Monday, October 28, 2013

Pumpkin Carving

Mark and Melissa invited us over for a casual dinner. Nothing fancy. Not a wine tasting competition. I was skeptical about this. I know this group . . . We brought a bottle of wine I thought would pair with Chili and Cornbread. Dan and Denise brought a wine from Mexico. Of course Mark and Melissa already had a bottle open.

The theme was to be “Pumpkin Carving”. Each of us brought a pumpkin, except Dan and Denise shared one. The table was waiting for us with a big bowl for carving and scooping tools, and one for pumpkin guts. Melissa had a stack of templates to choose from.
It was so nice to sit together chatting, carving, and sipping. We truly enjoy each other’s company, and that doesn’t mean conversation is always light. At times, like recently, we have some pretty heavy stuff on our minds, but it is still so good. I highly recommend having a group of “Through-thick-and thin” friends. Its old fashioned, but it shouldn’t be.

So Joe picked a traditional pumpkin design. I did the cat face. Dan surprised me by taking on the task of carving, he chose a bat. Mark did a strange looking face. It sorta looked like a happy Frankenstein.
Melissa chose an amazingly intricate design of a tree with Happy Thanksgiving written above it. I couldn’t believe how fast she did it. She must have been in training. Denise coached us all and kept us entertained through the whole thing.

Finally we turned our attention to the homemade chili and the best cornbread I’ve ever had in my whole life. I took a picture of the tattered, stained recipe for you. He said he doubles the glaze. It was delicious.

I brought an old stand-by, Apothic Red. It’s an inexpensive blend and packed with flavor. I thought it would pair with the flavors of chili. Mark and Mel had a couple of bottles open, CG Di Arie Proprietor’s Blend and Berghold Syrah Voignier, so we got to sip at a variety. Dan and Denise had been in Mexico recently in the wine country. A region of boutique wineries has flourished near Rosarito Beach. This one tasted like a dessert wine, it had such a strong blackberry/current flavor.

Even when they try to be casual it turns out wonderful!

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