• Image about Pumpkin Festival
Sure, it's worth waiting for the Great Pumpkin. But as far as we're concerned, Linus was right: Any pumpkin is a great pumpkin, which means, well, you don't have to wait quite so long. From the tiny ones we line up on our desk every October - such seasonal spirit! - to the behemoths that competitive pumpkin farmers cultivate, to the sugar pumpkins, whose pulpy insides go into some of our favorite foods, we're off our gourds about the (usually) orange wonders. We even love the canned stuff.


Seeds of Wisdom
In 2006, American Stephen Clarke went head-to-head with a pumpkin and became the fastest pumpkin-face carver in the world, setting the record at 24.03 seconds, according to Guinness World Records.

The world's largest pumpkin (thus far) was a 1,502-pound pale-orange giant grown by Ron Wallace of Rhode Island.

The pumpkin's closest relatives include watermelons and squash.

Go beyond orange. The fruit (yes, a pumpkin is a fruit) also comes in white, green, red, tan, and an odd shade of blue, according to PumpkinNook.com.

Eighty percent of all American pumpkins go on sale in October.
TREATS (Not Tricks)
You might know all you need in order to carve the scariest (or chicest) pumpkin in the patch, but how about paying tribute to the versatility of the pumpkin and whipping up some tasty treats from all that inside goodness? We'll show you how.

cups milk
1 cup pumpkin puree
1 egg
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 tablespoons vinegar
2 cups all-purpose flour
3 tablespoons brown sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon ground allspice
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
½ teaspoon ground ginger
½ teaspoon salt

1. Mix together the milk, pumpkin puree, egg, oil, and vinegar.

2. In a separate bowl, combine the flour, brown sugar, baking powder, baking soda, allspice, cinnamon, ginger, and salt. Stir into the pumpkin mixture just long enough to combine.
3. Heat a lightly oiled griddle or frying pan over medium-high heat. Pour or scoop the batter onto the griddle, using approximately 1/4 cup for each pancake. Brown on both sides and serve hot.

Tip: Don't throw away the pumpkin seeds - they make a tasty (and quick) treat when fixed just right.

Try this mixture: Combine 11/2 tablespoons margarine, 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1/8 teaspoon garlic salt, and 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce with 2 cups pumpkin seeds.

Mix thoroughly and place in a shallow baking dish. Bake for one hour at 275°F., stirring occasionally.