven

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