There are few things as quintessentially autumnal as the pumpkin. It represents the sweet, spiced, spooky nature of this time of year. Surely every one of us has carved a pumpkin at one time or another, a Halloween tradition that lets us dive right into the belly of the fruit. Making a jack-o’-lantern is a double bonus for the carver—craft your own ghoulish creation while getting to scoop out the seeds and roast them in the oven.
You may have won yourself the gold ribbon for best carved pumpkin back in the day, but do you know the origin of the jack-o’-lantern?
As the original Irish lore goes, there was a thief named Stingy Jack who stole and bartered his way through life. Stingy Jack had been clever enough to make several deceitful deals with the Devil for the sake of gaining fruit and money, through which the Devil foolishly agreed to never send Jack to hell. Eventually, when Stingy Jack died, he had nowhere to go—heaven didn’t want his tainted soul, but hell’s doors were closed on account of the Devil’s promises. Stingy Jack, without a home, and without a light, found himself lost, in between worlds. The Devil, shrewd creature that he was, tossed Jack an ember from hell to keep his path to nowhere lit. Jack carved himself a turnip (or potato, or pumpkin, as legends will tell), and placed the ember inside to light his eternal journey in search of rest. So was born the jack-o’- lantern.
Until you are ready to carve your own ember-filled lantern for Stingy Jack, enjoy the ever-golden, ever-sweet autumn with these three seasonal pumpkin recipes.
1) Turkey Pumpkin Chili, Whole Foods Market
Traditional chili gets a seasonal twist with pumpkin tossed in the mix. It’s chunky, yet smooth, sweet, yet spicy, and wholly yummy.
2) Pumpkin Semifreddo, Tartlette
A whipped, fluffed, irresistible pumpkin mousse topped with a gluten-free crumb.
3) Thai-spiced Pumpkin Soup, 101 Cookbooks
It’s not your average canned pumpkin soup. Coconut milk and Thai coconut paste do wonders for winter squash.