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My Relationship with Pumpkins

pumpkin on a stumpI found this article on the web, “Breaking up with Butternut,” and it got me to thinking. I’ve created an entire website dedicated to the pumpkin … I must have a relationship with this fruit. But what is it?

How do you define a relationship? In many ways, it is your collection of memories about it. You know, like the time your Dad helped you write your name in the sand, or the time your grandmother shared cookies over a cup of tea. That kind of thing.

So, what are my memories of pumpkins?

I remember going to the pumpkin patch each year to pick out our jack-o-lantern pumpkins. My sister is disabled, so Dad would carry her on his back in a back-pack made for doing that. The air was usually brisk, and it seemed like the balls of orange went on forever. I would see one I thought would be good and turn it around, checking for deformities that would knock it out of the running. Then, when I had determined this was the pumpkin I wanted, my Dad would cut it from the vine. Once my sister and I had both chosen our pumpkins, we would head home, eagerly awaiting the October Rite of Passage.

Carving pumpkins was always fun. I love the way the gooey inside feel as they squish between my fingers. I’d pull, tug and scrape all the insides out and save as many seeds as I could to roast. Sometimes, a tiny fear would creep in — I watch way too many horror movies — and I’d think the pumpkin would take my hands off as I plunged them inside the gourd.

Then Halloween would come and we’d like candles inside. I loved to watch the flickering flame send shadows about the room.

Usually, by the next day, the Jack-o-Lantern was starting to become a soggy mess. One Halloween we didn’t throw it away soon enough and had a huge puddle to whatever to clean up from the table.

Thanksgiving would roll around and therefore the annual ritual of the Thanksgiving meal followed by grandma’s pumpkin pie. She used Libby’s recipe from the can. It tasted great!

Now, here I am experimenting with myriad ways to bring pumpkin to the table. Not only for dessert, pumpkin can be part of an appetizer, a side dish, and even the main dish.

So, what are your pumpkin memories?

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