Thursday, October 31, 2013

Pumpkin House, Tea House

Before J-TEA occupied this house on Friendly Street, it was the Pumpkin House, owned by Cindy and Ron Rutledge. The Pumpkin House was a kind of neighborhood gathering with a large following. The Rutledges would provide hundreds of pumpkins and the tools to carve them with, and ask the entire neighborhood over to their house for carving.
From their stories recounting the events from years past, they evidently had to carve a lot of the pumpkins themselves and it was always a push for them to get it done. Apparently, and I'm name dropping here, but Toshi from Toshi's Ramen was an integral part of the carving team.
The carvers, armed with knives and spoons, surrounded themselves with pumpkins and had to carve themselves out as if escaping from a scene in the Walking Dead, but pumpkin guts flying instead of brains.
The pumpkins needed scaffolding to hold their growing numbers and cars would come full of curious onlookers to see the impressive collection of jack 'o lanterns.

We tried for a bit to resurrect the pumpkin tradition, until a couple years ago when I had the chance to ask Cindy how they did it. Essentially, she said, it was a whole lot of work. Unfortunately I've already signed myself up for too much of that so I let that one go. But what we did do is offer some great Halloween themed teas and we will be serving them again this year. Mummy's Dust Puer, B+ Hibiscus for Vampires, and Ghost's Cry Wooooo-long. Rumour has it, we will have French style hot chocolate infused with tea rather than water...a Dia de los Muertos Chocolate Fest.  

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