Get Pumped with Pumpkins
If you live in New England, there may not be a prettier month than October. We are blessed with spectacular foliage and cooler temperatures that other states just can't compete with. The downfall, however, is that this time of year is fleeting. If you wait too long for that perfect Instagram picture, you may be greeted by the abrupt forces of winter.
Let's be honest. The Christmas season is one that dominates the decorative scene, but why? Why not embrace the wonder of October, Halloween, and all the perks of a New England fall? You still have time!
1. Buy your pumpkins
Did you know that the tradition of pumpkin carving began with the Irish? Not until the Irish immigrants settled in the US, did it fully become engrained in the fall culture. Pumpkin seeds should be planted between the last week of May and the middle of June. They take between 90 and 120 days to grow and are picked in October (now) when they are bright orange in color. Their seeds can be saved to grow new pumpkins the next year. Now, if you're with kids, I suggest (based on experience) to pre-carve the pumpkin(s). Most kids are grossed out by the insides so if they are, do that beforehand. Bring out the paints and have the kids paint their favorite characters on the outside surface. You can do the more technical work with the knife while they add on some of the details. Display them on your porch or have a carving contest with your friends. Not to mention, if you go to a pumpkin patch, who doesn't like to personally pick out their own?
2. Fall Cooking
Pumpkins are low in calories, fat, and sodium and high in fiber...and water. They are good sources of Vitamin A, Vitamin B, potassium, protein, and iron. Some people enjoy the seeds themselves while others prefer a more traditional pumpkin pie. I'll let you in on a little trade secret as well. If you're a Dunkin Donuts person, ask your local Dunkin employee for this: Half pumpkin spice coffee and half hot chocolate. In the winter, they offer cinnamon coffee and you can do the same thing. It's called the 'Witches Brew' and it's spectacular. Let's keep that secret between us.
There's nothing better than a neighborhood that collectively celebrates a season. Like I alluded to before, in my hometown, Christmas was the big thing with inflatable santas and crazy electricity bills. For a whole lot cheaper, you can decorate your home--inside and out--with fall decor. Corn stalks around lamp posts with a few pumpkins underneath is classy. For a more youthful neighborhood (with lots of trick-or-treaters) some Halloween decorations go a long way. Don't be that house no kid wants to go up to. Embrace the season! Throw some fake cob-webs on the trees and stick on a few plastic bats. Buy some cheap plastic cauldrons and weigh them down in the front lawn for an inexpensive way to show some spirit.
Whatever you do, do it fast! We are hitting peak-foliage time in New England. Take full advantage of this beautiful time of year before those multicolored leaves are buried in snow.