It’s orange, it’s round(ish) and it’s full of seeds. Its texture is mostly smooth, yet somewhat bumpy. It may have its imperfections, but it conjures the idea of Halloween and is sure to brighten up any front steps at any home this fall season. It’s a pumpkin!When it comes to pumpkins, this versatile fruit can be pureed, carved, decorated or its seeds roasted. Will you choose a mix of gourds as a table decoration, or are you having a carving party, the results of which will greet trick-or-treaters when they come to your front door? Whatever the choice, the right kind of pumpkin takes patience to find.
The annual pumpkin hunt begins in late September by most accounts and ends in late October, just in time for All Hallows Eve. A few things to keep in mind when choosing a pumpkin are purpose, color and size; do you want a flat-front pumpkin, a rounded, bright orange pumpkin to make into a jack-o’-lantern, a small sugar pumpkin ripe for cooking or just anything that will brighten a display?
On a recent visit to a pumpkin patch, it didn’t take long for me to realize that the field had been picked over. Among the remaining were numerous gourds and orphaned carving pumpkins, left behind because of their misshape; it was up to me to find a diamond in the rough, something decorative for the neighbors to see. Lo and behold, among many of the rotten and deformed were two small, perfectly rounded and flaw-free, albeit a bit dirty, pumpkins sitting all alone as if they were grown just for me. They do rise from the ground, after all.
If you’re looking to carve, a large pumpkin is in order so that any detail you might put into it can be showcased on the grandest of scales. If you’re painting, maybe a bunch of small ones is in order. If you’re looking for a unique centerpiece for a dining table, bumpy gourds in different shades of green, yellow and orange, and even the misshapen larger carving pumpkins would work well together. Throw in some leaves from a craft store, and you’ve brought fall indoors.
Whatever the type of pumpkin you pluck from the patch, make it your own and get in the fall spirit.