Fall Fun Series II: Exsquashted

Exsquashted Main

Perhaps it’s because every single pumpkin fragrance gives me wretched headaches (even those I previously had no problem with) but I am not feeling the pumpkin love this autumn.  Typically I’m drowning in all manner of pumpkin spice-scented candles and bath and beauty products, not to mention a boatload of pumpkin spice lattes, but this year?  Precious few pumpkins.

First, it seems that my body’s aversion to pumpkin scents (if not my sense of smell, because I really do like them) is not vendor-specific.  These pumpkin-based scents from Super Tarts give me just as bad a headache as any other wax I’ve encountered this year.  Unfortunate, as they’re pretty yummy fragrances, all (Elm Street, a maybe-too-bready blend of pumpkin creme brulee, toasted marshmallow and sweet cornbread, Psycho, a tart, slightly spicy blend of warm pumpkin bread, sweet raspberries and spiced sour cream cake, Addam’s Family, a rich blend of salted caramel, pie crust and pumpkin cupcakes and 28 Days Later, a sweet bakery blend featuring Blueberry Pumpkin Patch, cake batter, vanilla ice cream and cranberry preserves.)

Pumpkin Basket

Here’s my Yankee kitty, Sophie, holding a couple of cubes of Elm Street over her pumpkin cauldron.  I’ve never cared for the Elm Street movies (undead child molester – uh, neat?) but I always thought Freddy had style, and so does this slashed-up, two-toned tart (red and dark brown stripes, of course.)

Sophie the Cat

Finally, here’s a beer my husband grabbed yesterday on a run out to the grocery store – local Ottawa brewery Big Rig‘s Tales From the Patch, a spiced pumpkin porter.  And what precisely is a spiced pumpkin porter, you may be asking?  Well, an alcoholic beverage I can’t quite wrap my head around, for one.  Spiced pumpkin beer soda.  Creamy pumpkin soda beer.  Carbonated pumpkin beer drink.  You know, I’m not really doing Big Rig or Tales From the Patch any favours here with my not-so-descriptive abilities, but I actually am underselling this one – it’s not that offensive, with the flavours all coming at you in separate, but equal, measures.  Also, the can glows in the dark!  Ooh, shiny! *runs away in distracted glee*

Beer Collage

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Canada 150 Ale

Canada Day One-Fiddy

Canada is celebrating its 150th year of Confederation this Saturday (also known as its sesquincentennial anniversary; rolls right off the tongue, don’t it?) so I thought it would be fitting to create a manicure honouring a beloved (?) Canadian beer, the Labatt 50.

For any non-Canuck readers out there, 50 Ale, a product of the Labatt Brewing Company, is pretty much on par with Budweiser or PBR (as in it’s yellow, wet, carbonated, contains hops and will get you seriously screwed up on the cheap if you drink about a dozen of them.  And I never have, partly because I’m an old fuddy duddy who turns up her nose at wildly inappropriate alcohol consumption, but also because 50 is nigh undrinkable. I think I’d sooner down a Schlitz.)

“But wait!” you may be saying.  “I thought you Canadians hailed from the land of fantastic beer.  Isn’t every second building in your city a microbrewery now?”  And the answer to all of those questions would be YES (I actually know someone who rents farmland on which to grow his specially-cultivated hops.)  A big old YES…50’s just perhaps not one of those beers.  Then again, we also have LXD (Labatt Extra Dry), Molson Dry (*shudder*) and a high octane, out-of-production animal by the name of Molson XXX, which is the first alcohol I ever drank.  It tasted like cardboard and nightmares.

But 50 will always hold a special place in my heart, and presumably also in the hearts of many, many Canadians across this great country.  It’s the beer of university house parties, homecoming weekends, moves and cottage weekends, and one epic night of karaoke at the Duke of Somerset.  So I can think of no better way to usher in Canada’s 150th than by raising a sudsy pint to the beer that’s been here for the big moments, the little moments, and all those other moments in between that we just call Canadian life. To the next 150!