artratcafe CAFE – Pumpkin Time…

As the rain and clouds of autumn hide the sun from us here in Vancouver I am thankful for the appearance of the pumpkin, nature’s substitute for glorious summer sunsets. This glowing orange orb warms us under the grey and overcast skies of the season. At artratcafe CAFE we are, of course, familiar with the wide variety of foods that can be derived from the pumpkin, and because the temperatures are dropping to chilly we are offering the warm hug of comforting Pumpkin Soup to our visiting friends and we include the recipe in this post.

But also, because we are so closely associated with Mr Art Rat, we are interested in the artistic side of food, and when it comes to pumpkins this interest must involve the Halloween related carving of this seasonal fruit (vegetable?). In honour of this tradition we have put together an exhibition of some of our favorite pumpkin sculptures, along with some paintings of and on pumpkins and other miscellaneous pumpkin related art including pumpkin / Halloween poetry. (All due credits at end of post).














Theme in Yellow by Carl Sandburg.

I spot the hills
With yellow balls in autumn.
I light the prairie cornfields
Orange and tawny gold clusters
And I am called pumpkins.
On the last of October
When dusk is fallen
Children join hands
And circle round me
Singing ghost songs
And love to the harvest moon;
I am a jack-o’-lantern
With terrible teeth
And the children know
I am fooling.

The Witches Song from Shakespeare’s Macbeth

Double, double toil and trouble;
Fire burn and caldron bubble.
Fillet of a fenny snake,
In the caldron boil and bake;
Eye of newt and toe of frog,
Wool of bat and tongue of dog,
Adder’s fork and bling-worms sting,
Lizard’s leg and howlet’s wing,
For a charm of powerful trouble,
Like a hell-broth boil and bubble.
Double, double toil and trouble;
Fire burn and caldron bubble.
Cool it with a baboon’s blood,
Then the charm is firm and good.

On a dark, dark, night
In a dark, dark wood
In a dark, dark house
In a dark, dark room
In a dark, dark cupboard
On a dark, dark shelf
In a dark, dark box
There was a GHOST!




Superstitious by Shel Silverstein.

If you are superstitious you’ll never step on cracks.
When you see a ladder you will never walk beneath it.
And if you ever spill some salt you’ll thrown some ‘cross your back,
And carry’ round a rabbit’s foot just in case you need it.
You’ll pick up any pin that you find lying on the ground,
And never, never, ever throw your hat upon the bed,
Or open an umbrella when you are in the house.
You’ll bite your tongue each time you say
A thing you shouldn’t have said.
You’ll hold your breath and cross your fingers
Walkin’ by a graveyard,
And number thirteen’s never gonna do you any good.
Black cats will all look vicious, if you’re superstitious,
But I’m not superstitious (knock on wood).

Pumpkin Soup – Ingredients:

  • Small pumpkin (remove the seeds and stringy bits, cut into large chunks, peel). You can sub for 2 med size acorn squash if you don’t have pumpkin.
  • 2 sweet onions, chopped
  • 2 sweet potatoes, peeled and chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped
  • 2 tbsp organic coconut oil
  • 4 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp nutmeg
  • 2-3 cups hemp or almond milk (this makes it creamy)
  • 4-6 cups stock or filtered water
  • Sea salt and freshly cracked black pepper to taste

Method:  Preheat oven to 365F. Place pumpkin chunks, onions and sweet potato into a large baking dish with 1/4 water in dish.

Bake until fork-tender, about 45-60 minutes. Remove them from the oven and set them aside to cool.

Once cooled, place all the roasted ingredients into your food processor and the raw garlic. You may need to do this in batches depending how large your processor is.

Add in some hemp milk or filtered water to help blend. Once blended, move the mixture to a large pot on your stove. Add the remaining hemp milk, water and spices. Allow the soup to simmer for 15 minutes or so, stirring occasionally on low to medium heat.

Sprinkle some raw sheep’s milk cheese and arugula on top. The natural sweetness of the nutmeg is warming and lovely. If you let it sit overnight in the fridge the flavours will mingle and be even more smashingly delicious the next day. Serves 6-8.











Image Credits – from first to last – Pumpkin painting by Ulrike ‘Ricky’ / Next three pumpkin carvings by Ray / Scary Halloween Pumpkin, artist / Witch Face Carving, artist unknown – / Tribal Face by Mina / Old Postcard from Google Images / Pumpkin Soup from Google Images / Pumpkin painting by unknown first grade student – / Painting on Pumpkin by Susan / Quasimodo carving, artist unknown – / Spider carving, artist unknown – / Old postcard from Google Images.

To view all ‘artratcafe CAFE’ posts go to Categories Menu on Home Page.

Q: What do you get if you divide the circumference of a pumpkin by its diameter? A: Pumpkin pi.

35 thoughts on “artratcafe CAFE – Pumpkin Time…

  1. Nice!!! Of course I’d want to photograph those pumpkins when they’re well in the rotting stage. Hahahaha – that’s just me and decay. 🙂 Great collection of poems and I love the pumpkin pi joke.


  2. A nice collection of images John. The carvings are extra clever – such life-like facial expressions. It is strange that pumpkins are used for the ghoulish. They seem so warm and jolly!


    1. Strange yet inevitable I suppose considering the tradition and the plastic quality of the pumpkins surface. Aspects of dualism do dictate that behind the “warm and jolly” the ghoulish always lurks!…


  3. Love the pumpkins! not sure how else i could write to you, Thankyou for your posts on my blog it was great to know your opinions on success. Would it be possible for me to ask you few questions for the project i am working on about artist studios?


  4. These are great! We’re not big pumpkin eaters here in the UK, but the soup sounds like the squash alternative might be just right! 🙂

    PS. I’m unfollowing your blog in the system but don’t worry – will still be reading – am just changing the way I get to people’s blogs. (Have just done a post explaining it.) I’ve put you on my blogroll on the ‘Visual’ page.


  5. Those carved pumpkins are incredible, John, the faces carved in the pale flesh without the bright skin. Your soup sounds delicious, too, with the sweet potato and coconut oil — I have coconut oil in the house…hmm…


  6. Awesome post John. Pumpkins (and their colouring) is also one of my favourite things about this season. I love it when the leaves on the trees do their pumpkin impressions before falling to the ground.

    In celebration of pumpkin, I thought I would also share my favourite Pumpkin Recipe: Pumpkin Banana Curry. This recipe fills me with warmth for days and I simply cannot stop eating it. Here’s to the great round veggie!


    1. Thank you Kay, super to have you visit artratcafe CAFE and your recipe sounds totally scrumptious – perhaps you’d like to be a guest cook here sometime?…


  7. This is amazing! I don’t know the taste of pumkins, but they sure look wonderful here! I enjoyed this posting very much! 🙂 like everything on your blog. x


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