Pumpkin Carving

Every year without fail C and I carve pumpkins. Before 2011, I never tried anything intricate. Never followed a pattern and stuck with the easiest facet to make.

Then in 2011 I made this:
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And I thought, that wasn’t so bad! Next year, I’ll try something harder. So in 2012, I made this:

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This year, I decided, why not! I’m going to invest (ha!) in one of those fancy pumpkin carving kits and go all out! I’ll find a template and really make something cool.

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Even with the special pumpkin scraper, I really dislike pumpkin guts. Thankfully J doesn’t mind the guts and scraped it for me.

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The mini saws worked a lot better than the steak knife I had previously used, but they quickly bent and then one completely broke. ¬†At first I was really excited because it looked pretty close to the template, but then I put the candle behind it and you can hardly see¬†Maleficent’s face!
MaleficentMaybe next year I’ll just stick to cats, those seem to turn out better.

Have you had luck with the pumpkin kits and stencils?

Happy Halloween!

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Pumpkin Soup


In addition to the pumpkin ravioli we made for Halloween, we saved enough pumpkin to also make this delicious pumpkin soup, modified from this Food.com recipe. It was easy, filling and perfect for a chilly fall evening.

Ingredients:
2 tablespoons butter
2 celery ribs, diced
1 onion, chopped well
1 tablespoon flour1 teaspoon salt1/2 teaspoon ground ginger1/4 teaspoon nutmeg3 cups chicken stock
1 1/2 lbs diced pumpkin, roasted and peeled
1 cup half-and-halfchopped green onion

Directions:

Melt butter in large saucepan over medium heat. Add celery and onion and saute until onion is browned, about 10 minutes. Stir in the flour, salt, ginger and nutmeg. Cook for 5 minutes. Stir in chicken stock and cubed pumpkin. Simmer on low for 30 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool for 10 minutes. Add to blender one cup at a time and blend until smooth. Add half and half and blend. Serve hot with green onion garnish.
My opinion:
Tasted closer to butternut squash soup than pumpkin, but still delicious. Next time we’ll increase the spices a bit more and use fresh ginger.