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

It’s a dog’s life for 2018

February 15, 2018 at 5:00 am | Coeur d'Alene Press Xin nian kuai-le (“sheen neeahn kwai luh”)! Happy lunar new year Friday to all 12 animals of the zodiac, with a special nod to dogs; it’s their lucky year. While the Chinese zodiac calendar was no...

Comments

Read More

Skip the skins, Valentine

February 13, 2018 at 5:00 am | Coeur d'Alene Press You don’t see such scenes in modern cartoons anymore, but those of us above a certain age may remember the images. Amorous caveman with big stick hits cavewoman — zonk — and drags his conquest to his...

Comments

Read More

Stressed? Don’t take it seriously

February 08, 2018 at 5:00 am | Coeur d'Alene Press Gifted with a wise and life-embracing mother-in-law who turned 90 last week, I asked mine her secret to a long and satisfying life. “If I have to pick one thing,” she said, “it’s a sense of humor. ...

Comments

Read More

Five tips for safer Internet

February 06, 2018 at 5:00 am | Coeur d'Alene Press This is one European idea that we should be glad to adopt. Feb. 6 is Safer Internet Day, initially focused on making the internet safer for children, and urging us all toward more responsible use of ...

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