Wednesday, November 11, 2020


Michael in New York had forgotten that Memorial Day is a holiday, and headed over to Trader Joe's. A line out the door, parking lot full, hordes of early shoppers, and a surfeit of pumpkin bagels. Which, as all right thinking people except miss Mary in Conway, South Carolina, understand, are absolutely positively inedible. Ghastly and horrendous. Heresy, anathema, and war-crimes combined. Invented by Saddam Hussein when he was still slaughtering minorities.

Miss Mary in SC starts doing pumpkins from Labour Day, and continues till New Year. Sane people, and her husband, move out during that time and start living in the wood shed.
With the cats and the goat.

Pumpkin cakes, soaps, coffee and tea, hot spiced cider, and mood candles.

Hallowe'en is her favourite time of year, and seques unpleasantly into Thanksgiving, Saint Martin's, Saint Nicholas, and Christmas. Infecting everything with the repulsive smell of large bland festive gourds.

There are also pumpkin pipe tobaccos and personal fragrances.

Pumkin everything! It's the law!

Which of course explains why I vote Democrat; I never got into the pumpkin thing, and consider such ideas to be repulsive and culturally authoritarian. I will NOT give the little kiddie-binkies pumpkin cigars for Hallowe'en. It's a form of resistance.

Dammit, there's pumpkin schmutz everywhere!

My apartment mate, a very dear friend who is sometimes misguided, purchased pumpkin spice coffee beans at the beginning of October, and discovered that she doesn't like them. Now, as a Dutchman (so ab initio notoriously cheap), I can sympathize completely with her reluctance to throw it out; that was good money, and we're gonna keep it till Saint Stephen's Day, dammit. Not drink it (at least not often), but we can't get rid of it! Yet.


"Sutliff's Pumpkin Spice is a mellow blend of burley, Virginia and black cavendish that's imbued with the flavors of pumpkin and the spices that usually accompany it. A comforting, warm blend -- enjoyed all day long."

Described as an easy-going aromatic, with subtle hints of vanilla, anise, and brown sugar, underneath the gooey funkum, very suitable for people who wear Lulu Lemon yoga pants and drink Starbucks Frappucrappé.

A true taste of Americana, pumpkalicious and pumtastic.

Yeah, um, no.

My apartment mate is a Chinese American woman eight years younger than myself. She has not realized it, but pumpkin is a very white affectation. Pumpkin anything. Thanks to her we have occasionally had pumpkin pie, usually near Thanksgiving, and other very white things to eat. It's part of growing up in San Francisco.

Although like her I was born American, I did not grow up here. And despite my mother being a very white person in many of her tastes and ideas, I was from an early age familiar with other things. My childhood flavours were herring, frikandel, rookworst, and nasi daing.
Spicy peanut sauce, fish paste, chilies. Alternating with cheese.
Plus salty licorice, hagelslag, and ondé ondé.
Also smoked eel; it's soul food.
Plus sambal.

NOTE: Spek koek should be a favoured sweet, as it transcends nationalities, but it is laborious to make, and while there are a few people who sell it in the Bay Area, my version is better.

So it's a rarety.

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All correspondence will be kept in confidence.

1 comment:

pedantically amphibious said...

Veteran's Day

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