My friends, it’s that time of year again. It’s the time of year when all things, it would seem, turn into pumpkin and/or pumpkin spice flavored versions of said things. Pumpkin coffees and lattes, muffins, cakes, pies, candy, whipped topping, yogurt, ice cream, milkshakes, soda? (wth?!), pasta, pancakes, coffee creamer, oatmeal, and the list goes on and on and on. And that’s just the edible goodies. Let’s not forget all the inedible pumpkiny products: body wash, shampoo, body spray, lotion, candles, air freshener, potpourri…I’m sure I’m missing something here. As far as edibles, I’m honestly not sure what the most bizarre thing is I’ve come across that came in pumpkin flavor, but whatever it was, I’m quite sure the reason I do not recall is because I wasn’t inclined to try it. Why? Because in my humble opinion, we have way, way, way, way, WAY overdone the pumpkin/pumpkin spice thing. In fact, I’m not so sure as many people love the pumpkiny things as claim to and are actually in fact just inclined to follow the herd to the nearest pumpkiny thing distribution point and put whatever the pumpkiny thing of the day is in their mouth whether they really want to or not. All in the name of being trendy. I’ve never been one to follow trends. I rather like being on the perimeters doing my own thing.
Now, don’t get me wrong, sugars. I, like the next good southern lady out there, do love a good slice of pumpkin pie or pumpkin roll. In fact, I do indulge in such treats reasonably this time of year. However, I do not wish to suck my pumpkin pie through a straw until I’m one-hundred-four and three-quarters, have not a tooth one left in my head, and are left no other choices as to how to consume my allotted ration of pumpkiny sweets. Until then, I’ll take it by the slice with a healthy dollop of real whipped cream and the slightest dusting of nutmeg adorning it’s delightful top. In appropriate portions of course.
Just when did this obsession take root with the experimentation of how many ways one can corrupt the poor pumpkin fruit? I seem to remember it started sometime around ten years ago or so that it actually began in earnest? Before that it was more of a novelty of sorts. I also noticed that about this time, all other fall flavors seemingly became obsolete and outdated; not “trendy.”
Apples…where have they gone?! Maple, ginger, pears, and caramel…anyone besides me long for the days when these were just as spotlighted as the now star of the show pumpkin? Give me a pear and cranberry tart any day. Or a sticky, gooey, break your teeth off by the root caramel apple. Apple cobbler, maple pancakes, spiced roasted pears with plenty of butter and sugar dolloped with ginger whipped cream. Hazelnut cupcakes crammed full of chocolate hazelnut spread? Let’s not forget the forgotten fig. I for one absolutely love figs paired with a good goat cheese and wrapped in bacon, maybe stuff a nut of choice in there for good measure and roasted, then drizzled with dark maple syrup. How much more fall does it get than that? Oh, my gravy! Now my mouth is all worked up just thinking on that.
Sage! Now there’s a fall flavor no one talks about. And cloves have practically gone to the wayside. Clove is one of my most favorite smells on all the earth. I remember my grandmother using whole cloves in a myriad of ways like they grew wild or some such thing. Pish-posh, everyone knows they come from the grocery in limited quantities. Right? I mean there must be a shortage no more used than they are. Why isn’t there a clove lotion? If you know of where one might obtain such a thing, dear reader, please do tell.
No, I’m not one to deny myself a decent piece of pumpkin pie this time of year, but I do believe this year I’m making it my mission to use as many other fall flavors and scents as humanly possible in a sort of protest to just how far overboard we really have gone with the round, orange fruit that grows on a vine rather than a tree…