Thankfulness through Serving + Pumpkin Spice Latte

We are reposting this in honor of the birthday of the Starbucks Pumpkin Spice Latte 

Thanksgiving is right around the corner for us folks living in the United States. It marks a time to remember what we are thankful for, having an attitude of gratitude, and preparing for the largest feast most of us will partake in during the year.


There are so many things that I am grateful for, but one of the main things that I am grateful for is food. However, some will neither partake in a large feast nor have the luxury to feel grateful for food, because they go without.

I live in Los Angeles, CA, a city where 54,000 people live on the street and more than 1 million students in Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) are at a possible risk of hunger. Food starvation is prevalent in this city- even though most of the country’s produce is grown in this state, people here can’t always afford it.

There are food banks, shelters, soup kitchens, and other distribution centers that are designed to help people in need and allow them to eat one great hot meal. However, these places don’t always allow for a good, sit down meal, but it is more of a cafeteria style line where you take your tray to a table lined with unknown faces, and make small talk. People should not only leave feeling full, but knowing they are someone worth value.  A space where you feel like you are welcomed home.


Close your eyes for me for a minute and just imagine a space where people are not only given a hot meal, but are completely served, valued, and respected. Dr. David Niehus, a professor at Seattle Pacific University informed me of such a space existing through St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, called The Fatted Calf Cafe.   This is a space that is an “extension of the Eucharist that we [all] share…” during the church service.  The cafe’s premise is loosely inspired by the passage of the Prodigal Son.  People are welcome to come here, be served, eat together, and be welcomed home.


I tell you this because there are people who don’t have much to be grateful for, but we have the opportunity to change that. We can do something more and help people know how valuable they are. I have encouraged this before, but will do it again, invite someone you don’t know well over to dinner this week.  Breaking bread with another person is the ultimate bond.  We share with one another sustenance and stories and in return given life.


Want to create your own Pumpkin Spice Latte?  Well, here you go:

Pumpkin Spice Latte (for two)
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Corn Free and Gluten Free Pumpkin Spice Latte
Serves: 2
  • ½ C. Organic Pumpkin Puree (Trader Joe’s Brand)
  • 2 Tbs. Organic Cane Sugar
  • 1 tsp. Cinnamon
  • 1 tsp. nutmeg
  • ½ tsp. all spice
  • ½ tsp. clove
  • pinch of ginger
  • pinch of sea salt
  • 2 shots espresso or ½ C. of Drip Coffee
  • 2 C. Milk (I use whole)
  1. In a saucepan place pumpkin, sugar, and spices.
  2. Heat over Medium heat.
  3. Stir with a wooden spoon until the sugar has dissolved into the pumpkin.
  4. Add your milk.
  5. Heat until warm.
  6. Stir in your espresso or coffee.
  7. Top with a dash of cinnamon or your own homemade whipped cream and enjoy.










About the Author:

A native Texan who, after being diagnosed with food allergies and Celiac Disease in her mid-twenties, wanted to help others who drastically had to change their diets later in life. She now lives in Los Angeles with her husband, where she operates Mary Lee Kitchen.


  1. Jenness November 8, 2014 at 6:49 am - Reply

    i love you. Great post.

  2. […] Pumpkin Spice Latte also made a grand appearance into my life the fall of my freshman year of college. I resisted the […]

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