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Saturday, October 31, 2009

Jack of the Lantern

...You were once a yellow pumpkin, Growing on a sturdy vine;
Now you are my Jack O'Lantern, Let your candle light shine.

Ana's full-throated rendition of this cute little song has been echoing in her school and home for the past couple of weeks, signaling the joys of the harvest season.

toasted pumpkin seeds halloween jack-o-lanternI treasure the pumpkin seeds much like the Native Americans apparently did. And since all of us at home simply love eating them for a snack, I enjoy making a good-sized batch around this season.

Considering the several scoops of seeds tangled up with the innards of the pumpkins we were carving, it was just a matter of cleaning and extracting them, soaking in salted water and roasting in the oven, to enjoy the unique taste and texture of fresh roasted pumpkin seeds.

Pushing aside the grim Irish folklore surrounding Jack O'Lantern, blurring cultural delineations by drawing parallels between 'drishti bommai' of Tamil Nadu this year, we enthusiastically kept up our tradition of carving pumpkins, as we have done for the past several years, around the end of October.

Ana 'designed' the Jack O'Lanterns: she drew the eyes, nose and mouth on the pumpkin that Appa carved out in his inimitable effortless style. Oggie 'helped' by trying to put the top back on the pumpkin when we kept taking it off to scoop out the innards, while I acted busy cooking dinner and taking pictures :)

I do like to ramble at times, don't I? I was getting to it: The Costume!

After several attempts at swaying her young mind, I tucked my tail between me legs when a firm, "I already told you, Amma, I don't want to be anything else!" settled the issue, and let Ana wear the exactly what she wanted - viz., A Ghost Costume!


I know, I know... quite a let down after PBJ last year. But, her mind was made-up and I respected her resolve, heaving a huge sigh of relief, thanking the stars for making it so darned easy this year :)

Of course, for another year or two, Oggie won't know the difference, so he gets Ana's hand-me-down costumes. Which is how he ended up in a 3-year-old well-maintained giraffe costume that Ana outgrew, to go trick or treating with his Appa and Ana...

... while I stayed home to greet the kids ringing our doorbell...

... and snatching the opportunity to write this update.

halloween trick or treat jack-o-lantern costumes

No HFCS (High Fructose Corn Syrup) in the candies handed out. Sugar? Yes, wouldn't be candies otherwise. But, certified organic and made with real fruit seemed to take the focus away from sugar.

Now, I know, I have to just let kids have their little ultra-sweet moments - gosh! haven't I gorged at every Deepavali, every Krishna Janmashtami, every Ganesha Chathurthy, every Pongal, every Vishu, every month on some pretext of festival?!

Considering we don't buy candy otherwise, it seems like a nice way to let Ana enjoy a few within reason... deprivation is not a great answer to developing healthy eating habits, but, that has to wait for another post...

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At 3:23 PM, Blogger Dee said...

that is the cutest ghost I have seen:)

At 10:45 PM, Blogger ChoxBox said...

Am totally impressed Sheela! That PBJ costume is very creative!

At 11:16 AM, Blogger Sheela said...

::Dee:Thanks! So glad that you could stop by... I was thinking of dropping you a note if I didn't hear from you soon :)

::ChoxBox: Thanks! I do love to sew, quilt, crochet, knit and paint, among other things :)

At 10:13 PM, Anonymous Poppy said...

:) Very innovative and cute - I have a weakness for home made costumes over store bought :)

At 9:41 AM, Blogger Reva said...

Cute Jack'o lantern!!! :) And taking your inspiration I made C's dress myself.. she was a scarecrow this year.. sending you a pic..


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