Not Halloween


No pumpkins, no dressing up, no sugar hangovers. My family seems to have finally grown out of halloween. Hoo-bloody-ray. 

But if you are up to your elbows in pumpkin guts these posts might help. All the ideas will work with any kind of pumpkin or winter squash, butternut squash for instance, and will probably be nicer than a tasteless, watery carving pumpkin.


This year, halloween for me is all about the Rugby World Cup final. I'm backing the All Blacks because I like the haka and Dan Carter plus they're going to win (sorry Aussies).

Quince ratafia
I made quince brandy as a change from my usual quince vodka. The old-fashioned term for a drink made by steeping fruit and sugar in spirits is a ratafia. I rather like that. I made this ratafia exactly the same way as this substituting brandy for vodka.

Coconut and cherry cake

And here is another version of the cheap and cheerful cake, a coconut and cherry one. I replaced the cocoa with flour and added about 100g/1 cup of desiccated coconut and 100g of chopped glacé cherries (about 14). Sweet, stodgy deliciousness.

October you have been glorious.





Comments

  1. Anonymous11:59 am GMT

    Never ever liked Halloween or done anything for it. Will be dimming the lights and not being at home this evening. Not that anyone does come by here. I do enjoy the Strictly Come Dancing Halloween themed programmes though, which is my only concession to having any fun tonight. Otherwise, I shall be a curmudgeonly old witch. Which is probably rather appropriate. No dressing up required of me.
    Faye

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  2. Had to laugh at "A pumpkin is for life!' The enormous squash in my kitchen certainly feels like that.

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  3. No, I don't do Halloween and I don't acknowledge it either. The more I think about it, the more strange it is. If any children do come to the door, I only have sugar free low carb sweets and I don't think they'll prove too popular?!

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  4. I can't stand this Trick or Treat nonsense, shipped in from the USA and adopted as if it were our own. Halloween is a traditional festival, but Trick or Treat is awful. But we have never celebrated (if that is the word) Halloween either, I can't imagine spending money and wasting time on pumpkins and decorations - it's bad enough shelling money out on Christmas trees next month because I only like a real one, plastic tat doesn't enter my home regardless of how perfect and 'real' a plastic tree might look. I have bought some sweets for the little ones who come knocking on the door as they live in our Close and it would be churlish to spoil their fun, but I'll be glad when it's all over. Why don't we celebrate Guy Fawkes' Night these days, as we used to? Who yells out "penny for the Guy" these days? No one! No, we've adopted a silly American invention. Next we'll be adopting Thanksgiving! Oh, gawd, pass the smelling salts ...
    Margaret P

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    1. I do agree, although at least Thanksgiving has a purpose, and surely it is a good thing to come together and be thankful, just once a year.

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    2. Yes, I was getting over-excited (such as Bruno on Strictly, using words for which Tess had to apologise!) Thanksgiving is indeed a joyous celebration, but what I meant was it's American ... we have our own festivals, have we not? A pity we've adopted the awful Trick or Treat.
      Margaret P

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  5. I can't bear Hallowe'en either or the load of tat that fills the shops at this time. Fortunately, when my children were young, it wasn't such a big deal as it sadly has become today.
    Oh yes, it really has been the most glorious Autumn.

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  6. I am supporting the All Blacks for the same reasons as you - I’ve got my knitting a the ready.

    Go Dan!

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    1. He was pretty awesome wasn't he?

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    2. He certainly didn’t disappoint - and the haka was great. A fabulous final.

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  7. And it was an especially good haka. Quite emotional as it's more than likely Richie and Dan's last haka. After a succession of sweet little trick or treaters last year I bought in about a kilo of candy this year and decorated the front hall and only three callers knocked on my door this year. So I am stuck with some very ugly marshmallows wrapped as bleeding eyeballs :(

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    1. Yes, very stirring, always sends shivers down my spine -all that testosterone! Are you up very early?

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  8. As a Canadian, I have no option but to do Halloween. But it has been completely wrecked by the commercial forces who've taken it over. It was done properly when I was a child, but that was 40-50 years ago. (Cue curmudgeonly grumbling.)

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  9. The only thing I like about Halloween is all the scary films they put on the television :-)

    Luckily we live on a hillside with not many other houses, so there simply aren't any children that can come a knocking ..... if they did I'd have to give them a jar of homemade jam ;-)

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  10. Sue, I think that I will have to stand up a bit for the fun that can be had on Halloween. Dressing up in costumes, either simple or elaborate, having access to more than the usual amount of candy, carving faces on pumpkins...I loved all that stuff as a child. I don't think that I've quite grown out of that notion all these years later.

    I've got some neighborhood Halloween decoration photographs over at my site. Later this afternoon, there will be a street party. Later still, there will be a crazy Halloween Parade downtown in Greenwich Village, which anyone in costume can join.

    And on the sports page, one of our NYC baseball teams, the Mets, are playing in the so-called World Series. Game Four is tonight. And...tomorrow the New York City Marathon will be run through all five city boroughs.

    As always, I loved your post. The coconut cherry cake variation has got me intrigued.

    xo

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    1. Anonymous7:58 pm GMT

      I am reminded that 3 years ago we were in New York for half term. We loved all the doorstep decorations but unfortunately the parade and marathon were cancelled due to the hurricane.. We had a different holiday to the one we were expecting but we had a wonderful and interesting time. Glad to hear it's all happening this year, would love to go back one year and see what we missed! Sarah

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    2. I made a rather mice baked pumpkin cheesecake. Two actually. It was a Thomasina Miers recipe in Saturdays Guardian
      Leanne x

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    3. Sorry. No idea how my comment ended up here...

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    4. Wherever you like Leanne :)

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  11. Good call on the All Blacks, I was rooting for them too. The amount of plastic rubbish produced for every high day and holiday drives me nuts. All that pollution in producing it, then it's almost straight to landfill. One of my bugbears. CJ xx

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  12. October has indeed been glorious. I dislike Halloween. I just don't get it. My daughter is out trick or treating with friends but my boys aren't interested. I'm always glad to get it out of the way. Bah humbug.

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  13. Love the Haka, Sue.... And October....what a fab month! Let's hope November continues to be beautiful and Autumny (does that word exist?). Pati x

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  14. Totally agree with you about Halloween, it was such a relief when my kids grew up and weren't intersted anymore!

    Thanks so much for supporting the All Blacks in the final. Here in NZ we are so proud of our boys, the country is going off in one big party!

    Happy weekend to you Sue.

    Michelle

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  15. I've just found your blog via frugalinsuffolk. I noticed the title as I this morning I have been given a huge box of quince! and now I have to decide what to do with them. I think it will be the quince and pumpkin chutney. BTW, I LOVE the design of your blog - beautifully simple. I really like the font of your page titles.

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  16. Watched the rugby with a New Zealander friend - very tense at times. But what a match! Can't stand Halloween - fortunately, no-one comes here, but once had the house covered in egg and flour when we lived in a city. We were out but had left hall light on!

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  17. If I see the word pumpkin in a recipe I always substitute it for a squash - usually butternut but I like to buy the pretty ones like acorn and harlequin too at this time of year. Your blog is looking great Sue and I'm delighted to see regular posts from you popping up in my email. I always read even though I'm slack at commenting. :-) Off to have a nosey through your blog roll now. x

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  18. same. no halloween here either, but I got told off by my children for being a Scrooge. I tried explaining their literary reference was totally wrong and why do I bother paying for their education blah blah blah... but they were still cross. Whatever.

    And you were right the Kiwi won.

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  19. Yes, so glad hallowe'en is over. That cake looks delicious.

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