Pumpkins. We all love 'em. An essential part of Halloween, and lately the pumpkin festivals have really gotten creative. So there's something fun! They have hay mazes, pumpkin culinary creations, pumpkin beer... and I don't know if they all have this - but one patch near here has a pumpkin launcher. It's as it sounds, you pay to pick a pumpkin out, put it in a giant sling-shot-thingy, and launch that squash out into the fields. Satisfying! Oh, and did I mention pumpkin beer?
And of course with pumpkins comes pumpkin carving. I, to this day, still love pumpkin carving. Plus, now with pinterest, there are SO many ideas literally at my fingertips. These are from Martha Stewart I think (pfft...ofcourse!) and show how you don't even have to do a face on that trademark squash. With pumpkins being a dime-a-dozen you can get really creative and do all sorts of awesome alternative jack-o-lanterns. Here's a pretty cool centerpiece with white pumpkins:
I think to keep the top intact like that, this person probably hollowed the pumpkins out from the bottom. Clever! I've seen people painting pumpkins too, which by the way is really easy with chalk paint (remember this DIY chalk paint?) as that stuff sticks to everything and anything. Enough Pumpkins, never forget the main reason we enjoy fall, Halloween! I'm not really a fan of candy, I'd take a steak over that anyday - but I LOVE all the crazy costumes, and here in Santa Cruz, Halloween takes over the whole downtown. Everyone can dress up (and should) - I love this pregnant costume, best idea I've seen in a while:
Ha! That is so clever! and easy I bet. Next time a friend of mine is pregnant, I will insist on this costume. I'll even make it for them if I have to. Hear that future pregnant friends? I will make this costume for you! I guess it is a little gory. Who cares, so's Halloween. This is probably one of the lesser gory costumes, have you seen some of the masks? They are creepy just sitting in the store! Moving on, the most important thing in my opinion about Fall: THE FOOD. Delicious, nutritious, ambitious & comforting food that heats your whole house & body. My favorite stew, that I make every year is Drunken Irish Stew:
Oh my Goo-ness....all kinds of chicken & wonderful going on up there. Cooking in the fall is probably my favorite. Sure, we don't get to grill as much anymore, but I bet if we did that all year it would really get old (yea right). At least when it's cold & dark outside, cooking becomes the focus of the night, everyone talking and helping - and it always smells amazing. So invite people over, have everyone help out and make fall really fun, oh - and serve these delicious adult bevvies:
Hot butter rum! If you've never had them, make this the year that you do. They are delicious, effective, and terrible for you. And definitely not a drink you want to have any other time of the year. It's hot & buttery, as the name suggests, and really only tastes good on a cold night. If you pop these out at a dinner party in July, don't expect those guests to break your door down at the next festivity. I'm kidding! I don't want to offend anyone who serves hot butter rum in the heat. I'm sure you could serve them whenever, but why not keep them special for the holidays?
I've rambled long enough! Time for you to take it from here and find all sorts of ideas that get you ready and excited for fall. Indoor projects you have yet to tackle, new cooking adventures, and tranforming your house into an orange & black explosion. Whatever you do, make it enjoyable, stress-free, and most of all memorable! That way next year you'll be even more excited. I'm not sure how your supposed to say "Happy Fall" so I'll just say.... Happy Fall everyone!