Friday, October 28, 2011

The One that Got Away

We always carve a pumpkin for Halloween, and we follow the old Celtic tradition of keeping it lit (or trying) until dawn so any wandering spirits who have died in the past year will have a warm place to rest before they leave the earth (check-out time is November 1).

When it's my turn to be a wandering spirit, I plan to stay at the Hotel Danieli in Venice or the Hôtel de Crillon in Paris, but if some wayward ghost wants to hang out in my pumpkin, he or she is perfectly welcome.

We are late in getting a pumpkin this year because a) it didn't feel like fall or pumpkin season until recently, and b) we were away last weekend. So we need to get one tomorrow.  We are very fussy about shape, size, and stem, so it takes forever to pick one out most of the time.

But at the Copley farmer's market today, I spotted the perfect specimen:

This is a good-sized pumpkin; use the corn for scale.

I believe that much of the character and charm of a pumpkin lies in its stem, and I can't believe the way most harvesters cut them short and ignore them generally. Someone at Atlas Farm has the right idea with this one. I wanted it, but it was too big and heavy to carry all the way home, and I was on my way to Haymarket anyhow.

We'll get our pumpkin at Wilson Farm but I bet we won't find any stems like this one.