Of course they are–it’s October! Am I in shock about this? Yes!
Good news is pumpkins grow in patches on the ground and don’t drop from trees like coconuts--that would make for rather stringy neck strain. Also good news, October is a charming month where everyone celebrates cozily layering up because they haven't been completely traumatized by months of cold just yet. For now, it's flannel + bootie #oodt's.
Bad news is that if you have a dislike for cinnamon & spice or orange-colored everything, your senses might have to brace themselves. There’s about to be a whole lotta pumpkin up in here. Also bad news, winter is coming, Jon Snow.
Personally, I have mixed emotions pertaining to autumn's arrival--can you tell? There are parts I love like other people and there are parts that give me the shivers in a variety of ways, and not just because it's Halloween month. (That's a whole separate issue)
For example, pumpkin pie is my Eden’s apple, the sultry sweetness about to cause my downfall (into more pumpkin pie). Thus, pumpkin pie = autumn aspect I adore. I even discovered a very passable vegan recipe a few years ago, but then it was deleted from the internet before I thought to copy it down somewhere–if only I’d known…The alternate versions I attempted last year were NOT up to pumpkin par.
So what about you? Pumpkin, yes? Pumpkin, no? Does this season make you smile? Or do you wish to shout, “Take them away! Please!” [in this case, “them” refers to pumpkins, but handily, you could apply the pronoun to other items/persons]. Whatever your natural inclination is, I’m here to help.
Sometimes it takes just a little creativity to stand the onslaught--my hope is that perhaps a new appreciation can be born from imaginative license. Feel free to further personalize any of these suggestions.
A) Taste Test to Your Heart’s Content (for the purpose of research, of course)
Dive into pumpkin products and see if there isn’t something you end up loving! At grocery store Trader Joe’s, it is literally possible to do this. Like, an actual dive. While I cannot guarantee the safety of doing so, I do know that as soon as it's safe to whisper "boo!", an amazingly excessive number of pumpkin products materialize. There is a very happy food scientist out there somewhere who is still riding this orange wave of empowerment given him in the TJ’s laboratory. And a potentially high creative director behind the ad newsletter, "Fearless Flyer" as well.
Pumpkin spiced coffee? Could be good! Pumpkin tortilla chips, soup, pasta, cereal, even dog treats; it's all there. And then there’s the, “This pumpkin walks into a bar” joke on the box of pumpkin breakfast bars; hilarious. But wait, hate all this? For you seasonal Scrooges: Hide the pumpkin products you know everyone is looking for behind non pumpkin products and watch the disappointment/panic ensue…~
B) Enter the Starbucks Haze of Spice – The PSL!
I walked into Starbucks the other day (out of necessity; no offense to the corporation, but your black coffee may have the ability to give folk throat cancer) and was met with a large sign dotted with chalk leaves and the bold title “PSL.” For a moment, my synaptic database spat out Proenza Schouler’s PS1 & PS11 bags, but that wasn’t the reference at all. This illustrates my lack of seasonal experience at the coffee shop chain and my preoccupation with grand illusions I will not be owning anytime soon.
But now I know. PSL, Pumpkin Spice Latte, hello!!!
I used to never order this coveted brew because diabetes is real, but I know that many Seattle citizens mark the coming of autumn with it. So what did I do? Ordered one last week. To my credit, I ordered it with one less pumpkin-flavored pump, but to the drink's credit, it was pretty tasty. Before I knew it, I'd been launched into full fall effect, much like this person captured on Starbucks Russia's IG:
If that isn't a fantasy, I just don't know what is.
For the Scoffers: Oh, just try the drink, will you? Even I did. But when they ask you your name say “Pepito,” or “Pepita” (translation: little Pepe and/or pumpkin seed) and see what happens. You’ll either earn a second glance or a really strange version of “your name” on the cup. More reason for ridicule, yes.
I don't have the time to comment on perhaps the most far-reaching autumnal archive of all time, the glory that is Pinterest. Maybe next week. Suffice to say, you'll find all the pumpkin-related ideas you've ever dreamed of and enough to scare you pumpkin-less too.
Lastly, seasons come and seasons go, the question is how do you roll?
Answer: It’s not rolling really, it’s toppling and tumbling because pumpkins are so bumpy.
I'm glad we've had this talk. Happy October!
© 2016, Anika Zebron Design
"Hello Fall," original artwork; other images courtesy of Trader Joe's & Starbucks Russia