Available at: It’s on tap at Crust
Cost: $6 for a pint
Notes: Creamy and delightful. Very pumpkin-y. It’s almost a dessert beer.
Available At: A grocery store near you
Notes: If you’ve been paying attention, you have noticed that I have eaten a lot of pumpkin yogurts. Some of them have been amazing. Some of them have sucked. But it has been odd to me that Dannon – or their Greek line, Oikos, has yet to put out a pumpkin yogurt.
Are they mad at me or something?
Whatever it is, they’re apparently over it, because I found Oikos Pumpkin Pie Yogurt on the shelf.
How is it? It is good, but not mind-blowing. But hey, at least they listened.
Rating: – 1/2
Available at: Trader Joe’s
Cost: My supercool friend Maria sent them to me in a care package.
Notes: Friends, it is painful to me knowing that Trader Joe’s is apparently awash in a tidal wave of pumpkin spice this time of year. The nearest TJ’s is a five hour round trip from my house, and although I have been tempted to make the trek to stock up, my pragmatic side has won out. (So far.)
So, imagine my delight when Maria mailed me a box of pumpkin pancake mix AND a bottle of Bourbon Barrel Aged Maple Syrup for my testing and enjoyment.
The pancakes are outstanding. They cooked up light and fluffy and have a perfect pumpkin flavor. I happen to love gluten, but I’m cool with them being gluten free.
But the syrup. Ohhhh, so good. I am torn between wanting to drink it directly from the bottle and wanting to hoard it like the liquid gold that it is.
Available at: Aldi
Cost: I think it was two or three bucks.
Notes: I reviewed this cider last year and found it delightful, save for the tragic fact that it is non-alcoholic. When my friend Michelle gifted me with a bottle of it this year, I decided to remedy that and try it again.
It probably won’t surprise anyone to learn that while the cider is delicious on its own, bourbon makes it better.
And really, isn’t that true of a lot of things?
I recommend this cocktail be enjoyed while passing out Halloween candy or just sitting by the fire reading a good book.
Side note: Jack is obsessed with the non-boozy version of this drink. A bottle of it usually lasts less than 12 hours at our house and I have to argue with him about whether or not he can swill it directly out of the bottle.
Available At: My friend Josh gave me a six pack in exchange for a quick sewing project
Notes: I haven’t found many new pumpkin beers this year, so I was quite pleased when Josh bribed me with this one, from Ballast Point. It’s a Scottish ale, which typically has a malty flavor. The pumpkin in this particular beer is subtle and combines nicely with the maltiness. I detected cloves, cinnamon, and ginger. Good stuff, and my spokesmodel cat, Leia, agrees.
Available At: Arby’s
Cost: I think it was about $3
Notes: My sweetie asked if Jack and I wanted to meet him at Arby’s for a pumpkin shake. My answer was an immediate yes. Jack’s was, “What’s Arby’s?” but he was quickly persuaded to go, because ice cream.
The shake did indeed taste like pumpkin cheese cake. It was also significantly thicker than I’ve come to expect from a fast food shake. It was totally decent. In the unlikely event that I find myself at Arby’s again in the next few months, I’ll get one.
Available At: Books a Million
Cost: About $4 for a big one
Notes: I spent a good portion of a beautiful Saturday studying. Not only studying, but focusing entirely on math. I don’t know about you, but that wouldn’t have been in my top 15 choices of what to do with my time.
No, probably not.
Anyway, I decided to make the most of it by grabbing a table at Books a Million and having a drink. I was psyched I saw Pumpkin Spice Chai on the menu – I could study and review a new pumpkin item at the same time.
The chai had the normal sort of oatmeal cookie-ish spices I normally associate with chai – cinnamon and nutmeg. There was definitely bit of pumpkin to add to it. But sweet Linus in the patch, it was sweet. I wanted to brush my teeth when I was finished with it.
And now, I will further explain my feelings about the chai using earned value calculations, since that is what I was studying.
If you, too, are studying for the PMP certification, you’ll find that hilarious. But since that’s not likely to be the case, I’ll give you…
Available at: Whitey’s Ice Cream
Cost: About $4
Notes: Let’s step back for a moment and take a look at where we are. I eat (and sometimes make) pumpkin things, and I write about it. I write about it mostly for my own amusement, and anyone else who might be into that kind of thing. This is a serious endeavor mainly due to the fact that I will do things like eat Pumpkin Spice Peeps even though I don’t like Peeps.
So, imagine my surprise that I’ve gotten a bit of attention for this lark. WQAD did an online story, and then the Quad City Times interviewed me for their food section. Pretty cool. And if you’re joining me from one of those two sources, hi.
Can we talk about pumpkin shakes?
Pumpkin ice cream season at Whitey’s Ice Cream is a happy time for me. And I’d be largely content just eating the ice cream, harvest chippers, and the milkshakes… but with some
obsessive craziness creativity, you can do even more.
In this case, I had them make me a pumpkin shake with both pumpkin ice cream and salted caramel ice cream. It’s hard to imagine that wouldn’t be awesome, and sure enough, it is. The caramel ice cream adds an additional sweet, buttery aspect to the already great shake.
I have given 5 pumpkin ratings to all of the Whitey’s pumpkin shakes I’ve tried, but in the interest of public information, here’s how I’d rank them.
But seriously, there are no bad choices on this list.
Available at: I found mine at Target
Cost: A box is about $3
Notes: Cheese and crackers is a staple snack at my house, and Triscuits are among my preferred crackers. I like that they’re sturdy enough to hold a decent chunk of cheese, plus they’re good and salty. So, when I saw Pumpkin & Spice Triscuits on the shelf, I about broke my arm getting them into my cart as fast as possible.
I served them for Wine Night, on the pretty cheese board that my stepdad, Doug, made for me, along with goat cheese. (Not pictured: the heroic amounts of wine that we consumed).
And you guys, they are good. They are a little bit sweet, in sort of a brown sugary way, but not overwhelming. And they were very good with the goat cheese. I think a sharp cheddar or gouda would pair well, too.