Pumpkins galore

These have pumpkin and milk, which makes them healthy, right?

I went to Trader Joe’s on Friday to do my weekly pre-weekend hunting and gathering. Such an excursion is necessary when one has teenagers, as their need to eat is frequent and vast.

This feeding frenzy is compounded and multiplied when teens are in groups, and since there are frequently extra teens here at Jenworld on the weekends, my kitchen is often under attack.

So in the interests of holding back the ravenous crowds, I went to Trader Joe’s with the plan to buy food — a lot of it. I had no specific plan, other than fruits and vegetables, some salty snacks, some sweet treats, and probably some apple cider. Because it’s fall, yo.

I’m not a frequent Trader Joe’s shopper, so imagine my surprise when I rolled in ready to hunt and gather and the first thing I saw was a display of pumpkin-flavored foods. This particular stockpile included granola, bagels, and “toaster pastries” (known to most of us more commonly at Pop Tarts).

Further into the store, I found more and more and MORE pumpkin.

I counted 12 desserts in just this one area.

Then there were the pumpkin carbs:

There was more, a whole lot more, but after a while, I lost count. The best I can tell, Trader Joe’s jumped on the pumpkin bandwagon and was making a run for the border.

Naturally, as I was going through the store, I was tweeting and instagramming photos and offering commentary about all this.

Later, when I got back to Jenworld and started unloading my groceries, I had a painful realization:

*hanging my head in shame*

But I can attest that the macarons (freezer case photo, above) are goooooood.

Related to all this is this tweet, which a friend shared with me:

Thus, I have realized that as much as I mock the pumpkin craze, I am part of the problem, even if I don’t drink pumpkin spice lattes. I am confessing my hypocrisy here in an attempt to stay honest.

On a somewhat related note, I recently read an interesting article about Anthony Bourdain. In it, he stated that while we all might mock those who post photos of their meals on Instagram and scorn all the food fads, the fact is, food crazes help broaden the American palette.

Yes, pumpkin, kale, fancy salts, Brussels sprouts, pomegranate, and other trendy foods might go too far, but they do help shake Americans from the bad food habits and deep eating ruts developed after World War II and which continued for decades. Eating pumpkin isn’t just healthy, it’s helping us create new foodways in the U.S.

So maybe I don’t need to hang my head in shame and confess my sins. Perhaps I can just be a part of a movement?

Now I really want to sink my teeth into some pumpkin macarons.

Disclosure: Y’all know I’m not employed by Trader Joe’s, right? They didn’t ask me to blog about them and the opinions expressed here are all my own.
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9 Responses to Pumpkins galore

  1. Cassi says:

    The first step is admitting you have a problem . . . . :-)

  2. Nina says:

    Our Trader Joes claims something like 80+ pumpkin items which I think is kind of crazy. My kids go nuts for the pumpkin pancake mix though, so I always try to stock up this time of year.

  3. Dude. I say, hold your head high, embrace, and enjoy. In related news, Laura said the pumpkin bagels were amazing.

  4. Little Miss Sunshine State says:

    I have already made ( almost-sugar-free) pumpkin cookies.Sometime before Thanksgiving I will make (almost-sugar-free) pumpkin cheesecake and possibly (almost-sugar-free) pumpkin whoopee pies.

    Some of my family like Pumpkin beer…Yech. My son did mention wanting to try the Pumpkin Cream donut at Dunkin.
    That will be all for us. Then it’s on to All Things Peppermint!

  5. Pumpkin waffles sound really yummy. I should know because I’m a fan of sweet potato pancakes.
    I’m smiling at your admission, Jen, and I agree that the food crazes often go a little far off course BUT have also made unpopular, healthy foods gain back some credibility.
    I type this out while eating my lunch of cream of turnip soup, made by my husband with the free turnips (including the greens) that we obtained at the farmer’s market. I never dreamed I’d be eating such fare. Now if only I’d thought to bake a nice pumpkin pie…

    I didn’t stop at TJ’s last night on my way home from a weekend craft fair. Thanks for giving me a glimpse of what I missed.

  6. Ally Bean says:

    I hadn’t thought about the pumpkin craze as being a way to “broaden the American palate” but that’s true. So maybe I should be quiet about the over-pumpkin-spice-ification of foods. Nah… where’s the fun in that?

  7. I just had TJ’s Pumpkin Ice Cream the other night at a friend’s house. Oh my god it’s like the frozen middle of grandma’s pumpkin pie. That being said, I’m suffering from a little bit of pumpkin fatigue and it’s not even Halloween. I know I should do a pumpkin something for my website but I think I might just go buy some more of the ice cream and call it a day.

  8. Wear your pumpkin pride, lady! I had a pumpkin dessert last night at book club and it was really good. I like how the crazes expose us to new things-it is true, I never thought about it that way before, though.

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