Pumpkin, turnip, orange? On creating our own traditions


It’s that time of year when deeply ingrained winter festivals get taken over by consumerism and people argue about whose tradition is more authentic.  I could get into the old pumpkins versus neeps (turnip, swedes etc) debate. I grew up firmly in the turnip tradition and we went ‘guising’ at Halloween, ‘trick or treating’ not having reached northern Scotland in those days.  But since my assistant gardener arrived to transform our Halloweens, the annual traditions in our house took on a new and more elaborate form. I discovered that pumpkins are infinitely easier to carve than turnips. We’ve had them every year for his birthday, along with the odd turnip and an assortment of other carved fruit and vegetables: apples, oranges..orange-lantern

Mostly not grown in the garden apart from the year that we had a sweet little squash that appeared, self-seeded in the tomato bed:


We’ve had pumpkin table cloths, chocolate pumpkins, Harry Potter pumpkins, papier mache pumpkins – very easy to make using a balloon as a mold but taking days to dry – and the trick was to use a flashing bike light for a candle.  One year I made  a pumpkin cake:



.. made with pumpkins of course.  And this year we didn’t have a pumpkin at all, what with our assistant gardener moving away, and other things invading our Halloween traditions …

…. but a little detour to southern parts (well northern for some) and I discovered that the pumpkins were out in force without parental help:


The point really is to invent your own traditions, make your own pumpkins out of whatever comes to hand and adapt as your life changes..

Happy birthday assistant gardener!

5 thoughts on “Pumpkin, turnip, orange? On creating our own traditions

  1. Oh my giddy aunt, that thing at the top freaked me out!

    BTW I swear it looks like a rats face or something… I keep having to scroll back up to the top to look again.

    Ok.. I have scrolled back 4 times now while typing this.


    I need a drink! >.<

    BTW… We have never done the Halloween thing. Its just to consumeristic (I invented a word!) for us. Even the minion doesn't like trick or treating.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s