Pumpkin on the Brain, Plus Blind People

Since September 1, I’ve been craving a pumpkin spice latte and haven’t managed to have one yet. Here I am … about 5 weeks past pumpkin spice latte season and I have pumpkin spice on the brain. … And blind people.


What on earth do blind people have to do with pumpkin spice? Well, I’ll tell you.

I am an active member of the National Federation of the Blind. Since I was 7, I have been part of this awesome organization which promotes that blindness is just a characteristic and that blindness doesn’t hold me back from anything. This is a philosophy I strongly believe in.

Every October, the NFB hosts a myriad of activities where blind people intentionally go out into the community and educate sighted people about blindness. The NFB consists of state affiliates which are comprised of local chapters. I am a proud member of the thriving San Francisco chapter. During our September chapter meeting, while brainstorming Meet the Blind Month activities, I blurted out that we should host a happy hour with a theme. The chapter thought it was a grand idea and put me in charge. Well … I insisted on dragging along my friend Serena who writes the It Starts with Quiche blog.

We had a short chinwag (her word, not mine) and decided that we’d pull together some coktails that involved pumpkin spice, or deconstructing pumpkin spice and using those ingredients to liven up tradditional cocktails.

So let’s start with the pumpkin spice blend.

Pumpkin spice is a combination of spices typically added to dishes that contain pumpkin like pumpkin pie and pumpkin bread. The spices in that combo are: cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, allspice and/or cloves. The ratio of these spices are what really makes or breaks pumpkin spice. Once you get the hang of it, you can add this special blend of spices to anything like coffee, lattes, breads, pies, curries, etc. Let your imagination go wild. Here is the basic ratio you want to stick to:

  • 1 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • 1 tsp ground allspice
  • 1 tsp ground cloves
  • 1 tbsp + 1 tsp cinnamon
  • Note: 3 tsps = 1 tbsp

The trick is that the nutmeg, ginger, allspice, and cloves should add up in equal parts to the cinnamon. If you don’t have cloves, but you have allspice, or if you have allspice, but don’t have cloves, that’s okay. Eliminate the spice you don’t have and reduce your cinnamon by a teaspoon. It’s that easy!

Now, let’s deconstruct this misnamed pumpkin spice blend and do fancy things with each individual spice.


My favorite cinnamon is Saigon Cinnamon. It’s a Vietnamese cinnamon that smells and tastes the way I believe cinnamon should smell and taste like.

I love to put cinnamon in my coffee with a huge dollop of whipped cream. This is a delicious way to start the morning.

To make grownup coffee, you’ll need to start with cold coffee. If I make a pot of coffee, and don’t finish it, I pour the leftovers into a mason jar and use later as iced coffee or grownup coffee. To make grown up coffee, I put roughly 2 ounces of vodka and 1 ounce of Kahlua into a large glass. I top it off with cold coffee and milk. I add several dashes of cinnamon and a dollop of whipped cream. You could add ice somewhere in there, but I don’t like ice mixed with the cinnamon and whipped cream toppings.

If you aren’t much of a coffee drinker, exchange the coffee with hot chocolate. But now, you’ve made an icy cold drink into a warm, cuddly drink.

That’s how I like my cinnamon. As for nutmeg? …


My favorite way to use nutmeg is so simple it feels like cheating.

Just buy your favorite eggnog and pour into a glass. Put a few dashes of ground nutmeg on top of your eggnog and enjoy. For an orgasmic experience, grate fresh nutmeg atop your glass of eggnog and enjoy!

I told you it feels like cheating.

I’m sure there are other beverages nutmeg would go well in. I read somewhere that a dash or two of nutmeg on whiskey is rather pleasurable.

For recipes containing ginger, allspice, and cloves … Please check out my friend Blind Broad, and her blog It Starts with Quiche. She has all the ideas for the tougher spices. 🙂

Signing off for now,

Bay Area Blind Mom

P.S. If you would like to join us for happy hour, it will be on Friday, October 16, 2020, from 5 to 7 PM California time. The Zoom info will be sent to you if you send me your RSVP: lm@bayareablindmom.com.

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