No more turnip lanterns

News reaches me from Spalding, Lincolnshire in the UK where they are supplying all of Europe with pumpkins for Halloween. Hurrah for Spalding.

Much has been written here before of the Irish habit of hacking up turnips (also known as swedes or rutabagas) to make lanterns, a practice which is very hard on the hands and where each year fingers are lost in grisly scenes involving bloodied knives and horrible screams.

If only Sir Walter Raleigh had thought to pack a pumpkin when he brought potatoes and tobacco from America: I could have made it as a hand model and it wouldn’t have taken Spalding 500 years to become the pumpkin patch in the garden of England.

Very few of the Lincolnshire pumpkins are ever eaten but demand for the pumpkins continues to grow. Most of the pickers are Polish and they have introduced the practice of Halloween lanterns from Warsaw to Gdansk.

Pumpkin patches. Polish pickers. Party preparations. There’s a tongue twister in there, desperate to get out.

About Liz Barron

US Peace Corps Volunteer in Armenia. Permanent address in Washington DC. Deep roots in Northern Ireland and persistent Belfast accent. Blogger,cook, mother, grandma, Scrabble-player and enthusiastic world traveler.
This entry was posted in Cooking with the Crone, Crone as Casualty, Culture with the Crone, You can take the Crone out of Ireland and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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