The 3rd Annual Wittbloom Pumpkin Party

20 Oct

aazackcaitlinAs much as we adore costume Halloween parties, the Wittbloom apartment is best served for smaller, more intimate parties, so the Pumpkin Carving party has become our thing. We brew up some hot cider*, grab as much pumpkin beer as we can find and have some friends over to carve pumpkins a week or two before Halloween. And no Halloween party would be complete without a ton of candy and pumpkin cupcakes**. We had pumpkins ready to carve and a couple friends brought pumpkins as well, but I’m proud to say that only one pumpkin got carved Friday night. Without planning it, the party shifted from pumpkin carving to beer tasting. And that’s way more my speed***.

*Or, as you have seen in the past, orange-colored ‘ritas.

**The “Witt” side of the Wittblooms heartily approves this message.

***Don’t worry, though, my fellow craft-lovers — we’re carving next weekend so our pumpkins last through Halloween, and they’re gonna RULE.

aaclove orangeAfter spending the afternoon at the pumpkin patch, we picked up seven types of Pumpkin beer and some rum to make apple cider with. Caitlin found a recipe that involved a gallon of apple cider, cloves inserted into oranges, cinnamon and four hours in a crock pot*. Then add rum. I took pictures of her after she did her clove into orange work. This is the way you want your orange to look. We got a slightly larger orange the second time we tried this and I got a little too clove-happy, and that combined with the fact that we got apple JUICE and not cider absolutely ruined the mix. Make sure you’re not fooled  — invest in CIDER and be calm with your clove-ing.

*Actually, my good friend Morgan found the recipe and sent it to me. Easiest thing EVER (if you get the right ingredients) and huge bonus that it makes your apartment/home smell absolutely blissful the next day.

aacupcakemix

As the crock pot started to bubble, Caitlin mixed the pumpkin cupcake ingredients as I read off the instructions. This is another recipe that will make your place smell lush. This, the cider, plus a deliciously vanilla-and-potpourri-scented candle I left going in our guest bathroom really just brought on fall for me this weekend.

aacupcakesintinI held the bowl as Caitlin spooned the cupcakes into their tins. I did a couple by myself, but it really does help to have Zack’s muscle.

aafrostingCaitlin excitedly lathered on the cream cheese frosting… I left out quite a few cups of powdered sugar from my recipe — the original calls for 7 1/2 to 8 but I used about 3 1/2 and I think it turned out better.

aacupcakecandycorn…and delicately placed the pumpkin candy corn atop her masterpiece. You can *just* make out my spider ring in this photo. I also donned some black cat earrings. We take this holiday seriously, y’all.

aaspreadCaitlin extended the dining room table, covered it in a great Peanuts table cloth and a metric ton of Halloween candy. It’s a hot mess of candy in this house and I couldn’t be happier about it (sorry, teeth).

caitlinmorganAfter the Wittbloom apt. was set-up for party mode, I stepped outside to take a quick run before hopping in the shower. But as I got outside, I saw Morgan in her car, presumably texting Caitlin, who was in the shower, so I let her in and we had a pumpkin beer in the rock garden as Scooby rested on her. Obviously this picture was taken later, mid-party, but bear with us here. Alien Scooby looks super cute! I’m donning all new ModCloth attire, as is Morgan. We’re both hooked.

aaemilycaitlinlisaCaitlin posed with the two ladies who have lived in the master bedroom of The Lighthouse. It’s quite an honor. I’m really digging on the color palette of our outfits here! All of the colorsss.

aascooby and crewScooby was eager to pose for pictures, but was quite well behaved and made a lot of new friends.

morgankelseyscoobsScooby also re-united with old friends. He’d stayed with Kelsey and Heath twice when we were out of town and he gave Kelsey the warmest of welcomes by jumping all over her. 

aazackericheath2Once everyone got settled, we started our beer tasting. These three were very excited about it. I think we all were, actually! Figuring out which beer is the most pumpkin-y and best tasting is a fun undertaking.

Screen Shot 2013-10-20 at 6.37.20 PMWe picked up 7 types of pumpkin beer from the Spec’s near the pumpkin patch and had our eight testers give them a score 1-10 based on taste and how pumpkin-y each beer was. Here they are in order based on taste:

  • Rouge Farms Pumpkin (Singular bottle) This beer won both the best tasting and the most pumpkin flavor. I gave it a 9.5 taste, a 10 for pumpkin and write “Pumpkin smell!” next to it. Someone else drew a thumb up next to pumpkin. Taste: 7.84 Pumpkin 7.29
  • Saint Arnold Pumpkin (singular bottle) This one has a reputation of being hard to find and sought after and we understood why. Most of us gave it 8s and 9s, aside from one odd 3.51 and 3 vote. Taste: 7.4 Pumpkin 7.14
  • Post Road Pumpkin (6-pack) A couple of 9’s on taste with a low of 5.46, but mostly 7s and 8s. Even though the guy serving it the next day at Whole Foods told us it’s actually made with real pumpkin, the pumpkin scores were 1, 2, 2, 3, 3, 3.5, 4 and 6. Taste: 7.3 Pumpkin: 3.06
  • UFO Pumpkin Pumpkin Ale (6-pack) – Even Heath liked this one, giving it a 7 after giving 2 and 3 to the first two beers. Scores ranged from 6 to 9. As for pumpkin taste, it was almost all 2-4 for averages of Taste: 7.25 Pumpkin 3.125
  • Blue Moon Pumpkin (6-pack) – mostly got 6-8 scores on taste, but one 3 vote* brought it down to 6.195 and no one thought it was more than a 4.32 on pumpkin flavor. Taste: 6.195 Pumpkin: 2.625 
  • Dogfish Head Pumpkin (4-pack) – ranged from 5 to 8.5, but that same pesky voter who gave Blue Moon a 3 gave Doghead a 2**. Taste: 5.875 Pumpkin: 2.6875
  • Shipyard Pumpkin (6-pack) Bennett brought this 6-pack that smelled like honey and tasted decent. I gave it a 6.5 and 3 and that was pretty much how the group thought. Taste: 5.63 Pumpkin: 3.6
  • Harpoon Pumpkin (Singular bottle) Caitlin skewed this one with a 1 because she doesn’t like dark beer. It was evened out with a couple 8s, but was still the lowest score on taste. It was almost the only beer to have a higher pumpkin score than taste score. Taste: 5.35 Pumpkin: 5.25

*I believe that was Heath, who was busting up the averages left and right.

**Heath!! (It’s OK. I have weird beer tastes, too.)

aabennettjohnEven though it was supposed to be a pumpkin carving party, Bennett was the only one who actually carved a pumpkin. His friend John rooted him on. This was the first time we met John and he was a welcome addition. Bennett, allowing us to stand by our “Pumpkin Carving Party” name for next year and bringing beer and friends. You win the pumpkin crown, sir.

aabennettcarveBennett carved an IU symbol, in honor of our alma matter. 

aaemilycaitlinmorgansmellCaitlin told Emily to smell the bathroom, which understandably worried Emily. All Caitlin wanted was for her to smell her awesome candle, so they had Emily re-enact the smelling experience. I asked/forced Emily to smell EVERYTHING, from cider to candles to my beer. I don’t know why she became my go-to smelling assistant, but there it is.

groupbabyThere was a nice gathering in the kitchen and Kelsey continued her unsuccessful mission to get Bea to be into her that evening. Nothing personal, Bea just wanted mom and dad time that night. Although, if I recall, when Heath held the little one out and danced around with her, she did smile quite a bit. She also “oooh”ed at a lot of stuff, which was adorable.

zackleanbackIt’s fitting that this picture was blurry, because that’s how things were looking to me at this point in the night. We tasted a lot of beers, y’all. And as the official pour-er, I felt compelled to finish all the extra in the bottles.

zackscoobyAnd honestly, I have no memory of this at all, but apparently I wanted to dance with Scoobs at the end of the night. Even though only one pumpkin got carved, it was one of our most successful parties to date. Can’t wait for our next party on the 8th night of Channukah. I absolutely loved this party. It was so nice to cater to guests, baking and making all kinds of yummy good-smelling-ness. I also got to create a Spotify Halloween playlist, decorate, and generally hostess, which I hadn’t done in quite a while. Now I just have to figure out how to work in a Channukah-related cupcake into that party! Jelly donuts!

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6 Responses to “The 3rd Annual Wittbloom Pumpkin Party”

  1. emily October 21, 2013 at 3:25 pm #

    I’m SO glad you guys included the vanilla candle in your recap… that sweet, sweet bathroom smell really just made the party for me! 😉 Can’t wait for the “high heel shoe!” party next.

    • Zack October 21, 2013 at 4:17 pm #

      Ha! High heel shoe party! Gimel, gimel, gimel!

  2. jessthetics October 21, 2013 at 3:44 pm #

    Pumpkin beer sounds amazing! I don’t know where I would even buy that here, but i definitely want some for hallwoeen! (& some halloween punch obviously.) Your party looks really awesome, and you’re right, the pumpkins probably wouldn’t have lasted until halloween anyway 🙂 Also, I’m jealous of your pumpkin candy! xx

    • Zack October 21, 2013 at 4:16 pm #

      Pumpkin beer IS amazing! I hope someone imports it by you. What goes in Halloween punch? The IU pumpkin did get left behind, so we’ll see how long it lasts :D. Thanks for reading! -Z

  3. Dad October 21, 2013 at 4:09 pm #

    LOL, YOU INVITED A BABY OVER? GOD, YOU GUYS ARE TOO MUCH!

    • Zack October 21, 2013 at 4:17 pm #

      I don’t know if Bea got an actual invite, since she’s not on Facebook, but she is always welcome!

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