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F4T: Pumpkin Spice

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Like changing leaves and decorative gourds, the pumpkin spice latte has become a symbol of fall's commencement. Possibly it has become THE symbol. In the future we will complain that Starbucks has begun serving the libation before Labor Day, which will be a delightful complaint for those of us who enjoy such grumbling, and for those who want seasons to stay within their defined boundaries. Such a wish would make sense when stirred by what we call "pumpkin spice." 

Chef McCarthy's Pumpkin Spice
1 heaping Tbl of Cinnamon
1 heaping tsp of Nutmeg
1/4 tsp of Allspice
Have on hand some Ginger, fresh or extract.

The flavors do not inspire summer machinations, nobody will dress themselves in pumpkin-spice sunscreen and a swimsuit before alighting on the beach or rim their margarita glasses in cinnamon, nutmeg, and allspice. No, those flavors demand long shadows, cool sunny days, and overnight frosts. But the mix of flavors should not be confined to the latte, nor to the pumpkin pie, for that matter. Something magical comes when one blends cinnamon, nutmeg, and allspice. The fragrance alone is devastating. For today's Food for Thought, we trotted across our the campus of Western Iowa Tech, our home, to meet with Chef Brett McCarthy, our top chef, who gave us four ways to use the spices. 

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