“Have you tried Pumpkin Spice Tea?”, the headlines nagged. “Like pumpkin pie in a cup”.
I had to try it. (But Mum everyone is doing it!) Anyhow, after browsing a few recommended recipes I gained the general idea, and so I set to work on my own interpretation. Proving I am not just a follower – I am a creative follower. After half an hour of hard graft the Guy Fawkes Pumpkin Spice Tea Latte came into the world. Date of birth: 5th of November.
The recipe is Top Secret. Although I can divulge it includes a dash of Lapsang souchong blended with everyday Ceylon tea, is best brewed by the Billy Tea method and also, where possible, should be drunk outdoors after dark. Some knowledge of alchemy would be helpful, although not absolutely necessary.
The Lapsang souchong provides the smoke of Guy Fawkes night; the spices, cinnamon, nutmeg and cardamom are showers of sparks; chilli and black pepper the flames, while the turmeric was pure inspiration. Caution: This volatile amalgamation of spices must be diffused with milk – or who knows what might happen. I used coconut milk but soy or rice milk would also be effective. I roasted the pumpkin and scooped out the flesh, threw a handful of desiccated coconut into my blender along with the remainder of the ingredients, then I blended and chilled.
The Guy Fawkes Pumpkin Spice Tea Latte has to be experienced to be believed. It does taste like pumpkin pie – only spicier. And really it is Chai with pumpkin puree added. Strangely compelling.
Reading with tea:
Between mouthfuls of Pumpkin Spice Tea I am munching my way through Catherine Cookson’s autobiography, ‘Before I Go’. In her autobiography C.C has supplied would-be-writers with a compendium of obstacles to writing. That we know she overcame does not matter. I was in my twenty-somethings when I went through my Catherine Cookson phase and back then it did not occur to me that her nastier characters were variations of real people. Her relationship with these persons, although she does not explicitly say so, provided her with much material.
The courage it takes to write anything down has not lessened over the ages. Today the popular and swift accusation of ‘HATE SPEECH’ must concern writers across all genres. (So thank goodness for fiction.)
The following traditional British Guy Fawkes poem is not fiction and therefore is severely edited by me – just in case.
Remember, remember the 5th of November
The gunpowder, treason and plot;
I know of no reason why gunpowder treason
Should ever be forgot.
Guy Fawkes, Guy Fawkes
‘Twas his intent
To blow up the King and Parliament.
Three score barrels of powder below
Poor old England to overthrow.
By God’s providence he was catch’d
With a dark lantern and a burning match …
We shall leave it there because there are people, very serious people, who think it is time to forget Guy Fawkes altogether.
Happy Thanksgiving to my American readers. I wish we would celebrate Thanksgiving (or some version of it) in New Zealand. We could do with more celebrations down here – not fewer.