National Pumpkin Day is a nonofficial holiday falling on October 26th this year. This squash, one of the main symbols of Halloween in the U.S and a central element in many fall festivals, events, and contests, is native to North America. The word pumpkin originates from the word pepon, which means “large melon” in Greek. The United States produces 1.5 billion pounds of pumpkins, with Illinois producing more than any other state. A 2,261.5-pound pumpkin from Rhode Island holds the current North American record. But that’s no match for the current world record pumpkin from Germany weighing in at 2,624.6 pounds.
Pumpkins are loaded with fiber, potassium, and vitamin C, and they are an amazingly versatile vegetable that can be used in sweet, savory, spicy, or salty dishes. You can bake them, boil them, steam them, puree them, and even fry them. Never had creamy pumpkin soup? What about a pumpkin pie smoothie you can make in your Ninja Blender from Buydig.com? How about pumpkin bread, muffins, scones, and cookies baked in your oven? Get your mornings started with pumpkin coffee, lattes and espressos made with the Nespresso Espresso Maker/Coffee Maker from Buydig.com, and some toast topped off with pumpkin butter from your slow cooker. For dessert, start with a recipe for a New York style pumpkin cheesecake. With so many ways to prepare pumpkin, and so many flavors you can add to them, there’s no end to the treats you can create.
Carving and Decorating Ideas
Everyone loves carving pumpkins for Halloween. It’s a fantastic way to have fun with the kids. Use your own imagination and freeform your design, or search the internet for your favorite cartoon character, slogan or image and have fun carving it into a pumpkin. Simply print out your design and use a toothpick to poke small dots into your pumpkin to transfer the design and get carving. If you really want to get the younger kids involved, there are so many ways they can decorate like painting, gluing items like sequins or confetti to the pumpkin, or even using parents’ favorite craft, glitter!
Spell Out a Message
Use marquee lights, vinyl or paint to give each pumpkin a letter that will spell out a seasonal message when they’re lined up in a row.
Pumpkin Flower Pots
Create simple centerpieces or porch decorations by turning your pumpkins into flower pots. Just cut off the top, scoop out the seeds and pulp, and place your potted flower inside.
House Number Pumpkins
Add tons of curb appeal to your entrance. You can do this by painting your house number right on your pumpkin. Or you can stack them and place a number on each pumpkin.
Use Mini Pumpkins to Adorn Your Home
Display stacked mini pumpkins under glass domes and in glass vases to bring some elegant fall spirit into your home. Add a touch of fall to any surface. Stack mini pumpkins in old lanterns for an easy table-topper.
There’s one thing that represents October more than anything else, and we get to celebrate these noble squashes on October 26th by enjoying some of these creative and festive ideas.