We were on holiday this year for Halloween so it felt a bit different to usual. We bought a pumpkin and were very thrifty with it. The seeds were scooped out and toasted. The flesh was made into pumpkin soup, served with the toasted seeds, (recipes below). And I’m not very good at carving, so the pumpkin was made into a simple jack o lantern.
The children haven’t been trick or treating yet, as this is the first year that son2 has really been old enough. But I didn’t think this was the time to commence, with us being in a city where we knew nobody. And particularly with son1’s blood counts being very low, I would prefer him indoors in the warm, as a chill could lead to an infection which could lead to another hospital stay.
We put the pumpkin outside the front door, but I warned the children that we might not get any trick or treaters calling, as we were staying in a gated mews of only 6 properties and I hadn’t seen any sign of other kids. And I didn’t think it particularly likely that anyone would come from off the street as a closed gate is rather off-putting. The kids dressed up and we had taken one of the Halloween window decorations that I reviewed earlier this month with us, so I hung that up at the window. I was glad that I had kept their expectations low, as we didn’t get any callers.
The boys were a little disappointed, but they got to enjoy lots of sweets that we had ready in our treats bowl.
Here are my recipes. Rather rough and ready, as I didn’t have anything to measure the ingredients with, so all done by guesswork. Also no blender. But a very tasty result. And I would usually use olive oil rather than butter, but didn’t have any.
Ingredients (serves 2 adults and 2 children)
flesh of 1 small pumpkin
1 medium potato
1 medium onion
approx 3/4 litre vegetable stock
salt and pepper
1 knob of butter
75ml single cream
Deseed the pumpkin and reserve the seeds.
Chop the pumpkin flesh into small pieces.
Peel and chop the potato and onion.
Heat the butter in a large pan.
Add the onion and soften.
Add the stock, potato and pumpkin.
Bring to the boil, then simmer until soft enough to mash.
Season with salt and pepper.
Mash (in the absence of a blender).
Add the cream and heat through.
Serve with an additional swirl of cream and some toasted pumpkin seeds.
Scoop out the pumpkin seeds.
Wash through a sieve.
Bring a pan of water to the boil.
Add seeds and simmer for 10-15 minutes.
Meanwhile heat oven to 200 deg C.
Put knob of butter in roasting tray.
Heat in oven for couple of minutes.
Spread seeds in tray, coating in melted butter.
Toast for 5-10 minutes until starting to go brown and crunchy.
Serve whole. (Some people prefer to remove husk at this stage but it is edible).