This past Sunday marked my 9th annual pumpkin carving soiree. While the welcome company of friends and overabundance of both sugary and savory foods remain constants year after year, 2011's crop of carved pumpkins left a lot to be desired (personally, I blame pregnancy for occupying the creative part of my brain and stifling my usually stellar carving abilities).
With jack-o-lanterns lit, stomachs full, and glasses begging to be refilled, it came time to announce the first, second and third place winners. Tensions ran high as ribbons were handed out. The final tally ultimately led to uproar amongst one particular competitor and her cohort- both of whom thought the judges' shortsightedness kept her from surefire victory. Was the Steve Jobs Tribute Pumpkin robbed? Judge for yourself- scenes from Sunday afternoon's shindig are below...
Take-home treats- Halloween buckets filled with candy and spooky goodies
Utilizing excess candy corn (my least favorite candy) with flowers
No Halloween would be complete without a crowd favorite- Take 5
Our usually empty buffet, packed with treats
Round buttery cut-outs made with lemon zest and decorated in Halloween colors
Cake-like pumpkin cookies with brown butter frosting
Chocolate toffee crackers with orange candy pumpkins
Milk chocolate sponge candy and orange chocolate pumpkins- from Wahl's in Buffalo
Rosé, cracked pepper and dry sausage/pepperoni
Truffle, comte, stilton with cranberry, brie and cheddar cheeses
Roasted squash toasts (look familiar from a recent Market Mondays post?)
3 varieties of hummus with fruit, orange veggies and bread for dipping
Pumpkin chocolate chip financiers
Whipped feta, cucumber and mint dip with sea salt and multigrain pita chips
Festive cupcakes from Crumbs Bake Shop- thanks Jennifer and Tom!
Garth's first place pumpkin
Tom's monkey head pumpkin took home third place
My Home Alone pumpkin slid into second
Sarah's tribute to Steve Jobs- the only prizeless contestant as the judges aren't fans of "current events pumpkins"
*For a peek at last year's lot of pumpkins, click here.