All-Hallow’s Eve is upon us, with youngsters emerging as ghosts and witches and whatever the latest fad in costuming is, while youngsters-at-heart gather as politicians, celebrities, and the latest fad in costuming as well.
Trick-or-treating is a multi-million dollar holiday here in the States, and, I imagine, dentists do pretty well in the aftermath of cavities in youngsters and replacing crowns in adults who have eagerly chewed a caramel apple.
I miss the days of our daughters’ trick-or-treating, and even my own. As a youngster of the 50’s, we wandered the neighborhood in large packs. Like hungry wolves, we would roam in masses from house to house and street to street, returning home only briefly to unburden our laden sacks of treats.
My mother would never allow me to brandish a knife for any reason, let alone for carving a pumpkin. In fact, I don’t remember us ever having a Jack-o-Lantern as children. My yia yia did, however, make Greek pumpkin fritters, one of the few things she made that I did not enjoy, though I would love to try making them someday myself, guessing it was the texture that I didn’t like.
We did let our own girls carve pumpkins when they were age-appropriate. Tom was usually the carver-in-chief. His artistic gifts and engineering skills often yielded the spookiest Jack-o-Lanterns in the neighborhood. The yearly carve would go on as I roasted the pumpkin seeds. Come Halloween, Sloppy Joes were always simmering on the stove for the girls to eat when they came in.
Yesterday, I made Jack-o-Lantern Tea Loaf, this time as muffins, and whose recipe can be found here. A pumpkin serves as a colorful backdrop upon a shelf. To put out pumpkins in our yard is a fruitless endeavor. They would be desert along with the walnuts and apples and anything green that is left to the wandering herd of deer and marauding squirrels. I think I’ll make a big pot of Sloppy Joes, though, and light the pumpkin scented candle. Somewhere, I’ve The Legend of Sleepy Hallow, and perhaps Midnight, the black cat who wanders about the neighborhood , will stop by for a cup of milk.