Thursday, October 29, 2009

Almost-Halloween pumpkins

Yesterday, in the produce shop, a woman started telling me about how her brother back east raises pumpkins and sells them – not as we do here, by weight – but straight-up for two dollars each. That got both of us to thinking about Halloween pumpkins and how most of us just carve ’em as decorations for the big night, then chuck them into the compost (or worse, into the garbage). Our conversation encouraged me to find a better way of conserving those contents this year.

And then, this morning I started wondering about why we use pumpkins at Halloween. While a number of sites mentioned deals with the devil, the story that most appealed to me was the one claiming carved “…lanterns represented the souls of the departed loved ones and were placed in windows or set on porches to welcome the deceased.”

Because this is the week our family observes the death dates of two beloved grandmothers, this is the explanation I choose to believe. Then sadly, on last night’s news I learned that yet another Canadian soldier has died in Afghanistan.

I think I’ll have to get one more pumpkin for our door.


daniela elza said...

One of my issues around Halloween as well is the sheer amount of waste. Of pumpkins, of candy. Not to mention the whole thing about "do not get candy from strangers" maxim.

How I managed to at least resolve the pumpkin anxiety is that I buy pumpkins to make pumpkin pie, or muffins or soup etc. and my husband buys the pumpkins to carve with the kids.

Another thought that occurred to me is that when we buy pumpkins just for the ritual of carving then perhaps that changes our growing practices. We do not grow them for the taste. So one becomes confused which pumpkins are good to eat and which are not?


Happy Hollow ing. Hallow een. Hallowe'en.:-)

hg said...

I hadn't thought about how pumpkins have likely been hybridized to suit our sometimes-silly uses for them. Good point!

There's a recipe for a pumpkin bread embedded in the link to info about putting the contents to better use. I plan on trying it.

Happy happy to you as well, Daniela!