October 31, 2010

How To Host A Successful Pumpkin Carving Party!

No nails in this post, just lots of pumpkins! This year was the 4th Annual Powertools & Pumpkins Party at my house and it was the most successful one so far. We had over 30 attendees and someone even carved a 50 lb pumpkin (pictured above)! I've seen those at the store but I didn't know anyone actually bought them let alone carved them.
It's so fun to let everybody loose with the saws and the drills and the dremels and just see what happens. A few tips if you want to host one next year.
  • Carving outside is ideal but not always possible due to weather. We just rolled up the rugs & threw down some tarps in the living room. It helps to gather stools, sturdy boxes, milk crates and other things for people to rest their pumpkins on while carving.
  • I highly recommend the Pumpkin Masters Carving kits with the different sized saws. They can make pumpkin carving much more fun and less frustrating.
  • Break out your dremels, drills, hole saws and more! Dremels can be used for shaving details, drills for fancy patterned pumpkins and hole saws make perfect circles in just a few seconds.
  • Have a printer handy in case anyone wants to print out a template or a picture to reference while carving.
  • Don't forget to have lots of candles on hand!
  • Start a few hours before sunset and plan on having people stay after dark so they can see their pumpkins on lit up.
  • This means folks might be staying through dinner time. My amazing sister Alisa came up with and prepared this year's food and it was a huge hit! She's very clever and made lots of things that could be snacked on throughout the night but were hearty enough to be filling. We had a big crock pot of chili with all of the fixings for Frito chili pies, another big crock pot of Ro-Tel, lots of humus and pita bread, and a cheeseball with red pepper jelly.
  • I really like to have punch at parties and I am in love with the one we tried this year. It's called Milk Punch and it's a great holiday alternative to eggnog. Unbelievably delicious! The recipe below makes a gallon of punch. This version was supposed to be served frozen but we started too late. It was still super tasty. Fresh nutmeg is vital!
Emeril's Frozen Milk Punch

Recipe adapted from Louisiana Real and Rustic Cookbook, by Emeril Lagasse, with Marcelle Bienvenu, published by William Morrow, 1996.


  • 1 1/4 cups brandy
  • 1 1/4 cups bourbon
  • 1 1/4 cups dark rum
  • 3 quarts half-and-half
  • 4 tablespoons pure Mexican vanilla
  • 3/4 to 1 cup simple syrup, (equal parts sugar and water, simmered until sugar dissolves and cooled)
  • Freshly grated nutmeg


In a plastic gallon container, with a lid, combine the brandy, bourbon, rum, half-and-half, and vanilla. Mix well. Sweeten the cream mixture to taste with the simple syrup. Cover and freeze until slightly frozen. To serve, using an ice pick, slush the mixture. Spoon into balloon wine glasses and garnish.

And now lots of pumpkin pictures!!

Thanks for reading!


  1. Awesome. Just damned awesome.

  2. A pumpkin carving party? How cool!!
    Like all the creations.
    That punch looks so yummy ^-^, thanks for sharing the recipe.