Super Baki and his Jack O’Lantern

I can’t remember how we got to talking about giant pumpkins, but some time last year Baki decided that he wanted one. This was one of those times when having improvised plumbing came in handy. Our sinks drain straight out into the garden. The main house drain pipe empties under a banana tree, but since making the outside kitchen we hadn’t really planted anything to take up the extra moisture where its drain pipe lets out. I thought that a giant pumpkin would be an ideal candidate, and to keep it company we planted an elephant ear plant that a friend had given us. When the water was still pooling underneath those plants, we added a banana:

As the summer progressed, the pumpkin grew and grew, stretching all the way to Baki’s bathtub, and it wasn’t long before it set fruit. It was exciting to watch it grow! Of course, it did not get to be enormous the way that some giant pumpkins do; this was no 300 pound monster. We didn’t prune the plant or fertilize it in any way. But by the time we cut it, it had grown to about 50 pounds, and that was enough for Baki.

He waited impatiently for Halloween. We had only started celebrating it last year, since it is essentially a non-event in Turkey, particularly in our neck of the woods. Still, we had our pumpkin, so a Jack O’Lantern was a given. Last weekend, Baki drew up his design and I got out the bread knife.

We decided that Baki could dress up as his alter-ego, Super Baki. He has a friend, Leyla,  who lives down the street from us in Antalya, and she lived in England for a while, so she was also keen to celebrate Halloween. Baki and I made pumpkin shaped cookies and I made caramel apples (thanks to the caramels that my cousin Elaine was able to find for me and that my mother sent). Baki suited up:

He spent the evening getting hopped up on sugar and running amok with Leyla. We had to cut the evening short to come home and do homework. Before reverting to his normal state, Super Baki let me take a picture of his cape:

And that was our Halloween! Now I have to spirit the Jack O’Lantern away, but I couldn’t resist lighting it one last time.

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