Pumpkins past and present

All Hallow’s Eve, a marker in the year.

Here, it’s celebrated with a final fling and an outdoor feast, and a strange local custom involving electing a mock mayor who promptly gets a ducking in the village pond. There’s an intermingling of old and new traditions, but this act of marking the end of the harvest and welcoming the winter to come, in whatever form, has an age-old heart.


Armaleggan, border morris side

For me, carving a pumpkin has become an annual tradition, and after many years of hollowing out triangular eyes, nose and a toothy grin (to create an unnatural presence) I’ve started to take inspiration from the natural world.



The first Jack o’Lanterns would have been carved from swedes or turnips, but pumpkins and squashes create such a lovely glow and are far easier to carve!

The innards are added to stews or used to make soup. And this year, as well as making pumpkin and apple soup, we tried out this recipe for Thurshi from Diana Henry.

Yesterday, as we sat outside eating our soup with bacon butties, warmed by a fire and surrounded by falling leaves, I looked at our apple tree anew. How lucky we are to live in a world where nature provides for us.



4 thoughts on “Pumpkins past and present

  1. Hello! I’m embarrassed to say this is the first time I’ve visited Nab End… I’m currently in the process of scheduling my time better and part of that includes regularly reading nice blogs. So I’ve added yours to my list and am looking forward to reading back through some earlier posts.
    Also I just wanted to say how beautiful those carved pumpkins are – mine was so awful. And it’s still sitting outside on the wall watching me while I do the washing up. Must chuck it in the compost bin and try harder next year!
    S x

    1. Hi Sarah, lovely to see you here – thanks ever so much for visiting! I have a backlog of lovely blogs to catch up with too – there just aren’t enough hours in the day. I’m sure your pumpkin wasn’t awful at all, but if you don’t fancy carving you can always just cut off the top, scrape it out and plonk a case of flowers inside. x

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