Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Pumpkin Spice

Image from Pinterest:
Daily Gratitude Year 5-Day 291: Today, I am grateful for pumpkin pie spice. 

Pumpkin pie spice is an American mix, similar to the British and Commonwealth "mixed spice". Typically, it is a blend of ground cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, cloves, and and sometimes allspice. 

The mixed spice makes pumpkin pie cheaper to prepare than buying the spices individually, when most people only use them seasonally. Although, limited seasonal use has found many craving anything pumpkin spice as soon as the first late summer evening turns cool and the cicadas sing. 

Yes, flavored coffees and creamers have given our pleasure in pumpkin spice a much longer season. Pumpkin muffins, breads, donuts, soups and cookies may use it, too. Any way you use it... like it or not... it is definitely a a scent and taste of fall. 

The European pilgrims discovered and learned to use the squash in the the new land from Native Americans who grew and used it as part of their diet. They didn't have true pie ingredient for making a crust. They, likely, used the pumpkins as edible bowls filled with milk and honey to make a custard that cooked inside. Brilliant and tasty. 

Did the earliest newcomers to the America's share their spices brought from home? It is very possible. 

Time has changed the kitchen and transformed the pie. It has, also, brought the pumpkin pie spice to grocery shelves for easy access. McCormick and others started mixing it for sale in the 1950's. Oh the convenience of a "modern kitchen"! Our grandmothers and mothers were living the dream with such conveniences.  Here we are, nearly 70 years later, still enjoying the flavor and the many uses. 

Did you know that the Queen of Sheba... when she visited King Solomon, brought him spices as part of her gift to the famously wise and successful king? Here is the reference:

"Then she gave the king a gift of 9,000 pounds of gold, great quantities of spices, and precious jewels. Never again were so many spices brought in as those the queen of Sheba gave to King Solomon." -1 Kings 10:10

In Solomon and Sheba's time, the spice was as precious as the jewels and gold. Some say, even more so. You can't delight the taste buds with gold and gems. Isn't a certain unlisted spice the secret ingredient in many recipies? 

I am grateful to live in a time of easy access to spices... and today... especially pumpkin spice. 

Today, I am grateful for pumpkin pie spice. 

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