illi’s man here, this is my third and final pumpkin post. It is the only crafting I do all year long, so after this I will go hide in the background again and only do SEO and twitter stuff for the website.
Hopefully after reading this post you will be inspired to throw a Pumpkin Carving Party. When we lived in the states, ours was famous. People would bring dates, people would set schedules around it, travel hours and hours. Not so much because of what we did, but because the whole process is so fun. So start this year, start small, and just do it.
First, if you haven’t already, read the post on where to get Pumpkin Stencils and How to Carve Pumpkins. I recommend doing a test pumpkin before the party to get your technique down. This is also a good idea so people see your mad skills and have something to aspire to. Also, sometimes the party host doesn’t have time to carve at the party as they are being hostable. (hosterlly? April said the word is hospitable, but that is where sick people go. haha.)
- Party Supplies– I am not a party planner, so you are on your own for decorations, banners, invitations, food, and anything else that should be at a holiday party. April says Pinterest is a good place to find out what you need. She should know, she is on there.
- Stencils– I would have a stack of stencils ready, already printed. Sometimes people request specific ones, other times they can just grab one from a binder of a bunch of them. When people arrive you don’t want to mess with printing stuff.
- Carving Tools– Our invites say “BYOP&T”, which translates to Bring Your Own Pumpkin and Tools, but you already knew that. I never get extra pumpkins as they are somewhat expensive. But tools are cheap, and after your “First Annual Pumpkin Carving” you will have a collection because people will leave them at your house and then your wife will spend an hour getting all the pumpkin goop and string out of the tiny teeth and dry them lovingly and store them in a labeled plastic box in the garage so that next year when you ask “Where’s the pumpkin carving stuff?” she will say “Right here, where I put them last year.” But, anyway buy 3-4 extra sets for people who forget, lose, or break theirs. That’s being hosterlly.
- Tea Light Candles– Buy a bag, go to Walmart or Ikea or Amazon. Get the cheapest ones. And don’t buy the plastic light bulb ones. They suck. You do all that hard work as I described in yesterdays post and then you cannot see your awesome work. Maybe if you have kids you want to do this, but they are no where near as good for photos. And remember, we want to see your pics. Tag @illistyle in your instagram or twitter photos and we will be so proud and comment on your photo and tell you how awesome you are.
- Camera– You need to take excellent photos. This is all people will remember. If you do not have a good camera, chances are a friend will, get them to be the photographer for the night. I also have a Photo Light Box that I love to use for pumpkin pics. For less than $30 it makes for great photos. Also people feel very special when you take their pumpkin for photographing. It’s like their kid has got a modeling contract, watch their face swell with pride. And all you Instagrammers who take pics of your food, this light box makes them all more pretty.
- Trash Cans– When you gut a pumpkin there is a lot of trash. Be prepared, lots of trash bags and cans. Sure you can roast some of the seeds, illi has a recipe you should ask her for it.
I always like a few extras or unique items. Above is a great photo of Caramel Covered Onions (idk who did this, but they are genius. Image source). A lovely prank on your friends.
If you actually like your friends though, here is a great recipe for Harry Potter Butterbeer.
Regular Homemade Butterbeer Recipe
1 Bottle IBC Cream Soda (tastes exactly like the regular Butterbeer base)
Foam (makes enough for two servings of Butterbeer):
1/3 Cup Heavy Cream
2 Tablespoons Sugar
1 Tablespoon Powdered Sugar
1 Teaspoon Vanilla Extract
Whip to desired consistency.
Pour Cream Soda into Butterbeer Stein or Beer Pilsner.
Layer foam on top with spoon, let rest for 10-20 seconds for the soda to carbonate the foam.
Voila, Butterbeer that tastes like you got it from the Three Broomsticks in Hogsmeade.
Happy Pumpkin Carving Party!
-The Carving King
I hope you guys enjoyed my man’s series on How to Carve Perfect Pumpkins. Here’s my super not so secret recipe for Roasted Pumpkin Seeds:
1. gather seeds with as little goop and string as possible
2. soak in warm water 10 minutes
3. wearing dish gloves, keep seeds underwater and rub off strings and goop
4. place clean seeds on a paper towel to dry, let sit 30 minutes *At this point, start preheating oven to 250F
5. Spray a cookie sheet with olive oil cooking spray
6. Spread dried seeds evenly in one layer on pan
7. spray seeds with olive oil cooking spray and season as desired (straight salt is usually preferred by my guests)
8. Bake seeds at 250F for 20-30 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes to ensure that they brown evenly
Who is going to Throw a Pumpkin Carving Party?