I Have a Halloweener

I love Halloween.

Surprised? Why? Because it says on the homepage that I’m a Christian? Shouldn’t I shut my doors, turn off the lights, and curse the heathens in the darkness? Isn’t that what Christians do on Halloween?

Maybe some do. Not this guy. Why? Because Halloween is as much about worshiping Satan as any other American Holiday. Seriously, have you seen Christmas at the mall? Halloween is one of the handful of times a year when I see my neighbors as a whole, because we all go door to door, having fun and—as adults—helping the little kids play pretend.

That’s it. It’s pretend. It’s one big dress-up day when kids get to become their heroes, or their fears, show off for the neighbors and be applauded for their efforts. With candy.

The Karabin Halloween is about three things: Playing Pretend, Family Time, and Pumpkin Seeds.

If my pursuit of this holiday offends your Christian values, then I’m sorry. Please send me an email or a comment and we can talk scripture about it. I have some, I’m just not endeavoring to share it here, as I don’t think many would be interested. If you are, then I will. If you are a pagan, and my pursuit of the Americanization of your holiday offends, then I am equally sorry. I know one or two who are offended by the troop of revelers who have commercialized and marketed all the reverence from their day.

I wonder if the Americanization of Halloween and Christmas unknowingly unites hard-core Christians and pagans in dislike, twice a year. That would be nifty.

Halloween is Family Time because my sister, her husband, my mom, my wife, my daughter and I all gather around the kitchen table to carve pumpkins. This year the guest list also included my brother and sister-in-law, which brought us to nine glorious pumpkins. It was a long, messy and fun afternoon.

No Satan worship, but it was smoky, thanks to my Pumpkin Seeds. They actually require the capitalization. Pumpkin. Seeds. Roasted. I wait all year for these spicy little champs. This year I made close to two pounds of them. They’re like a taste-brawl in your mouth; a mélange of salty and savory with a texture that ranges from crunchy and crispy to chewy, depending on the roast of the individual seed. Man, I want some right now. I know, internet, so do you. Here’s the recipe:

  1. Clean those pumpkin seeds. Get as much of the guts off as you can. I find that hot water, a colander and a wee bit of hand soap works best in the first rinsing. Do about four.
  2. Toss with oil. I used olive oil this year, but I think I’ll stick with plain old lite vegetable oil since olive doesn’t toast as tastily.
  3. I coat them liberally with garlic powder, onion powder, salt and paprika. First I toss them with it in the bowl, then I sprinkle in the pan. Sprinkle the spices on the seeds, that is. Get your head outta the gutter.
  4. That oven should have been on 425 degrees and heating up during this whole labor of love. Let them roast for a bout 10-12 minutes. I like to burn ‘em a bit (hence the smoke) but the choice is yours. You will have gradations of roast on the seeds depending where the heat hit them and the amount of oil on them.

Share them with your guests or horde them for yourself. Be warned, I call the “Lil’ Stinkers” because they will shove their tantalizing aroma right through the bag. It’s been less than two weeks and I only have a handful left. I’m rationing now.

My sister asked me this year why I don’t make the seeds whenever I want them. A fair question, as this is the time of year that pumkins are most sought after. My answer was simple; the anticipation and the single time of year makes them special. That is also part of the reason why I love Halloween. Only one day a year are kids running, giggling or screaming on to the next house. I love that sound. Only one day a year does my daughter get to play dress up with every other kid in the nation. Most days it’s just us, or a few little friends. Only one day a year feels like Halloween and sharing in the spirit that I detailed above makes the heart warm and seek it every year. Not to revel in darkness, but to share in the warmth.

There you have it, my American Halloween. My little Halloweener loved decorating her pumpkins and playing pretend as a Farie Princess—or a “Fly Away Princess” as she called herself. Regardless of religious affiliation, I loved the whole thing, as I do every year.

I hope you and yours did, too.

K

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