In the Work Place: Long story short: I applied myself 110%. As I was preparing to leave, I took stock of various plastic bags. I took a selection of medium and large, the largest being a new, thick, black contractor's garbage bag with handles. Overkill? or just the ticket?
In the Alley: Yay! The Pumpkin was still there--perfect in every way. A light dusting of snow set off its rotund beauty. It was Big, possibly Great, and definitely Heavy, yes, Heavier than I imagined. I opened up the black bag, enveloped the sides, lifted left and right to heft it in, drew the strings closed shut. I picked it up, oh, man, by the strings in my left hand, by the curved stump/handle in my right. The weight of it drew me down, down, down. I tried cradling the left side, but the girth taxed my arm. I struggled along, stepping up onto the steep sidewalk, past the house that set out its offering, across the seemingly, endless street to the next corner. Arms trembling, I set my burden down on the thinly snow covered sidewalk, so close and yet so far. I could see my mother's house from here 10? 15? houses away.
The snow cover seemed to be pretty consistent. I decided to pull along my sweet burden along, still heavy, but gliding, well, except for another alley that was a little dry, and a sidewalk not swept of leaves, but still gliding most of the way. No known witnesses. I carried the pumpkin down one flight of steps one or 2 steps at a time, and glided for a stretch through the gangway, up another flight of stairs. At the side door I saw the bag had abraded away, the skin was intact. My mother brought a giant stainless steel bowl and she pulled it the rest of the way in.
Epilogue: Yet to come. I imagine cutting and freezing is in store for at least part of the pumpkin and cooking and baking for another subsection.
A pumpkin cookie recipe written by an ex-boyfriend on the yellowed inside of the back cover of my copy of the Joy of Cooking. I don't know his source. His mother made excellent sweet potato pies. One Thanksgiving, she brought 2, over the weekend she made 4 more and we ate them all. If I had the recipe for those I would share it. Pumpkin would make a good stand in I suppose. But her recipe, like its talented maker, is long lost. In any case, her son's cookies were yummy:
Pumpkin Walnut Cookies
Preheat oven to 375.
Cream together 1 c butter, 1 c sugar;
add 1 c cooked pumpkin, 1 egg, 1 t vanilla;
sift and add 2 c all-purpose flour, 1 t double-acting baking powder,
1/2 t baking soda, 1/2 t salt, 1 t cinnamon, 1/2 t allspice;
stir in 1 c chopped nuts;
drop on well-greased sheet for 15 min (that seems a little long?)
Also for your enjoyment a pumpkin variation on turnip pulling folktale:
and a zillion other pumpkin recipes