Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Pumpkin Carving/Wassail Party

Those are fish inside that pumpkin--done by Dentist husband.

Eight years ago, my husband and I had just moved to Utah. We had a new baby, we lived in a 60 year old, needing a lot of work home, and I knew no one in the neighborhood. My husband was working like crazy, trying to be a good, brand-new dentist. I was also very homesick, which was a new feeling for me because having gone out of state for college, served a mission and studied abroad, I had never felt homesick before and I didn't know why at age 27, I was experiencing it for the first time. Looking back on it, it was a very hard year but at the time, it was just life and I was managing it the best I could.

One morning, I woke up with a serious craving for wassail. It was a cold morning, the fall leaves were in full color, I was homesick and I had to have wassail. And, not just any wassail, but my family's passed down from generation to generation recipe. (I'll post it later). The only problem was that the recipe makes ALOT of wassail and it was just me, my husband and a newborn baby.
Anyway, out of this thought, sprang my idea for the "First Annual Pumpkin Carving/Wassail Party." My husband comes from a family of nine children and at the time, all of them but one lived in Utah. I contacted everyone and invited them over for the party. There were three basic rules: 1. If you were married, you had to partner with your spouse (I didn't want my husband to dump me for one of his more artistic siblings) or go it alone. 2. You had to provide your own carving instruments and pumpkin. 3. No prepurchased patterns allowed.

I provided the wassail, three great prizes that made people want to try and win, roasted pumpkin seeds, apples and Carmel dipping sauce and location. To prevent my carpet from being destroyed, I put down a disposable drop cloth, set out bowls to put the pumpkin seeds and junk in and set the timer for 90 minutes. Let the First Annual Pumpkin Carving/Wassail Party begin! We had a great time. A brother-in-law confessed he had never carved a pumpkin before. Another brother-in-law was eager to win the "Edger Allen Poe Stories" CD. My feelings of homesickness disappeared that night and only returned occasionally after that. The party was a huge success and eight years later it is still going strong. Thank you Dentist husband's family for always make it such a fun night to always remember.

FYI: Originally, we just has three prizes--1. Best Overall 2. Coolest Concept 3. Pumpkin Smasher Choice. Later we have added 4. Safe Bet and 5. Nice Try, Failed Attempt. Voting is done by secret ballot and any child under age of the 12 wins a prize. Visit my sister-in-law's blog to see why she carved one of my husband. It won best overall this year.


michelle said...

What great pumpkins! Our new ward members invited us to a similar party last night(makes a good fhe doesn't it?). It was really fun, but I have to say we didn't turn out nearly the masterpieces you all did! I can see why the man is a dentist, good with his hands isn't he?

Gabriela said...

Janice: what a fun party idea! I love it. What a great tradition. You are full of great ideas. :)

love.boxes said...

You are so much fun! What a great tradition!

di said...

you never cease to amaze me! thanks again for the diet coke. it was AMAZING! a real life saver! how sad that diet coke can be termed "AMAZING!" but, it really is.

michelle said...

Glad you visited for the b-day give away. I am 36, can't believe it!

michelle said...

Aaaah! My dishwasher didn't drain today! any suggestions?