Pumpkin Spice Makes Everything Nice


    pumpkin spiceWhen September rolls around, all things “pumpkin spice” appear: cereal, oatmeal, ice cream, pastries and confections, candles, and the dreaded (for some) pumpkin spice lattes in all the coffee shops. You either love it or loathe it.

    I, for one, love it.

    And it not’s just the flavor I love. I also love the aroma of pumpkin spice. Up until I left home for college, pumpkin spice “anything” was relegated to Thanksgiving. It is the aroma associated with dishes like candied yams (another “love it or loathe it” food), apple pie, and, of course, pumpkin pie. The “pumpkin spice” things came and went in a flash. Now, it has a whole season! For me, pumpkin spice makes everything nice. Here are the reasons I love it.


    The scent of pumpkin spice is warm and inviting. Pumpkins, in of themselves, do not smell like anything, nor do they possess any discernable flavors. Once the spices have been added, everything changes. Interestingly enough, the same spices that make up “pumpkin spice” are nearly identical to those that make up “apple pie spice,” but with a different ratio of spices. The intoxicating blend of cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, and cloves takes me back to elementary school where I had my first pumpkin pie. My first-grade teacher Mrs. Branich baked mini pumpkin pies for the class in a toaster oven.  It’s a memory I’ve always cherished. When I grew up and started baking in my own home, baking a pumpkin spice anything, whether it be a pie, cheesecake, or milkshake, was always something I enjoyed.  If given a choice between a pumpkin spice cheesecake or a chocolate one, I will pick a pumpkin spice one, hands down.

    Excitement of activities to come.

    With the arrival of all things pumpkin spice, comes fall. I love fall, so much I wrote about it last year in my Fall Rituals  post. When the “Brrr” months arrive, my mind races to holiday décor, all the baking I want to do, my annual Christmas list, and all the fall activities I want to do with my daughter, Ilse (especially now that she loves walking outside). San Francisco’s mild fall weather makes for comfortable outdoor activities, like pumpkin picking, crunching leaves, dressing up for Halloween, and splashing in puddles. After running about outside, there’s nothing quite like warming up with a pumpkin spice muffin, a cappuccino for me and a hot chocolate for her. The cooler weather and the shorter days incentivizes me do activities. I personally believe I lose weight in the fall, because I enjoy engaging in all kinds of activities.

    “Pumpkin spice” is not for everyone. I know plenty of people who groan at the idea of consuming anything with that flavor. Perhaps, we have gone overboard with our “pumpkin spice” Cheerios, Pop Tarts, Oreos, and coffee creamers that we don’t enjoy it as much. Perhaps “pumpkin spice” everything is too much of a good thing and like most things, best enjoyed in moderation. For me, the “pumpkin spice” season adds to the many reasons why I love fall. Now, I will go ahead and enjoy my pumpkin spice latte before my day begins.


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