3 Nov 2010

An unexpected victory…

:: Trick or Treaters from The Nightmare before Christmas (6 inch pumpkin) ::
If only I hadn't succumbed to the 'flu, last weekend would have been just marvellous! Remember the pumpkin carving at Fortnums that I wrote about? My sister, nieces, their kids, my son, me - all got together for the day and entered our respective pumpkins. My son and I swiftly carved a couple of pumpkins in the morning (mine, above) before heading off for lunch whilst the rest of the family put a bit more preparation into it, going out to select their pumpkins from a nearby farm:


… and then devoting an evening to the carving. It paid off: I'm thrilled (and very proud) to announce that my niece Kate carried off the first Golden Pumpkin Award in the shape of a bespoke Fortnum's broomstick! Here she is, collecting her prize from Fortnum's jovial judge Simon who dreamt up and organised the whole shebang.


She also won the luxury Windsor Hamper; what luck! we had a sort of pre-nup agreement that whoever won would divvy up the spoils between the family. That was a pretty solid deal for the rest of us as Kate is generally known as a luck magnet. I've got my eye on that hamper basket ;) (fat chance mate!) …although I'd happily settle for the Magnifici florentines and the caviar instead!


The standard of entries was quite overwhelming; the competition was opened up to double the numbers - I think there were over 150 entries, some of whom obviously took the whole thing very seriously:


This King of the Wild Things was carved into an Atlantic Giant, with extra stalks added. Impressive! But it didn't win because it failed in one of the categories - luminosity;  the carver hadn't hollowed it out.  So there you are, hot tip to remember for next year. 

Other pumpkins were very well carved (top right: ma boy's carving of Oogly Boogly, top left: Cheshire Cat by my niece, Jen):


(Sorry, had to get those two in!)  Here's a couple more that totally appealed to me, they were so quirky - and of course included plenty of veg and flowers!


 Every table in the Ground Floor Gallery restaurant was covered in lit pumpkins as the evening got darker (wolfman, catwoman, haunted houses) and contestants with their families feasted on complimentary snacks and drinks: mulled wine or soft fruit coolers, pumpkin risotto (they've promised me the recipe, it was mega-tasty), sausage pumpkin puff pastry slices, chocolate chilli cream mousse - really, there was no need to make supper when I got home!  But I expect what you all really want to know is…  what did the winning pumpkin look like?
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B-O-O!

Trick or Treat, dearie?
(And, clever girl, she made the giant sweets on top and filled the inside with sweets and fairy lights!)  What?  Me, biased?  Surely not!!  Ha, ha.  Well done Kate!!
xxxxx

P.S. I hope that next year I'll see a few London based veg gardeners there with home-grown carved pumpkins?  And yes, I'm getting over the 'flu although I suspect it's all downhill towards a filthy cold.  So annoying! So much to do in the garden!

9 comments:

  1. Wow! Well done Kate. I think every one of the pumpkins you have shown are brilliant, way superior to my rubbish carving skills. There looks to be some wonderful things inside that hamper. So what did you get?

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  2. Ooh, thanks Jo! Do you know once you get the outer skin off, the flesh is really easy to carve? We drew our designs then scored the patterns and got slicing. Not too hard at all! The hamper prize will be delivered to Kate in the Midlands, then I'll have to wait for the next family event (Christening coming up) to see what Kate's earmarked for me. I love surprises!

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  3. What fabulous pumpkins! very impressive carving skills...

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  4. Hi Camillap - I have to agree it was a beautiful sight to see a roomful of refectory tables covered in lit, beautifully carved pumpkins! The standard was very high and has really set the benchmark for next year! Perhaps I'll see you there next year??

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  5. Congratulations, great pumpkins!

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  6. Thanks Damo - the main thing is that it was loads of fun - and not just for the children!!

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  7. Grześ tu był i umysłową ucztę spożył za co dziękuje zapraszając na swoje strony.

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  8. The winning pumpkin is great but my favourite is your niece's cheshire cat! Thanks for sharing this Caro :)

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  9. Yes, I love that pumpkin too! Will look forward to seeing your pumpkin carving from your 2011 marrow-courgette-squash!

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Caro x

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