The Great Pumpkin Is a Great Teacher

The fact that I couldn’t find canned pumpkin actually turned out to be a good thing. I would make homemade pumpkin puree instead; this would require me to purchase actual pumpkins, remove the seeds, and bake the pumpkin segments. I learned a valuable lesson: just because a shortcut exists doesn’t mean you should take it.

Last night, I cooked a giant pot of turkey-pumpkin chili for Jarad and my parents. I wanted to make it last weekend but didn’t because I couldn’t find canned pumpkin puree in any of the local supermarkets.

The fact that I couldn’t find canned pumpkin actually turned out to be a good thing. I would make homemade pumpkin puree instead; this would require me to purchase actual pumpkins, remove the seeds, and bake the pumpkin segments.

While I was cutting up the pumpkin and flinging fibrous pumpkin innards into the trash can, my parents kept asking, “Why are you wasting so much time and energy when you can buy pumpkin in a can?” Sure, making the puree myself was a more difficult and time-consuming process, but getting pumpkin all over my hands was therapeutic. It seemed an appropriate thing to do on the first day of fall.

Of course, I wouldn’t want to make my own puree if I had other things to do, but I have been spending a lot of time in front of the computer and felt like I needed to make something with my hands. Cutting up pumpkins was more a meditation than a chore.

Once my puree was complete, I roasted the pumpkin seeds, which turned out to be a healthy snack that I could eat during the actual chili-making process, which required 45 minutes of intense vegetable chopping.

Have you ever heard stories about inner city children who don’t understand that vegetables actually come from somewhere other than the supermarket? How can you blame them? They are so disconnected from the earth that they can’t imagine it. Whenever I cook something that requires extra, unnecessary effort, I feel like those children, like I’m missing some vital knowledge about life.

So, why am I spending so much time writing about pumpkins? I learned a valuable lesson: just because a shortcut exists doesn’t mean you should take it. Choose your shortcuts wisely and set aside time for doing some things “the long way”. People (ahem, my parents) might think you’re crazy, but you will learn something about yourself and appreciate technology more.

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