Monday, November 2, 2009

The Holiday Season Begins

I'd never really thought of Halloween as the beginning of the holiday season, but I think that may be because, as an adult I'd never really taken in part in any of the traditions, apart from dressing up. This year was different.

Clearly I'm food motivated, because as soon as food rituals are wrapped into a holiday it comes alive for me. This year Kate and I prepared a pumpkin for the first time. Long story, but sufficed to say we had a mid-size specimen growing in the front yard of the Stevenson Ln. house. The weeds had gotten a bit out of control. I brought it home, unsure it would come to any use, but hopeful. Last night I gutted it, baked it, and stripped the flesh from the skin in preparation for home-made pumpkin bread. I also prepped and baked the seeds, boiling them first with salt and Herbs du Provence and then baking them with more salt, cinnamon, curry and a little onion powder. Delicious.

So now Halloween is much more firmly tied to the other Autumn celebrations for me, and feels like a friendly distant cousin to Thanksgiving. Given that it seems to tie up summer nicely and drop us with fresh eyes into fall, I think Halloween isn't a stand-alone holiday, but the start of the season. The first stop on a procession of holidays, each with its own charms, tying out the year with New Years.

Who knew I was such a sucker for pumpkin?

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