Consider us gluttons for pumpkin punishment or maybe it was just over exuberance for all things pumpkins, but me and the SO did seemingly get many a thing of pumpkinness from Trader Joe's. Fortunately our skin has not begun to turn orange from all we've eaten, but that's not to say it won't seep out our pores in the coming days. If nothing else, I will say we definitely got our fill and more to last us through Thanksgiving and beyond. Getting on with things, here's is the latest round-up from our trip to pumpkin town.
Autumnal harvest pasta sauce--it's called that because it also includes butternut squash and tomatoes so it is not solely pumpkin. But it does have that orange glow. I decided to whip up a dish using it. I cooked up some ground turkey (see, just like Thanksgiving!) and tossed in a few peas for color and plopped it all over some nice pasta! Here's what it looked like.
The most noticeable thing about the sauce right off the bat was that is was very thick, almost tomato paste like. I had to mostly scoop it out of the jar and then add some water to it to loosen it up. Even after that it was still rather thick. It does have that pumpkin/squash flavor, but beyond that, it came off a little flat as in missing some seasoning. Maybe a little salt/pepper, just something. As is, it's like a thick pureed squash thingy. I guess one can always spice it up themselves and as an alternative to your standard pasta sauce, it was fine. Not something I'm wowed by, but okay enough.
This lovely forkful is the pumpkin butter. Basically a pumpkin puree with added brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, sugar and then some more sugar. Boy howdy was this sweet. Yikes, it made my teeth ache. While I can't say you can really taste the pumpkin in this, you will definitely get full notes of cinnamon and nutmeg. It also sort of has the consistency of applesauce or baby food more precisely. A little of this goes a long way, like a real long way. You don't need much to get a sugar fix. Me and the SO thought it was a bit much but Ms. O loves and swears by this, much like the cream cheese. I'm guessing she's a big fan of cinnamon then and it's pretty much killed her taste buds so pick whichever opinion works for you.
Pumpkin ice cream--yeah, I'm not the ice cream person here so I left this all up to the SO to recommend or not. When we opened the container it was orange as orange can be. And much like the above pumpkin butter, it was yowza' sweet. I thought I tasted pumpkin in there but I wasn't sure as I was dizzy from the sugar rush. The SO was a fan though, or at least I think so--they did manage to go through the whole pint. I guess as a lark it was fine, though I believe there are better versions out there like Graeter's
Pumpkin spice coffee--and yes this was strictly for the SO since I don't drink it, but I did take 2 sips just to see what it was like. I will say it does have the smell of pumpkin when it is steaming in the water. It's very strong and not a totally unpleasant smell. This is a real dark roast making it very hardy indeed. One or two sips was more than enough for me and the flavor I got was akin to burnt pumpkin. Not my thing by a long shot. However, the SO freakin' loved it. They are the consummate coffee drinker and I will gladly say, based their opinion, that if you like coffee and pumpkin, who needs that Starbucks calorie bomb. You can get a canister of this and cream and sugar to your own tastes and you will be perfectly happy. So I'm told.
Pumpkin cranberry crisps. Looking at the ingredients on this one it lists pumpkin powder as the ingredient. I'm guessing that helps add the orange color but not so much on the taste. This is more crispy bread with dried cranberries thank a pumpkin thing. Plus, you don't get that many in the box for the cost. Interesting party platter bite maybe, but that's about it.
We toyed over weather to get this pumpkin pancake and waffle mix or not and came down on the side of no. They must have a lot of it because it was in a big dump display at the front of the store (the rest of the pumpkin stuff we had to wander around and discover). It's more of that pumpkin powder stuff here and I think I was like, ugh, no. Plus, I'd have to actually get up one morning and make them and that is so not gonna happen. For my money and time it is much easier to go out and get pumpkin pancakes in San Francisco. Unless you are one of those morning people who jumps out of bed whistling a happy tune while you whip up a batch then fine. If you aren't, then I'd suggest trying out the pumpkin pancakes at Dottie's True Blue Cafe, Straw, Zazie, Plow, Brenda's French Soul Food and any number of other places that are serving them up now and some that will continue after this harvest Thanksgiving madness is over.
Wow, I'm exhausted now and nearly pumpkined out, though not completely as I still got another one to go. With Thanksgiving less than a week away I think I'll just carry this theme over a few posts and see what comes up. This time of year, one can never get enough pumpkin, right? If not, well don't worry. Xmas is only a few weeks away and I'm sure there will be many a holiday treat rolling out to take care of any lingering pumpkin aftertaste you may be having. Till then.....