When I was a kid, in Scotland, we employed a big knobbly turnip/swede/neep/tumshie (how many names can a vegetable possibly have, you ask?) to make our scary halloween lanterns that we carried from door-to-door, rehearsing our little song, dance or poem along the way - you certainly didn’t get away with telling a lame joke back then! And, if you didn’t totally ‘freeze’ under the stare of a few overly-stern neighbours (who didn’t really get into the whole thing and only under peer pressure, opened their doors), there was a chance that you might get some sweets, a tangerine, a few monkey nuts and maybe even a sixpenny bit for your efforts!
DISCLOSURE: A few real ‘Scrooges’ were known to put all the lights out and went to bed around 6 rather than part with a few monkey nuts - yes, Mr and Mrs P at number 9 and Mrs F at number 18 - I mean you!
Anyways… it was a total relief to us Scots that we have generally accepted the American habit of using a pumpkin rather than a turnip as they were notoriously hard to scoop out and even worse to carve any kind of creative design, but we knew no better - all we knew was that Cinderella’s carriage turned into a pumpkin at midnight, not that it was some kind of massive and carvable vegetable!
And best of all, the pumpkin flesh and seeds we laboriously scoop out can be turned into loads of delicious food!
Here are 2 recipes you might want to make with all the pumpkin flesh that is cluttering your kitchen counters! I have to warn you that the squash/pumpkin and sage soup is a thing of complete and utter beauty and one bowl is never enough plus it’s very hard to say no to a generous helping of the pumpkin/squash and sage pasta which is a favourite at any time of the year.
UPDATE: me and the other kids on our road haven’t necessarily forgiven Mr and Mrs P from number 9 and Mrs F from number 18 but after around 15 years or so, we decided to let the whole ‘halloween thing’ go - grown-up or what?