Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Pumpkin People 2012

This is an annual event which has grown to epic proportions. Some background is required to understand the significance of this day (Saturday before Halloween) Each year Wayne would set out his pumpkin people bodies while his girls were at school. It was a wonderful tradition that might have ended in 1998 when Wayne passed away in his sleep.

The next year, family, friends and neighbours helped Barb and her daughters Beth and Stephanie to put up the pumpkin people in honour of Wayne.

Since then the event has grown in size and scope with carvers showing up to carve, eat some treats and socialize. Some attendees have driven in from 2 hours or less away. About 4 years ago, Stephanie's class added a new pumpkin body (hockey player) and set it up in the front yard while the house was asleep.

This event requires a lot of planning and preparation in a number of phases.

Phase I - Thursday
Baking with roomie Susan and my sister. We try out new recipes each year with differing degrees of success. Both of the new recipes chosen for this year worked out perfectly. The ghost trees in the chocolate cupcakes were beautiful and yummy.
The taffy shortbread tombstones were difficult to cut but worth the effort.

Our third project didn't work out as well - I forgot to put the timer on and burned the brownie coffins. A quick trip to the store for the vegetable oil we needed and I picked up another box of brownie mix - this time success! One foot in the grave said my sister - ha ha ha

We baked another 2 dozen cupcakes for the girls to decorate on Friday night.

A Devil's Food chocolate cake with an icing sugar stencil Dracula (thank you Terri) finished off our phase. The cake was wrapped with cardstock and some bat patterned paper.

Phase II - Friday
Decorating with Stephanie, Beth and their friends at our house. We have some standard recipes that must be created to avoid a rebellion.
(marshmallow mummies - 3 marshmallows held together with a pretzel and wrapped in fruit roll ups) Have you seen a large group of kids hopped up on sugar? It's best to give them what they want and send them home to their parents.

We finished chocolate mold candies and rice crispie mummies wrapped in gauze. This treat slowed the kids down as they had to remove the gauze before they could eat.

I went downstairs to work on a 31 Days of Halloween project and left the girls in the dining room with frosting, cupcakes, sugar cookies and lots of decoration items (black licorice, gummy worms, sprinkles, jelly beans, candy skulls etc)
It is amazing how creative this group is, here are some samples of their work.

Phase III - Saturday
Setup and preparation for the horde. Due to the constant rain we devised some tarp covers - awesome women that we are. The men help to fix the aging bodies with some nails/screws and hammer them into the ground. Let the carving, decorating and eating begin.

This is me with my neice and nephew.

The end result is a day of fun, treaties, a wonderful display at the house which catches the eye of passers by, some cars drive around the block twice to get another look.

This years event was no exception and I know that Wayne was there in spirit.


  1. Sounds like so much fun! And your goodies have my blood sugar spiking just looking at thm!

  2. Cool pumpkin people and awesome, yummy treats! It looks like a lot of fun!

  3. Your pumpkin people are cute! What a great idea! All your food is so scarily yummy looking (It's making me hungry.) Beautiful niece and nephew! I love your shirt w/ the spider and cupcakes too cute!

  4. The pictures of the baking turned out really well. All of the spooky treats look great. I like your post about Pumpkin People. Pumpkin People Party is my favourite day of the year, and what a year it was this year! Thanks for your hard work and creativity.

  5. What a wonderful tradition! How fun!

  6. Wonderful tradition! Those pumpkin people are beyond cool!