Go to the grocery store or a bar, Starbucks or Whitey's Ice Cream this time of year, and you'll be bombarded with something — or everything — pumpkin-flavored.
Beer, cereal, Pop-Tarts, gum and doughnuts are all autumn-ed up.
And if pumpkin is on the label — no matter if it’s coffee or yogurt you come across — there's a good chance Betsy Green has tried it.
Green, 41, of Moline, runs a just-for-fun blog called Pumpkin Obsessed, with the mission of sampling and reviewing food featuring her favorite fall flavor.
On her Wordpress.com site, she writes: "I’m Betsy, and I love pumpkin things."
Green started informally reviewing food and drinks about three years ago on her Facebook page. She transferred the posts to a website last year.
"I was on Facebook, and I couldn’t stop talking about when the pumpkin spice latte was going to be at Starbucks,” she said. “I was counting down to pumpkin season like it was Christmas morning."
Since then, she has tried more than a 100 pumpkin-related items, including marshmallows, Oreos, chili and crackers, and has posted a photo, short review and ranked them from zero to five pumpkins.
From September to November, Green is in full “obsessed” mode. Friends send her ideas and dares for the blog; she recently tried raw pumpkin as a result. Green often scours the grocery store for new things to sample and has started baking and cooking more with pumpkin spices to add homemade options.
“They really do make everything pumpkin nowadays, and that’s perfectly good with me,” she said. "I try not to think about how much money I've spent on pumpkin things. Or the calories."
On Sunday, Green and her 11-year-old son Jack visited Whitey's on Locust Street to taste test a potential blog item: a milkshake made with half pumpkin ice cream and half salted caramel ice cream.
"You'd think a person would eventually get tired of pumpkin stuff," Jack Wasser said while ordering a peanut butter milkshake. "But not my mom."
Green is quick to nod her head and take a spoonful of her shake.
"This is a new combination for me, and I don’t see how it wouldn’t be good," she said. "I haven’t gotten tired of pumpkin yet.”
It’s about this time of year, however, that Green, wearing a T-shirt that reads "pumpkin everything,” says her son gets “pumpkin fatigue.”
“Every time I’m making something or buying something, it’s pumpkin this or that,” she said. “He's like, 'Can we try something else?'"
For them, the fatigue will end on Thanksgiving Day with a slice — or a few slices — of pumpkin pie. And Green is eager to soak up all the spices until then.
"With something like the pumpkin spice latte, it's only available for a few months, and that’s a big deal," she said. "You have to get it while you can. And if you wait too long, you have to settle for a peppermint mocha or something."
As for the quick posts on her blog — “I just hope I can at least make someone laugh” — she doesn’t take it too seriously.
"Pumpkin things just seem like fall to me, and I want to try them all," she said. "Maybe it will not be good, or maybe it will be my new favorite thing."