Getting spooky all up in here

Happy almost hallowe’en! All hallows’ eve eve, I suppose it is. We carved our pumpkins this morning; as is tradition, each child got to pick exactly the design they wanted for their jack o’lantern. Perpetua chose a spooky cat:

Her stated goal is to, I quote, “spook the whole neighbourhood to bits!” Chase your dreams, girl. Chase them to bits.

This year Anselm also eschewed a traditional face design, in favour of…

… a milk jug. Why? I don’t know. To scare Americans and western Canadians with the concept of bagged milk? Because kids have bizarro-brains? Beats me. I asked Tertia for her input, but she only blew a raspberry.

Today I roasted chestnuts for the first time! Our grocery store had a big bin and so I thought, well, why not? This was also the first time I’ve tasted chestnuts, and what a delightful thing it is to still be running into novel flavours in one’s mid-thirties. I like them, but I’m not entirely sure what to make of them. They’re sweet, with an aftertaste somewhere between banana and butterscotch, but they’re also rather meaty. It’s a peculiar combination. 

Also on today’s roasting agenda: all those wonderful pumpkin seeds. Perpetua helped me sort the seeds from the goop, and after rinsing them off I added a new-to-me step: simmering them for 10 minutes or so in salted water. Supposedly it makes them roast more evenly; we’ll see how it goes. Right now they are waiting for the oven to preheat.

It’s well and truly fall in our city — the leaves are falling and the overnight temperatures are starting to dip below freezing. We’re stocked up on aniseed for the pan de muerto I’ll make on Sunday, and hot cocoa for when the kids come in from outside. It’s a glorious time of year.