I’m back! Someone pass me a pumpkin pie soda.

Summer’s never been an easy time for me. The heat makes me crazy and bitchy, the humidity makes me a sweaty, frizzy troll, and this summer, to add something new to the mix, my long-term relationship completely fell apart, the frequently aforementioned Flaneur moved permanently back to Italy, and for the first time in my entire life I found myself living alone. Throw in some skull-crushing hangovers, too many sad meals eaten in front of the TV, and a particularly unpleasant incident involving a locksmith and 325 of my hard earned dollars, and I’ve had one hell of a summer. (I know, what a whiner.)

But thankfully, summer, and the share of heartache that came with it this year, are on the way out.  Things are starting to look up, temperatures are starting to cool down, and I for one, am ready for fall.

I love lots of things about autumn: crisp weather, changing leaves, apple cider, my birthday (wait, no, scratch that last one), Halloween, Thanksgiving, lower electricity bills… I mean really, the list goes on and on. But perhaps my most favorite is the yearly pumpkin binge I go on where I eat everything and anything with pumpkin as an ingredient.

Pumpkin pie soda, a whole new take on my favorite fall treat

I thought I’d seen it all until earlier this week when I found myself at Whole Foods in Tribeca (i.e. my new happy place) where I saw…wait for it, wait for it… are you ready? Ok, here goes: Pumpkin freaking pie soda!! I know, MIND. BLOWN. Bam, in the basket it went.

Some of you are probably grossed out, and I get that, but trust me, you’re wrong. This Maine Root pumpkin pie soda is delicious, the perfect bubbly take on one of my favorite desserts. It’s sweet and smooth, with a very similar taste to cream soda (which I also looooove) but because it’s pumpkin pie based, it also has hints of cinnamon and nutmeg. Delicious, I tell you!

So yes, things have been rocky lately and especially here on the blogfront, there’s been a big fat nothing going on, but that’s all changing now. With a cold pumpkin pie soda in hand and fall officially just a week away, things are getting sweeter already.

Always room for more

I approach Thanksgiving, my favorite holiday and perhaps plain ol’ favorite day of the year, with a no-holds-barred mentality. If it’s on the table, I’m eating it. If there are leftovers after everyone’s done, I have seconds… and then thirds. If there’s gravy, it’s getting poured on everything short of cranberry sauce. Oh and if there’s cranberry sauce, I’m eating enough to have it coursing through my veins. And there’s never ever a question of which dessert to have, because the answer is  always all of them. That’s pretty much how this year’s Thanksgiving, spent with my boyfriend’s half-Florentine half-Floridian family, played out anyway.

But then of course, there’s the day-after remorse. The slightly tighter waistband, the mental hazinness brought on by excessive eating, the guilt. But so help me God, if I see or even hear mention of pumpkin pie (my absolute faaaaave), I snap right out of my slump and put my game face back on.

Mercer Kitchen's pumpkin pie

That’s what happened today when through a series of fortunate events, the pumpkin pie from Mercer Kitchen found itself in front of me. More of a mini-pie than a slice, MK’s version had a fluffy dollop of maple creme fraiche in place of whipped cream and a creamy, caramely blob of candied cashews next to it. Also on the plate, adding more autum color and taste was a rich, sticky caramel sauce (that I would like to guzzle by the mug-full, might I add) which was perfect for running forkuls of pumpkin pie through.

It never fails. I could be in the depths of a profound food coma, but like sleeping salts to someone knocked out cold, my tried and true favorite, pumpkin pie, will always bring me back, because there’s always room, even if just a little bit, for more pie.

Yes, more pumpkin!

 

Spiced Pumpkin Pie

Just when I thought pumpkin-flavored foods had been retired till November, BAM! I found something new! And delicious, I might add.

This classy cocktail from the Mandarin Oriental’s Lobby Lounge,  made me want to rekindle my annual pumpkin binge. The creamy, dessert-like drink was a velvety sweet concoction of Stoli Vanilla Vodka, Kahlua, Coole Swan Irish Cream, pumpkin purèe and spiced pumpkin syrup.

Sigh. It’s always a good time for pumpkin.