Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Frightening Pumpkin Spice Mania

It's not all that scary when you stick with tradition

Trader Joe's Pumpkin Patch
      Fall arrives each year when I walk through our local Trader Joe's and realize that the store has been overtaken with Pumpkin and Pumpkin Spice products. When did pumpkin
become a flavor? Have you ever smelled one after carving it? It's not that pleasant! Actually, it's the spices that gives it any type of flavor so shouldn't it receive top billing as in "Spiced Pumpkin"?

The Freezer Case at Trader Joe's
      I remember pumpkin when it was merely an oversized can that my mom picked up right before Thanksgiving. If I had my way, it would have remained in that position with perhaps an organic version added.  One or two pieces of pumpkin pie a year are really more than enough for me.  But, obviously the public was clamoring for more.  I know people that count the days before Starbucks
Starbucks Pumpkin Spice Latte
brings back their Pumpkin Spice Latte each year. When I went through Trader Joe's latest Red Flyer, there were 32 products beginning with "Pumpkin…".  And that wasn't all of them.  The list seems to grow each time I visit the store.  Of course, it's not all Trader Joe's fault.  There are Pumpkin Spice Hershey Kisses and Glade air freshener.  I really lost it (as in testing my gag reflexes) when I saw Pumpkin Yogurt.  Fortunately, SNL found the humor in these products when they presented this commercial spoof.  Check it out!

Personally, it's a "flavor" (if one must call it that) that should be reserved for pies only.

If you're looking for an alternative pumpkin pie recipe, here's a version that Eric's Mom relies on.

Pumpkin Chiffon Pie


1-1/4 cups canned pumpkin
3 eggs, separated
1 cup sugar

1/4 cup non-fat milk
1/4 cup sweet sherry or rum

1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. nutmeg
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1 env. plain gelatin
1/4 cup cold water
1 baked 9″ Pie Shell

Soak gelatin in water for about 5 minutes. Combine slightly beaten egg yolks with 1/2 cup sugar, pumpkin, milk, liquor, salt and spices. Put in microwave for 1-2 minutes and mix. Repeat 2 more times until thickened.  Add gelatin, stir until thoroughly dissolved. Chill until mixture begins to set. Beat egg whites quite stiff; gradually add sugar while continuing to beat until stiff peaks form. Fold the meringue into pumpkin mixture. Pour into baked pie shell and chill until set.  Serve with whipped cream.

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