Sunday Family-Pumpkin-Costume-Prepare for Halloween Day!

Happy Sunday Family Day — the day before Halloween!  Do you have the pumpkins carved and costumes ready?  Today is the day to get the kids together and prepare  for the big day.  The little Trick-or-Treaters are anxious to get started!

Via 6sqft.com

Carving pumpkins in our day was a much simpler task.  Two large triangles for the eyes.  A smaller triangle for the nose.  And a big mouth with as many or few teeth as the artist spirit called for.  Some years I went with a lot of teeth, sharp and pointy, interlocking in a scissors bite like a Great White Shark. Frightfully scary. Other years, my pumpkin friend took on a much more simple look with just a few, broad, flat teeth in a wide, friendly, beckoning and happy smile.  It all depended on the seasonal mood, I suppose.

Nowadays it can be much more complicated, with traceable designs that are very intricate and complex, truly raising the bar on skill, talent, perseverance and Pumpkin Art in general.

It seems important to mention, whether you go “old school” or “new school” with your Jack O’Lantern designs, safety is paramount when working with children and little carvers, and close supervision required around sharp tools and knives.  A small hand is no match for a paring knife.

And for heaven’s sake, please do not toss away the seeds!  Pumpkin seeds are a healthy, nutritious snack and unbelievably tasty when made at home.  If you have never made them yourself before, trust me — roasted pumpkin seeds are quick, easy to prepare, and delicious!  Here is my favorite way to prepare them, plain and simple.

ROASTED PUMPKIN SEEDS

1 cup Pumpkin Seeds, 1 teaspoon safflower or canola oil, 1/2 teaspoon soy sauce or salt, 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder, and paprika to taste.

Carefully clean any pumpkin pulp from the seeds and wash them if necessary.  Brush oil on a rimmed baking sheet, place the seeds on the sheet, spread out evenly, and roast in a 350°F oven until they begin to turn golden, about 10 minutes or so.  Add the remaining ingredients and stir to evenly coat the seeds.  Continue baking until the seeds are crispy, about another 10-15 minutes, keeping an eye on not to burn.  This method can be used to roast any squash family seeds for snacks. (Adapted from the “Vegetarian Times Cookbook”, 1984)

Here are some more links to my Autumn Board on Pinterest for more adventurous ways to prepare them —  Honey Roasted Pumpkin Seeds with Cinnamon and Roasted Pumpkin Seeds in Six Different Flavors.

How about the costumes for the little ones?  All set?  How about one for yourself, either greeting neighborhood Trick-or-Treaters at the door or at a party?  I do not recall ever wearing a “store-bought” costume when I was little.  All of my mine and my friends’ were homemade.  At the time when Walt Disney’s “Legend of Sleepy Hollow” was new and all the rage, the boy across the street’s father made him a Headless Horseman outfit one year.  Needless to say, he had to pull a wagon to haul home all the treats he received in the neighborhood for that one!

When all else failed and we did not have a costume prepared ahead of time, the last minute fall back for all of our group was the never-fail “Hobo” outfit.  Grab up some baggy clothes and suspenders from Dad (or Mom, depending), tie a rope around your waist to hold up the pants in case the suspenders snapped, grab one of Dad’s old hats, smear some coffee grounds (and once outside and out of parents’ sight — real dirt) on your face and you were set.  One of Dad’s big red, work handkerchiefs tied to a stick over the shoulder completed the outfit.  Pick out an old pillowcase to carry home the loot and out the door we went, flashlight and high hopes in hand.

Back in the day, the practice of Trick-or-Treating was much safer in every respect than it has become now.  Parents only accompanied the very smallest kids, and the rest of us were on our own to go as far as our legs and the weather would allow.  I remember Trick-or-Treating in the snow one year — 1954 in St. Louis, Missouri.  I was only going on five at the time, but memories like that tend to stick with you.

Treats into the bag included apples, oranges, and bananas.  Homemade treats like cookies, cupcakes, slices of cake, candy apples and popcorn balls rounded out the list.  I never did get a slice of cake home in one piece though, and always really wondered what was on that lady’s mind with that, to be honest. But we all gave her credit for trying.  And I have never known the kid who would toss away a piece of perfectly good smashed cake and crumbs, anyway.

Some homes tossed coins into your bag, ranging from a few pennies to a by-gosh, honest-to-goodness Silver Dollar.  But those were admittedly rare and given only by neighbors who recognized and thought very highly of you, of course.  It goes without saying, that the most sought-after and coveted treat prize was a Candy Bar.  And that was before some silly-head invented “Fun Size.”  Seriously?   Fun size?  I have never really seen ‘loads of fun’ in a bite-sized candy bar, myself.

Anyway, ‘fun sized’ aside,  wishing everyone a ‘Full Sized’ safe and fun Halloween!  Make today a family day carving the Jack O’Lanterns, getting costumes and make-ups assembled, and getting everything ready for the big night.  And for goodness sake — make up some Pumpkin Seeds for a real treat.  The family will thank you.

And I thank you as always for visiting!  Family time.  It’s the best time. — Jim   (and Red!)

A Princess and Lava Girl Amongst the Pumpkins by Charles Morris.

A Princess and Lava Girl Amongst the Pumpkins by Charles Morris Photography.

Old-fashioned, Family-friendly Stories and Fun for All Ages and Fitness Levels!
About an Uncommonly Special Bear and His Friends.

 

 

Sunday Family Day — At the Pumpkin Patch!

Shhhh! . . . . .    Quietly . . . . .   Listen . . . . . .    Wait for it . . . . . .

Do you hear it?  The almost imperceptible sound of a straining vine under pressure.  A snapping and heavy rolling along the ground.  And . . . . the ever-so-soft sound of dried hay, tumbling to the ground off a wagon . . . . and wheels . . . . tractor wheels rumbling along a dirt road.  Could it be . . . .  a hay ride?  Dry, rustling leaves in the breeze.  And crows.  Do you hear the crows, caw-caw-cawing from a field along the stream bank?

Thill and excitement fill smiling faces of young adults enjoying a seasonal hay ride. A scene of wholesome outdoor entertainment for a group of well dressed group of four people. Action filled shot as man on left throws hay into the air to the others surprise.

Family Fun on a Hayride (via GatlinburgLodgingGuide.com)

And do you smell it?  It’s very faint in the breeze . . . . the unmistakable scent of apple cider being poured into a glass.  And, oh!  Did you hear that?  And again?  The undeniable giggles and squeals of children playing and having fun.

country-autumn-via-the-homespun-wife-uncredited

Happy Autumn!  Getting full swing into the beautiful autumn season now, with only eight days to Halloween.  Time to round up the family and head to the Pumpkin Patch!

It’s a beautiful autumn day to track down that perfect pumpkin for the front porch and partake in that grand old tradition of carving a pumpkin with the kids.  Carefully opening the top, scooping out the seeds (be sure to roast them and let none go to waste!), coming up with a design and carefully carving an eye-popping Jack O’Lantern for Halloween to summon the little Trick-or-Treaters next week.

holiday-halloween-smiling-pumpkin-3

But first, a visit to the Pumpkin Farm is in order to locate the ideal pumpkin.  Rows and rows of pumpkins patiently awaiting your arrival, each hoping to be the one selected for the ride home.  Tractors bumping along dirt roads and thru the fields, pulling wagon-loads of laughing children and families on hay rides.  Face painting.  Refreshing apple cider.  Delicious apple butter and more for sale.  Corn mazes and hay castles to crawl thru and climb.  Good times!  Fun times with the family!

Make this Sunday a family day and head out to the local pumpkin patch for a healthy  day of fresh air, exercise and delightful family fun, good times and memories.

Creating Memories at the Pumpkin Patch (via WoodTV.com)

Creating Memories at the Pumpkin Patch (via WoodTV.com)

Wishing everyone a beautiful, Sunday Family Day!  —  Jim (and Red!)

The Smith Family, by Sarah Whitwell Photography (SarahWhitwellPhotography.com}

The Smith Family, by Sarah Whitwell Photography (SarahWhitwellPhotography.com}

Old-fashioned, Family-friendly Stories and Fun for All Ages and Fitness Levels!
About an Uncommonly Special Bear and His Friends.