We took down our fence last month and cleaned up our garden, leaving the tidy square of dirt void of vegetables and abandoned until spring. But the unusually warm fall has evoked a feeling that we closed up too early.
I’m left with an orange pumpkin and a few unusual squash that have been taking up space on my kitchen counter since way before Thanksgiving because I can’t decide if I should and how to cook them.
The calendar says December, but I’ve barely worn my winter coat. My gloves and hat have gone untouched. And snow has yet to be forecast.
Cold or not, a parade of holiday red and green has swapped autumn’s orange and yellow. Evergreens and Santa figures have replaced cornucopias and pilgrims. The seasons have changed from harvest moon to twinkling lights. Still that pumpkin and squash hang on like our garden turnips and radishes did after our lonely first frost.
The pumpkin doesn’t fit in with my holiday décor, and topping its round shape with a Santa hat won’t help.
My goal today is to bake gingerbread cookies. But after I roll out the dough and release the smell of warm spices from the oven, that pumpkin will still be sitting on my counter next to the mixer and reminding me that fall will continue until that annoying orange vegetable gets cooked.
So move over tiramisu and fruit cobbler. This year’s Christmas dessert is going to be pumpkin pie.