It’s no secret that I enjoy pumpkin pie. I’ve been known to enjoy it year ‘round, thanks to the marvels of deep freeze.
Every year I get excited to see commercials for Pumpkin Pie Blizzards from Dairy Queen. I like pumpkin – I like pie – I like ice cream – in theory, it can only be a small frozen cup of deliciousness. There is no possible way you could screw up something so simple. Right?
Oh, but no. Last year I was delighted to find myself in a position to actually try a Pumpkin Pie Blizzard. I ordered it, almost bouncing with anticipation – pie! Pumpkin pie! Smooshed up into ice cream! This is gonna be SO AWESOME!
As I watched her prepare my treat, I found myself filled with a sudden trepidation. The pumpkin part of the blizzard was being scooped out of a can – okay, that’s fine, I wasn’t exactly expecting them to slice up a pie and toss it in the blender – but something didn’t look right.
I took a closer look at the can she left on the counter. It was pumpkin.
As in, not pie filling.
As in, canned plain non-spiced uncooked unprocessed pumpkin.
All jack-o-lanterns and delicious fall treats aside, a pumpkin is no more than a festive member of the squash family.
The Dairy Queen made me a Squash Blizzard.
There was a chance I was wrong, but I was pretty damn sure she had made me a blizzard using not pie filling but regular canned squash that may eventually have been turned into pie by someone who wanted to control the flavour explosion but was definitely in no way meant to be poured into a shell and baked at 400 degrees for 45 minutes as is. I didn’t know how to bring it up – “hey, you made my Blizzard wrong!” – so I just took it and went on my way.
It looked about right – orange and creamy with pieces of cookie meant to simulate pie crust. Maybe this wouldn’t be so bad after all.
Then I took a bite.
Picture yourself eating a zucchini.
Now picture that zucchini mashed up into ice cream.
Yeah, that’s about how good it tasted. It was fucking HORRIBLE. It was a goddamn Squash Blizzard! It tasted like frozen death! I got through two bites before I had to throw the thing away; the pumpkin was too thoroughly mixed with the ice cream for any of it to be salvaged. I was very sad. My delightful treat turned out to be an unholy terror from beyond the grave. I hate it when that happens.
As we neared Thanksgiving ‘08, the commercials for the Pumpkin Pie Blizzards reappeared. Because of my pie lust I was intrigued, but I had been burned too badly in the past – would I ever be able to trust a pie-flavoured ice cream treat again? Could I look past the hurt and betrayal and let myself love? Was there any point in opening myself up anew?
The delightful Ro of Creampuff Revolution made a recent post on foods that are technically healthy because of their loose association with vegetables, and she featured the Pumpkin Pie Blizzard. Bolstered by her assurance that it really does taste good and I just had an unfortunate experience, I took a deep breath, squared my shoulders, and ordered: I’d like a small Pumpkin Pie Blizzard, please.
There were no cans of squash anywhere in sight. He scooped up some grainy dark orange goo into the cup, but I was encouraged – this looked like pie filling. He topped the goo with soft serve ice cream, smooshed it all up, and labouriously topped it off with a dollop of whipped topping and a sprinkle of cinnamon.
I stared at it a little before I could bring up the nerve to try it.
It was delicious.
I am no longer afraid of pie-flavoured ice cream treats, all because Ro gave me the courage to try again.
Ro is the wind beneath my wings!