Pumpkin time is here again! The major symbol of fall and Halloween, the pumpkin signifies harvest, plenty, and celebration. According to the History Channel, references to pumpkins go back to ancient times. The name pumpkin came from the Greek and Latin word for melon, which is “pepon.” “Pepon” was nasalized in Middle French as “pompon.” The English changed “pompon” to “pumpion.” Shakespeare referred to the “pumpion” in his Merry Wives of Windsor. American colonists changed “pumpion” into “pumpkin.” The pumpkin is referred to in The Legend of Sleepy Hollow, first published in 1820.
If you’re tired of your tried-and-true ways to use pumpkins, here are some ideas that are a little different:
We’ve all carved pumpkins, but what about painting them? Here are 24 ideas from Better Homes and Gardens for cute, elegant, or scary painted pumpkins. You can use acrylic craft paint or house paint for your designs, brushes from the craft store, and scraps of fabric and googley eyes from your craft stash to make them.
If elegance is more your goal, why not try velvet pumpkins? Easy as cutting a circle and filling it with beans, these beauties make a pinkies- out fall centerpiece. (Instead of silk velvet as she recommends, to stay in my budget I went to Goodwill and bought some old velvet gowns to cut up.)
Are you good with a drill? Take a break from your carving knife and traditional carved pumpkins with these spectacular lighted pumpkins from Martha Stewart. If you don’t have white lights on hand, try using your strings of Christmas lights!
Want a cute and appropriate way to serve a harvest pumpkin soup? Try presenting it in hollowed-out mini pumpkins. Add toasted pumpkin seeds for the finishing touch and serve with my favorite pumpkin bread recipe for an all-pumpkin, all-the-time fall supper. And if you’re tired of pumpkin pie, you might try cheesecake. Pumpkin cheesecake keeps that same smooth, spicy flavor, with cream cheese making it even richer.
Are you one of the people who looks forward to Starbucks’ pumpkin spice latte every year? Now you can make it at home in your jammies, for pennies. These two recipes give you variations for hot or cold, with or without coffee. Be sure to read the comments for readers’ adjustments, too.
And last but not least, why not live in a pumpkin? Not really, but doesn’t it look like one? Happy pumpkin season!