Nina In New York: Pumpkin-Eater No Longer
A lighthearted look at news, events, culture and everyday life in New York.
By Nina Pajak
I love Autumn as much as the next person. More, probably. It’s my very favorite season of all, in fact. I love the trees, I love the air, I love putting my comforter back in the duvet cover for the first time. I love apple picking and cider donuts and the reemergence of denim and chunky knits. I love jewel tones and full-bodied red wines and the smell of leaves burning (despite the fact that we live in a city and the idea of a bonfire on the Upper West Side is actually rather disturbing). I love all of it.
Except for one thing. And it’s not even Halloween, but I’ve had just about enough of this already.
Stop putting pumpkin in all of my food. Honestly, I’m extending this to all members of the squash family.
Yeah, I said it. And I’m not taking it back, either.
I will acknowledge that these foods can be tasty. Rich in nutrients, sure. Beta carotene through the roof! Whatever. That doesn’t mean that between September 21st and December 21st, I want to put pumpkin in everything from seafood to cake to ravioli. Honestly, does anyone order the pumpkin ravioli? No. Everyone knows that ravioli is the menu item with the least bang for your buck as it is. And then to stuff it full of squash? Feh. Just stop it already.
It’s the same concept behind the excessive saturation to which we’re subjected in every thematic period—from election coverage to Christmas carols to summer cocktail specials. There is such a thing as too much of a good thing.
If I only ate pumpkin once in a while, I would love it. I’d be like, “OH MY GAWD IT’S PUMPKIN TIME, IT COMES BUT ONCE A YEAR!” And then I would gorge myself on it until I wanted to vomit and I’d swear I’d never eat pumpkin again, only to happily do it all again the following year. I mean, if I ate turkey and stuffing and cranberry sauce every single day for three months, I probably wouldn’t feel quite so strongly about Thanksgiving.
Instead, at this point, I’ve hit max capacity and feel that the only good use for pumpkin is to use it for stabbing and maiming and carving into mean or silly faces. Then it is best left outside to slowly rot until the first frost, when everyone remembers they accidentally never threw their jack-o-lanterns away.
Now of Halloween candy, on the other hand, there is no such thing as too much. I’ll take a bite-sized Snickers Peanut Butter ravioli dish any old day.