Rituals are funny things - for those who practice them, they seem so commonplace, natural, instinctive even - while for those watching from the outside, well, they tend to furrow brows and raise serious questions. As it turns out, pumpkin carving is one such practice that the unindoctrinated eye with skepticism. While each October we Americans happily empty out gourds, slice scary faces into their squashy flesh and set them aglow, the rest of the world thinks the practice is: odd, reeks of Satanism and is a shameful waste of food.
Kasey and I weren't fully aware of this when we invited a couple Brits, a Frenchman and an Indian (oh, and another American for moral support back-up) to join us in a bit of pumpkin carving fun. Our reluctant recruits had never before contemplated participating in this bizarre American tradition and it took some coaxing to get them started. But once the slimy seeds were scooped out, the patterns traced and incised, and they saw the resulting radiant orange blaze, I think we had some converts.
The over-carved pumpkin that you see on top of the stack (or shall we call it, pumpkin carving nouveau - or, perhaps, simply [and appropriately] "outside-of-the-box") was Guillaume's addition.
Cute marshmallow ghosts that sustained us during our efforts.