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Around the Bluhmin’ Town


Judy Bluhm

Autumn is the season of longer nights, cooler weather and plenty of giant-pumpkin growing contests. And Pumpkin Spice Lattes, which might make us grow fat as a pumpkin because each cup “weighs in” with around 430 calories! I better stop drinking “fat” and start growing “fat” because if I can end up with a 2,600 pound pumpkin, the first place prize is mine.

When I told my husband, Doug, my plan to grow the world’s largest pumpkin, he pointed out a few details that I hadn’t considered. The average seed for one of these giants costs about $1,200…and that is for one seed. I would probably need ten to be safe that one would “take.” Then it has to be incubated, attended to like a “baby” with constant care, proper watering and light and “perfect” soil. Okay, Doug, so the devil is in the details and I will let go of my pumpkin growing dream.

This year a man won the Giant Pumpkin European Championship with a humongous 2,623 pound specimen, beating out last year’s winner by over 500 pounds. You can bake about 1,000 pies from this one pumpkin. And auction off the seeds for astronomical prices. Pumpkins have lots of seeds…so if your retirement account is looking a little low, this might be a great investment opportunity.

Oh, but I do love to see all those pumpkins (of normal sizes) being proudly displayed around yards and porches this time of year. It is the gentle reminder that autumn has arrived, cooler breezes are in the air and sweater-weather is almost here. I made a festive pumpkin display lining my driveway. Wait! Are those javelinas I see with their piggy faces all orange from devouring my decorations? I learned a “festive” lesson. Pumpkins are food and javelinas love them!

A young mother in Phoenix placed her baby in a huge pumpkin for a photo shoot. She cut holes in the pumpkin so she could sit the baby up and have her legs dangle out. Looked very cute except when the woman tried to get baby out of the gourd – she was stuck! Help! A baby is trapped inside a pumpkin and no amount of pulling could get the poor screaming child out. Panicking, the woman ran around the neighborhood, carrying the giant pumpkin with frightened baby, yelling for help and knocking on people’s doors until a kind man ran out. He had use a saw to free the baby. People, DO NOT place your babies inside pumpkins!

Oh, it’s also time to get out my famous pumpkin cookie recipe, which if we each ate just one a day, we’d be sure to weigh about as much as the “world’s largest pumpkin.”
Yum, my delicious recipe probably has 600 evil calories per cookie! Yes, Dear Readers, one bite of my pumpkin dough cookie, with its pound of brown sugar, butter, pureed pumpkin and maple syrup is enough to send glucose levels to dangerous highs and arteries to immediate clog. They are completely scrumptious, dangerously fattening and should only be eaten at your own risk. Stop by and I’ll give you a few.

I am reminded of the woman in Payson who had just baked a pumpkin pie and set it on her kitchen counter-top. She went outside to pick a few roses, leaving her outside door open. When she went back into the house, a hungry, black bear was standing in her kitchen! The terrified (and clever) woman quickly tossed the bear the pie, which he immediately tasted. Happily, the big beast loved the pie and ran out the door. The lucky lady now claims her delicious pumpkin pie saved her life.

Pumpkins represent all things autumn and for some, it may even be a “life-saver.” Take a walk on the wild side and make a pie, bake a cookie, and go ahead, drink a latte. Be sure to look out for bears, javelinas and babies stuck in pumpkins. Oh My Gourd, autumn is here.

Judy Bluhm is a writer and a local realtor. Have a story or a comment? Email Judy at