Do you know the Great Pumpkin?

Print Article

Happy Pumpkin Day.

This Oct. 26 “holiday” may be unofficial — banks and schools are open — but that doesn’t mean we can’t celebrate this colorful cousin to cucumbers.

Didn’t know they’re in the same gourd family? Here’s a pumpkin primer:

• Pumpkin derives from Greek “pepon” (melon, pumpkin).

• Pumpkins are healthy: One cup has no fat, 17 percent daily value vitamin C, and 197 percent vitamin A. They’re also antioxidant-rich, aiding brain function. • Pumpkin is an all-American food. Scientists found 7,000-year old seeds in Mexico. Spanish explorers took pumpkins to Europe; now they’re grown on all continents except Antarctica.

• Native Americans relied on pumpkin and other squash to survive winter. Some used the “three sisters” method of planting pumpkin, corn, and beans together to improve yields. Pumpkin was likely part of the first Thanksgiving.

• Irish immigrants made them part of Hallowe’en; they’re easier to carve than turnips (more on that later).

• Pumpkin was once believed to remove freckles and cure snake bites; it’s still used for bladder, kidney, and intestine problems.

• Jack o’lanterns derive from the Irish legend of Stingy Jack, a miser who tricked the devil and wandered through purgatory with a burning coal in a hollowed-out turnip. Celts of old used turnip-lanterns to guide spirits of loved ones on Samhain, the original Hallowe’en.

• The Guinness Record for biggest pumpkin was set in Belgium in 2016: 2,624 pounds. The biggest pie was 3,699 pounds, 20 feet, and made in Ohio in 2010.

• Smaller pumpkins taste great, yielding 4 cups raw, or 1 cup mashed or pureed, per pound. Seeds can be roasted after carving; use the rest for compost.

And remember: The Great Pumpkin selects only the most sincere pumpkin patch to rise on Hallowe’en, so choose carefully!

• • •

Sholeh Patrick is a most sincere Snoopy and Hallowe’en fan. Contact her if you dare at Sholeh@cdapress.com.

Print Article

Read More Sholeh Patrick

Know the signs of stroke

May 22, 2018 at 5:00 am | Coeur d'Alene Press Odds are you know someone who’s suffered a stroke. Some leave obvious physical effects. One side — of the face, or more of the body — may droop without muscle function. Perhaps speech slurs. Othe...

Comments

Read More

Is it time for public campaign financing?

May 17, 2018 at 5:00 am | Coeur d'Alene Press The thorny problems of campaign financing put candidates and voters in a tough spot. To have a chance, candidates — especially at state and national levels — need a big chunk of change to reach all v...

Comments

Read More

What to look for in a judge

May 15, 2018 at 5:00 am | Coeur d'Alene Press Shout out to political independents: Don’t miss today’s nonpartisan races — it’s not just a primary. In addition to the party primaries for congressional, legislative, state, and local offices, today...

Comments

Read More

Moms: It’s always the subtle things

May 09, 2018 at 5:00 am | Coeur d'Alene Press For Mother’s Day, first I’d like to thank my children, who taught me more than any other of life’s experiences (and still do). It wasn’t until I raised my own that I fully understood and appreciated ...

Comments

Read More

Contact Us

(208) 664-8176
215 N. Second St
Coeur d'Alene, Idaho 83814

©2018 The Coeur d'Alene Press Terms of Use Privacy Policy
X
X