Picking Pumpkins

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Halloween is pretty much a non-event in Australia. Although most Australians would probably be well aware of Halloween in as much as they know it involves dressing up as a spooky ghost, goblin or witch, carving a pumpkin head, and wandering from house to house saying "trick or treat", that's about all they'd know. Most Aussies couldn't tell you what Halloween represents, what it celebrates, or even when it is. And they have almost certainly not ever wandered the streets knocking on doors, saying "trick or treat" or carved a pumpkin face.

So it's been quite an experience for us this year to be a part of the Halloween buildup. Halloween is not until the end of this month, but already we have been invited to a Halloween party, and started to think about our Halloween costumes. And on the weekend, Mark and Sharilou took us too a farm where we got to wander the fields picking our pumpkins to make Jack o'Lanterns.

Its worth noting that the pumpkins here in Canada are very different to the sorts of pumpkins we get back home in Australia. They are much more orange and much less solid, with much less usable eating stuff inside them. The centre of a pumpkin is all mushy and fibrous, and the solid bit that we would eat is relatively thin around the outside. In fact, about the only thing Pumpkins get used for here in Canada is to make Jack o'Lanterns at Halloween time - they are not something that generally get eaten. To us that seems quite odd. Pumpkin is something that we have grown up with as a staple part of our diets, either by baking it with a roast dinner or mashing it to have with peas and a pie. Our Canadian friends look at us blankly when we talk about eating pumpkin. It's just not done here, unless you include pumpkin pie which seems to be a bit of a Halloween favourite.

Anyway, picking them was fun, and we'll carve them into faces in the next few weeks. We'll post the photos when we get them.

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