We have done our first decorating for Fall. The kids have been itch’n to use the “volunteer” pumpkins from the garden. Last fall we had several pumpkins that ended up in the compost pile and this spring we were surprised by dozens of plants from the remains. We kept five or so of the best located sprouts and the kids spent the summer watching the vines grow and counting how many pumpkins developed. Haydn, being the grand leader he is, picked out the largest one, Ansa favored the “babies” , and Tristen claimed the rest! The downside to the pumpkins volunteering to grow in the compost pile was that they matured in mid-August; we weren’t sure they wouldn’t rot before October. We ended up loosing five or six but they are in the compost pile and will hopefully surprise us in the spring.
We gathered around the picnic table with our carving utensils, spoons, and stencils. After cutting a hole in the top the kids scooped out the insides. One benefit from the pumpkins being almost two month old is that the insides weren’t slimy. In fact, several had seeds that had sprouted!
Not being even remotely artistic, it seemed best to have a guide for carving. There is a neat stencil tool at Better Homes and Garden. While Rick finished the carving, I took the seeds, rinsed them, and put them in a pan with olive oil and sea salt. After they started “popping” and looked crisp I cooled them on a paper towel. The kids enjoyed their first fried pumpkin seeds and I was thrilled to be sharing a memory from my childhood.