Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Day 9 ~ The Charm of Pumpkins

Hello Everyone! Here we are, it's Tuesday of Week 2. And we have some pretty awesome things happening this week. Did you enjoy yesterday's post from Kallan over at the Secret Life of the American Working Witch about the haunted and haunting places in Maryland? Our Siren's are some pretty talented and amazing people. And here we go with Day 9...

Our blog today come to us from Danni over at The Whimsical Cottage. She's letting us in on her favorite part of this season...

The Charm of Pumpkins

For as long as I can remember, pumpkins, those shiny globes of Autumnal joy, have been one of my favorite parts of this season. When the first pumpkins would show up in roadside stands and super markets, gleaming orange and white under natural light or fluorescent, my heart would beat a little faster. There they were, heralding in the season of crisp evenings, colorful leaves, hot apple cider and trips to orchards, corn fields and pumpkin patches.

Those trips to the pumpkin patches were the thing I looked most forward to all year long. My family would all pull on their sweatshirts and scarves and pile into the car to head out to one of the local patches. Once we got there, we were greeted by brisk breezes wafting the smell of kettle corn and caramel apples our way. We'd climb aboard the tractor pulled hay cart and bumble up the dirt trails leading from the parking field, country store and concession stand away in the trees. Often times the people driving the tractor would tell us about the farm or treat us to some seasonal folk lore and legends.

Once the ride was over, the best part started; the hunt for the perfect pumpkin. I'd search high and low, wandering through tangled vines and over ditches looking for the one I'd bring home to turn into my one and only Jack-O-Lantern. Often times, I'd find one far too large to carry and would con my dad, despite his earlier admonishment that I had to find one I could pick up, into lugging it around for me. Once we were all set, it was onto the next wagon down to pay and grab a nip of warm cider and a fresh baked doughnut before piling back in the car to bring our treasures home.

Once there, my mom would lay out layers of newspaper on the table and give each of us a marker to draw our design onto our pumpkin. This usually took a while as we all waffled over making a face or a scene - a very difficult task, you know! Eventually, we'd get it hammered out and drawn on and mom would 'cut open the pumpkins heads!' so we could get in there and scoop out their cold, seedy brain. My brother and sister always loved this part. Me? I wanted to get on to the carving and the eating of the seeds. They could mush pumpkin brains around in their hands and toss it at each other all night long, but I had serious business to get to!

Eventually, the pumpkins would be clean and mom would carve them - or when we got older - we'd carve them. And then, finally, the magic happened! We'd put them all on the kitchen table, turn off all the lights and light the candles. There are still few joys that make me smile harder than seeing my perfect pumpkin come to life with the golden flicker of a candle. We'd leave them burning until bed time and then light them every night through Hallowe'en.
These jacks were done by myself, my husband and my sister a few years ago.

At a hair shy of 30, these traditions are still the ones I most cling to and cherish. The trip to the pumpkin patch remains one of my favorite things to do throughout the entire year, I look so forward to it and when I do go, it is just once and we spend a good chunk of time there. Everyone who knows me knows how special these trips are to me, so much so in fact, that a pumpkin patch is where my husband proposed to me five years ago; down on his knee in the tall grass amidst those magical gourds.

I can honestly say, as I've gotten older, those trips and the ritual of carving haven't lost a single speck of their magic!

Speaking of Magic, here is a wee jack-o-lantern charm that I whipped up to use when I light my candles:

Jack 'O Lantern Light the way,
For the spirits and the Fae,
Ward off those that mean us harm,
With this candle I seal this charm.
(light the candle)

Today's Giveaway!

Today we have a autographed print from Sabrina over at The Ink Witch. And if you know Sabrina even the tiniest bit, you know as with all our Crafty Siren's, she puts her heart and soul into every piece she creates. 

Remember:

Your first entry is to follow us here. (make sure you comment and tell us that you're following!)

Bonus entries:

Go to The Ink Witch  and peruse her wares. Come back and tell us what you like best there.

Like her Facebook page Sabrina TheInkwitch  and come back and tell us (separate entry)

Like us on Facebook- come back and tell us (separate entry)

Follow us on Twitter (come and tell us!- separate entry)

Blog about this giveaway (comment separately and send us a link to your blog post)

Tweet about this giveaway (comment separately and send us a link to your blog post)

Today's Recipe

Picture Credit Real Simple

Pumpkin Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting


These delicious cupcakes are reminiscent of autumn days, crisp brown leaves, and a cool snap in the air. Top off with a piece of candy corn and transport yourself back to childhood, too!

Ingredients

Cupcakes

* 2 cups all-purpose flour
* 1 teaspoon baking soda
* 1 teaspoon baking powder
* 1 teaspoon coarse salt
* 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
* 1 teaspoon ground ginger
* 1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
* 1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
* 1 cup packed light-brown sugar
* 1 cup granulated sugar
* 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, melted and cooled
* 4 large eggs, lightly beaten
* 1 can (15 ounces) pumpkin goop

Cream Cheese Frosting

* 8 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
* 8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, cut into pieces, room temperature
* 1 cup confectioners’ sugar
* 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

 Method

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line cupcake pans with paper liners; set aside. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and allspice; set aside.

2. In a large bowl, whisk together, brown sugar, granulated sugar, butter, and eggs. Add dry ingredients, and whisk until smooth. Whisk in pumpkin puree.

3. Divide batter evenly among liners, filling each about halfway. Bake until tops spring back when touched, and a cake tester inserted in the center comes out clean, 20 to 25 minutes, rotating pans once if needed. Transfer to a wire rack; let cool completely.

4. While baking, place cream cheese in a medium mixing bowl. Using a rubber spatula, soften cream cheese. Gradually add butter, and continue beating until smooth and well blended. Sift in confectioners’ sugar, and continue beating until smooth. Add vanilla, and stir to combine.

5. Top with this cream cheese frosting, and finish off with a piece of candy corn.

Today's Craft Idea


Hand print Spider Trick-or-Treat Bag

We love crafts that use handprints. Our daughter loves watching all the fun things her handprints can turn into and we love being able to hang on to these crafts for years to come as a way to remember how small she is now. This handprint spider trick-or-treat bag craft is a great way to get your child excited about trick-or-treat night and it is a great Halloween craft for kids.

What you'll need:

Orange canvas bag
Black paint
Red and black paint pens
2 googly eyes
Glue
Paint brush

How to make your Handprint Spider Trick or Treat Bag Craft:

Lay the canvas bag down flat. Use the paint brush to brush the black paint onto your child's hand. Don't paint their thumb - you only want the 4 fingers for this craft. (We found that handprint crafts turn out a little better/"cleaner" when we painted our daughter's hand than when she dipped her hand directly into the paint).

Help them carefully lay and press their hand onto the bag and then pull straight back up so the handprint doesn't smear.

Either turn the bag and paint the same hand again, or paint the other hand with black paint. Press the second handprint down so that the palm of it overlaps the palm of the first handprint.

When the spider has dried, use red paint to add a smile. Glue on the two googly eyes. Paint a line coming out of the top of the spider so it looks like he's hanging.
Use the black paint to write "Happy Halloween!" onto the bag. **Note: although you are painting on fabric, regular black craft paint is ok for this craft assuming it will most likely only be used on trick-or-treat night and won't be washed. If you think your craft will get more use, please use fabric paint instead so that the bag holds up better.

Just A Reminder! 

You have until 8PM EST today to enter the Giveaway drawing for the Gift Certificate from Tess at East Coast Craft & Curios.

The Video for Today

When many people think “creepy pipe organ music” this is usually the piece that comes to mind.


49 comments:

  1. HI! Shared, following, subscribed to Sabrina (but couldn't friend her cuz she'd reached the max and couldn't like her cuz it isn't a fan page).
    LOVE the punkin charm!
    Thanks!

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  2. You can subscribe to Sabrina, even if you can't friend her on Facebook. It's all good though, and we'll count that attempt as a submission :)

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  3. Tweeted!

    http://samhainsirens.blogspot.com/2012/10/day-9-charm-of-pumpkins.html

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  4. Love the new Candles, and my all-time favorites are her Goddesses and Gods drawings

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  5. I subscribe to Sabrina on FB (under jonquil alexia).

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  6. Love The Ink Witch's wares..... She is truly blessed with magickal talents!!!!

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  7. 'Yule' is my favorite print on Sabrinas' site.

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  8. I went to the FB link for Sabrina, but couldn't find a !like" button :S XXX

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  9. I loved seeing Sabrina's artwork...especially the Hex candle label :D XXX

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  10. I now get to see her updates on FB.

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  11. I went to her store and am in love with her skethc: Isis with Wolf & Bear Cubs

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  12. This has been so fun! I signed up to follow on Blogger awhile back but just signed up to follow on Twitter too.

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  13. I love her candles! and the pentacle tote bag!

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  14. I also shared with my personal page, my artist page and my pagan page. :)

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  15. The Ink Witch is beautifully talented! I'm enchanted by the pen & ink artwork; choosing a favorite is difficult... I think it is a toss-up between Gaia or Hecate, but I love all the candle labels too.

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  16. I've been following here every day and have seen many delicious recipes posted but today's pumpkin cupcakes won my heart--I'm off to the grocery store!
    Like Danni, I love pumpkins. This time of year I collect a variety and then search for pumpkin soup recipes. Nothing like eating your home decor :)

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  17. I Tweeted today's giveaway at https://twitter.com/RCchrps/status/255708589124108288

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  18. LOVE Sabrina's work!! Subscribed to her page :)

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  19. Love her violet blue kiss!!

    http://www.theinkwitch.com/Protected/copyright-Violet_Blue_Kiss.html

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  20. Tweeted :).... https://twitter.com/elijahtrent

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  21. Liked Samhain Sirens!! Of course shared blog giveaway as well :)

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  22. I'm following, friended Sabrina and I <3 <3 <3 the Fire Dancer picture she has up there. That's a new one to me and it's gorgeous!

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  23. I follow us everywhere, I am friends with Sabrina and I tweeted ( @TheWitchwriter) and I blogged

    http://bellafoxglove.blogspot.com/2012/10/pumpkins-pumpkins-everywhere.html

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  24. Following you lovely Sirens! This is such a Halloween treat.

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  25. Also just checked out Sabrina's wares, and her artwork is amazing! I love her Gods and Goddesses series, and her spell candles are beautiful.

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  26. http://peppylady.blogspot.com/2012/10/my-leg-is-still-attached.html

    Over at Witch Ink I would be interested in some fairy and even posted a picture what I would like. I even liked the Witch Ink Facebook page.
    Plus I like Samhain siren on facebook also.
    Need to mention that I also blogged about all the fun.
    Coffee is on.

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  27. I love her new Hagatha & Max Series! Especially the laundry day with the cat hung up on the line lol

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  28. I subscribed to Sabrina's Facebook page

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  29. I follow the blog and loving all the posts. Great music, tasty recipes, fun crafts, and wonderful stories and essays. Thanks so much, Sirens!

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  30. I follow on Twitter as well (KnitChaos)

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  31. My day wouldn't be complete without a stop at the Facebook page. Liked y'all over there as well. :D

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  32. I think my favourite things from The Ink Witch are her coloured prints. The "Sunning" mermaid print is just fantastic (but then again, all of Sabrina's work is!) :)

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  33. I like Samhain's Sirens on Facebook!

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  34. Following on Twitter @MissMaryApple

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  35. I blogged about the giveaway! http://sweetmaplelife.blogspot.ca/2012/10/samhains-sirens-giveaways-and-i-won-one.html

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