The pumpkins are taking over


Pumpkins on sale at IGA in Dundarave, West Vancouver
Pumpkins are everywhere come October


Orange is this season’s colour. As soon as October is here, and often well before, you will see a lot of orange in the stores. The thing you see most often is pumpkins. They make an appearance in several different ways.

Firstly there is the Halloween Jack-O-Lantern, the kind you carve into scary faces and use to accessorize your driveway and front yard. For these you need a large pumpkin and one that is well proportioned so that your carved face works out the way you want it.

The supermarkets tend to have huge boxes of these outside in case you’d forgotten that it was Halloween.

The second way that pumpkins appear is as a table decoration. Actually the decorative squash bears little resemblance to the Jack-O-Lantern variety. They are small, often come in irregular shapes and aren’t always orange. So you can choose ones to go with the theme for your table – you do have a theme don’t you? (Table decoration themes are second only to throw pillows in importance to Canadian householders).

The third way that pumpkins make their presence felt is as a food. This is mostly as a pumpkin pie. For those who have not tasted this delicacy, imagine mixing cinnamon, nutmeg and allspice with any bland heavy vegetable, then add a lot of sugar. (Do check your recipe books if you really want to make this yourself, my grasp on the recipe is not that strong).

Actually pumpkins do also slip into other food stuffs. Sometimes even as the main ingredient as in pumpkin soup. Otherwise look for them in muffins and breads. For those of you who are wondering, I doubt that Starbucks Pumpkin Spice Latte actually contains pumpkin.

The colour orange also makes its impact in Halloween related merchandise, which is usually black and orange. You can’t miss Halloween here. Not only are the stores full of costumes, candies and table decorations, but also your neighbours have probably been working really hard to decorate their front lawn with an assortment of gravestones, goblins, ghouls and pumpkins. Canadians love these displays and they are often considered the ideal way to out class your neighbours. Touring neighbourhoods looking for the most gruesome displays is something that is encouraged since often it is more entertaining than staying at home and carving pumpkins.




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