Monday, November 01, 2010

The Great Pumpkin Seeds

My jaw is hurting. It must be the day after Halloween.

And I'm thinking about my Dad.

The one thing I always looked forward to at Halloween, aside from the candy and goodies, of course, was the wonderful aroma of roasting pumpkin seeds emanating from the oven.

Pumpkin seeds weren't a rare commodity in our house. In fact, my Dad was a major snacker of the crunchiest kind - peanuts, chips, almonds, sunflower seeds, watermelon seeds, and pumpkin seeds all figured as part of his routine. You'd hear the most satisfying sounds everytime you vacuumed. Seriously, sort of gross, all those shells, but at the same time certainly satisfying at chore time.

But fresh pumpkin seeds, dug out of fresh pumpkins, tossed in the perfect amount of salt and roasting just so while we were out trick-or-treating?

The best.

Rushing back into the house, we would promptly dump all of our loot onto the floor of the family room. After going through the exercise of splitting everything equally between my sister and myself, I couldn't wait to get into the crispy seeds that Dad had prepared.

They never disappointed either. We would usually spend the rest of the evening catching up on all the antics of the trick-or-treaters, laughing as we chomped and chewed, and occasionally spewed. Fun with my siblings, and fun with Mom and Dad.

So every Halloween, I make sure that when I carve the pumpkins, I scrape each and every precious seed meticulously from the orange fibres. I lack the perfect touch that my Dad had for every batch, and I do feel a faint discomfort after snacking on handfuls of these seeds after the kids get back with their loot.

But each twinge brings me those amazing Halloween memories as a kid, and back to a time that I looked so forward to something that only my Daddy could do, on that one special time every year.

Make the most perfect batch of roasted pumpkin seeds ever.

Here's munchin' to you Dad. We really miss you.


Huckdoll said...

That was such a beautiful post, Karen. It's a reminder of how important traditions are, regardless of what they are. That is what we remember, continue and hopefully pass on to the next generation with the stories and memories.

My heart is so warm reading this, thank you :)

Tara R. said...

A wonderful family tradition, and a great way to remember you dad.

Mary G said...

That's just beautiful. And I love how you remember your dad.
My daughter does perfect pumpkin seeds - I hope her kidlet remembers them with just such happiness.

Kami's Khlopchyk said...

Such a sweet memory and it has me wanting to roast some pumpkin seeds and I don't even like them.

Great bit of writing, my friend!

LunaNik said...

I love pumpkin seeds, but never tried to roast my own. How are you, btw, it's been a looong time!

Mary said...

What a great memory that you're passing on to your kids!
Visiting from Mrs. 4444!

Mrs4444 said...

This is really sweet, Karen. I could smell the aroma and hear the crunch:) I also totally get what you mean about the satisfying snap of stuff getting sucked up in the vacuum--That was perfect.

I'm sure your dad is looking down with pride for your continuing his tradition :)


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