Pumpkin Massacre

courtneyCanada, fall for anything, food, personal, some girls are (your mom)

I am eating roasted pumpkin seeds as I type this. YUM!

Remember when I said there would be more Fall For Anything giveaways? And you guys called me a liar? Okay, that ‘liar’ part didn’t happen but it all works out because I wasn’t lying! St. Martin’s Press is giving away 24 copies of Fall for Anything on Goodreads right now (US residents only). Check it out here. There are 32 days left to enter.

I’ve got a wealth of book related updates and then I am going to tell you a sad Halloween tale. First, I’m thrilled to announce that Some Girls Are has been nominated for OLA’s 2011 White Pine Award! I am so excited. The Festival of Trees is making less of a hermit outta me. I attended the celebrations last year and I will definitely be attending them next May in Toronto. They are way too fun to miss.

Second, Fall For Anything ARCs have been making their way around the book blogosphere (scary!). The amazing Sara of The Hiding Spot gave it a stellar, spoiler-free review that you can read here AND the rockin’ James from Book Chic Club featured FFA for Fragment Friday! Fragment Friday is a meme where you vlog an excerpt of your current or favourite read. Remember how I posted the first five chapters of Fall For Anything? Well, he read the sixth! Watch it here. Thank you, Sara and James!

AND NOW ONTO SAD HALLOWEEN STUFFS. If you have been following my blog for a couple of years, you know that pumpkin carving is a relatively serious past time in the Summers’ household. I say relatively serious because there are people that take pumpkin carving REALLY seriously and I don’t want to undermine them. Here are the pumpkins Megan and I carved last year:


That is the Cheshire Cat from American McGee’s Alice and Bruce Campbell. You can go here to see pictures of our pumpkins past. You’ll notice a trend in that generally the way it goes is, I pick a pattern I’m satisfied won’t make me break into TOO much of a sweat and then Megan picks an explosively complicated pattern she can outdo me with and I let her have it because usually she has to do the hard parts of my own pumpkin and I’m nice that way.

This year, we had big plans. BIG PLANS! We got two pumpkins EACH. We were both going to outdo ourselves and carve the best pumpkins in town. Not only in town, BUT IN THE WORLD! But that is not what ended up happening. If we had known this, we might have made different choices. But we didn’t. Blissfully unaware of our pumpkins’ sad fate, we put these movies in the DVD player and watched them while we worked:

(Hocus Pocus, Disney’s Legend of Sleepy Hollow and Night of the Living Dead, oh yeah.)

This year I chose the most complex pattern I was… willing to do. It was a silhouette of Norman Bates standing outside his house. A fairly iconic image, if you know anything about somethin’:

OH MAN, you guys. Shading and carving. I made the big mistake of getting bored halfway through and deciding I could shade the whole thing freehand with uhm, a steak knife. Which is apparently not what you should do. So that went all to hell. And then I tried to salvage my pumpkin by carving this guy’s face on the other side:

And then that went all to pieces and I gave up. I guess everyone has an off year? My heart is into the season but I guess it was just not into pumpkin carving. I ended up going for something with a more timeless feel. Something that was also pretty simple to carve because I was down to ONE PUMPKIN and after that, there would be no more. I decided to carve Sam’s pumpkin from Trick ‘r Treat which is a horror movie I do not even like that much (overhyped, massive disappointment!), but I have to give props to the pumpkins because they were pretty great:

Get ready to be disappointed by my take on Sam’s pumpkin because it lacks the flames of hell shooting from it. My sister said we could probably rig my pumpkin to do that but I don’t want to set any Trick or Treaters on fire. OR DO I? Anyways:

My sister decided to do that dude from Pan’s Labrynth, with the eyeball hands. The pale man! Her pumpkin was really thick so it is a kind of abstract final result until/if she shaves it down more from the inside BUT APPRECIATE THE INTRICATE CUTS AND SHAVING which you can’t totally see here because of the lighting but seriously:

She is now hard at work on her second pumpkin because she still has one, unlike me. It will be from A Clockwork Orange and I will post it here when she’s done. Edit: Here it is!

Anyways, I am not dwelling on all this pumpkin carving related tragedy because I am a survivor. I am putting all of my passion into the Halloween Feast I am making for my family this Sunday because FOOD is always worth the effort. Here is the menu, which is way more impressive than any pumpkins that happened this year and let’s just never speak of pumpkins again ok sob.

I’m making grilled lime chicken with black bean sauce and braised onions from Simply Recipes. I made both of these things before, very recently, and they were big hits. So not the spookiest things ever, but something everyone will enjoy. Alterations to the chicken recipe: it’s baked in the oven with the onions. I also make garlic sauce to go with it (a bunch of minced garlic mashed with salt, mixed into some sour cream, mayo and lemon juice–all to taste) which–YUM! Tastes amazing layered on top of the black bean sauce. I am also debating boiling and simmering the black beans in vegetable broth for some ~extra flavor~.

This will be served with Martha Stewart’s Mashed Boo-tatoes because they are the CUTEST THINGS:

picture from Martha Stewart

Look at those adorable faces! AND proscuitto-wrapped grissini:

picture from epicurious

IT LOOKS LIKE FLESH WRAPPED BREAD STICKS! Perfect for Halloween. Dessert will be a pumpkin cheesecake, which my Grandma is making because I can’t bake anything to save my life. It is in celebration of my sister and brother-in-law’s wedding anniversary which also COINCIDENTALLY falls on Halloween.

It is going to be so good.


I have given you two day’s notice and left a trail of clues for you to follow all the way to my dinner table.

Now I am going to go start chopping cilantro in preparation for this fantastic feast, while my wrists can still work after all that traumatic pumpkin carving. :(