Each year, there are two reasons that I insist on driving down Hwy 1 along the Pacific: picking strawberries for strawberry jam and collecting pumpkins for Halloween. Growing up in rural NY, there is still something confusing about bundling up to wander around a pumpkin patch overlooking the sea. Somewhere in my childhood heart the ocean still conjures coconut-scented sunscreen, plastic tools for sandcastles, and over-sized umbrellas. In this same thinking, pumpkin patches conjure tumbling golden leaves, itchy wool hats, and high stacks of firewood. Here in Northern California, oceans and wool hats and pumpkins all go hand in hand.
My husband effortlessly selected a near perfect storybook pumpkin--light orange and round with a curly stem--while I paced the rows blissfully considering shape, color, and texture as I strolled. Ultimately, we packed the farm's red cart with our selection, drove until we found pumpkin pie, and then chased the setting sun back up the coast. The two large pumpkins are now proudly positioned by our front door, keeping the wilting purple mums good company. The smaller collection of orange, beige, and yellow gourds are nestled in a large bowl on the kitchen table, awaiting the Halloween brunch we'll host on Sunday.
I love this time of year. All the brightness of summer still lingers and the promise of winter is still just a few weeks out of reach. Dear friends, may your Halloween costumes be inspired and your candy very sweet. xoxo, k.