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broodings from the burrow

November 9, 2014

pumpkin fest 2014
posted by soe 3:32 am

Early in the fall, Rudi began buying pumpkin beers, eager to try those he encountered. He mentioned this to our friends John and Nicole, and John expressed interest in trading a few from his collection for some in Rudi’s, and I suggested they should do have a tasting evening.

Somehow this grew into much more.

While we were on vacation, Rudi hunted high and low for new pumpkin beers, and by the time we returned home, we had a total of 19. John had another seven.

Clearly they were going to need more people than just the two of them to drink them all. (Nicole is not a fan of pumpkin beer, and I’m not a fan of beer, period.)

I ran into John and Nicole a couple weeks ago and suggested we expand beyond beer and make it a whole pumpkin-themed evening, with food focused on squash, as well, which she and I would enjoy, too. They agreed and Pumpkin Fest 2014 was scheduled.

I bought a ton of winter squash in the last week. There were canned varieties, as well as the actual thick-skinned varieties—delicata, butternut, carnival, longnecked, blue hubbard, and, of course, pumpkin (two kinds). Clearly, scale is not my strong suit.

Our plans were grandiose, but got scaled back as today went on. John and Nicole are dog-sitting, so offered to host (a total mitzvah), so we were just responsible for bringing a couple dishes (preferably vegan, so Nicole could try everything) and the beer.

A plan for pumpkin-ale pretzel rolls was tabled after the dough failed to rise sufficiently (old yeast was probably at fault). A pumpkin curry got sidelined. Ingredients for pumpkin juice never made it off my web browser to my shopping list.

We did each manage a dish, though. Rudi made a squash chili, which was tasty and hearty. And I made pumpkin pasties (with dough from here and savory filling inspired by this post). I am inexact, though, so I sort of broke off dough pieces that looked like they’d be the right size and rolled them out to ovalish shapes and just squeezed the edges together instead of crimping. The filling had maple syrup added to it, I subbed soy sauce for the amino acid, and I mashed the pumpkin instead of cubing it (it was really hot and I didn’t want to touch it any longer than necessary!). Also, I had no soy milk, so I skipped the wash.

Pumpkin Pasties

They were very tasty.

Nicole made pumpkin muffins, a quinoa-pumpkin-kale-almond salad, and a pumpkin bread pudding. One guest made a spicy butternut dip, which she served with sweet potato chips, and another brought a pumpkin pie from a local pie shop. Nicole kept me supplied with a Grenadan-inspired drink of lime, pineapple juice, and seltzer water and Earl Grey tea.

Pumpkin Fest Remains

Everything was delicious, and judging by the fact the party lasted until past one, I’d say the guests had a good time, too.

Lining up the Bottles

The guys definitely had a favorite pumpkin beer, but I can’t remember which one (hopefully Rudi will chime in in the comments with that info). Between everyone, 13 beers were sampled, with an average consumption of a gallon of beer apiece over the 8 hours we lasted.

pumpkin fest 2014 beers

We brought home tons of pumpkin beer, but Rudi assures me this is not a hardship. He assures me they’ll be gone before our Christmas party in a month.

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