Welcome to a special Halloween version of Watercooler Wednesday, where the the topics are bubbly, the company is sparkling, and (today) the tank is filled with spiked cider.

Although I was in my twenties before I mutilated my first pumpkin (late bloomer), it was obvious early on how much of Halloween centered around pumpkins, from yummy foods to Charlie Brown to luminaries (whoever thought up the idea of gutting something edible to make a lantern out of it?  Oh, wait, I’m talking about that on Friday).

So it seemed fitting, with Halloween weekend coming up, that we do a mashup (haha, yeah, I know; it’s a gift) of:

Pumpkins!

image from clker.com

1.  We have to start with “It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown.”  Below is a link to a short clip from the episode.

Lucy carves a pumpkin

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2.  Then there is pumpkin humor:

Barfing pumpkins (a universal favorite, judging by sheer number in a google search)

from romance writer Tawna Fenske's Facebook wall

CSI pumpkins (perhaps because so many pumpkins meet their untimely end this time of year)

image via poddys.com

3.  Some carving skills take one’s breath away:

Death Star pumpkin, image via blogington.com

4.  Some pumpkin pics are simply too cute to scoot!

image via media.photobucket.com

5.  Don’t forget the pumpkin costumes!

…on dogs

image via inhumane.org

…on cats (oh, the indignity).

via petsmart.com (for the low price of $1.74, you can humiliate your cat)

6.  And of course, the pumpkin-wonderful food.  Here’s my recipe for pumpkin fudge:

Pumpkin Fudge (makes 3 lbs)

Prep:  20 min

Cook:  20 min

Stand: 2 hours

 

3 cups sugar

¾ cup butter

5-oz can evaporated milk

½ cup canned pumpkin

1 tsp ground cinnamon

½ tsp ground ginger

¼ tsp ground cloves

10-oz pkg butterscotch flavor pieces

7-oz jar marshmallow crème

1 tsp vanilla

Optional:  ½ cup toasted chopped pecans

 

  1. Line a 13x9x2 baking pan w/foil, extending over edges of pan.  Butter foil; set aside.
  2. In a heavy 2-qt saucepan combine sugar, butter, evaporated milk, pumpkin, cinnamon, ginger, and cloves.  Cook and stir over medium-high heat until mixture boils.  Clip candy thermometer to side of saucepan.  Reduce heat to medium-low; continue to boil at a moderate, steady rate, stirring constantly, until thermometer registers 234 deg. F or mixture reaches soft-ball stage (20-25 min).
  3. Remove pan from heat.  Stir in butterscotch pieces until melted.  Stir in marshmallow crème and vanilla until well combined.  Pour mixture into prepared pan, spreading evenly.  Sprinkle with pecans, if desired.  Score into 1-inch pieces while warm.  When fudge is firm, use foil to lift it out of pan.  Cut fudge into pieces.  Store in fridge up to 1 week.

 

7.  Check out these terrific pumpkin blogs:

Marcia Richard’s post, It’s All About the Pumpkins, provides lots more recipes (including one for a facial mask!), along with slideshow pics on decorating.  Great pictures that will get you in the mood.

You’ll also want to visit Natalie Hartford’s post, Family Traditions: a Love/Hate Relationship, for a bittersweet account of how her feelings about a family pumpkin-carving tradition (and traditions in general), have evolved over time.  I’ll bet it will resonate with you, too.

 

I’m going to leave you with my favorite pumpkin pic of all – that of my then-toddler son (the extra feet belong to one of his older brothers) as he spies his first carved pumpkin.

He knows food when he sees it...

 

See you in the pumpkin patch,

Kathy

 

 

 

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