Tuesday, September 16, 2014

The great pumpkin debate, solved

There’s been a great debate raging about pumpkins, and the debate is a worthwhile one. Because pumpkins have been creeping their way into everything over the past few years – coffee, pancakes, beer, hand soap, tacos maybe, edible underwear, and jewelry. That is the list. The reason for this is, I believe, two-fold.

First, Pinterest. There are just too many ideas on Pinterest that society keeps implementing, and it’s thwarted our concept of reality. Seasonal themes have been jammed down our throat to the point that nothing happens organically anymore. By the time you even realize it’s fall, you’re wearing pumpkin-themed oven mitts and holding a batch of pumpkin muffins for which your wife got the recipe on Pinterest. (Add muffins to the list.) Fun fact: If you search “pumpkins” on Pinterest, Pinterest will explode. It’s too much. Overkill.

Second, there’s a rush to fall. And hey, listen, I get it. Fall is my favorite season, too. But maybe let’s pump the brakes a bit. I’ve noticed this on a much higher level here in the Valley than I ever did back East, where fall actually exists. Here, it’s like we’re so darn excited to get away from summer that we WILL ourselves into fall waaaaay before it’s ready. And again, I get it. But the thing is, I am not drinking this pumpkin spiced latte right now. You know why? BECAUSE IT’S 107 DEGREES OUTSIDE.

(Another thing. I think we can all agree Sam Adams’ Octoberfest is a wonderful beer. But it shouldn’t be in stores Aug. 23. Again, a rush to fall.)

What’s important to note here is the pumpkin has a shelf life unlike any other seasonal fruit (vegetable? Whatever). It’s relevant for Halloween because of Jack-o-lanterns and it also signifies Thanksgiving because those mini pumpkins are in the cornucopias the Pilgrims gave to the Native Americans in return for teaching them how to harvest normal-size pumpkins. (#history)

So, implementing pumpkins too early is as unnecessary as it is harmful. People are getting sick of pumpkins, which has accounted for this pumpkin backlash. And this is unfortunate because pumpkins don’t deserve this.

What this really all boils down to is your affection, or lack thereof, for pumpkins. Personally, I think pumpkins are fantastic. Maybe you don’t like pumpkins, and that is OK, to be wrong. As such, I am on board, generally, with all of this, provided it’s all in due time. And, like everything, in moderation.

Like pumpkin pancakes. They are great, as long as there’s a hint of pumpkin and it doesn’t taste like I’m eating a condensed-into-a-flapjack pumpkin. The pumpkin already has texture issues - don't make it worse. Pumpkin spiced latte? Sure. Maybe once a week. Not every day. If you are drinking a pumpkin spiced latte every day, you are probably going to die of fall. Pumpkin beer? Please God, no. Stop with that. Stop with THIS. You can make a beer seasonal—see Octoberfest above—without making it literal. And disgusting. Stop.

So, in conclusion, pumpkins rule. But also, everybody – chill with it. Seriously.

Thank you.

"Today" is Sept. 13 and I am sitting by the pool, but OKAY?

Note: This column appears in the 9/18 issue of The Glendale Star and the 9/19 issue of the Peoria Times.

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