DEAN: Pumpkin Spice: Falalala fabulous or too short? | Opinion
So, I know it’s that time of year. I mean, the first day of fall was, what? September 22? A little over a week ago, and the pumpkin spice has been out for over a month, it seems.
But let’s get down to business.
Like, why is this such a painful subject for so many people?
Like your ability to say no to the pumpkin spice got ripped off or something?
No one is forcing you to buy that latte.
No one is forcing you to buy this candle.
The pumpkin spice didn’t make you dust your Uggs either.
And if I’m being completely honest, I wear mine even in the summer with shorts. It’s a bit of a stretch as a fashion statement that one probably shouldn’t embrace during 114 degree Texas summers, but it’s a choice I make.
Is it the fact that you feel like you are being pushed into Fall’s jets with full force, without your free will intact? Like, you’re not gently pushed into the threat of cooler temperatures, but more like kicked and dragged screams?
Let’s face it.
Summer kicks our butt here in Texas. So why wouldn’t we want to welcome cooler temperatures with something as warm and inviting as the dreaded pumpkin spice season?
And if you didn’t know that by now, that’s one thing.
We are in it.
Pumpkin spice season is upon us.
Whoever coined the phrase probably lives in a pumpkin-shaped mansion and rides a pumpkin-shaped car like Cinderella, for the love of everything that smells of pumpkin!
Well I just couldn’t let go, so old Sweet M, decided to do a little scout mission and see what it was all about.
I really like the spicy pumpkin smell.
My husband doesn’t.
I have this Scentsy bar which I think encompasses all of my favorite fall scents, including pumpkin spice.
Carey Dean says it makes him smell like pancake syrup.
I like it.
So the most famous of all pumpkin spice products is the standard pumpkin spice latte of almost every cafe you walk into. And while it’s warm and heartwarming here in Texas, it’s still a bit too much, even at the end of September. And let’s face it, while you want it to immediately usher in the cooler weather, just drinking one isn’t going to do it.
I have to admit that while I love a good latte, the pumpkin spice is not my favorite. I’m more of a Chai Latte girl, if I pray that sweater weather will honor us with her presence sooner.
I’m just saying.
Right behind the famous latte I just mentioned are all the pumpkin and spice flavored food items that seem to magically appear on the shelves of every major grocery store. Like they’re seriously riding a pumpkin-spice-scented unicorn or something.
Pumpkin Pie Bars, Pumpkin Spiced Cheerios, Pumpkin Spiced Caramel Corn, Pumpkin Spiced Oatmeal, I mean the list goes on and on.
I even saw pumpkin spice tortilla chips sprinkled with a hint of cinnamon on the central market shelf.
I could definitely use the ones with a few dips, but that sounds overkill, doesn’t it?
I love her as much as the next girl, but it’s just a bit much.
I keep saying it, I know, but as a supplier of all things culinary, I think the problem needs to be addressed.
Pumpkin Spice Peeps?
Yes, they do exist.
Spiced Pumpkin Beer?
Pumpkin Spice Spam?
Yeah. I saw it.
I haven’t tried it and probably won’t even be on the planet in a million and five years, but it does exist.
Tell me what to do!
Do I culinary embrace it and try to find a way to slowly and comfortably fit it into my fall menus?
Heck yeah, I do!
And I let it wash over my food, bringing with it warmth and an amazing vibe!
I am not afraid.
So all of you enemies and naysayers can sit back and cry because the cooler weather is definitely on the way.
Soup recipes are coming.
Chili recipes are on their way.
I have a few pumpkin spice tips up my sleeve, so be on the lookout!
Yes, I’m probably going to take the plunge into whatever drops over the weekend and bring with me some amazing food and even more amazing tips for incorporating that pumpkin spice into your meals.
So, get ready!
But just for a little seduction, here is my pumpkin and spice hot chocolate mix recipe.
Now I usually use white chocolate powder because it takes on the pumpkin spice flavors well, but you can use regular cocoa or even dark cocoa powder. It pairs well with the abundance of cinnamon and cloves.
Let’s go !
Sweet M’s Pumpkin Spice White Hot Chocolate Mix
2 cups of white chocolate powder
1 cup of powdered milk
1 cup of powdered sugar
1 pkg. Of your favorite powdered pumpkin spice drink mix
1 large tablespoon of pumpkin spice
Mix everything together and store in an airtight container.
I usually make mine with hot milk, about 1/4 cup of mixture or so. It’s really a personal preference, depending on how much pumpkin flavor you want.
Mix well in your favorite cup of coffee and add a cinnamon stick for fancy, sit back and wait for the fall vibes to wash over you!
I hope this little offering finds you all happy, healthy, loving, and embracing the joy that is the pumpkin spice.
And as always, I wish you love, joy and all the happiness in the world!
Melissa Smith Dean is originally from Corsica and recently transplanted to Fort. Worth, where her husband, Carey Dean, is the host of the morning show at 95.9 The Ranch. She is a self-taught chef and home cook and owner of Sweet M’s Kitchen, a successful restaurant and lunch delivery business in Corsica. Melissa is a food writer and is currently working on her first cookbook, which she hopes to be finished by January 2022. When Melissa is not in the kitchen or writing, she enjoys dabbling in interior design and hanging out with it. her husband and friends in Ft. Worth.