Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Hey There PUNKIN'!

Ok, I'm starting to get into the Halloween mood. I can't wait to get a pumpkin and carve it out. We do it everyyear, even though its a pretty messy ordeal. We just make sure to have plenty of newspaper and a big scooper type spoon.

I haven't gotten productive enough to save the pumpkin seeds, or the scooped pumpkin to make bread or a pie or anything creative like that - although I used to like eating pumpkin seeds, and they were one of my Uncle Daves favorite snacks.

I found some interesting pumpkin facts on the 'net, thought you might enjoy:)

Everything You Ever Wanted To Know About Pumpkins But Were Afraid To Ask...

- Pumpkins are fruits. A pumpkin is a type of squash and is a member of the gourd family (Cucurbitacae), which also includes squash, cucumbers, gherkins, and melons.

- The largest pumpkin pie ever baked was in 2005 and weighed 2,020 pounds.

- Pumpkins have been grown in North America for five thousand years. They are indigenous to the western hemisphere.

- In 1584, after French explorer Jacques Cartier explored the St. Lawrence region of North America, he reported finding "gros melons." The name was translated into English as "pompions," which has since evolved into the modern "pumpkin."

- Pumpkins are low in calories, fat, and sodium and high in fiber. They are good sources of Vitamin A, Vitamin B, potassium, protein, and iron.

- The largest pumpkin ever grown was 1,689 pounds. It was grown by Joe Jutras of North Scituate, Rhode Island.

- Pumpkin seeds should be planted between the last week of May and the middle of June. They take between 90 and 120 days to grow and are picked in October when they are bright orange in color. Their seeds can be saved to grow new pumpkins the next year.

Ever wanted to know why we call pumkins Jack O'Lanterns? Well , here is a fairly good story on why - hope enjoy this too:))

Pumpkin carving is a popular part of modern America's Halloween celebration. Come October, pumpkins can be found everywhere in the country from doorsteps to dinner tables. Despite the widespread carving that goes on in this country every autumn, few Americans really know why or when the jack o'lantern tradition began. Or, for that matter, whether the pumpkin is a fruit or a vegetable. Read on to find out!

People have been making jack o'lanterns at Halloween for centuries. The practice originated from an Irish myth about a man nicknamed "Stingy Jack." According to the story, Stingy Jack invited the Devil to have a drink with him. True to his name, Stingy Jack didn't want to pay for his drink, so he convinced the Devil to turn himself into a coin that Jack could use to buy their drinks. Once the Devil did so, Jack decided to keep the money and put it into his pocket next to a silver cross, which prevented the Devil from changing back into his original form. Jack eventually freed the Devil, under the condition that he would not bother Jack for one year and that, should Jack die, he would not claim his soul. The next year, Jack again tricked the Devil into climbing into a tree to pick a piece of fruit. While he was up in the tree, Jack carved a sign of the cross into the tree's bark so that the Devil could not come down until the Devil promised Jack not to bother him for ten more years.

Soon after, Jack died. As the legend goes, God would not allow such an unsavory figure into heaven. The Devil, upset by the trick Jack had played on him and keeping his word not to claim his soul, would not allow Jack into hell. He sent Jack off into the dark night with only a burning coal to light his way. Jack put the coal into a carved-out turnip and has been roaming the Earth with ever since. The Irish began to refer to this ghostly figure as "Jack of the Lantern," and then, simply "Jack O'Lantern."

In Ireland and Scotland, people began to make their own versions of Jack's lanterns by carving scary faces into turnips or potatoes and placing them into windows or near doors to frighten away Stingy Jack and other wandering evil spirits. In England, large beets are used. Immigrants from these countries brought the jack o'lantern tradition with them when they came to the United States. They soon found that pumpkins, a fruit native to America, make perfect jack o'lanterns.

Hope you enjoyed this little bit of pumpkin info! I might just come back tomorrow to discuss my views on superstitions.

BTW,I happened to find all this info on


Anonymous said...

Cool, I didn't know any of that stuff!

Michelle said...

Ooo, good info on the jack o lantern. I like it!

I may try to grow some next year. Given the success we had with cucumbers (similar in growing), we'll have a ton of 'em!

Anonymous said...

I love pumpkin!!! YUM YUM YUM. I've already had a pumpkin spice latte and a slice of pumpkin loaf today.

Quiet Riot?!?! I haven't heard them in eons. They were my boyfriend in highschool's favorite group. He was a jerk.

MaBunny said...

Yup Coffee Bean! I'm addicted to
80s metal, lol. But I'll change it back here pretty soon to my country list:)

Anonymous said...

How Interesting! I've never been into Halloween since I've been an adult...but this one Im looking forward to it...Our last camping trip of the year will be on 10/31~

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