So last week we had a Romanian friend, Alex, over for a few days. The weather being its regular nasty October self, we spent most of the time eating, drinking and gossiping about each and every one of our common acquaintances. One night though, we decided to go completely wild and bake a pumpkin.
Nope, it’s not a codename for some crazy Romanian party game.
It really is just the act of baking and subsequently stuffing yourself with one of those orange, oversized vegetables (is it?), much more suited for carving goofy smiles into. With Halloween just around the corner these days, there are mountains of pumpkins everywhere, and our pumpkin aficionado friend decided it was a pumpkin and only a pumpkin the success of his trip to London depended on.
Now, I am a lot of surprising things, but sadly not a pumpkin expert. So I left the task of picking the object of our sudden craving to the men of the gang. And pick it they did. The fattest most brightly orange pumpkin in our local Tesco shop. The night could really start now.
Once home, I reluctantly offered to carve it up, and after getting myself covered in pumpkin guts up to my eyebrows, it was finally oven time. I must admit I only just recently figured out how to turn the oven on (it used to be exclusively V’s job, as he was convinced I’d start a new Great Fire of London. Psycho!), so when Alex insisted he would not settle for anything less than “sexy crunchy”, I was a bit worried. But after what felt like several hours, by which time our kitchen was hotter than the hinges of hell, he finally gave his blessing and agreed we should take the carbonised thing out of the oven. Now, of course I put not one, but two oven mitts on, just to be safe. And of course I superiorly smirked at V. and Alex’s don’t-burn-your-click-finger-don’t-burn-your-click-finger. Then of course I managed to slam the edge of the hot tray into my bare shoulder, burning myself to the point of tears.
It wouldn’t have been so bad, but I used to be perfect, you know.
Remember how in stories, the superficial prince, emperor or sultan only accepts a girl with perfect-milk-white-no-marks-whatsoever-skin as his bride? Well, I was that girl. I had zero scars. Zilch. My skin was truly a thing of wonder, and now, the two identical beauty spots on my shoulder, and my newly acquired bloody scar, form this Halloweeny looking smiley face reminding me of Heath Ledger’s Joker.
Yes, laugh all you want, I suppose it is indeed funny how I’m suddenly very much like all those people regretting their drunken tattoos. I must have been drunk on pumpkin gut juice.
And speaking of pumpkin guts, the moral of the story is this: there are sugar pumpkins, which are really sweet and tasty and people carefully bake in their ovens, rarely mutilating themselves in the process, and then there are carving pumpkins, which people carve for Halloween and never bake, as they taste like something died in your mouth. Guess which kind of pumpkin we’d bought?
As I was stuffing our kitchen bin with industrial quantities of hot orange mush, my new shoulder buddy was smiling its annoyingly innocent smile.