I’m a pumpkin convert. Actually, make that an autumn convert. When I was a kid, fall meant the start of a new school year and the end of that delicious freedom known as summer vacation
The one thing fall had going for it was Thanksgiving – a glorious long weekend filled with turkey and all those yummy side dishes. But the “dessert” served at the end of the big meal? I could take it or leave it. In my kid mind, pumpkin was not only a vegetable, but one I didn’t like. It definitely did not belong in a pie.
But since I finished school, not only do I appreciate the beauty of fall but I’ve come around on pumpkin. And that’s a good thing because we all know that once September arrives so does the tidal wave of pumpkin spice everything.
Walk into any place that sells food and it won’t take long to spot either a poster touting a steaming cup of something pumpkiny or a display case filled with pumpkin-flavoured goodies: muffins, scones, doughnuts, cookies and even ravioli.
And why limit the pumpkin spice obsession to snack time? Breakfast foods are prime real estate for a pumpkin takeover, which is why store shelves are stocked with “spiced” up oatmeal, toast, cereal and yogurt.
Sure, this trend is bordering on excessive; I recently read about a pumpkin spice-flavoured spray you can use (inflict) on any food (victim) you want. And, sure, these products tend to taste more like “spice” and less like “pumpkin.”
But that doesn’t matter to me because pumpkin spice is my version of unicorn dust. It’s this rare, once-a-year bit of magic that I enjoy by the spoonful (or forkful) while I can.
Whenever I eat it, my taste buds sing and my happiness levels spike. A piece of pumpkin spice toast makes Monday mornings easier; a plate of cheesy pumpkin ravioli makes the shorter days feel longer and a warm spiced drink makes looking at fall leaves even better.
So I say we keep the pumpkin tidal wave coming (but maybe nix that spray). And when my unicorn dust makes its exit next month, I’ll say goodbye with sadness. But I’ll be okay because my friends shortbread, chocolate and peppermint will be ready to take over.