Thursday, October 25, 2012

Try Carving a Rutabaga for Halloween…

Did you know that pumpkins are not a vegetable - they are a fruit! They are in the same family as gourds, squash, cucumbers, gherkins, and melons.

There seems to be a couple opinions on the origin of Halloween. Some think it is based on the Celtic holiday known as Samhain (pronounced "sow wan"), which means "summer's end". Others believe it is based on old Christian holidays of All Saints Day and All Souls Day.

Regardless, this magical night wouldn’t be the same with out the glowing jack-o-lanterns, today we know as carved pumpkins. But that wasn’t always the case. Jack-o-lanterns were originally carved from turnips or gourds probably more the size of a rutabaga. They were set on porches (guess some things never change) and in windows to welcome deceased loved ones, but also to act as protection against malevolent spirits. Early on they were lit with burning lumps of coal, later to be replaced by candles.

carved pumpkin at Ocean Lakes Family Campground
One winner of the Pumpkin Carving
When European settlers, particularly the Irish and Scottish, arrived in America they found the native pumpkin to be larger and easier to carve. So, the rutabaga was replaced with our beloved pumpkin!

The internet makes life easier when it comes to “how to,” so here’s a site that covers the Halloween pumpkin, from choosing your pumpkin, to using the right carving tools, and even how to extend the life of your pumpkin…to taking its picture.

Finally, we haven’t told you any stories here, but if you’re in the mood for a tall eerie tale “hear’s” a good place to start….

Happy Halloween! Hope to see you at one our Halloween Weekends....

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