Monday, October 27, 2008

All Hallow's Eve

My favorite time of year is upon us.

A time for ghost stories, Poe, fallen leaves, hot cider and soup.

A time for snuggling up beneath the covers and watching a not too scary movie.

I spent my early formative years living next door to an old, brick two-story funeral home in a neighborhood of brick roads, lined with tall trees and autumn leaves, where every one carved jack-o-lantern's on Halloween.

It was a time when The Twilight Zone, The Addams Family, and The Munsters, were at the height of their popularity. And my mother spent afternoons watching Dark Shadows. Every one in our little town seemed to get into the spirit of halloween.

I remember one elderly women who even invited trick-or-treaters into her foyer for a cup of hot cider, which always warmed our hands and belly's before venturing back out into the brisk autumn air again.

And then there was the old man who worked the night shift at the local tire plant, naturally pale and gaunt, who donned fangs and a cape and stretched out on his sofa, arms bent across his chest, while his amiable wife invited trick-or-treaters into their living room to see Dracula sleeping soundly on their sofa.

My son, last Halloween.

So now you know the mixed-up childhood I had(!). And hopefully understand my demented love of all things autumn and Halloween. I even like Halloween so much that I had a baby born on that day.

We have a tradition of eating chili at our house on Halloween. Mostly because, with a birthday party and trick-or-treaters to get out the door, this was an easy meal to put in the crockpot and dish up in a hurry.

A while back I mentioned that I was going to be doing some practice pies in preparation for Thanksgiving. Well, here is a pumpkin pie that I baked tonight using a recipe from America's Test Kitchen. It was spicy without being too sweet and tasted much better than it looked. I still need a little more practice on the crust, however. Pie crusts are hard(!). 

Happy Halloween!


Proud Italian Cook said...

What a handsome young man you have there! ;) I would say you don't need anymore practice, look at that crust! It looks so artsy!

Michelle said...

Proud Italian Cook,
That was funny. Yes, we are so proud of our handsome son. I used some little decorative pie cutters from Williams Sonoma to decorate the crust. So easy. And a very clever gadget to have on hand. They make even the most hideous crust look good.

Anonymous said...

I just tried to get the same cutters you have at Williams sonoma. But, they only have a package that comes with 4 leaf shapes. Where did you find the pumpkin and acorn shapes?

Michelle said...

Actually, I bought my cutters last year. It sounds like they've changed them a bit. It's a shame, I really liked these with the pumpkin and acorn and two leaves. You might want to try ebay.

Jean W said...

Hey - that's not soup -- it is a work of art. Was it as tasty as it was beautiful?

Michelle said...

Thank you. Actually, it tasted better than it looked.