Friday, October 31, 2008


For the third year now, our pumpkin-carving skills have been put to the test while our little family celebrates one of our favorite traditions. It's AUTUMN, when we all get into the mood of college football (the big schools are MICHIGAN, GEORGIA and USC!), carving pumpkins, roasting pumpkin seeds and eating Amy's delicacies. All in that order!

It all starts in Amy's garage. Well, it actually starts with all of us buying our own pumpkins to carve and then congregating in her garage to begin the annual tradition.
(And oh, see the boombox in the way-way back? An old Peter, Paul and Mary soundtrack entertained us, as it did when Amy and Mark were Nicholas' age!)

Donica and Nicholas always get paired up together, for some reason, and because they were done first with his pumpkin, they decided to carve Donica's as well...which she had bought mainly for the seeds.

Even G'ma carved a pumpkin this year AND took the pictures, too
(except for this one, of course!).

From left to right: Nicholas/Donica, Mark, G'ma, Amy, Nicholas/Donica.

We're not sure which we like most...the carving or roasting (read that as EATING) the seeds. Do we have to pick?

This year Amy tried this corn chowder recipe that we all LOVED!
You have to understand that she LOVES to cook and enjoys using us as guinea pigs whenever possible. Need I say that we enjoy it just as much, if not more!

I've been thinking about how there comes a point in parents get old enough!...when the kids start taking over the traditions on which we hang our years. Amy says this may be her most favorite of them all, next to Thanksgiving. Well, it's HER tradition, so I can understand why it's so important to her...just as it's becoming important to us.

It's not a big album but here are the rest of the photos, to commemorate a wonderful memory for Autumn 2008! Enjoy!


  1. The tradition of Halloween is something we don't know very well in the Netherlands.
    This is 'more' than some pumpkin carving, with great interest I was looking what was done with the remains of 'the inside' too, I know how to make pumpkin pie, the taste was never 'my thing', I rather go for the roasted seeds, I think.
    The nightpicture shows the real face(s) what seams a perfect day to me.
    Never knew there was a whole industry of pre-desigend paper to put over the pumpkin, it would be a challange to design all these different faces.
    You all did a great job.
    Have a nice Happy Halloween.

  2. Ginnie- Love it! Thank you for sharing the day with all of us. Wish we could have some pumpkin seeds and Amy's corn chowder - but this is the next best thing. Thank you, thank you, thank you! Love fall and your pics of some of the very special traditions of it! You all did GREAT jack o' lanterns to......

  3. Fantastic! Your pumpkins are gorgeous and so creative. We're having our own little celebration this evening with a couple of German friends who appreciate the tradition. I still need to get the pumpkin carved and roast those seeds - better get going!

    Happy Halloween!

  4. P.S. Would Amy be willing to part with her corn chowder recipe? It looks wonderful.

  5. Thanks for capturing the day! As always, looking at your pictures brings back the details of the activities with a smile :)

    And, as you said, being guinea pigs for Amy's new found recipes is always a special treat....of the very best kind! But....I have to say, the roasted seeds make the tradition one my mouth waters for all year long!

    And...I feel privileged that one of my pics made the post...of course we want a pic of you here now and then :))

  6. The jack-o-lanterns are beautiful! Each unique and s-c-a-r-y. It really is fantastic that your kids are moving your traditions forward. That must feel great.

    I do love me some pumpkin seeds. When I was young and would go to the dime store for a candy run, I would often buy a box of pumpkin seeds instead. They don't hold a candle to homemade ones though. I'll have to get the recipe y'all use.

  7. Jeff: MAN! You popped in out of the woodwork! And I was just thinking about you the other day when we were at the Fair. I reminded Donica about your Carnie pics from when they set up the entire shebang! I hope you're doing well!

    Astrid: We hardly ever do anything with Halloween anymore because our house is so far back in the woods that no one comes trick-or-treating. I can't remember the last time I dressed up in a costume! HA! At Starbucks I'm in a costume every day. :) But this time of the year is more for this tradition of carving pumpkins and it's a season and not a day. So it actually ties into Thanksgiving as well. It's MY favorite season/holiday of the year...maybe because it's not about buying things but about BEING. I like that. And YOU, mijn vriend, would be a WHIZ at creating pumpkin-carving designs. I can see it now!

    Judy: It was a great sigh of relief to see your comment...making us think all is okay on the western front!!?? Those roasted seeds are what we live for, truth be known. :)

    Christina: I can just see it...pumpkins in Germany. I love these traditions that our kids have grown up on. This time, the parents are growing up on the kids' traditions! :) As you know, I have asked Amy for the recipe and will add it to my post if/when she sends it. Thanks for the idea.

    Donica: We are so lucky to have these albums to draw on for remembrance! What did we/they do back when we were kids! I guess we had to keep everything in our heads/hearts! I never added that we had time to play cards...which is also part of the tradition that we love! Thanks for thinking to take some pics of me...which I realize does round out the day! :)

    Ruth: Don't you love it when the kids grow up and lead us! YES. It is happening for you and Don, too, I know. I'm tickled by your story of pumpkin seeds from when you were young. What a precious memory. If/when Amy sends her recipe, I'll post it. I think Amy uses Emeril's favoring but I used to use Lawry's seasoning salt, which I love. And you do NOT wash the seeds. You want the gooiness on them for better roasting.

  8. sweet, Ginnie ! it's a beautiful time of the year and fmaily coming together for traditions (parent's or kids') is such a happy thing......:)

  9. Ginnie, thanks for capturing all this, you again put a smile on my face. It looks like a very wonderful time and a tradition the kids will have like an heirloom. Ahh, the heart & soul of family. With the stretch of workdays for you, what a way to cap it off before that weekend retreat!
    Donica, you take a great picture. Especially considering the fact that Ginnie's camera is sophisticated and certainly not with point and shoot engineering. A bear hug to you for making the Editor's choice selection. :-)
    Ok, considering our schedules & goings on right now, we'll next have to have a connection with Skype across the pond.
    Ginnie, happy retirement again!!!

  10. I do agree with you Ginnie: Traditions like this is important to hold on too and pass to the next generation. Halloween is not one of those in Norway, but as you have red on my blog, we have plenty of others and they actually gets more dear to me as time passes by.

    Hope you had a great one and I wish you all a wonderful end to your week :-)

  11. Thank you, Mom, for a beautiful post on this wonderful day and tradition! The only thing that was missing is Dennis! :-( Some of you have asked about recipes for the chowder and the seeds.

    For the seeds, I simply mix the seeds (don't wash them!) with olive oil and Emeri's Essence, a spice blend you can pick up at any grocery store. I think I roasted them at 350 for about 15 minutes until golden.

    The Cheddar Corn Chowder recipe I found in one of Barefoot Contessa's (Ina Garten) recipe books. You can find the recipe (and others) on Food Network's website:

    The recipe serves an army, so you might consider halving it, as I did. With half a recipe all five of us were fed and there were approximately 3 servings left over. As a side note, Nicholas (8 years old) loved it! I tweaked it just a tad based on other reviewers comments. I only drizzled the pan with lightly with olive oil and even though I halved the recipe, I cooked the FULL amount of bacon (everyone loves a little extra bacon) and I also included the full amount of flour to thicken the broth and keep it a chowder-y consistency.

    Super easy recipe and super good! Give it a try -- enjoy!

  12. Oh I loved the pumpkins in the dark the most! I had many observations this Halloween in a different place, it was definitely interesting!

    Great pics, love them especially since you are with family!

  13. dear you,
    who else but you present the importance of family and friendship but you?
    No body.

  14. Great shots of a fun activity for young and old kids Ginnie. Nice to see you Musketeer. :)

  15. I want to be in those pictures!
    We didn't carve a pumpkin this year, and now I wish we had. Well, at least I'll try making the corn chowder!! (double bacon,,,)

  16. Your pumpkins are awesome! We didn't do any pumpkin carvings this year cos we are on vacation.

    we stayed up till 1am watching the US election results last night (with the rest of the world), and I'm pretty happy about the way things turned out. The future has suddenly got a little brighter. It was very interesting being here in Florida on election day, specially as Florida was one of the pivotal states.
    Finally you have someone with a bit of common sense in charge!

  17. Moi: Yes, you are so right!

    Bob: HA! Donica is learning to start capturing me so that I'm not lost in history! :) And yes, happy retirement once again. I needed/need it!

    Renny: You have traditions coming out of the wazoo! You beat us all hands down. :)

    Amy: Thanks for the recipes! Totally worth it, for the record.

    ET: These moments are very dear to all of us, yes!

    Tor: You made my day!

    Lurch: Kids to the very end, mijn vriend!

    Don: You'll LOVE that corn chowder. The potatoes make it very chunky and filling! I can just see you making it. :)

    Christina: I'm sure she welcomes you! :)


  18. Wow, those are prize winning pumpkins! Happy autumn!