We finally got around to carving our pumpkin yesterday, but it’s okay! Halloween in Sweden is a little different. We celebrate until the 6th of November, the day on which Alla Helgans Dag (All Saint’s Day) falls. It’s on this date – also the first day of winter – that families go to the cemeteries to visit the graves of their deceased. Pass a cemetery in Sweden on Alla Helgans Dag, and you will see it flooded with candlelight.
So, our pumpkin will stay alight until tomorrow. Though knowing us, it’ll be a bit longer. Halloween is the most special celebration of the year in this household, and we hold onto the Halloweeney feeling for as long as possible…even though the snow is quietly blanketing the ground outside.
Once Sebastian had cut a lid out of the pumpkin, I set to work on taking out the seeds, then on removing the seeds from the stringy guts, which took the best part of two hours. All the while I was picking away the pulp, I was thinking to myself ‘hell, I need to thank my mother a thousand times or more for all the hours she spent preparing seeds to roast for my siblings and I when we were growing up.’
Once they were clean, I preheated the oven to 180C and covered the seeds in a few glugs of olive oil and a handful of salt and black pepper. They went into the oven for about twenty minutes until golden and crunchy. This kind of hands on work with foodstuffs, where you really have to be into what you’re doing can make the difference between an average day and an accomplished day, and I felt greatly accomplished as I nibbled on some pumpkin seeds, and breathed in the heady, sweet scent coming from the slowly warming Jack-O’-Lantern.