More to pumpkins than halloween

All summer long our son Joshua has lovingly watered his pumpkin, watching it grow in size and then start to change colour from green to orange. It has been carefully kept free from slug attacks by checking it daily. Out of Daddy’s pumpkin, little brother Daniel’s pumkin and Joshua’s pumpkin – Josh’s pumpkin was the only survivor that made it to Autumn. A few weeks ago, we deemed it to be ready. Not really sure what to look out for, we took the colour change and the hollow sounding-ness to be a sign that it was ripe.

Josh ventured out to the garden and as a proud father cuts the umblical cord of his newborn, Joshua cut the pumpkin from it’s vine.

I was then forced to attempt pumpkin soup as this had been the planned destiny of the pumpkin (A friend helpfully commented to remove the seeds before cooking which although sounds obvious, it was worth the effort of getting all the seeds out even the ones that seemed embedded throughout). The soup was a remarkably simple recipe (onion, pumpkin, and cremefraiche) but tasted the best soup we had ever tasted. The freshness of the pumpkin, the fact it had been so lovingly grown and cared for by our son for so many months, the satisfaction from being able to cook pumkin soup for the first time ever; i’m sure all this contributed to the taste (but it really did taste fantastic).

Nothing went to waste. We washed and dried the seeds, saving some to plant next year and toasted the rest to make ‘pepitas’.

I even saw a fantastic idea for the hollow skin in a waitrose magazine which is to make an autumnal flower display in it.

So our whole family had such a lot of fun with Joshua’s pumpkin growing adventure with not a bit of halloween in sight!

My boys are booked into their third Bright light’s party this weekend. The aim being to have more (not less) fun than others who celebrate halloween with no idea of the sinister effect it could be having thinking it is just harmless fun. With so much to celebrate and do this time of year (apple day, harvest, autumn season crafts and activities, bonfire night around the corner) my children have never worried about missing out on halloween and are all too pleased once the ‘yukky’ (their words not mine) displays are gone from the shops!

October 2010

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