Wednesday, October 19, 2011

The 31 Days of Halloween: Day 19

Halloween is the best time of the year. It's a wonderfully indulgent time, where your inner ghoul is given societal license to be put on display. To celebrate it to it's wicked fullest, the Midnight Cheese will be posting every day in October with excellent ways to enjoy the season. Whether it's horror films, video games, books or activities, check back every day for some new Halloween fun.

Pumpkin Patch Hunting

Perhaps you could consider this part one of a two part piece, the second being centered on carving Jack 'o Lanterns. But before you can stab the hell out of the defenseless cousin of kumquats, you need to first select the perfect one (or more depending on your preference). Certainly you can find a plethora of them at your local super market or even artistically craft frightening faces into special foam pumpkins available at stores like AC Moore. For this we're going more rustic. We're going to pick the pumpkins out ourselves. This isn't so you can live out your Charlie Brown Great Pumpkin fetish (Serious, you need help). It's because all the cool kids are doing it.

So you'll have to fire up your good old web browser. Oh look! You're already here. Google maps should easily be able to direct you to the geographically closest pumpkin patch or pumpkin farmer. For my part, we're lucky in that ours is just down the road and always grows excellent pumpkins. Depending on where you live, you might be able to pick your own pumpkins from the field or simply from where they've been placed on a wagon.

Now with many places like this, there's some gamesmanship involved here. What I mean is that you can purchase a certain number of pumpkins or you can pay one price and get the "all you can carry" deal. I draw specific emphasis to this because, while getting a great deal is important, you never want to over load on pumpkins and kill your back. Two quick tips can maximize your load and save you from a date with our pal Tylenol:

1) Bring someone else to stack the pumpkins into your waiting bear grip.
2) Stretch first and NEVER lean further back to help you hold more weight.

Doing the second one is more idiotic than a cheerleader taking a sexy shower in a summer camp slasher movie. Any it's waaaaaaay less arousing, ya big stud.

When you're selecting pumpkins be sure to check for thick stems, though never carry them around by said stems as they will likely break right off. Check for firmness as well, you don't want a pumpkin that will rot before Halloween (Samhain doesn't look kindly on that). It's also important to choose a few varying sizes which can make for a good variety in styling for your starch filled defenders from spirits.

We'll get into carving soon, likely this weekend. Stay Tuned.

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