Friday, October 31, 2008

Halloween Pumpkin Celebration

Bob's Pumpkin from Halloween 2007 ~ Jen added the greeting

Tonight is Halloween night so last night the 3 of us got together in my kitchen and carved our Halloween jack o' lanterns. We started this tradition several years ago and I really enjoy the evening.

We each picked out our own pumpkin. Each one had its own personality that spoke to the new owner. This nice whimsical round one is mine:

Isn't he beautiful? So round and orange.

We set up our work space in my small cluttered kitchen. The guys shared a work table, while I used my kitchen counter.

Jack and Bob carving their pumpkins and having fun. (the front of Jack's sweatshirt says, "When did my wild oats turn into shredded wheat?" Ha!)

Here's my cleaned out beauty:

And here's just some of the gooey insides that came out of our pumpkins.

Stringy stuff & seeds ~ I will roast the seeds later, maybe tonight!

I will save a few of these field pumpkin seeds to plant next summer. These field pumpkins make great Halloween and fall decorations, but not so good pies. For pie making, I grow special small and tender Pie Pumpkins

The rest of the pumpkins seeds I will salt and roast in the oven. Probably later tonight or tomorrow. Jack really likes them. I find them a bit tedious to get out of their shells.

Now comes the artistic portion of our program:

Jack carefully drawing his pumpkin face features

Bob concentrating hard on his careful carving ~ notice his open mouth with his tongue poking out like a cute little kid hard at work

I don't usually draw or plan my pumpkin faces. I just carefully clean out the insides and then stare at the front of my pumpkin for several minutes until some creative idea comes to me. Then I just pick up a sharp knife and start carving. Usually I do the nose first, then the mouth and last the eyes.

We have found over the years that we each have our own unique pumpkin carving styles. The faces vary from year to year, but our unique styles remain consistent.

Here is our finished trio of carved jack o' lanterns:

Jack's on the left, mine in the middle, Bob's on the right

Jack's scary faced pumpkin all lit up!

Bob's happy vampire pumpkin glowing eerily!

My crazy laughing wacko (menopausal!) pumpkin on fire (hot flash!)

Our family of jack o' lanterns ready for Halloween night

Happy Halloween Everyone!! May you only get treats and no tricks.

© Copyright 2008 Mountain Harvest Basket


CaliforniaGrammy said...

You and your buddies do know how to have a good time. Your jack-o-lantern trio makes me smile. I've never liked carving pumpkins, it's hard! But I do enjoy roasting the seeds. I've never cracked them open though, just pop'em in my mouth and chew them. The other night I did roast a couple of pie pumpkins and roasted the seeds. They seemed smaller and maybe even more tender than "regular" pumpkins. And they were quite tasty, if I say so myself!

Your fall soup looked delicious and I especially like the pesto bread idea to go with it!

Hardware Bob said...

Fabulous photos, very scary.

I look forward to Halloween eve at Jen's house every single year. It brings back fond memories in the kitchen with Mom, dressing up silly, trick or treating in the neighborhood, and bags of overflowing yummy candy.

The tongue and open mouth were a clear give away that I was really concentrating hard, a little boy having fun, and also being very, very cautious with the sharp kitchen knife.

Goblins, ghouls, vampires,and other imaginary scary creatures are generally common themes for our creative pumpkin carvings.

Now, I am confused, pumpkins are actually very jolly, round, and cute, then we turn them into such scary, cranky creatures, what's with that?

frugalmom said...

Love the pumpkins. I think the menopausal one is my favorite!

I dont take the shells off the seeds....just pop the whole thing in my mouth.....mmmm...salty.

I was at the farmers market this morning and I managed to snag some sugar pie pumpkins. Do you know the best way to preserve the seeds for planting next year?

Laughing Orca Ranch said...

Aaaaaw! Those are some handsome pumpkins with loads of creativity :)

We roasted our seeds yesterday and they are so yummy. We're a little nutty maybe. We eat the shells and all. lol!


Farmer Jen said...

Hi CA Grammy,
Thank you for the soup and pumpkin praise. The pesto bread was a spur of the moment idea. Just spread some pesto on some sourdough bread and then toast it under the broiler. Our jack-o-lanterns made me smile too.

Hi Bob,
Thank you for the photo praise. I am very happy that you look forward to our Halloween pumpkin carving every year. That knowledge warms my heart more than you know.

My pumpkin started out "whimsical" and still ended up "laughing". Not so scary.

Hi Frugalmom,
Thanks for liking my menopausal one the best! That makes me feel good. I just read your Sunday post showing the pie pumpkins and answered you over there about saving the seeds. You already figured it out before I could answer. Rinse the seeds, lay the out to air dry, store in a cool dry place until planting. Pretty cool, those pie pumpkins.

Hi Lisa,
Thanks for the compliments on our pumpkin creativity. We had fun doing it. Mine is still delighting me in my living room tonight. Starting to get a little fuzzy already though.

According to the comments from my readers, I think I am the weird one who doesn't like to eat the whole pumpkin seed shell and all. Jack likes to eat them whole too. Says he gets more fiber that way. Ha!