The pumpkin, when carved into a jack o’ lantern, is a symbol of Halloween. We are about to celebrate that day on October 31, the eve of All Saints Day.
Children enjoy picking out pumpkins in anticipation of the holiday. Once they have selected one, you may suggest they draw pictures of pumpkins with different emotions, such as happy, sad, angry, and scared jack o’ lanterns and then talk about feelings. Drawing different expressions on paper can help them decide on the design for their creation.
When choosing a pumpkin, look for one with a bright orange color that is firm to the touch. Avoid those that are soft or have blemishes on their skin. If your child wants a large pumpkin, suggest that you will buy any pumpkin he or she can carry. You may want to buy two – one for making into a jack o’ latern and one to cook. When choosing one for cooking, the smaller ones are better, as the large pumpkins have stringy pulp.
Pumpkins keep longer when stored in a cool, dry place, such as outdoors, above 32 degrees F but below 60. If you plan to cook the pumpkin, do so within a month.
In her book, “Cooking Around the Calendar With Kids – Holiday and Seasonal Food and Fun Activities”, author Amy Houts, includes an interesting section on how to toast pumpkin seeds. Her “Ranch Flavored Pumpkin Seeds” and “Spicy Seeds” create a tasty twist to regular pumpkin seeds.
Note: Seeds should not be given to young children as choking is possible.
Tomorrow I want to share with you a delicious pumpkin recipe from her cookbook.
Enjoy the fall weather and fall flavors!
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