Pumpkin honey. These two words always go together – kinda like “hootenanny” (although I believe that is one word). A quick google search finds the following: Pumpkin honey is one of the rarest of honeys, so it is a special treat when available. It is an excellent honey for cooking, baking, canning, and wonderful for marinades, sauces, and dressings.
So, there you have it. I, honestly, did not know it existed before starting my blog for today. As I sat staring at an October 31st blank screen, my mind wandered into a Halloween theme (pumpkin), and the next word into my mind was “honey” (?), so …. “pumpkin honey” purged forth from my nimble, yet pokey, fingers. Kinda disappointed it wasn’t an original phrase. Some sweet chef-ette decided to make a strange marinade, thus, stealing my literary spotlight for the day. Oh, well. “Whip it into a tasty honey-butter. You won’t be disappointed”, states the website … Yeah, ok, honey!! (Sarcasm intended…)…actually sounds good, btw.
“Pumpkin honey” blatantly stolen from me. Well, not really. I can run with it in a different direction, I guess.
The pumpkin is a large melon. Arguably, the pride of all melons – unless you consider Carnegie Mellon (which doesn’t really count because of the extra “L”). I can squash the squashes … too small… and cast out the casabas. I won’t do the honeydews and can’t do the cantaloupes. I spite the sprite melon and will not share my charentais.
The world record weight for a pumpkin is a whopping 2,624 pounds!! Tha-s-a-lot-a-large, my friends!! Can you say, “pie for 10,000, Alex?”. Now, I would figure time and motivation prevent me from aspiring to be the owner of large pumpkins, right? I’d rather bedazzle a mule (please don’t ask) than grow a humongous gourd. Besides, dad called me a melon-head once. ‘Nuff said.
Why the pumpkin and Halloween? I guess the Celts dug out the insides and carved faces into the outsides. After doing so, they placed a lit candle inside hoping the illumination would drive out evil spirits. Ok. Sounds fun. I typed “Celtic Wars” into Google to see how effective THAT was:
390 BC, Battle of the Allia,
284 BC, Battle of Arretium,
283 BC, Battle of Lake Vadimo,
225 BC, Battle of Telamon,
225 BC, Battle of Faesulae,
222 BC, Battle of Clastidium,
200 BC, Battle of Cremona,
Yeah…Looks like the whole “pumpkin” thing worked out real well for them.
That is the brief history of the pumpkin as I, the musician/hotdawg salesman know it to be. One other note – there are pumpkin chunkin’ contests held around the country. Nothing screams, “pumpkin humiliation” more to me than catapulting an innocent cucurbit (look it up) hundreds of yards to certain death by decimation. Unless, of course, one might carve stupid faces into same and….maybe….gut out the in….sid..es….never mind.
Nature hasn’t provided the perfect pumpkin. Man has sliced and diced, carved and peeled, cut and pasted his way into folklore looking for magic.
Perfect pumpkins aren’t out there – unless at Wal*Mart, aisle 4 – plastic ones with a hole in the top and a little black strap attached to each side. These aren’t perfect because they are plastic and mass-produced. Rather, perfection comes from what they give and receive. They find their way into the mittens of October children across the decorated lawns of orange-red-and-brown leafy neighborhoods. Kiddos gleefully sloshing them around, overflowing, on crisp Trick-or-Treat nights – banging these little orange vessels on their legs a hundred times over. Ghosts, witches, superheroes, nurses, robots, martians …. hoping for a treat to fill the expectations in their hearts. These little orange buckets receiving treats … and giving joy.
As adults, we can have perfect pumpkins, too. Maybe that’s the reason for this blog today? It isn’t the big ol’ natural, award winning, attention-grabbing pumpkins we see, perhaps, at the fairs, in the news, or on the internet. It may simply be the ones “out there” of different shapes and sizes we see everywhere on porches, in stores, at the town center or mall disguised as people. These pumpkins in our lives, as well, aren’t perfect because of who they are,… perfection comes from what they give and receive.
At the end of your Trick-or-Treat evening – whenever that may be – rest with family and friends for a few minutes. Appreciate all the pumpkins in your lives.
Sit back, relax. As you notice the smiling faces, the candy spilled on the floor from the plastic pumpkins, and the light frost starting to form on the outside of the glass, whisper to a loved one, “Well, it must be the pumpkins, honey.”