Carving time - FamilyEducation

Carving time

October 29,2010
Professor Mom
Aliki McElreath

Aliki is a writer and college English teacher. She lives in North Carolina with her husband, two children (ages seven and ten), a dog, a cat, a rabbit, and too many fish.

My kids have been very patient about this whole pumpkin-carving business. We bought our pumpkins last weekend, as we do every year, from our local farmer's market. We always buy four pumpkins, one for each of us, in descending order from largest (Scott's pumpkin) to the smallest, (T.'s pumpkin). Years ago T. dubbed me "medium Mama" when she was trying to describe my size in relation to everyone else, so that name has stuck. My pumpkin is always medium-sized, for Medium Mama. Timing the pumpkin carving around these parts is tricky: carve your pumpkins too early and you are guaranteeing a heat wave to roll through at the end of October, turning your beautiful pumpkins into moldy, droopy, frightening blobs. The kids wanted to carve the pumpkins right away last weekend but we held firm. And, sure enough, the temperatures rose this week, but they are supposed to fall again, just in time for the Halloween weekend. We have designated Friday evening to be our pumpkin-carving night. I'm aching for some family time, some at-home time, some holiday-time. I've promised T. a pumpkin-carving party, just the four of us. I'll bake those brownies (I've settled on trying Martha Stewart's recipe, and saving more ambitious experimenting for later), and make a spooky punch for us to drink. Later, we'll roast pumpkin seeds, and I might try and knock out the cupcakes I want to try for our family gathering on Saturday. ************** If you're looking for more Halloween treats to make, check out the links on my post from last year. This time last year I was emerging from the fog of H1N1, which knocked me on my back for a whole miserable, scary, horrible week. We couldn't host the family Halloween party, and I couldn't bake a thing last year, I was so sick. So this year I'm hoping to make up for it, by at least making some of our Halloween favorites. Oh, and if you want to check out how L.'s Clone Trooper costume turned out, I'll put some pictures up on Flickr before the Big Day. Happy Halloween weekend! Spooky!