It’s happened: fall is officially here.
Actually it’s not – still another week until the equinox – but my internal calendar has made the switch, and that’s what’s important. The change had been creeping up slowly these past couple of weeks. First, access to blueberries grinded to a halt, then I found myself seriously losing interest in the watermelon I had in the fridge (what would be the summer’s last!). Still, what finally flipped the switch wasn’t the departure of a summer fruit or some other romantic seasonal discovery. In fact, it may just be the most bastardized recreation of autumnal produce on the market…
Behold: the Pumpkin Iced Coffee from Dunkin Donuts. Autumn in a cup, with just a little milk.
The pumpkin iced coffee (PIC from here on) came into my life this weekend on a camping trip with Laura and my roommates. On the way to the site, we decided to stop at Dunkin for a little pick me up. Needless to say, every one of us got the PIC and every one of us was a different person because of it. How it managed to convey such warm autumnal flavors while still being refreshingly ice-cold is beyond me, but my hat goes off to the team of Dunkin Donuts flavo-chemical engineers that figured it out.
Once in the mood, the four of us went on to celebrate the beginning of fall around the campfire. We made sausage and pepper sandwiches (cooking the veggies by throwing them into the fire until completely black), some absolutely killer s’mores, and roasted apples (using the same “just throw it in there” method). To drink, we had a sampling of seasonal beer and pumpkin ales (to be expounded upon in another post). Everything was ultra simple and delicious – a total success in ushering in the season.
So how do I feel that, in the wake of my seasonal renaissance, autumn was marked by the artificial flavorings of a fast-food conglomerate? I have to admit, I’m fine with it. There will be plenty of time for fresh pumpkin from the farmers market. I’m just happy I was able to fully experience the change of the season with people I care about, and I’m grateful for whatever helped me do it. And yes – I’m definitely getting more of that coffee.