We had a weekend filled with Halloween celebrations and traditions. The week started out with a visit to the pumpkin patch The farm that we traditionally visit is about an hour away and it is well worth the drive. It is a huge farm with old fashion fun and games; a huge corn maze, tomato shooting, hay rides, shaved ice, and acres of pumpkins to choose from. Eli is 12 and he still looks forward to our yearly tradition of spending an afternoon simply having fun.
When Eli was very young, my mom started a tradition of carving pumpkins with the kids. We try to do carve as close to Halloween as possible. If we do it too far in advance, the bugs take over and it is not such a pretty site. It’s our job to get the pumpkins but it is mom’s job to purchase the kits. She and the kids mull over the pages in the book and decide which pattern to recreate. In the past, our pumpkins could have won prizes. This year…not the case. They actually sucked. They were so bad, they were funny. The kids didn’t have the patience this year and I think mom was simply tired. None the less, we still set them out on the porch, lit a candle and enjoyed the light!
The day of Halloween was filled with anticipation, parties and dressing up. Isaac went to his friend Gaby’s for a pre-dinner extravaganza. His friend’s costumes were amazing and it turned out to be a great group of adults. We both thoroughly enjoyed!
After that, Eli was off to his friend, Jamie’s. Jamie and her dad create this amazing haunted house. My friend Joanne had commented that “Halloween had thrown up on their lawn”. However, I totally disagreed. It was fabulous. I was a tad jealous (unfortunately, I did not get a photo). It was the grave yard of all grave yards and it was super festive. I loved it. Eli ended up going trick or treating with all his “gal pals”. When he came home he was happy, happy, happy. And then his molar tooth fell out. I decided to peek through his candy bag. I saw all the OPEN WRAPPERS! He easily could have eaten a pound of candy! No wonder, his tooth fell out!
In the past years, we have always entertained the neighborhood. Some years I would make huge vats of chili with all the fix ins, other years it would be pulled turkey sandwiches, and then there were those years of baked ziti and lasagna. Whatever worked for a crowd, I did it. Yet, this year, since the kids were going to be spread out a bit on Halloween night, I choose to create something quiet, that we adults could eat at our leisure. I made a pot of pumpkin soup (usually ends up on our Thanksgiving table), a huge salad, a hunk of bread and and apple cake (post to follow). I love this soup. It isn’t heavy, it could be vegan (replace the butter with coconut oil) and it is hearty. I have been making this soup for over 20 years and to this day, I still look forward to eating it.
Puree of Pumpkin Soup
4 Tbls. unsalted butter or coconut oil
1 large onion, diced
1 medium leek, white part only, chopped
1 pound canned pumpkin puree
4 cups homemade veggie stock
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. curry powder
1/2 tsp. cumin
1/4 tsp. white pepper
1/4 tsp. ground ginger
1 bay leaf
• in a large stock pot, melt the butter. saute onion and leeks until soft. stir occasionally to avoid burning.
• stir in pumpkin puree, stock, all the spices, and the bay leaf. bring to a boil.
• lower the heat and simmer, uncovered for 15 minutes.
• remove the bay leaf and puree the mixture in batches in a blender.
*if you desire a creamer soup, add some half and half after it is pureed and cook for a few minutes over low heat.
*yield: 1 1/2 quarts