This past Friday, I invited a small group of friends over to my house for cocktails and pumpkin carving. Since none in this group (myself included) has kids, which is typically the most compelling reason for carving pumpkins, we had been missing out on this fabulous holiday tradition for quite some time. So as you could imagine, the response from my guests to this party invitation was an enthusiastic "yes!". After extensive plotting and planning, I came up with a pumpkin carving party that struck a perfect balance of sophistication with splashes of festive Halloween accents thrown into the mix. Below is a breakdown of the various elements from my recent pumpkin carving party, filled with great ideas and tips on how you can recreate this holiday tradition with your own group of friends!
Pumpkin Carving Station
Since there were a fair number of us carving pumpkins, I decided to transform my dining room table into the pumpkin carving station. Here is a list of the supplies I used to create this space:
- Disposable Painting Tarp
- Set of Assorted Foam Brushes
- Carving Knives (I just used my favorite Victorinox Steak Knives)
- An assortment of paints (see this post for more details)
- Tea Lights
- An assortment of Halloween candies (to keep everyone's energy levels up)
- Free Pumpkin Stencils courtesy of Better Homes and Garden (so many fabulous options!)
Instead of just sitting around the table carving pumpkins in silence or with generic conversation, I thought it would be a fun idea to take this time to share a little pumpkin trivia with my guests. Not only was it fun to see what my friends knew about pumpkins, but it also added an extra element of fun to the party. This site has everything you need to know about pumpkins.
Food and Beverage
What cocktail party of mine would be complete without a cheesescape?!? Here is a breakdown of what I served at this party:
- Cheeses: Jasper Hill Farm Clothbound Cheddar, Cypress Grove Midnight Moon, Cypress Grove Humboldt Fog
- Chutney: Virginia Chutney Co. Balsamic Fig Chutney
- Crackers: Raincoast Flats Kale and Walnut, Dr. Kracker Pumpkin Seed Cheddar
- Ina Garten's Tomato Crostini with Whipped Feta
- Other Nibbles: Edamame, Somersaults, Assorted Nuts, Veggies and Hummus
- Wine: Napa Cellars Pinot Noir
What Halloween party would be complete without a little Trick or Treat! Well, in our case it was more of a nod to Trick or Treating. Each guest received a goody bag and mini bottle of Prosecco at the end of the evening to take home along with their carved pumpkin. See my post on Halloween Treat Bags for more details.
This party was a huge hit with my friends and the perfect culmination of the various projects I had been sharing throughout this past month. Even though it may seem at times like pumpkin carving should be more of a kid centric activity, there are so many ways to enhance the sophistication level of this activity, ultimately making it worthy of adults and even a cocktail party!