by Bridget Callahan
It’s Fall, that magical time of the year when some places get really cold, and other places stay warm. Time to break out your coziest sweaters/long sleeved t-shirts/exact same thing you’ve been wearing since April, and go to the park to kick around leaves/tourist litter/very small, green lizards.
And of course, what Fall season would be complete without that magical fairy dust we call Pumpkin Pie Spice.
Pumpkin Pie Spice has a long and venerable history in this country. It was invented in 1621, when European refugees seeking religious asylum settled in the dark, terrifying forests of Massachusetts. The early American woods were thick with demons, witches, monsters, and brown people who didn’t appreciate being killed by God’s servants as much as they should, and right off the bat everyone started having a shitload of nightmares. Eventually, the settlers could not stop their nightmares from leaking into their daily waking lives. Horses turned up gutted in the morning streets. Children were locked down in wells for several months at a time. Whole families were trapped inside barns and burned alive.
One night, a young maid was making her signature trash squash pie (pumpkin) when she decided to poison her horribly abusive, pious freak of a master. She had earlier foraged some death-cap mushrooms, to mash in with the squash, (so actually she didn’t *just* decide anything) but she knew the family would be able to taste them against the overwhelming blandness and trashiness of the pumpkin. So she raided the very expensive spices cabinet to cover up her crime. Lucky for her, the treasured products of global colonial oppression worked. The maid, taking the alias Betty Crocker, escaped to the woods of Pennsylvania, where she started a women-only commune farm. The farm grew, and became famous as a haven for women who had been cast out of society, escaped their abusers, or simply had enough and snapped. The commune supported itself and its mission by packaging and selling a special mix of exotic spices and aromatics, guaranteed to hide the taste of any poison.
Unfortunately the commune was burned in 1682 by William Penn, and the women massacred, but their particular blend of spices, nicknamed Pumpkin Pie after that first deadly dessert, lived on. Today, Pumpkin Pie Spice is used in everything from hand soap to coffee flavored with hand soap.
Making your own blend of Pumpkin Pie spice is a thoughtful gift for any occasion. What single American woman in her late twenties/early thirties can smell this warm, comforting blend of autumnal flavors, and not taste blood and freedom? Using fresh ingredients will produce a much stronger fragrance and flavor than pre-packaged, store-bought kinds, and your friends will appreciate the extra effort! After all, no one wants to poison a repeat emotional abuser with stale cinnamon.
Homemade Pumpkin Pie Spice (Fuck the Patriarchy)
6 cinnamon sticks
1 nutmeg seed
2 inches fresh ginger
1 tbsp dried allspice berries
1 tbsp whole cloves
Step 1: Grind the cinnamon. Use a spice grinder if you must, but the traditional method of grinding the sticks to powder between your teeth as you contemplate the sins of past lovers is recommended.
Step 2: You only need about half the nutmeg seed ground, so we recommend scraping it repeatedly on the scar tissue of your middle school heart, when you internalized the idea that when people made fun of you for something you liked, it mattered.
Step 3: Dig the ginger out of the ground, from the garden your mom dug in the back of the yard right after your stepfather’s best friend disappeared. There’s so much ginger back there. It’s just thrives.
Peel and chop the ginger as fine as you can, then take it to the beach with you, and leave it out under the sun for as long as you stay out there. Which is longer than you should, and sure you’ll burn, but after a day or two of burns, you’ll look tan, and everyone who told you the day before how poisonous the sun is will, the very next day, tell you how fucking hot you look, because no one pays attention to what they’re actually saying.
Step 4: Put the allspice berries and cloves underneath your mattress and fuck whoever you want until they are pulverized. Fuck anyone at all, anyone you want. No one is judging you. Mike doesn’t care or he wouldn’t have taken that girl to Chicago.
Step 5: Combine all ingredients.
6 Spread out mix on baking sheet,
7 spit on it, and make a small pinprick on your thumb.
8 Squeeze your thumb until at least two drops of blood spill out.
9 Leave out on counter until liquids have dried, then stir again.
Pour in an airtight container and voila! You’ve got a fragrant, delicious spice mix that will last for up to 8 weeks, which is exactly how long Mike has to get his stuff out of my house.