Until I moved up north, the edible pumpkin was not at all on my radar. In Chicago, the effort to procure, lug home, and carve or just front-stoop a pumpkin happened infrequently. I remember pumpkin-ing in the first year or so after I moved there, then not again. Big pumpkins would wave from their little city corners, and I’d wave back–and keep on going.
Here though there is every sort of pumpkin you could imagine, piled up on farms dotting the north country all over the place. The “pie pumpkins” caught my eye and I couldn’t resist bringing them into the kitchen and getting reacquainted.
The main reason I ever wanted a pumpkin, even way back in the day when carving and costumes were considered for weeks on end, was for the seeds. Like toasted nuts, and toasted anything, toasted pumpkin seeds are one of life’s great seasonal pleasures. Homemade toasted seeds have nothing to do with the heavily salted bags of pumpkin seeds you can buy in the gas station commissary; they’re a whole different story of delicious.
So we get double delight out of our pie pumpkins. The seeds and the beautiful flesh are like so many things up here: they make me take notice, and instead of passing by, busily thinking “maybe next year,” I bring them home right now.