It's all worth it: the furious cleaning, the flurry of shopping and last-minute trips to (the) Walmart(s), the sticky floor the next day. This is our big event of the year: our annual Soup and Pumpkin Party.
Once again, the weather was perfect for an evening of festivities. Chilly enough to warrant pots of soup, but not too cold for plenty of running around outside and, of course, pumpkin carving.
So here's how it works: everyone brings a pot of soup, a dessert or appetizer, and pumpkins to carve. Fitting 60 people in our house can be challenging, but we are blessed to have a big yard and an attached apartment for extra room. This year we had a dozen pots of soup, from Elixir of Portobello to Pumpkin Curry. We had candy-corn snack mix, candy-corn cookies, candy-corn popcorn palls, and a chocolate cake adorned with candy corn. I think I can safely say that my craving for candy corn has been satisfied.
There is little organization to the rest of the evening, other than eating, chatting, running amok, and eventually, carving.
I love to hear people say, "This is my child's favorite event of the year." This is all about creating memories and fostering tradition. Perhaps some of these 40+ children will go on to host their own Soup and Pumpkin Party in another 20 years or so. In the meantime, I hope they come back every year, and someday bring their spouses and their kids, and more soup.
But first—we'll have to add on to our kitchen.
(And I was amused to see that I ended last year's Soup and Pumpkin Party entry with this line: "Next year, perhaps the kitchen will be painted and the shelf hung." I am happy to report that both have been done!)
* Thanks to our friend Lynn Freeny for his amazing photography. Check out his spectacular gallery here.