My creepy-crawly spider jack o'lantern
I remembered to bring the pumpkins in off the porch the day before so they could warm up before I carved them (which is pretty organized for me). But they sat on the counter until late Halloween afternoon when my sweetie began giving me grief about always waiting till the last minute to carve them every year. Who me? Waiting until the last possible second?
And of course this year I found all our patterns but couldn't locate the pumpkin scoop and saws anywhere. So I winged it and picked two simple patterns, eyeballed the shapes, drew them on the pumpkins with a Sharpie marker, grabbed a paring knife and started carving. I think they turned out amazingly better than I expected. (I made a giant mistake on Witchypoo version 1.0 but it's hidden on the backside.)
The carving went so quickly that I had time to wrap our tree in eerie purple lights, rake the leaves into faux grave complete with skeleton bones peering out, a tombstone and some dead flowers. I've always dreamed about talking one of the kids to hide in the leaf grave and grab a trick-or-treater but my kids have better things to do on Halloween, I guess.
Pre-9/11 we had well over three hundred kids come by, then only eighty in 2001. This year we had less than thirty kids come by. (I have a very sad look on my face just thinking about it.) I loved, our whole neighborhood enjoyed, having hundreds of children come by; Halloween used to be an Event in our neck of the Haunted Forest. They were thirty very cute kids though. One little panda bear, who couldn't have been more than two and a half, roared at me VERY LOUDLY after getting his treats. I didn't know that pandas could roar that long with that much volume.
For the first time we had two dogs come by: a mad scientist in a lab coat and a skunk. They must have known that we always have homemade dog treats around and both left looking very satisfied. Maybe they were the start of a new trend. You heard it here first, folks!
Then the next morning all the spooky Halloween decorations disappeared, both inside and outside, and the Pilgrims and cornucopias made their appearance for Turkey Day.
Yesterday I popped the jacks into the oven. Tonight we supped on Pumpkin Soup made from our jack o'lanterns. Think gingery, spicy, rich and delicious. It wasn't quite as good as the pumpkin soup I fell in love with at Buenos Grill, so the search goes on for the perfect soup recipe at Allrecipes.com.
Fortunately I have five more cups of pumpkin puree to experiment with.
And did you know that dogs like roast pumpkin almost as much as they like watermelon rind? Omnivores, both of them.