Something very strange has happened to me this fall: I've realized I love pumpkin spice. Granted, I've only been living in the U.S. for four years, but they have been four incredible, pumpkin spice-free years. Yes, I've managed to avoid the flavor of fall completely. It doesn't help that I'm one of those people who will specifically not do something because everyone else is doing it. Being this way saved me from ever having read The Da Vinci Code, so I am not the least bit sorry.
But this year, the very special man in my life revealed his most basic quality to me: He loves pumpkin spice. Reluctantly, I made him a pumpkin spice cake one day as a surprise treat. As I licked the bowl and spoon for the batter, I realized something terrible had happened: I had become instantly and irrevocably addicted to pumpkin spice flavor. In short: that stuff tastes good. I never thought I would be a pumpkin spice aficionado (of course, I am far too evolved for that kind of nonsense), but as fate would have it, I am now madly baking absolutely anything I can in pumpkin spice flavor. It's a difficult new trait to accept about myself, and for anyone going through the same unexpected seasonal transition, there are probably some very specific thoughts going through your head.
"OMG AM I BASIC?"
I was told I can't be basic because I'm Greek and therefore have a wide culinary palette, but my newfound love for pumpkin spice has me questioning everything I know about the cultured woman I thought I was. But you and I should not fear: your love of pumpkin spice and being basic CAN be mutually exclusive traits. Just steer clear of Ugg boots, "OMG BFFs!" and bronzer and you can have all the pumpkin spice you desire without ever verging into basic territory.
"IF I MAKE MY OWN, IT'S WAY LESS BASIC, RIGHT?"
Can you tell that the major worry of anyone dealing with a love of pumpkin spice is being too basic? Us pumpkin spice noobs will do everything we can to not be basic, including using real pumpkin in our cooking and making homemade pumpkin spice. This somehow makes it more artisanal, or at least a little bit more Trader Joe's-y. I made a jar of my own pumpkin spice by mixing together a whole heap of other spices. It's definitely less basic than buying pumpkin spice flavor from the supermarket, but pausing work every 5 minutes to stick my face in the jar and smell it is probably negates that.
"HOW MANY DIFFERENT THINGS CAN I BAKE WITH THIS FLAVOR?"
I've done cake and cookies so far but it's a never-ending quest to find yet more things that can be made in pumpkin spice flavor. Pumpkin spice flavored lasagne, anyone?
"I'M STILL NOT DRINKING THE LATTE."
No matter how enamored I become to pumpkin spice flavor, I still refuse to drink the latte. 50% because once you've drank the Kool-Aid there's no going back on basic, and 50% because coffee is coffee and flavored coffee is an abomination (said in Ron Swanson voice).
"IS THERE A FASTER DELIVERY SYSTEM FOR THIS?"
Like, how can I get the most pumpkin spice flavor in my mouth in the fastest, most convenient manner, because chewing on mouthfuls of cookie just doesn't seem that efficient or fast enough, if I'm being entirely honest.
"WHAT THE HELL AM I GOING TO DO WITH MY LIFE AT THE END OF FALL?"
I mean, technically pumpkin spice flavor is there and available in winter, spring and summer also. But it's just uncouth to be having pumpkin spice year round. Until now, I've been living my life in ignorant bliss, but now; now I live in constant fear and anxiety for December, when we hang up our pumpkin spice pants for richer, more complex flavors.