It’s definitely fall here in Copenhagen–the leaves outside our apartment window are yellow, everyone’s wearing scarves and trench coats, and each night the sun sets closer and closer to lunch. Fall always reminds me of home, so this week I’ve been feeling a little homesick for my family’s halloween traditions and pumpkin-flavored everything back in the U.S.
Don’t get me wrong–you can definitely find yourself a pumpkin spice latte here, and the store down the street from us currently has a window of Halloween costumes, but one thing that has been harder to find is pumpkin puree. Back at home, orange cans of pumpkin puree seem to flood the aisles of every supermarket as soon at the temperature dips below 75 degrees. Here, I’ve found it in one store–a bakery near us called American Pie Company, that sells it as a specialty item for TEN DOLLARS per little can. And yes I did buy it an attempt to recreate Trader Joe’s Pumpkin Bread last week, which I was missing dearly. (It actually came out pretty well, and everyone in the flat gave it a thumbs up despite the fact that it was my whacky gluten-free version.) Anyway, since we have all been feeling in the fall mood, we thought it would be fun to have a little pumpkin carving party.
We decided that people who wanted to carve would carve and the rest of the flat would be judges, so the few of us carvers grabbed our tote bags and headed to Aldi, the grocery store nearest to us that sells big pumpkins. For half the price of one can of puree, I got myself a nice big pumpkin and got to planning. I decided to do the Sorting Hat from Harry Potter since we’ve been making our way through the movie series as a flat.
Once everyone finished their designs and the floor was covered in pumpkin guts, we got together and turned out the lights to admire all the talent and creativity our floor has to offer. Along with my sorting hat, we had a Tinker Bell, a classic Snaggletooth Scarface, and one pumpkin enjoying a drink (with a little danish flag and star carved into the back!).
The competition was stiff, but sorting hat took first by a slim margin. Everyone’s was super different and fun, and for me it felt like a little piece of home here in Denmark. After our little competition, we roasted the seeds with cinnamon, sugar, and salt, which is always one of my favorite parts about pumpkin carving. They are super tasty and have been a great snack for the past few days.
All in all we had a very successful flat pumpkin night, and it was a great way to have a little taste of home and get a little competitive. Now all of our pumpkins are dutifully guarding our living room windows, and I wouldn’t mess with Snaggletooth Scarface.
Congrats to all of the talented contestants, and Happy Halloween! If you’re in the states, please have a Reese’s Peanut Butter cup for me, since I can’t find them here.