French Jack-o’-Lantern

Auchan was selling pumpkins this week, so I had to get one. I was surprised they even had them considering how small their Halloween costume section is. And their Halloween candy aisle is just non-existent. There was a huge section for chrysanthemums though, for la Toussaint* – which I stupidly didn’t get when I first walked into the store. (Hmm, why are there so many flowers normally reserved for decorating graves on sale this week? Probably the same reason why I have no work this week. Duh.)

My first French pumpkin (with my nosy cat).

Citrouille and potiron can be used interchangeably** to mean pumpkin in everyday French, but that’s not what Auchan decided to call it. Maybe they don’t know it’s not called a Jack-o’-lantern until you carve it?

This was David’s first time carving a pumpkin, but he refused to use his hand to get the pumpkin guts out.

So I pulled all the guts out with my hands, though I’m not really sure what I’m doing in this photo. Bowing to the pumpkin king? Looking for something I dropped inside?

David carving the face:

And voilà ! Our jack-o’-lantern is done!

*La Toussaint is All Saint’s Day, celebrated on November 1st. All Soul’s Day is technically November 2nd, but people commemorate the dead by placing flowers and candles on graves on the 1st anyway.

** La citrouille is more commonly grown in North America, while le potiron is more common in Europe. They are almost the same fruit, but it does seem like people use citrouille more when talking about Halloween and potiron more when talking about soup. They both belong to the class of fruits called courge (gourds).

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  • http://cndrnh.blogspot.com/ CN Heidelberg

    Cute!!! I love simple jack-o-lanterns like that one!

    CN Heidelbergs last blog post..Continued Adventures Coming Soon

  • http://cndrnh.blogspot.com CN Heidelberg

    Cute!!! I love simple jack-o-lanterns like that one!

    CN Heidelbergs last blog post..Continued Adventures Coming Soon

  • http://www.zurika.com/ Jul

    Oh, fun! I might have to try pumpkin carving this year. Here in Munich they are sold marked as ‘Halloween’ pumpkins.

    Juls last blog post..Fashion with a message in Padua

  • http://www.zurika.com/ Jul

    Oh, fun! I might have to try pumpkin carving this year. Here in Munich they are sold marked as ‘Halloween’ pumpkins.

    Juls last blog post..Fashion with a message in Padua

  • http://davidsswamp.blogspot.com/ David

    I remember my first Jack O’ Lantern…

    As far as “citrouille” and “potiron” are concerned, there also might be regional differences because I think I’ve always exclusively used the term “citrouille” my whole life as well as people in my home area, whereas I tend to hear mostly the term “potiron” in Paris.

    Davids last blog post..Quiz…

  • http://davidsswamp.blogspot.com David

    I remember my first Jack O’ Lantern…

    As far as “citrouille” and “potiron” are concerned, there also might be regional differences because I think I’ve always exclusively used the term “citrouille” my whole life as well as people in my home area, whereas I tend to hear mostly the term “potiron” in Paris.

    Davids last blog post..Quiz…

  • http://www.correresmidestino.com/ Zhu

    The picture is cool!

    I still can’t carve pumpkins properly. They look scary… in a bad way!

    Zhus last blog post..Fall Colors

  • http://www.correresmidestino.com Zhu

    The picture is cool!

    I still can’t carve pumpkins properly. They look scary… in a bad way!

    Zhus last blog post..Fall Colors

  • Mom

    David’s first Jack-o-lantern is great. It doesn’t look like his first one. It looks like he is an experienced carver.

  • Mom

    David’s first Jack-o-lantern is great. It doesn’t look like his first one. It looks like he is an experienced carver.

  • http://poppyinprovence.blogspot.com/ poppy fields

    I can’t find any pumpkins in my little town :(

    poppy fieldss last blog post..Wordless Wednesday Politics–My bumper

  • http://poppyinprovence.blogspot.com poppy fields

    I can’t find any pumpkins in my little town :(

    poppy fieldss last blog post..Wordless Wednesday Politics–My bumper

  • http://www.therealclothesminded.blogspot.com/ Sarah

    You’re lucky – our Auchan had a desperate selection of about 10 super-mini pumpkins, and I’ve been dying to carve one this year! I’m going to have a look around the other supermarches in town this weekend to see what I can find. I, too, love how simply y’all’s jack-o-lantern is carved…c’est mignon, indeed!

    Sarahs last blog post..On my métro line

  • http://www.therealclothesminded.blogspot.com Sarah

    You’re lucky – our Auchan had a desperate selection of about 10 super-mini pumpkins, and I’ve been dying to carve one this year! I’m going to have a look around the other supermarches in town this weekend to see what I can find. I, too, love how simply y’all’s jack-o-lantern is carved…c’est mignon, indeed!

    Sarahs last blog post..On my métro line

  • Frankofile

    Thanks for putting up your own photo. It’s lovely to see you (and a total contrast to the scary pumpkin)

  • Frankofile

    Thanks for putting up your own photo. It’s lovely to see you (and a total contrast to the scary pumpkin)

Why is Jennie no longer in France?

I created this blog in September 2006 when I moved to France from Michigan to teach English. Many of the earlier posts are about my personal life in France, dealing with culture shock, traveling in Europe and becoming fluent in French. In July 2011, I relocated to Australia to start my PhD in Applied Linguistics. Although I am no longer living in France, my research is on foreign language pedagogy and I teach French at a university so these themes appear most often on the blog. I also continue to post about traveling and being an American abroad.

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