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What’s your favorite season? Ask a Minnesotan, and they’ll likely answer fall. They’ll say it in a proprietary way, too, as if they invented the idea, as if fall might be an unpopular season given the giddiness of spring and the sheer heat of summer. Fall is when we put our gardens to bed, and though we’d never admit it, we’re a little glad for the break. It’s when the air turns crisp, and the birds head down the Mississippi flyway, and those of us in the city, throw on our wool sweaters and drive up to the woods along the North Shore of Lake Superior to gawk at the foliage — canary yellow poplars, burnt, red maples, and the fiery orange smoke trees. Like the leaves, fall in Minnesota is a fleeting thing, here and gone in a scant handful of weeks that feel all too short (because we know what comes next).

Around here, we feel just the same. Our photographers, Jenny and Matt, love fall for the way the golden hour seems to hang around, the soft, yellow light settling into the tops of the trees. Fall is when Emily and the content team unpack the soup recipes — and the bourbon, adding a warm and caramelly base note to our cocktail recipes. And we writers pull out all the synonyms for cozy. It’s also when Elsa turns the oven back on, filling the kitchen with not only the sweet, yeasty smell of baking pies, bars, and breads, but also the pleasantly savory aromas that come with braising meats and roasting veggies. Once the oven is on, it’ll basically stay on, a beacon of homey contentment, all through the cold months.