Everyone has hidden talents –– and my husband’s is gourd artistry. Jamie’s dabbled in watercolors and acrylic on canvas, but his true medium is the pumpkin. Every Halloween, while other households display the classic jack-o’-lanterns with triangular eyes and gap-toothed grins, our porch serves as a gallery for at least six of his artistic renderings, from replicas of Old Masters’ paintings to scenes from Sin City comic books to faithful reproductions of his favorite album covers, all painstakingly etched into the orange flesh and sometimes held together with toothpicks. The ancient Greeks told us that life is short and art is long, but this is not the case for Jamie. As Halloween passes and October gives way to November, his artwork softens and wrinkles and molds and collapses in on itself. He just shrugs and starts planning the jack-o’-lanterns for next year.

I am not nearly patient enough to devote that kind of time to something so ephemeral, nor do I have the technical skill needed to carry out this kind of handiwork. What I like about pumpkins is not their suitability as a canvas but their suitability as a pie filling. While he makes art, I make dessert.