Several people have asked me when I was going to post my annual pumpkin spice rant. To tell you the truth, I’ve hesitated for two specific reasons: 1) With everything that 2020 has brought to us — particularly COVID — I’m finding it a bit hard to get too worked up about pumpkin spice; and 2) I’m convinced that the market has spoken, and pumpkin spice is not making its appearance as much as it had for the past several years.
I haven’t seem Pumpkin Spice toothpaste, for example. That, my friends, might have been the one that put me over the top. Toothpaste must be mint, and that’s that. Even bubble gum or watermelon flavor makes me throw up a little bit in my mouth. After all, you don’t hear about toothpaste that makes your mouth pumpkin spicy fresh. Or even watermelony fresh. I’m Team Mint Toothpaste all the way.
Nor have I seen a single can of pumpkin spice Spam. You think I’m kidding? And actually, I think it’s the Spam that set me off on my Get Off My Lawn rant last year…..
What’s more, much of my pumpkin spice discontent had little to do with the pumpkin spice. I like pumpkin. I’m a fan of nutmeg and cinnamon and even a LITTLE touch of clove. My issue was that the poor apple — the fruit/veggie of choice in Autumn for much of my life — had been completely set aside in favor of its archenemy, pumpkin spice.
Thus far this year, I’ve made three apple pies, two apple cakes, one apple crisp, and a partridge in a pear tree. Well, not the partridge, since I don’t know what a partridge is and I don’t think it represents Autumn. But the other three are accurate. I love apple things. I haven’t made a single pumpkin roll, pumpkin pie, and nary a batch of pumpkin spice muffins.
I’m less worried this year about pumpkin spice than I am the fact that markets have pumpkins of all shapes and sizes and colors. There are even pumpkins that look like they have
leprosy Hansen’s Disease. When did plain round orange pumpkins stop being de rigueur?
I want to go back to the days when pumpkins were round and orange and perfect for carving. And I don’t mean that fancy dancy elaborate carving. I’m talking two triangles for eyes, an upside down triangle for the nose, and a mouth with three teeth. Boom. A jack-o-lantern. You could roast the seeds, but why bother when you can buy pumpkin spice popcorn?
To let you know just how much less angry I get about pumpkin spice, I will admit to you that I may — just may — go to Starbucks and buy a slice of pumpkin spice loaf for breakfast tomorrow morning. But I’m going to bake an apple pie for dessert just to play fair.