Saturday, October 31, 2009

pumpkin surprise

Every Halloween since I was four (I imagine) I've carved a jack o' lantern. I'm kneeling on the basement or kitchen floor atop a couple of layers of old newspapers with a metal spoon and a big orange gourd. The guts get piled to the side, the bottom of the pumpkin is scraped and scraped.

Those early years my father carved my jack o'lantern face for me to my specifications. When I got to college, I deftly stabbed through the squash's flesh myself. As my offspring increased in number, I carved more jack o'lanterns. Happy faces, silly faces, scary faces, mad faces, and frightened faces. I carved ears, noses, eyes, teeth, hair and even a beauty mark.

And every year I discover that the instant my hands go inside that pumpkin to disassemble it's guts, my hands break out into a raw, red, itchy rash. Every single year.

I can eat pumkin without any adverse affect. I can touch the smooth skin of a pumpkin without trouble. But my skin is allergic to pumpkin guts--have you ever heard of such a thing?

And every year I wash and wash and wash my hands after the carving is over to restore my skin to it's natural condition. The price we pay for holiday pleasures.

21 comments:

  1. GG - Have you thought about putting on gloves when gutting the pumpkins?

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  2. I was going to suggest gloves, but Sarah got to it first! LOL. Seriously, is it worth the pain? I guess so. Happy Hallowe'en!

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  3. What an odd reaction. My hands get really dried out from pumpkin, but at least I don't get the rash. That's reserved for Christmas trees. I break out in a painful rash every year and you'd think by now that I'd learn to wear gloves while decorating, but I don't.

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  4. My hands get really itchy when I cut up cantaloupe. I don't mess with pumpkin guts...always grossed me out, so I was a "watcher".

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  5. The disposable gloves contingent has spoken.

    Happy Halloween!

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  6. Everyone here carves their pumpkin..ME?..I use the Mr. Potato Head pieces.No fuss No muss...LOL!

    Happy Halloween!

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  7. Curious. I wonder what's in raw pumpkin that doesn't bother you when processed and cooked?

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  8. That's crazy. A friend of mine was just telling me that same thing happens to hear. She was explaining why she was abstaining from the carving at our party and letting her hubby do the work. She has the EXACT same experience.

    Totally crazy and totally sucking at carving time.

    -Abby

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  9. There is no way you should be doing the scooping out part! That's what the boys are for.

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  10. Actually my niece has the same affliction.

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  11. Hi! I was born and raised in WI and found your blog through a friend. I couldn't help but following - love it!

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  12. Huh. Never heard of that. It is a little odd. Try wearing latex gloves, maybe?

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  13. Those boots that are in your masthead photo? Put them on your hands.

    ;-)

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  14. Wow nice games thanks a lot
    Really good job
    Regards,

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  15. Over here the tradition just arrived about 15 years ago so my pumpkin carving days have only just begun - no rash so far though!

    I would love a warm,goodlooking, extravagnt coat to wear every day from now till end of March. I've just never found it...

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  16. I've outgrown it, but I had that same reaction every year when I was younger. And I was always stuck with the pumpkin carving - no one else would do it!

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  17. ...gloves, yo. I'm with the chorus. I know you are hardcore, but you must have a pair...I would need them just to touch the "guts" at all!
    * ; )

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  18. This was the first year I had the kids scoop the goop.

    We lined the floor of the front porch with newspaper, I handed out spoons, cut off the top, and let em go wild.

    (Yes, before long there was a pumpkin gut fight. What do you expect?)

    - Julia

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  19. NOW who's living on the edge of danger? Wear gloves!!!!

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  20. That happens to me too! I've been trying to figure out why though!

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Spill it, reader.