Fine, the spiritual battle over Halloween Creep is over and lost. Orange-and-black themed retail begins as soon as Back to School is over, and Back to School starts around the Fourth of July, and that’s just that. Adults want to spend the entire month of October dressing up as a Sexy Tower-Climbing Raccoon or whatever; nobody’s going to win the argument now.
It’s the logistics that are still incomprehensible. When bins of pumpkins show up outside the supermarket while everyone’s wearing shorts or summer dresses, I don’t feel like it’s a good time to get a jump on my Halloween shopping. I just wonder what’s supposed to happen when you buy one of those warm summer pumpkins and keep it sitting around the house for a few weeks, before carving time arrives.
My guess would be it rots, like most other fruits you keep around the house would rot. But then why do people buy them? It would be nonsensical for the whole pumpkin-selling schedule to be set up that way.
So I let the clock run for a while, but then pumpkins were on sale, so I added a couple to my grocery order, delivered two weeks before Halloween. My younger son complained that they were too small, and I told him he was free in future years to go buy however big a pumpkin he wanted, as long as he carried it home himself. This year, however, he was going to use the little pumpkins we’d already bought, because the pumpkin question was settled.
And then yesterday I threw the first of the pumpkins in the trash, because it was caving in and starting to ooze. The second one will go in the trash today.
NPR found an expert a few years ago to say that an intact pumpkin should keep for “8 to 12 weeks,” if it’s healthy and hasn’t been frozen. And if it’s stored “between 50 to 55 degrees Fahrenheit,” which is not a temperature that’s available anywhere in my apartment. (The same expert said jack-o’-lanterns keep five to 10 days, which is about four days longer than our jack-o’-lanterns last.) Does this work for anyone? Maybe it worked for people who owned porches, back when autumn still happened in the first half of October. Maybe it’s time to switch to turnips.