I had heard that, among the many reasons the French hate us, is our treatment of pumpkins. Americans ignore this noble vegetable for 11 months out of the year, and then suddenly are overcome with a murderous zeal for waste.
The fact that we might choose to mutilate pumpkins, force them to bear wild flames and inclement fall weather, and then throw them away a week later is something apparently unforgivable in the eyes of our French brothers and sisters.
I’m sure it doesn’t help that we collectively turn around and scoop can-fuls of fake pumpkin into frozen pie shells less than a month later. C’est la vie Americain.
This autumn, I was a very good girl. That’s why my awesome friends humored me with two—count ‘em—two fall field trips, one to an apple orchard and another to a pumpkin patch. In search of pumpkins a week before Halloween, a whole Zipcar van-ful of us trucked out to Richardson Adventure Farm in Spring Grove, IL.
I’m going to be honest: The place has a tough time living up to their hyperbolic website copy.
Not only is everything a-MAZE-ing, but:
“How often can you say that when you went pumpkin picking, you also rode across a 700′ Zip Line and got lost in the worlds largest corn maze? Twitter that to your friends!”
The best thing about the place is that the Richardsons are incredibly generous with their pumpkin sales. Because there were six of us, we opted for the $50/per carload option. When we asked how much a carload was, we were told “as many as you want.” Which is exactly how many we selected. Plus one or two extras.
We were not being greedy; we had two sets of out-of-towners arriving on pumpkin-carving day. Plus, I needed to find the perfect pumpkin to fit into my cast-iron pot so that I could attempt that recipe I was talking about earlier. Without the aid of a tape measure, I magically found a pumpkin that fit perfectly inside my big cast-iron cauldron. It was a Halloween miracle!
Here’s how it went. And more pumpkin pictures, which you must really enjoy for some reason.