Maybe Pumpkin Spice Potato Chips really are a thing.

You know those moments in parenting where you just don’t know how you got here, and you just can’t believe this is happening? I had one of those yesterday when Jake came home from school, completely excited about this cool new game he wants to get called Dungeons and Dragons.

I just don’t know where to go from here.

In other news, did you know it’s almost Halloween? Holy moly, did October speed by. Remember when I said that I was just swimming and swimming until October 18, and after that things would settle down? Hardy har, it seems to me that I forgot about, you know, LIFE. Not that I would say I’m any busier than anyone else – we’re all busy – but let me take this opportunity to say two words: BOOK FAIR. Yes, Book Fair Number Fifteen is rapidly approaching, and although – thank god – I have a co-coordinator who is going to take over one entire day for me, it’s still a bit of a thorn in my side. Yesterday I felt like I had things under control: I had made up a schedule for all twenty-six classes to visit the fair twice over a two-day span – the fair itself is taking place in the staff room, thanks to our overcrowded school situation – and the volunteer spots had started to fill out. Then I had an email from the principal informing me of a little glitch in the schedule that I had been unaware of, and although she immediately offered helpful solutions, I just sat and stared out the window for a few minutes. I could actually feel myself deflate.

But this is my fourth-to-last fair, so I’ve been cheering myself on like an aerobicize instructor from the Eighties: and four more, and three more, and two more…

So here comes November, with the book fair and Christmas shopping to avoid the fiery hell that is the mall in December, and the ordering of Christmas cards, and the baking of many festive treats so that they may be photographed and published asap. Speaking of which, I’m going to digress for a few minutes to tell you to read my Meatless Mummy column over at Yummy Mummy Club, for all your meatless (and decadent holiday baking) needs. I’m also going to point out that I have a joint project with Hannah and Allison, called Throwing It Back, for all your nostalgic-for-the-eighties-and-nineties needs. So if I’m not writing here, I’m over at one or both of those places, writing about chickpeas and rolling your jeans. This ends my public service announcement.

The best thing about November, in my opinion, is that it marks the end of the Reign of Pumpkin Spice. I know, I know. Everyone loves pumpkin spice. Everyone except me, apparently. I know I’m in the minority on this one, and truly, I don’t care that much – let your freak pumpkin spice flag fly, people – but the end of the Reign of Pumpkin Spice marks the beginning of the Reign of Peppermint, which is my favourite thing ever. Bless you, peppermint flavouring.

Is it me, or has the pumpkin spice trend officially gone over the top? Driving back from Sylvan Lake, the orange-hued Kubota dealership outside of Red Deer had a sign saying “We ARE Pumpkin Spice,” which made me laugh, a little. I would have taken a photo had I not been hurtling down the highway. In the grocery store was this display:


Hey, I’m not judging. I’ve tried mint Oreos and they were pretty amazing, and that’s coming from someone who doesn’t even like Oreos. I’m just wondering if we’ve reached peak pumpkin spice popularity, or if next year Lay’s will come out with Pumpkin Spice Potato Chips, or maybe Pumpkin Spice Doritos. Maybe McDonald’s will come out with a Seasonal Pumpkin Spice McRib. Maybe these things have already happened, I don’t know. As an economist, I kind of want to graph out the trends and the market share of Pumpkin Spice What Have You in September and October, and the growth in popularity over the past few years. Perhaps I should; perhaps I should apply for a grant to study the ubiquity of pumpkin spice and its effect on cancer, or something. There could be a whole correlation-versus-causation debate, like the one currently heating up over bacon and other smoked meats.


Speaking of cookies, yesterday I went to make Halloween-shaped sugar cookies for the kids’ classroom parties. While I was in my flurry of travel, a few weeks ago, I decided to make some of my mom’s never-fail sugar cookie dough to throw in the freezer for this exact reason. I was trying to be on the ball, and I would have been, if I hadn’t been so caught up in packing/ unpacking/ trying to fit work in/ etc. I remember clearly throwing together a banana bread for the kids’ snack, and then whipping up a batch of sugar cookie dough. At the time, I thought the dough felt odd, but I thought no more about it, until yesterday, when I rolled out all the shapes and thought the dough seemed rather soft.

I took my first batch of ghosts out of the oven, and they had all spread together to make one giant obese ghost. The pumpkins were just the same. My never-fail dough had failed. In hindsight, I think perhaps I was so busy multitasking that I only added two out of the three required cups of flour. I managed to whip up another batch, which worked perfectly, and the kids were only too happy to eat the batch of flat misshapen cookies. All is well in my world again.



  1. If you need nerdly guidance on the Dungeons & Dragons thing, let me know. There is a huge untapped well of gaming potential in my house (read: husband) and he’d be happy to recommend a reasonable starter set for Jake, if that’s needed.

  2. The use of pumpkin has gone over the top. I passionately dislike pumpkin spice; the only pumpkin I do enjoy is a pie, else throw out the pumpkin spice.

  3. I too am happily anticipating the season of peppermint.

    There have been some D&D attempts at my house, but the kids keep getting frustrated about the time it takes just to set up characters. Have we talked yet about the game Munchkin? It’s for people who want to play D&D and want it to take more like 1-2 hours.

  4. Hmm. Just finished an afternoon snack of iced green tea and a slice of pumpkin cake I bought at the Co-op yesterday. Maybe I am part of the problem…

  5. smothermother says

    ugh, pumpkin spice. I truly dislike it, on the verge of hate. bring on peppermint season!

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