Thursday, September 20

Pumpkin Festival Ludwigsburg

The annual Ludwigsburg Pumpkin Festival is awesome! We've not made it there until now, just seen pictures and heard about it from friends. Had we known about the delicious pumpkin entrees offered, you could not have kept us away! And for once, the kids had a great time on one of our family outings! It greatly helped that we ran into a ton of their friends' families from school.

Our kids have made some great friends at their international school these past couple of years. One of those families is the Frikkens from the Detroit area. They are here for 3 years working for Bosch. Easton and their son, Anthony, have been best buds since the first week of grade 1. However, grade 3 finds them in separate classes this year. Luckily, us moms have been able to get them together for some after school activities, Cub Scouts, and this past weekend we found ourselves together at the festival! Awesome fun!

Just missing Joe here!
All pictures in this post are courtesy of Joe and Vian, because while I remembered to pack a good picnic lunch, water, the stroller, the diaper bag and such . . . I forgot the camera! Argh!!! I'm so glad they got such great shots! THANK YOU!!!

It was one of those last beautiful warm days before the chill of autumn arrived. We all picked this day to go because of the Pumpkin Regatta. About eight ginormous pumpkins are hollowed out and stuck in a big pond for people to race in. Why not?!

One of the kids' dads got to participate because they were short a competitor. That white pumpkin above was the fastest, easiest to maneuver it seemed. After watching a few races and eating our picnic, we meandered down to where the pumpkin sculpture garden was set up.

With October Fest getting underway, if you're out an about you will see lots of Germans decked out in their lederhosen and dirndl dresses. Vian caught this picture which is just too cute!

Here's a shot looking down into the sculpture garden and festival area. Previous years' themes have been sea creatures and dinosaurs. This year it's all things Swiss! Notice from left to right -- an edelweiss star flower, the alp long horn player, and the Matterhorn!

 The traditional long horns, we love these!

The Swiss Army knife!

Alpen milk cow and farmer pouring milk. {We hope to attend the upcoming festivities and parades of when different towns bring their cows down from mountain summer pastures. They deck the cows out with all sorts of regalia and really throw a good party we hear.}

The house there had every kind of pumpkin gourd displayed on the outside with a gift shop inside. The hay bales and pumpkin paths made great seats whenever you needed to park for a bit and enjoy the views!

Gourde creations! Cows, snakes, mice, frogs, eels and all sorts!

But by far, the best part as far as the kids were concerned was the hay play area! They were having so much fun that Ryan couldn't help himself. He just had to join in, more than once! The kids pounced on him and I am still finding hay in random places! I absolutely love how Ryan gets such a kick joining in (or leading) all the fun!

And me on my perch keeping track of our little wanderer who couldn't decide which was best - the crazy fun in the hay, roaming the pumpkin displays, trying to push all pumpkins off the hay bales along the paths, or taking a break snuggling with mom. Let it be noted that he only wanted to be snuggled when kids were interrupting his roaming with too much excited attention. Whatever, I'll take it!

Best buds! I love that all our kids get along real well! 

Representing USA, Mexico, and England!

So if the hay was the kids' favorite, the food was me and Ryan's favorite! Pumpkin soup with toasted-to-perfection, spicy pumpkin seeds and classic German crusty dipping bread. YUM!!! As many ways to cook pumpkin and to serve it were here! Roasted, sautéed, fried, grated, pureed served in sweet strudels with whipping cream, savory soup, tasty spaghetti sauce over pasta, served like potato wedges for dipping, and in a gumbo concoction. It was mind-boggling! There were also sweet roasted seeds or spicy curried seeds. Man, I wish we had more of those! We need to track down a recipe ASAP! I also find it fascinating that at these festivals there is no paper and plastic serving ware beyond the cafeteria tray and napkins. There's a big dishwashing operation behind the food hut. Very interesting!

This gal has saved my bacon many times when in a jam! She is one of the most gracious, beautiful, stylish, easy friends to have! She also puts on a mean Middle Eastern food spread in keeping with her Chaldean (Christian Iraqi) roots! YUM!!! 
It's so great to have a picture of us together! Thanks, Joe!