There’s a first time for everything, right?  That’s what they say.  Well, not sure about “everything,” but this Sunday was my first time to carve a pumpkin.  Let’s be honest, I didn’t grow up in this country, I moved to America at the age of 13, and Halloween and its traditions were not part of my childhood.  Who knows, perhaps at the age of 13 I thought I was too mature to dress up in costumes and carve pumpkins.

Fast forward a “few” years ahead.  I’m no longer 13.  I’m still mature, but couldn’t pass on the offer to carve pumpkins at a friend’s house on a Sunday afternoon.  While contemplating my artful master piece, my mom suggested I do maple leaves!  And I thought “why not?!”  I love the fall, I adore seeing the trees in all their glory as they change into crimson, golden, orange and burgundy colors.  And so it was decided – I was going to pick up a few fallen maple leaves and use them as a template for my first carved pumpkin.

I used a sharpie to lightly outline different size leaves in a random pattern and then got to carving.  Don’t forget to save pumpkin seeds and roast them while you are carving.  I like to roast mine with olive oil, kosher salt and a touch of cayenne pepper.