The Lure (and Lore) of the Pumpkin

Happy New Year! After the hubbub of the holidays has calmed, B. and I determined to make use of our wonderful large pumpkins. Pumpkins have saved people from famine, and even have their own vampire lore, believed by the Romani people to show traces of blood and move of their own accord. Many cultures enjoy them: in the Americas since pre-Columbian times, they’ve been cultivated nearly as long as maize (one of the oldest crops), dating back to ca. 3500 BC.

Cutting into the hard flesh, cubing and grating the fragrant squash, we toasted the seeds for eating, and made pumpkin butter (great for toast, pie, cereal, pancakes, etc.), pie, bread, and curry.

This list is not exhaustive – I also want to make pumpkin wine, soup, enchiladas, etc. How lucky we are to live in such a beautiful place, and harvest garden bounty even in winter! This is the time of year when many of us start to think of new plans, how to improve ourselves, our lives, and the world, but I also love the quiet – taking a moment for introspection, relaxation, and appreciating what we have.


Cutting and cubing our pumpkin


Separating seeds for toasting!


Pumpkin butter makes a nice gift.


B’s favorite: pie with our own pumpkin and walnuts (and a little melted chocolate)!


Grated pumpkin for the bread


Best pumpkin bread ever – using grated pumpkin instead of puree


Pumpkin curry with chicken and tofu



About thislittleplot

Writer, hiker, loafer
This entry was posted in Garden, Nature, Seasons, Uncategorized and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to The Lure (and Lore) of the Pumpkin

  1. utherben says:

    From the Wikipedia link:
    “According to them there are only two plants which are regarded as likely to turn into vampires: pumpkins of every kind and water-melons. And the change takes place when they are ‘fighting one another.’ ”

    This reminded me of the Benandanti of medieval Friuli, the “fennel-witches” who used to fight the “sorghum-witches” (Malandanti) on the Ember Days, according to Carlo Ginzburg. Although the Benandanti were human (& many died at the stake), they used vegetal symbolism to represent themselves; I wonder if the Romani superstition of vampiric melons vs vampiric squash is perhaps a folk-memory of similar warring bands of people/secret societies.

  2. Chris Stevens says:

    Beautiful gourds! Where’d you get them?

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