We expected a larger than usual crowd for dinner that night, since Paul and Mary would bring the group up to nine people. Lori had lots of schoolwork to do, so we wanted to keep the dinner easy on us.
We wanted to serve Pumpkin Bread Pudding with Gingered Cream for dessert, and we didn't want to fuss with having to maintain the time separation for Monica. So we decided to go with something hearty and vegetarian. We settled on Hearty Multi-bean Chili from one of the Pillsbury Cookbooks, because it made plenty.
We had intended to serve Chili-Cheese Corn Muffins, but we couldn't find the muffin pan and we ran low on time. Dani very kindly went ou to the store to get us some Pillsbury biscuits instead.
After dinner, we cleaned off the table, put down newspaper, and carved jack-o-lanterns. We had bought nine pumpkins, enough for every one to carve their own.
Mostly we used steak knives and such; I did manage to find the pumpkin-carving tools we had bought years ago. They ended up working very well, but being a little easy to break. I had very good results with a plastic tool that was like an awl with wide chisel-like sides.
My first pumpkin was tall, narrow, and motled green and yellow, with a couple of diagonal creases. I turned those creases into an eye crease and a lopsided mouth, and added bolt-holes at the temples and a forehead scar to make a looming Frankenstein pumpkin. I was really proud; it might well be the best jack-o-lantern I've ever done.
We had two extra pumpkins since Deanna and Dani had chosen not to carve their own. My second pumpkin was so inclined to tip over that I wasn't it would stand on end. I put it on its side and carved eyes and a mouth, using the stem as a nose, after the model of the Play With Your Food book.
Other people carved great pumpkins too. I particularly remember Eli's random Cthulhoid thing, which did end up looking very spooky. I also remember the white pumpin that Paul turned into an enormous white eyeball.
Hearty Multi-bean Chili
Pillsbury Honey Butter Biscuits and Pillsbury Golden Corn Biscuits
Pumpkin Bread Pudding with Ginger Cream