Halloween used to be one of my favourite holidays, and not because of the candy. Costumes, pumpkins, and the excuse to scare one another outdoors at night—what more could you ask?
Halloween here is a sad farce, and we do not observe it. It is fundamentally an autumnal celebration, and coming, as it does here, at the very beginning of summer is simply wrong. There are no pumpkins, there are no crisp brown leaves, and the sun doesn’t even set until after 8 pm.
Though we skip Halloween, when autumn does come around (long about Easter), we celebrate the lengthening night and cooler days with Jack-o-lanterns.
Naked seed pumpkins are great for carving—the flesh isn’t particularly good for eating, so I don’t feel so bad about throwing the pumpkins shells to the kids to carve after I’ve removed the seeds. (Uncarved pumpkin shells go to the goats, who don’t seem to mind the gritty, tasteless flesh.)
The finished Jack-o-lanterns sit on the picnic table outside the dining room window, where we can enjoy them during our increasingly dark evening meals.