THERE it sits, glowering malevolently from the corner of the kitchen.

I’m not quite sure how we arrived at ownership of a pumpkin. It’s a long time since guisers haunted this household. But life’s full of shocking surprises these days.

I have an unexplainable urge to carve the blooming thing and enter into the spirit of the season.

But where to start? My Halloween lantern skills did not graduate beyond the hacking of a turnip. As I write, I can almost smell that sweetly acrid aroma of slowly rotting neep mixed with candle wax.

In those days, children really did know how to scare folk!

But back to the pumpkin. It has to go, much as I’m growing fond of the fact that it nicely complements the kitchen tiles.

As COP26 rolls into town, the Chartered Institution of Wastes Management (CIWM) has set out its ambitions for climate change.

In a position statement, the CIWM said it is forming a Climate Change Advisory Group, comprised of CIWM members, which will guide thinking and formulate a sector-wide strategy that will help members on their journey towards Net Zero.

CIWM is now a signatory to the Pledge To Net Zero and the Professional Bodies Climate Action Charter, and is working on its own organisational greenhouse gases reduction measures in line with a 1.5°C climate change scenario.

This includes pumpkins.

People are being urged to avoid discarding the 12 million Halloween squashes which are still in edible condition. Philip Simpson, commercial director food waste campaign organisation ReFood, said research showed only 42% of trick or treaters knew pumpkins were edible. He added that pumpkins were high in fibre, calcium and magnesium, and so “a real superfood”, pointing out that the waste of pumpkins at Halloween was “truly shocking” and if the flesh was cooked after carving there would be “enough soup for everyone in Britain to have a bowl”.

Our pumpkin isn’t that big, but nevertheless I’m toying with the idea of a spicy soup. But maybe I’m being boring.

I don’t often venture into the world of Cosmopolitan, but there I am introduced to a whole new take on the humble squash.

“We’re all trying to do our bit to waste less and re-use more,” gushes the Cosmo expert. “And just because you want to do some pumpkin carving this Halloween doesn’t mean you have to waste all that gunky goodness by just throwing it out as soon as it’s been scooped. There are actually so many things you can do with your pumpkin carving leftovers, from making cookies to DIY-ing pumpkin spice lattes.”


Cosmo is giving me the horrors, so instead I turn to my old friend Molly Weir.

There is no mention of pumpkins in her trusty tattered tome. They were probably not invented in Scotland in 1960.

There is, however, a tasty looking recipe for sheep’s head brawn with swede which I’m sure I could adapt for pumpkin usage.

Sounds the perfect dish for a truly horrifying Halloween.