Friday, September 21, 2012

Fee, Fie, Foe, Friday: Pumpkin Overload Already

Proper pumpkin. Plain canned or whole fresh.  Delicious.
Never, ever in coffee or a so-called martini.
It's not that I don't like pumpkin. I do. I have wicked good pumpkin recipes for soups, desserts, breads cakes and stews that are utterly delicious. But then there are places where pumpkin should never be. Like in coffee. Or in a Martini. It's a big old squash, for God's sake. So far, on yesterday's trip through three different grocery stores in one day (don't ask why), I've seen pumpkin in oatmeal, cereal, puddings, tea, coffee, milkshakes, candy fillings, pie, cake, muffins, bread, ravioli, vodka, beer, candles, body rub and soap. Some of them are actually tasty, but not many. This junk arrives right after Labor Day and mercifully disappears right around Thanksgiving. What on earth did I do to deserve Pumpkin Overload?

The two places  I find pumpkin most offensive is in coffee and in so-called Martinis. Yes, I'm a curmudgeon. I thought we established that a long time ago. First off, coffee is coffee.  It's meant to taste like coffee. If you don't like the taste of coffee, don't drink it. Leave it alone for those of us who can appreciate its own unique flavors. Don't monkey with it. If you have to fool with it, then at least stick to some permutation of milk, cream or sugar as an additive. Pumpkin flavored coffee ranks as high with me as tacky Christmas sweaters, dogs in clothes, and lengthy holiday email letters with more personal information in them than a CIA dossier.

That brings me to pumpkin martinis. This is actually a complaint about calling a drink a martini that has anything other than gin, dry vermouth and an olive in it. if you prefer vodka, a vodka martini is permissible, but just barely. Call me a purist, but just because it comes in a martini glass does NOT make it a martini. I realize that both the fancy coffees and dessert-y cocktails make their purveyors a lot of money. I know this. That gloppy, sugary, creamy, alcohol-laden girly drink in an oversized "martini" glass should have a name of its own, to differentiate it from an actual Martini cocktail. No self-respecting adult would ever be caught drinking one of those. Never. Not even if the recipe came from a morning talk show hostess. They're gross. Especially the pumpkin flavored ones. Woman Up or Man Up and pour yourself a Scotch. Just stop maligning the Martini with that pumpkin swill.

Just wanted you all to know how I feel about all of this  pumpkin stuff. A pumpkin is a wonderful thing. Plain canned pumpkin is an even more wonderful thing, because you can actually make mad good food from it without the mess of cooking a whole pumpkin. Just avoid cocktails and coffee and you're safe with me. I myself will be making a Pumpkin and Crab Bisque soon, but right now I'm heading out to my neighbor Bob's yard to sit in his pumpkin patch. Am going to wait for the Great Pumpkin, so I can apologize for those pumpkin-flavored atrocities.

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