“This is so much better than trick or treating.”
“Yes!!!!” (punches sky)
What can I say? The sweetest music to my ears.
It’s true. The evening I planned worked out just right. Happy people. Don’t quote me, but I think they have finally forgiven me for ruling out their usual trick or treating trip around the village. This Halloween reminded me how much I love planning a party. How much I love finding an excuse to celebrate. How I love to delight others in the detail. Oh how I love to do that!
I was creating a moment of wonder. More challenging now they are no longer young children, but just as important to achieve.
I hadn’t told them about the theme. They knew there would be a movie. They’d spent weeks trying to trick the name of it out of me. Oh, so close, so many times, but amazingly, they never quite landed on Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find them.
I thought they might guess Harry Potter when they came home to find spiders exiting the house. No.
There is something grounding about tradition. Most of the year, we invest so much of our time and energy ensuring that the children grow and learn. Filling their bellies and minds to set them up for when they finally fledge. In between, there are family traditions acting like lynch pins that keeps us …as us. Rooted.
Pumpkin carving is one such tradition. Each year, we head over to my parents and pick up pumpkins. Even if we have grown our own, we still go and pick up more. One for each of the children. There is no logic to it. It is a tradition.
Each year, I persuade the youngest that he doesn’t need a pumpkin that is almost as big as him. Each year, he tries to persuade me that he does. It is all part of the tradition.
We pick up an extra pumpkin and the children carve it for their grandparents while we visit them. I suspect, after we leave, they move it to their doorstep. I like to think the milkman looks forward each year to seeing our contribution to the seasonal celebration. Giving him a spring in his step as he continues on with his deliveries. Adding to the tradition. Continue reading
This is only the second pumpkin pie I have made. Ever. The last one was so long ago, that it was only as I tried to carry the over-filled pastry case to the Aga, that the memory came flooding back.
Funny how something can bring it all back. This time it was the trail of spilt pie filling on the floor. Oh yes, then I remembered that next time I made it, I was going to add the filling once the pastry case was already in the oven. Might have avoided the burnt spilt effect around the edge.
So a quick note to future self (and anyone else that might want to make pumpkin pie in an Aga):
Recipe – for a simple, but tasty pumpkin pie, I used this one (instructions are for a conventional oven). For the pastry case, I used my usual sweet pastry recipe. Rolled out, put in a greased pie dish and left to rest in the fridge, while I prepared the rest.
Ingredients – I used a pumpkin that was for cooking not carving (£1.20 from Sainsburys), which I de-seeded and sliced up. Then roasted on the floor of the roasting oven. Took about 30 minutes. Easy to scoop the flesh out of the skin.
Preparation notes – Mash the pumpkin flesh with a potato masher to make it into puree. Squeeze as much liquid out of the puree as humanly possible. Next, I put all the pie filling ingredients in my Kitchen Aid bowl and mixed them thoroughly with the wire whisk.
Baking notes – I put the pie on the Continue reading