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1. The history of the name
5. Pumpkin recipes
2. Pumpkin: brief facts
6. Pumpkins magical popularity
3. Cooking with pumpkin
7. Growing a pumpkin
4. The autumn celebrity fruit
8. Pumpkin in the learning process
A. The pumpkin is a large round fruit with a thick orange skin and large seeds. Pumpkins are 90% water but they contain potassium and vitamin A. Six of seven continents can grow pumpkins. Pumpkins symbolize the colours and the spirit of the autumn. Lots of movies were made with pumpkin and Halloween themes.
B. It’s believed that pumpkins come from North America. Native American Indians ate pumpkins for centuries before the Europeans discovered the fruit. In European languages the word »pumpkin» originated from the Greek word for «large melon» which is «pepon.» «Pepon» was changed by the French into «pompon.» The English changed «pompon» to «pumpion.»
C. In the United States, pumpkins go hand in hand with the autumn holidays of
Thanksgiving and Halloween. On almost every Thanksgiving table there is the customary Pumpkin Pie. Pumpkins are carved into decorated lanterns for Halloween. The pumpkin is also one of the important symbols of the harvest festivals and has been an American favourite for over 400 years now.
D. In the USA, the pumpkin is a very popular Thanksgiving dish. We don’t know for sure whether the pumpkin was at the very first Thanksgiving dinner but it was used in all traditional meals long before the arrival of the Europeans. Most parts of the pumpkin are suitable for eating, including the shell, the seeds, the leaves, and even the flowers. When ripe, the pumpkin can be boiled, baked, steamed or roasted.
E. The pumpkin is a warm-season fruit. If you want to have a nice pumpkin for
Halloween, plant the seeds from late May in northern regions to early July in southern regions. Pumpkins can be harvested whenever they are a deep, solid colour (orange for most varieties) and the coat is hard. Cut off pumpkins carefully and leave 3 to 4 inches of stem attached.
F. The pumpkin is a real October icon the fruit of the month. It’s also popular as an available, inexpensive material for some wonderful classroom activities! Its size, colour, smell and taste make it perfect for observation and exploration.
Working in groups students can search, suggest, predict and estimate the number of seeds in a set of pumpkins.
G. For centuries the pumpkin has been popular with wizards, witches and fairies. Maybe thats why it is celebrated in so many festivals, folklore and fiction. People make jack-o’-lanterns at Halloween in the USA. In European and
American fairy-tales witches often turn people into pumpkins. Even in modern the Harry Potter novels pumpkin juice is the favourite drink of the students of Hogwarts school.