Thanks to my F.I.L (father in-law), M.I.L and husband, we all worked together and made 4 pumpkin pies last weekend. It was fun but I think next time we’ll just buy the puree as it’s such a lot of work!
It never fails though that whenever I think of carving pumpkins it reminds me of being an excited little Katie with my Dad and siblings. We would wait by the window for Dad to come home from work and bounce up and down with excitement, ready for pumpkins and trick-or-treating!
We’d head to the garage or kitchen table with newspapers all spread out for the pumpkin guts. The smell takes me back in an instant. Three or four pumpkins later we’d take them outside, line them up and light a candle inside to bring them to life.
Every single year we’d dress up. There were a few good years in a row that I’d be a princess. It was my go-to costume as I’d already be playing dress up throughout the year, practicing for Halloween day.
I remember one year waiting by the window for Dad and thinking it was the longest I’ve ever waited. We lived in Chicago at the time and it was covered in snow. I think I was told that Halloween might not happen because of the weather and I probably thought my life was over as I knew it. So dramatic.
As I remember it (which is probably completely different to how it went) Dad pulled up and we practically begged him to take us out in what we thought was a BLIZZARD. He regretfully said “OK! GET YOUR STUFF ON!” as if I hadn’t already been prancing around in it all day. I put my dress or whatever I was on and my big pink coat or maybe even my snow suit, boots, grabbed my pillowcase or jack-o-lantern bucket and we all jumped in our van!
Dad stopped at every door on our street. We slid the van door open “Go! Go! GO!” and ran/waddled like overstuffed penguins up to the houses in the snow. It was already late and I don’t think the neighbours could believe kids were actually braving the weather, desperate to fulfil our Halloween candy dreams. We hopped back in the van, covered in snow and sludge to do it 10 more times.
Every single time we’d come back from visiting a house my Dad always asked “Did you say thank you?” :)
When we’d get home we knew the drill. We’d get into our jammies, pick a spot on the floor, dump our candy out and pick out Dad’s favorites. Hey, we all knew who to thank for our bounty. After that we had our precious mountain of sweet gems all to ourselves, protecting them like little meerkats (not really, our candy intake was totally monitored but at the time we thought we were in candy heaven).
Those days are long gone but I don’t think I’ll ever stop carving pumpkins. It’s something fun that I remember doing together as a family and spending time together with Dad is always treasured.
Even if it didn’t go the way I remember it, that’s ok. I’ll choose to remember it this way and carry on that tradition with my kids. I know things are different now and I’m not sure kids even go door-to-door anymore? It’s not very popular here in England. Anyway, I’ll have my candy bowl ready by the door every year, even if it’s snowing.x