Tag Archives: Halloween

I ran out of time…

I believe I may be very cute indeed

I had such a lovely post lined up for you today but the day ran away with my.  I spent all morning working on … well working on something, then I spent an hour doing paperwork, followed by lunch (Boy the Elder is still on half term) then some work on the post.  Except that I have just taken delivery of a new vacuum cleaner which needed building, which BTE did with great skill, so I had to try it out as I haven’t been able to vacuum for two weeks. In the middle of that I got a ‘phone call from a friend who was trying to organise a meeting point for the children to do some Halloween stuff, except that Boy the Younger had Cubs first and I had to sort out some stuff for him so he could get his IT badge and then I remembered that I needed another pumpkin to make a big pot of soup for us all.  But the pumpkins were all gorn so I had to use a butternut squash which took twice as long because Boy the Elder wanted it to make another lantern. I was going to write the article when BTY got home from school and then, while he was at cubs, make the soup.  Except that Cubs was cancelled at the last minute so we had to re-arrange the entertainment and abandon the article in favour of the soup.  By the time we got back it was time for ‘Doc Martin’ and now I have a splitting headache and I’m afraid I shall have to retire to my bed.


However, if you click on the link above, you will find three recipes for pumpkin as you’re bound to have some left or be able to pick up some post-Halloween bargains.


Filed under Children, Food, Leftovers, Life in general, Recipes, Seasonal

Pumpkin Reminder

Anyone who is planning to go Trick or Treating tonight, and is carving out pumpkins, click on the link to last year’s post to get three delicious recipes using pumpkin.

And don’t throw eggs at anyone.



Filed under Food, Recipes, Seasonal

A pumpkin is for life not just for Halloween

Pumpkin 30.10.09


I have been really distressed to see signs in most of the supermarkets advertising “Carving Pumpkins for Halloween”.  Apparently, around 90% of the pumpkins sold in the UK never see a knife and fork or a knob of butter.  This profligate waste of food makes me rage, so don’t do it.  Carve grotesque and wonderful pumpkin lanterns by all means, but eat the fruit as well.  What’s more, I can guide you through a three-course pumpkin dinner!  Scoop out all the flesh and chop  roughly for all of these.

May I be permitted to say a few words about Halloween?  This is the old festival of Samhain (pronounced Sow-in by the way); the time when the spirit world is closest to the living world, when the nights are dark and we have time to sit and contemplate, to think about our lives.  It is also a time to feast and frolic and have a good ghost story by the fire.  May I recommend that you have a look at the story on Hooting Yard which gives advice on what to do When Ghouls Attack. 

I state now, in a firm steady voice, that I heartily disapprove of Trick or Treating.  Sending children out in the dark knocking on people’s doors and demanding money or food with menaces, or worse, some feeble child standing silently in a rubbish costume with their sticky hand out, is not entertaining and should be discouraged.  It’s not an English tradition, it’s just another example of English children aping the customs of American children without the slightest idea why they’re doing it.   Stay indoors, dress up, play games and tricks together, scare the crap out of them with a good ghost story and share a feast.  And make sure you do it by candlelight.

Pumpkin Soup

1 x large saucepan
1 x stick blender
1 x grater

2 lb pumpkin.
2 oz of butter
1 medium onion – finely chopped
2 cloves of garlic – finely chopped (to discourage vampyres)
1 pint of chicken stock.
½ tsp turmeric
1 tspn parsley
¼ pint double cream
1 tablespoon of grated cheese.

Melt the butter in the pan and add the onion and garlic.  Cook until translucent.
Add the pumpkin and garlic and sweat for a couple of minutes
Add the parsley and turmeric and toss around enthusiastically
Add the chicken stock
Cover and simmer for about twenty minutes until the pumpkin is soft
Puree with the blender
Add the cream
Serve sprinkled with grated cheese

Pumpkin Risotto

Do exactly what you did for Italian Risotto (click on this link to previous blog) except use pumpkin instead of chicken.

Norfolk Million Pie

This pie is an old Norfolk recipe which was taken to America by the Pilgrim Fathers.  ‘Million’ is the word for any member of the squash family.

1 x 10″ flan dish
1 x medium saucepan
1 x stick blender
1 x large mixing bowl
1 x rolling pin
1 x jar of baking beans
greaseproof paper

1 packet of shortcrust pastry
1 lb / 480g pumpkin
6oz  / 180g dark brown sugar
3 eggs – beaten
2oz / 60g raisins
1 good pinch of nutmeg
2 tablespoons of apricot jam
Plain flour for rolling out

Pre-heat the oven to 200 / 400 / 6
Grease and flour the flan dish, roll out the pastry and line the dish
But out a circle of greaseproof paper to fit the dish and place on top of the pastry
Cover the greaseproof paper with baking beans and bake for about 15 minutes
Remove the beans and greaseproof paper and leave to cool
Turn the oven down to 180 / 350 / 4
Put the pumpkin into the saucepan with a couple of tablespoons of water.
Bring to the boil then simmer gently with the lid on until the pumpkin is really soft.
Transfer to a bowl, draining off any excess water and puree with the stick blender
Add the eggs, sugar, raisins and nutmeg and mix together well.  It will be quite runny.
Spread the apricot jam onto the cooked pastry case then pour on the pumpkin mixture.
Roll out the remaining pastry and cut into strips to make a lattice on the top.
Bake in the oven for about 30 minutes, it may take longer, but the top should be a rich brown and the pastry golden.
Serve with cream

Pumpkin Seeds

Pumpkin seeds are highly nutritious and should not be wasted either.  Wash all the stringy flesh off them and put in a bowl.  Warm a tablespoon of honey in a bowl and swish the seeds round in it.  Lay them out on a baking tray and bake on a low heat 140 / 275 / 1 for about an hour.  They should have browned a little.  Leave them to cool. They make great snacks or can be used  in lots of ways eg bread, meusli or flapjacks.

Halloween Cake 31.10.09

A Halloween Cake I made for a party


Filed under Children, Ethics, Family and Friends, Food, Indoor Activities, Recipes, Seasonal