Saturday, September 17, 2011

The Sixth Annual Pumpkin Challenge

This could be your year to win. Your chances are better this year because the reigning champion will be less of a contender. Baffling as it may sound, I will be preoccupied by a number of life events that people claim to be more important than pumpkin season. I mean no dishonor to the Great Pumpkin and hope he will not bypass my patch this year. But ho! Perhaps you are new to the Pumpkin Challenge!

Every year, from September 15 through Halloween, all are invited to consume as many pumpkin foods as possible. So epicurate a cornucopia of new recipes and buy out the grocery. Or, better yet, try and beat my record. Here are the rules:
  • The only beverage allowed is the milkshake.
  • Food items may not be doubled. (Two slices of pumpkin cheesecake count as one item. The only way it could count for two different items is if the second item has a distinct enough difference of flavor that it warrants a different name AND the item comes from a different source than the first item.)

Why have was the Pumpkin Challenge created?

Originally the short-term goal was to encourage pumpkin season to start earlier than October, since they are mostly only offered around Halloween and Thanksgiving. Happily, this year and last year have shown progress of pumpkin activity in early September! The long-term goal is for pumpkin products year round. If you aren't currently active in the off-season of the Pumpkin Challenge, my hope is your participation will help you branch out into new pumpkin dishes (not just pie, bread and muffins) and give you post-autumnal pumpkin pangs.