Thursday, October 31, 2013

Happy Halloween

Growing up, Halloween was one of my brother and I's favorite holidays.  When it came to costumes, we dressed up as a range of characters - soccer players (by far the easiest costume and used a few too many times), dogs, Pocahantas, a witch, Cinderella, and a hockey player, just to name a few.  We'd carry our pillow case from door to door in strategically selected neighborhoods and accumulate a slew of sugary treats.  Our favorite part, however, was not the trick-or-treating itself, but rather the days that followed.  Every afternoon when we arrived home from school we would dump out our respective bags of candy, sort everything into piles, and spend far too long contemplating which 4 pieces of candy we would have for dessert that night.  No more, no less, four pieces was the rule.  There were negotiations and trades, as we each had our favorite candies.  It was serious business, and easily kept us busy for an hour each afternoon.

Today, I'm far too old for trick-or-treating.  In fact, over the past couple years, I haven't even been home to hand out candy.  Although I won't be donning any crazy costumes this year, I did celebrate the holiday with some friends with a night of pumpkin carving.

After a barbecue dinner, we set forth to plan our designs, using pre-made templates to guide our creativity.  I chose the cat design, hoping that the designated beginner-intermediate level would be fail-proof.

Being the group of orthopaedic surgeons that we are, power tools and scalpels were ready and available for use.  Have you ever seen a pumpkin gutter?  This thing is seriously the best invention ever.  No more scooping handful after handful of slimy pumpkin guts.  If you carve pumpkins, it is without a doubt the best $11.99 you could spend.

Despite my complete and utter lack of artistic talent, I managed to succeed in my carving.  I think it actually looks like a cat, so I consider that a win.

Camden carefully oversaw the carving festivities.

A whole family of pumpkins - ghost, cat, scary face, and bat.

All of the girls and their respective pumpkins.

 With a little coaxing, we even managed to get the guys in the picture.

And last, but not least, no pumpkin carving session is complete without saving the seeds for roasting.  A quick boil in salt water, sprinkling with EVOO/cinnamon/cumin mix, and then 20 minutes at 375 degrees resulted in perfectly crispy pumpkin seeds.


What were your favorite childhood costumes?  Did you have any similar candy-sorting rituals?

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