Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Fall Day of Fun!

This weekend, after an appropriately Halloween-y midnight screening of Paranormal Activity 4 with Kai on Friday night, and a necessary Eisbären Juniors hockey game viewing at Welli on Saturday (since there are no Eisbären home games for three weeks! The horror!), we got a bunch of friends and one cute wee munchkin together on Sunday for what I would like to become a new seasonal tradition: A <Name the Season> Day of Fun!

Liz actually gave me the idea for this (gotta give credit where credit is due), as she initiated a Fall Day of Fun with her friends in Philly last year and made me super jealous when recounting it. And thus the day came to be.

We started things off at our place around noon with plenty of coffee and pumpkin cinnamon rolls that I slaved over whipped up the day before. (Note: making cinnamon rolls from scratch is so freaking time intensive, and I'm still perfecting my technique, but my goodness, it is so worth it!) The best part about this recipe that I used (from Smitten Kitchen cuz she's amazing) is that it is Micha approved. And I think we all know by now that when it comes to sweets and baked goods, that almost never happens. Success is mine!

 Aron confirms once again that all the random tchotchkes I have around the house make it super kid friendly. :) This time, he decorated mom's cappuccino with drink markers from the bar cart.

After we were decently caffeinated, we headed out in two cars (and yup, I was driving one! I'm finally useful with transportation!) to the Kürbishof in Klaistow (which is also a Spargelhof in spring) for their yearly pumpkin event/market.

Each year, there's a theme and this year it was very randomly "dinosaurs." I really don't know where they come up with this stuff but hey, I'll take a pumpkin celebration however I can get it in this country.

Are Sara and Christoph the cutest or what?

While there, we meandered through the market hall and various stands selling local seasonal goods - Sara picked up some gelatine-free gummy bears made on the farm and we picked up some incredibly fresh and deliciously tasty apple cider - checked out the various pumpkin creations they had on display, and then enjoyed some locally made beer as well while taking turns playing with little Aron.

Love his hat hair | None of us felt quite adventurous enough to try the asparagus liquer

The primary activity was, of course, picking out pumpkins to carve that evening - not an easy task with all the crazy varieties they had to offer! I opted for a green/orange stripey guy, Micha got a white one, and Aron and Christoph took home traditional orange ones. All the rest of the little ones we picked up were for eating at a later date.

We couldn't leave, though, without a stop at the corn maze, if just for comparison's sake. Micha, Sara, and I visited a real - meaning gigantic - corn maze with Liz in New Hampshire (that story still to come!), so we wanted to take a look at this tiny one and and scoff at how easily navigable it would likely be. (It was - the paths were much wider, too, and the corn much much more dead.)

Aron quickly determined that the goal of this corn maze adventure was to collect all the corn cobs he could find and/or break off. Which is how the corn wars began:

Aron determined to beat papa | Christoph better watch out, Sara has eight years of fencing training under her belt!

My favorite moment, however, was when we reached this platform - where Christoph had already beat us to finding a leftover beer - and as little Aron ascended, he turned to Micha (who was behind on camera duty) and shouted, "Keule! Komm doch mal hoch!"

Micha starting calling the little guy "Keule" at this pool party and it's been their running gag ever since. We're pretty sure that one day, Aron will turn 16 and think, "What the heck is Keule's real name...?"

(Random German lesson: Keule literally means a few things, like drumstick or a certain type of club, of the weapon sort. The boys use it in the random colloquial way that means brother or close friend and comes from a Bud Spencer and Terrence Hill film. They pretty much get all  their ridiculous sayings from those movies, which are huge in Europe but unheard of in the US - ironically, where they were filmed. The humor's all in the dubbing, I'm told.)

Finally, it was time to head home and get our pumpkin carving on. Micha had a little photoshoot with Aron in the backseat of André's car, while Sara, Christoph, and I enjoyed watching the gorgeous sunset (no pictures - I was driving) and the full moon edge its way up in the sky as we sped our way along the Autobahn.

We enjoyed drinkies - beer for the menfolk, a Sekt cocktail with ginger ale and cranberry liquer for the ladies, and gin-tonics for all of us later on - and munched on pumpkin soup, vegetable and chicken pot pies, and a kickass apple cake (courtesy of Kerstin) as the evening went on.

Kerstin stopped by briefly to bring over the soup and cake, but seeing as she had a sick husband at home and a not-too-thrilled baby with her (I like to think Hanna was just highly disappointed that Liz didn't join us), she sadly didn't stay long. But there's still next time!

 Hanna is not impressed

Aron proved to be the trustiest of sidekicks when it came to pumpkin carving. He wasn't big on pulling out the guts, (which is very odd, I think, because that part is so fun! But I'm pretty sure German kids just don't like to get dirty.) so he left that part to Sara and instead directed us all in carving out our masterpieces. He even stuck with me long after everyone was done and nodded approvingly each time I cut out a new piece of the creepy face I was doing. (I had wisely picked up a carving kit plus pattern book at Target on our US trip.)

Our masterpieces: André's raven, Christoph's free-form face, Katie's goblin, and my scary-man face

All in all, quite the success! I think I'll stick to this recipe for a seasonal day of fun. I can't wait to plan the next one... Bring it on, winter.

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