Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Giants

There are giant pumpkins that grow up to 1500 pounds. Occasionally, they get even bigger than that.

They are the pumpkins that we always want to see when we go to the pumpkin patch. The giant pumpkins are known the world over and competitions are held, and by late August, giant pumpkin growers hurry to get their entry forms in. Some even consider it a sport.

Big money is paid for them, large vehicles are required to move them, and people come from miles around to take a lot of photographs, prop their babies up on them and then take even more. As a boy, I dreamt that one day I would be able to set one on my front porch and carve a big face out of it. That would get all the kids in the neighborhood to come by. Adults, too.

But now I really like much smaller pumpkins. They're much easier to manage and there is always a lot of potential when you sit down to them with your carving knife and soup spoon. And I think that what I like more than anything now is the smell of their insides, the pulp and the seeds. I even like the feel of the spoon against the shell of the pumpkin.

It all brings back memories of when we used to get them as kids. From the big cardboard box at the store or from the pumpkin patch by the freeway that was really a big dirt lot with pumpkins placed about.

I loved Halloween so much that I started to prepare for it in September, because October always went by so fast.

4 Comments:

Blogger Gerric Duncan said...

Jonathan,

Bound tight to my memory of pumpkin is hapless Ichabod's hat found next to the smashed orange gourd the night after the chase on the bridge. I couldn't figure it out. Had the Headless Horseman hurled his head?

My other early memory was of Granny trying the first slice of my very first culinary foray: pumpkin pie. She said that it was tasty and that she loved the crunchy nuts. She nearly choked when I told her that there were no nuts.

We didn't participate in yearly pumpkin selection; Dad showed up with one every year. They were always good and we loved scooping the goo and doing the hack-job (no fancy exacto-knives in our family) and lighting the candle.

In summary, my early relationship to pumpkins was defined by mystery: cannon-ball heads, where Dad got the pumpkin, and the crunchy stuff in my pie. Man, and it's good to remember those times and remember that mystery, and if I try hard I can get back to that feeling, dressing up like a ghost or wondering if the Great Pumpkin was going to show up for Linus.

-gerric

September 17, 2006 8:32 PM  
Blogger Jonathan Foster said...

I had a favorite author back then, Robert Bright, that I suspect was not all that prominent, but was in my world. Georgie, the Ghost was his character, a mild-mannered ghost who lived at the home of the Whittakers. I would check out every book he wrote (he wrote twelve) and remember most Georgie the Ghost, Georgie's Halloween, Georgie and the Robbers, and something like Georgie Goes to the City. I believe he did all the illustrations too.

Here's a link to the original: Georgie

September 18, 2006 7:06 AM  
Blogger Keith said...

I had never thought of actually growing my own giant pumpkin. As a kid my dad would always plant pumpkins but we never had any really big ones. I can't imagine it takes very much to grow a giant pumpkin; some good genes (giant pumpkin seeds), water, and some magic soil. I imagine you also prune the vines so there is only one pumpkin growing on the plant.
This sounds like a fun project. I'll have to do some further research before spring comes. I can't imagine what it would take to carve such a large pumpkin though, power tools? chain saw?

-Keith Kemp
BCC Student

November 19, 2006 11:20 PM  
Blogger Jonathan Foster said...

My big question is how does one move a pumpkin that is over 100 pounds, not to mention 1500 pounds?! And another thing: out of all the giant pumpkins I've seen in my day, I have yet to see one where someone has carved a jack-o-lantern from it. Now THAT would be fun.

November 20, 2006 5:39 AM  

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