Pumpkin Day is the 26th of October.
This could be the day you carve your pumpkin for Hallowe’en. Or, maybe cook with pumpkin? Look for a recipe that calls for pumpkin. It’s okay if you cheat and use canned pumpkin! Pumpkin soup, or maybe pumpkin quiche?
You might think this is a great time to cook something with the insides of the Jack-O’-Lantern you have just carved for Hallowe’en. But the flesh of those makes poor eating, and is best reserved for feeding to livestock or the compost heap.
Instead, observe the day with something from the squash family that makes for good eating. That’s not necessarily pie pumpkins: many varieties of pie pumpkins still need more time on the vine to sweeten up.
So look instead for a savoury dish that calls for pumpkin or squash in it. And remember, the ones that are grown for their size and and looks, for making into Jack-O’-Lanterns, are rarely the best eating ones. A pumpkin only has so much flavour, and the bigger it is, the more spread out and diluted that flavour is.
There’s actually a fair bit of vigorous dissension over when Pumpkin Day should be observed.
The Henry Doubleday Research Association sponsors Pumpkin Day on the last Sunday in October at the Ryton Organic Gardens south of Coventry in the West Midlands, England. The Royal Horticultural Society holds one at its Rosemoor Garden in Devon on the third or fourth Sunday in October. Everyone else holds a Pumpkin Day within a few days of Hallowe’en.
Activities for today
- If you have children or are a teacher, have the children weigh and measure a pumpkin, count the seeds in it, then roast and eat the seeds;
- treat yourself to a pumpkin dish today, whether it be a drink, a dessert, or a savoury dish with pumpkin in it;
- if you haven’t got your pumpkin yet for Hallowe’en, grab a friend and go pumpkin shopping. Post to social media photos of the pumpkins you see on offer.
- Leek & Pumpkin Soup Recipe
- Pumpkin and Mincemeat Pie
- Pumpkin Milk Shake Recipe
- Pumpkin Quiche
- Pumpkin Spice Cookies Recipe
Throughout the second-half of the 1900s, schools in Canada and the U.S. would hold “Pumpkin Days” at various times in the autumn as part of seasonal learning activities.
The first print media mention of a “Pumpkin Day” on the 26th of October that CooksInfo is aware of dates from 2012 in Illinois:
“The month-long celebration of ‘National Dessert Month’ at All Chocolate Kitchen, 33 S. Third St., in Geneva, features the ‘Stressed is Desserts spelled Backwards’ discount on Mondays, National Caramel Custard Day on Oct. 3, National Angel Food Cake Day on Oct. 10, National Chocolate Cupcake Day on Oct. 18, ‘Sweet Date for your Sweetie’, celebrating Sweetest Day on Oct. 20 and National Pumpkin Day on Oct. 26.” —
It’s National Dessert Month. St. Charles, Illinois: Kane Country Chronicle. Wednesday, 3 October 2012. Page 28, col. 2.