Posted by: crispygoldenflaky | September 20, 2010

a love of pumpkin spice and sam

Today I was sitting at Starbucks having a… PUMPKIN spice latte contemplating the intensity of my experiences with food and a sudden rush of everything that reminds me of pumpkin spice lattes exploded into my mind.  It was almost exhilarating!  First of all, let me tell you that fall is my absolute favorite season, pumpkin bread and cupcakes and lattes make up my favorite flavor, and Thanksgiving is my favorite season.  Pumpkin spice lattes conjures up weaker memories like being out of breath from running home on the half-day that always came before Thanksgiving break in elementary school.  (And I say ‘weaker’ because I don’t remember the specific days here as well.) Pumping my little lungs full of crisp, autumn air was the most refreshing feeling and there was always something so gosh-darn delicious about the smell you would emit after rolling around in piles of freshly raked leaves.  Our house always smelled like some sort of apple-cinnamon spice glade, and everytime I smell apple-cinnamon spice glade, I think of the initial burst of warm air from opening my front door after playing outside in the foliage.

The stronger memories include long talks with Sparky, Sarah, and various others during junior and senior year of high school when we finally made our way up in the ranks of high school and had cars so we could leave school whenever we wanted.  We would sit there for hours in the left-corner nook by the bathroom at the Starbucks on the corner of Backlick and Braddock chatting about insecurities, dreams, and biology until either our paper cups were finally empty (we tried to nurse them for as long as possible with TINY sips) or it was time for a home football game (funny how spirited we were even though we never won…ha ha).  And then we’d send each other our love and head home in time to make a late dinner or… in my case, a 9 o’clock curfew.  And when it got nearer to Christmas, we’d sometimes get eggnog lattes or peppermint mochas, but it was the same kind of conversation that bound us to each other in a cozy, autumny way.  It’s crazy how everytime I even vaguely catch the scent of a pumpkin spice latte, I automatically remember curling up on the brown leather seats, probing the topics of the world with a curious mind and a couple of good friends.  I sure miss that!

Now I usually hate keeping track of things (ha!), but yesterday marked a year since I found a certain Samuel.  I am soo damn lucky sometimes.  I remember studying at Brueggers for microbio and flirting with Lanier, the tall guy who always plugged in my computer.  And then heading to the quarry with Doug and Shannon, who had never been before!  I ran into Sam Carreon and her huge group of friends (typical Samantha) and Shay, Doug, and I set up camp way far away from them.  We swam to the jumping spot and made friends with everyone quickly and from that, I’ve met some of my most favorite people from Duke – Sam, Stephen, and Brian!  I remember leaving the quarry wanting to know more about “other Sam.”  I also remember that night being one of the uncomfortable nights I had at Duke.  It involved a drive to Wilmington (which was beautifully aggressive at night), and an uncomfortable drive back that left me incredibly frustrated about losing a good friend for a while.  And don’t worry, it was Maxwell’s graffiti progressive which was happening in my room.  Hahaha.  Oh, Maxwell…

It’s been quite the year of ups and downs and it’s incredible to have a best friend through all of the turmoil and as Maddy’s friend would say… chaos (pronounced “chaws”)!  From originally thinking he was a square because he didn’t jump at the quarry to crying soooo hard on the plane to San Francisco when I thought I wasn’t going to see him for 2 years, he’s been the steady voice of reason for me when I’ve been at my worst and my most supportive best friend for me when I’m at my best.  I don’t understand how he’s been able to put up with so much quirkiness and sometimes neverending spunk.  Gosh, I’m pretty crazy about him, I guess.  🙂  Sooo we went to Max’s Oyster Bar in West Hartford and it was deeeelish.  It’s funny how I’ve come to judge foods from what I’ve learned in the culinary cultures class at Duke.  I had a thick, stick-to-your-bones lobster bisquey chowder.   It was legit though, because we’re in New England, RIGHT?!  And scallops.  Woooo-eee  I LOOOVE scallops.  With creamy polenta, roasted eggplant and peppers, and basil oil.  Which I described to Sam as “pesto without the parm, garlic, and pinenuts”! and then he proceeded to describe his mushrooms as “a breakfast omelet without the eggs, onions, veg, and meat.” Ha-ha-ha.  Lil sasser.  Meh!  Then we walked around West Hartford, which is vaguely like Clarendon.  Cute lil shops and young people.  And people running at night…

New autumn inspired apartment decorations
Pumpkin spice candle – Yankee!
Dish towel

Wall decorations

Stocking up on pumpkin puree

Tonight was DFD!  Dessert for Dinner.  We made No Pudge Fudge brownies with Lite Whipped Cream and Vanilla Ice Cream.  YUMMMMM.  I am SO content right now.

Brownie mix and yog
Mixing the ingredients
Spreading it into the cake pan
Done.  Cooling.

All together now!




  1. Those cans are pumpkin pie mix, not pumpkin puree–gotta have the real thing! I’ll send you my recipe for Pumpkin Pecan Pie, one of Sam’s faves! love you!

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