Thursday, October 1, 2009

Carving hopes will NOT be squashed this year!

Bah. Humbug. And it's not even Christmas yet.

But it's October, the Halloween season and I got no pumpkins.

I'm bitter because I REALLY wanted to grow my own pumpkins this year for pie, for seeds and most of all to make JACK-O-LANTERNS, but the squash borers decided to sink those plans, grrr.

Pumpkins can get expensive, especially the really big ones I can extravagant on and though I noted some moderately good size ones for $4/apiece I had been so intent from the start of spring/early summer to have grown my own pumpkins, even wishing to get some of those GINORMOUS pumpkin seeds and attempt to make myself a little pumpkin house in the backyard.

Husband wasn't too keen on that one.

Two years ago I bought pumpkins and I was quite pleased with my efforts:

Last year, due to finances, I skipped out on the pumpkins and made crummy brown paper bag lantern cutouts with tea candles illuminating them and they were BLAH as well as wonderfully dangerous I found.

(I realized midway that the cheap polyester costumes that kids get nowadays and in addition to clumsiness on everyone's part were not a good combo. I would like to assure everyone reading that NO ONE caught on fire that night!)

So... I want to do pumpkins again.

Granted I saw these "craft pumpkin" things on sale at craft stores, where it appears you can cut and shape and save for every year, and though I am sure it is cost effective in the long run, I like the whole Native American feeling of using the whole thing when I have a real pumpkin.

Because with a "faux-kin" I'd be constantly channeling my Jack Sparrow and thinking, "But, where's the pumpkin pie?!" (don't you dare tell me to use the stuff in the can!)

Plus there's nothing like cumin and sea salt dusted roasted pumpkin seeds, mmmm, that's autumn for ya.


A Home Made said...

I love those pictures.

I agree. The fake carve it once and save it for years to come is kinda against the whole principle.. What good is carving a pumpkin if you can't roast the seeds and cook/bake something with the meat. Also, half the fun of doing pumpkins is carving something different every year.

At this time I would like to throw out this site:
I'm sure you've stumbled on it. An essential resource for someone looking for inspiration in making that not-so-traditional pumpkin carving this year.

I'm a little excited because this will be my first halloween since leaving home for college. Last year we went to something in DC on halloween night (that had absolutely nothing to do with halloween) with Dave's mom so we never celebrated. Now that we're in a house in a neighborhood we're going to buy candy for the neighborhood kids.

I've already told Dave that I plan on getting a pumpkin. He looked at me a little funny and then politely asked what I was doing with the seeds. Yum yum of course.

So no resistance getting the pumpkin. Only one question. Any idea what kind of time frame I can have my pumpkin carved before I need to bust it in half and bake it?

I'm dying to try some recipes for pumpkin ravilloli and pumpkin bread but feel it would be a waste to make the food without the fun of carving the pumpkin.

persephone said...

Thanks for the link Anna, heh, love the combo of food, art and gardening all together!

hmmm.... not too certain about the bust it in half thing to bake it, I usually just scrape it out as well as possible and use the well scraped out flesh for food and compost the shell/husk after halloween b/c I like my pumpkins outside for display for a long while (all shrivel-y in the pics as you can tell).

I think it's all dependent on how cold it is around Halloween for you too... the colder, the less spoilage of course. The other problem too is pests/animal. I know that things were infesting/eating my pumpkin definitely at some point.

If you want to bake your pumpkin, you just might want to get one really nice one devoted for cooking, esp as the carving kind are the most delish tasting compared to say, a Japanese Kabocha pumpkin:


A Home Made said...

I ought to look more into it. I just have memories of my mom having a pumpkin cut in half and baking in the oven.. what i thought was prior to making pumpkin pie.

Maybe I can just convince dave to let me buy one for carving and one for baking.