ET poking his head out of a ball gown. The funny vegetable photograph is a genre which has never endeared itself to me yet, when I look at this gourd, I don’t see food, I see funny. For much of my life I assumed that the taste for pumpkin was part and parcel of being American. That it should be chosen as a symbol of thanksgiving for safe passage across hostile seas in a leaky boat in order to live in penury among locals who are ostensibly far from keen on your immigration suggests that joyous pumpkin dinners should currently be celebrated on a daily basis all over Europe and particularly in Dover.
I have never got to grips with the pumpkin. It seems to offer more than it can possibly deliver, unlike scorzonera, whose name I love, and which looks like shit but tastes delicious. Pumpkin, on the other hand, looks delicious but tastes unremittingly dull. Admittedly, if enough spices and flavourings are added, pumpkin can be very acceptable but so can most things…that is the point of spices and flavourings. The monotony of pumpkin is as relentless as a dentist’s drill or…soup. Each successive spoonful, or painful, is the same as the previous one only leaving us with concern for how much more we can bear without screaming. The pumpkin, like Justin Bieber and back to back marathon running, has a devoted following upon which evidence I rest my case. However, having scoured the internet for interesting things to do with a pumpkin, I shall do my damnedest to turn this gift of a pumpkin into a tsunami of umami and if that fails, I shall attempt one of the more arcane suggestions uncovered by my research: but how many rats to purchase?