by: Carrie A. Blakley
Ah yes, Autumn is arriving at the end of this week. Oh what a shock it is to see pumpkin spice everything suddenly hitting every possible shoppe around the nation. Social media is getting slammed with images of Autumn, pumpkin spice items and horror movies. While Autumn is my favorite season, I need to speak up about this sudden seasonal obsession with pumpkin spice everything. For those who are ‘not in the know’ about pumpkin spice, it does not mean that everything labeled ‘pumpkin spice’ is going to end up tasting like a pumpkin. Pumpkin Spice is actually a combination of other spices, that are blended together when you make a pumpkin pie. You can literally buy a jar of McGormick Pumpkin Spice in your local markets. Pro Tip: It’s available all year long. Not just during the Autumn season. Even more of a pro tip: You can make it yourself, and it usually tastes better this way.
Fine, but, how does someone go about making ‘pumpkins spice’? Get a small bowl. OK, let me rephrase that. Get whatever sized bowl you want to use, and stir the following ingredients together, in said whatever sized bowl you want to use: 3 Tbls. ground Cinnamon, 2 tsp. ground Ginger, 2 tsp. ground Nutmeg, 1 1/2 tsp. ground Allspice and 1 1/2 tsp. ground Cloves. Stir together. Really, that’s what’s in pumpkin spice. That being said, I see things that are labeled as being ‘pumpkin spice’, that are about as appetizing to me as intestinal flu. The biggest example of this is ‘Pumpkin Spice Latte’. Latte, is made with Espresso and steamed milk. Think about the ingredients in Pumpkin Spice, and ask yourself this question: Is there anyone on this planet that actually looks at their spice rack, and thinks, Gee, maybe I’ll add some Allspice and Ginger to my coffee today? Because that is exactly how you would go about making a Pumpkin Spice Latte. You’d add Cinnamon, Nutmeg, Ginger, Allspice and Cloves….to your extremely concentrated coffee, with steamed milk stirred in.
The aroma of pumpkin spice is fantastic. It’s what gives a pumpkin pie it’s distinct scent, and flavor. It’s great in potpourri, sachets and even as a type of herbal air freshener. Even the color of the spice blend is pleasing to the eye. Basically, what I’m saying is: Before you go all nuts happy about pumpkin spice everything hitting the stores, make yourself a small batch of home made pumpkin spice, and use that to compare it with everything hitting the stores. Furthermore, keep in mind that if you want to drink something with a pumpkin spice flavor, tea would be the better choice. That is, unless you are rather fond of having a ginger/nutmeg/cinnamon blend after taste when you drink your espresso. Have a great week, and an amazing start to the 2017 Autumn season!