First of all, I missed the game between the Steelers and the Saints. Go figure. I was lining up so much for it, I made arrangements to watch it, and at the end, I didn't see it. (I was looking for it on the wrong channel.) Did see some Vikings against Patriots, and I was surprised to see Favre play, as I was sure he was retired or so. I mean, wasn't the whole shebang in the game against the Packers about that?
Anyway, so I missed a game (at least it wasn't a Colt's game), but still I had a FABULOUS time with my friends. And when I say fabulous, I mean it was a hoot!
First of all, I must say that my gingerbread cookie pilot test was an absolute success. After last year's cookie fiasco, I took precautions trying out the recipe before hand, and since I was doing the test this weekend, it was only fair that I would make Halloween gingerbread cookies. Thus the Jack heads. The recipe is easy to make, and all you need is to be able to get all the ingredients, which I'm afraid, won't be so easy outside the American Continent. Why? Because the recipe requires molasses, and there were the sugar comes from some sort of root (Sugar beet) the possibility of getting your hands on good ol' molasses (sugar cane syrup) is near to impossible. Since Kari and I will be preparing the cookies in Hungary, where the Sugra beet reigns, the possibility of getting some molasses can endanger the whole project, specially because I haven't found a single recipe that seems doable (sorry Emeril Lagasse) and doesn't require this particular ingredient. Naturally, were I to find teh recipe, I'll have to test it before hand.
Anyway, I've got my cookies, watched the time of baking - all very scientifically - and then separated two batches: a big one for home and for my brother to take with himself (my older nephew got addicted on the spot with the cookies) and a smaller batch which I took with myself for my friends. The success of the cookies there was also blatant.
My friend Alix and I had decided from earlier, to celebrate Halloween together, since here there isn't much of a Halloween celebration, particularly with a lot of wackos already decorating their cubbies and houses with Christmas motives. Dude, really. So, Alix and I, the two witches, decided to celebrate our witchy day. (I totally forgot to send my customary message to all my girlfriends, but it isn't every year that you have such a cool celebration.) The celebration was all organized around The Carving of the Pumpkin. Alix and her hubby got this perfect pumpkin at a local store, something that wasn't really seen eariler before down here, in the Tropic of Cancer, and with the guide of hours and hours of Internet research, the techniques and tricks were mastered - theoretically - and now the practival part of the game was to be implemented.
Using a whiteboard pen - trust me, you wanna do it, you take a whiteboard pen, otherwise you could ruin your pumpkin - we made all the markings on the
victim pumpkin. Eyes, nose, mouth and lobotomy hole. Now, if you have never carved a pumpkin, you must know that it's freaking hard, and I mean FREAKING hard. It puts up a decent fight. The lobotomy was first, so we tackled the top carefully cutting around. The technique that proved efficient was to dip the knife and pull it out, then dip again. Once we had it all around knifed, we put it in again and this time moved the knife around, being so much easier to cut.
Once the top was off, we gutted the pumpkin, which again, was much harder than expected. Scrapping the seeds and the tendrils wasn't kids' play. Alix' daughter wanted to make pumpkin pie, thus she needed some pumpkin. It came handy, as so it happened that we needed to thin up the pumpkin's walls. Thus we scrapped some more before proceeding to poke out the eyes, nose and mouth. If you are a beginer in the carving business, you must take the following advise in consideration: design a face made out of straight lines. The traditional Jack-O-Lanterns are all made with straight lines, so start picking out a traditional face, and carve that. It's gonna look pretty and you won't have to sweat over the damned thing trying to carve a curve where neither the knife or the pumpkin cooperates.
Alix' daughter, Jo, gutting the pumpkin. Isn't she one cute little psycho-witch? ^_^
Alix' hubby, Jose, opening the skull of the pumpkin.
See? Jo has an example to follow in psychomanship.
Once cleaned, to prevent oxidating, the pumpkin was thoroughly rubbed with cooking oil - inside, of course - and then a votive candle was placed inside. The effect was to die for.
The Pumpkin has died, Hyne saves the Pumpkin!
Witchy Me and the Lit Pumpkin
Witchy Alix. If you see her around, do not buy her apples. I repeat, do not buy her apples!
Jack, in the Pumpkin.