According to the gardening section of our local paper this was a banner year for pumpkins. Around here you don’t need a reporter to tell you that. Pumpkin harvests are far ahead of any recent year and they are still growing. Pumpkins are everywhere! Grocery stores have them by the crateful; pumpkin patches are overflowing; backyard gardeners actually grew usable pumpkins this year. On a trip to a drug store He tripped right into a crate of fresh pumpkins right there in the front aisle between the cell phone cases and the “as seen on TV” end cap. Truly, pumpkins are everywhere!
Homes are filling with plans for pumpkin pies, rolls, cakes, cookies, and custards. All of the good things that pumpkin has to offer when fall rolls around are going to be as everywhere as the pumpkins themselves are today. And that’s good. That’s great. Usually fall means canned pumpkin for some pies and a pumpkin roll. But it’s only in the years where there are so many fresh pumpkins that home bakers become more adventurous and try their hands at some of the great pumpkin offerings usually paged right on by in their cookbooks.
Unfortunately, “adventurous” is not limited to the merry home cook. The commercial world has also caught on that there are a lot of pumpkins this year. For years we’ve dealt with the pumpkin shaped peanut butter cups and the pumpkin shaped marshmallow “peeps” and the chewy pumpkins that you find on the shelf next to the candy corn and keep hoping they taste like the candy corn but they really taste more like the cob. And that’s usually it. A few things that look like pumpkins and taste like something else. Well, not any more.
It must have started with the coffee shops. Every year they all come up with their own version of pumpkin spice coffee. Not bad if you like pumpkin and coffee. Sort of like eating a piece of pumpkin pie while speeding down the highway on your way to work. (Not really but those guys from Seattle spend a bazillion dollars wanting us to feel that way and who are we to burst their bubble?) But now, things are out of control! Just in yesterday’s paper, in one advertising insert for just one mega-store chain, it said that you can go in and buy pumpkin flavored ground coffee, tea bags, latte, oatmeal, yogurt, Oreos, Toll House chips, and chewing gum. Pumpkin flavored chewing gum? Really?
We think maybe someone is carrying this pumpkin thing a little too far now. Pumpkin flavored chewing gum. Hmm. That will show up at the discount houses soon. Now if you’ll excuse us, we saw a recipe for pumpkin pie rice pudding we want to try.
Now that’s what we think. Really. How ‘bout you.