When my family first moved to the Chicago area, my sisters both had a Kindergarten teacher that totally took to them. Maybe it was because they were little girls from a recently divorced family, or maybe because they were just really adorable. Who knows? The point is that he liked them both so much that they got to sit in the pumpkin. Yes, in the pumpkin.
Every year Mr. Eskreis got an enormous pumpkin large enough to swallow a kindergartner. Every year one special child got to sit in the hollowed out pumpkin and have their picture taken for LaGrange’s Suburban Life newspaper. My sister’s both got that honor.
Sometimes I wonder if I had been in Mr. Eskreis’s Class would he have picked me as well? Probably not. I was way too loud and dramatic for that soft-spoken man. Even at 5 years old. C’est la vie.
One great meal for a pumpkin carving party is good old fashioned Chili. The thing I love about chili is that you can make it exactly to your liking. Anything goes. I always make my Chili vegetarian. Eating chili on a cool fall evening is a perfect way to wrap up a day full of Halloween activities.
VEGETARIAN SLOW COOKER CHILI
1 can chopped tomatoes, drained
1 8 oz can tomato paste
1 c corn kernels
1 can kidney beans, rinsed
3 cloves garlic, chopped
1 medium onion, chopped
2 c vegetarian “meat” crumbles
1 can beer
8 dashes hot sauce
1 tsp Cumin
1 Tb Chili Powder
2 c water
Put all ingredients in crock pot on low setting. Cook for 3-4 hours. Top servings with cheese and sour cream.