Celebrating Halloween is something relatively new for Spain. Yes, they do celebrate All Saints Day (Todos Los Santos), where they honors their ancestors, but dressing up in costumes? Trick or treating? Carving pumpkins? Eating candy until they achieve new heights of glucose in their bloodstream? Not really. But you see, there’s this thing called globalization and American culture seems to be invading Spain in many ways. For instance, one can now buy pumpkins to carve in the local supermarket. Which is just what we did.
Mario, the poor thing, has never carved a pumpkin, never had the pleasure of digging out the seeds by hand, of seeing it all lit up on his front porch (if he had a front porch, that is). So, after hearing me complain about the lack of autumn-feeling here, he surprised me by buying a wee little pumpkin.
I was, shall we say, ecstatic.
I’ll be honest, one of my favorite parts is the ooey gooey insides. I love to dig out the flesh and I love the smell. Mario wanted no part in this, so it was allllll mine. Evil cackle.
He did, however, feel like trying his hand at carving it. He even bought a big knife especially for this. (Oh, we might use it later for cutting vegetables and, as Mario himeslf put it, “to cut the cheese.” You said it, not me.)
Next on the agenda was pumpkin seed roasting! I coated them with olive oil, salt, paprika, and cumin. They got done a bit too fast, but they are nevertheless delicious. And healthy! They’re high in zinc (protects against osteoporosis), are naturally anti-inflammatory, and even contain L-tryptophan which helps to protect against depression. Good stuff! While we were at it, we cooked the pumpkin flesh with cinnamon and sugar. I think later today I’ll be making Mario something pumpkin-y!
Later on, of course, we had to pose with our pumpkin. It’s no easy task, but we did manage to get the picture. Mario claims that Martin, the name with which we have christened our butler, wrote “Scary Halloween,” but I just don’t know if I believe him.
What to do now? We had to put in a candle, light it, and turn off all the lights. Mario found it spooky. I just found it homey. I remembered Halloweens past, sitting in the hallway with newspaper at my feet, carving funny or scary faces. Then we’d set it outside on our porch, walk out to the street, and turn around to see our lovely pumpkins glowing in the night. Ah, childhood. Good thing Mario and I are basically children at heart.