Thursday, October 25, 2007

It's a Pumpkin/Apple Friday Five

All Hallows Eve (Halloween) is near. As a child, Halloween was one of my favorite holidays. We didn’t yet worry about razor blades in apples or popcorn balls or some of the other concerns people have with Halloween these days. Halloween was a chance to be mildly scared, and better yet, to dress up and pretend to be something we really weren’t. Let’s talk about that a bit, but then let’s add in some food ideas for this year. Where I live the leaves are falling, the temperature is chilly and pumpkins are for sale everywhere, along with many kids of apples. What's more, the "Holiday Season" will soon be upon us. ACK! I could use a new idea for dessert. So, here we go…

1. How did you celebrate this time of year when you were a child?
I lived in Southern California, so it was usually resonably warm, which meant we did not have to wear heavy coats and our costumes were actually visible. We did the usual trick or treat canvassing of the neighborhood. We also used to have some great parties at my church. Alas, it was a simpler time, and we did things then we would never do now. Once my sister dressed up as the Hunchback of Notre Dame and was hidden from head to toe in a mask and costume. She did not speak, and I remember being greatly amused that not one of the many church folk present guessed who she was. Most thought it was a man.

2. Do you and/or your family “celebrate” Halloween? Why or why not? And if you do, has it changed from what you used to do?
When my kids were home we were a bit conflicted about this. Some years we did, and some we didn't. One year I was involved, in real life, with a battle against "darkness" and doing Halloween just seemed wrong. Partly it depended on where we lived at the time--we moved a lot. Our churchs always did have some sort of party, and we participated in that, if nothing else. I think dressing up in a costume is great fun. (Have you seen my posts and pictures of our historical reenacting, for instance?)

2. Candy apples: Do you prefer red cinnamon or caramel covered? Or something else?
Mmmmmm. Do I have to choose? I'll take one of each, please.

3. Pumpkins: Do you make Jack O’ Lanterns? Any ideas of what else to do with them?
Yes, we always did when the children were at home, and sometimes we still do. I have some pretty realistic looking electric fake Jack O' Lanterns that sometimes sit in the front window, but it is fun to carve real pumpkins too. And I know it's a fire hazard, but a candle inside still works best, IMO. As for pumpkins, I love them. I love the sight of them growing in the fields near here (photo below), love seeing them piled on wagons, love the shape, the color, the warmth. I am not a pumpkin pie fan, but I make some anyway, along with other stuff. I always cook and puree real pumpkin and forego the canned stuff. There is NO comparison. And my yard and house are decorated with them, both real and fake. Again, read on.


4. Do you decorate your home for fall or Halloween? If so, what do you do? Bonus points for pictures.
Yep. I have ceramic ones as well as the electric ones mentioned above. I have pumpkins in the yard...etc. etc.

5. Do you like pretending to be something different? Does a costume bring our an alternate personality?
Yep, yep, yep. I'm a ham at heart, so to be someone else is great fun.

Bonus: Share your favorite recipe for an autumn food, particularly apple or pumpkin ones.

I have many, but here is one that is a must-make each year.


PUMPKIN BARS

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

For Bars: 4 eggs, 2 cups pumpkin, 2 cups unsifted flour, 1 tsp. baking soda, 2 cups sugar, 3/4 cup melted butter, 2 tsp. baking powder, and 1/2 tsp. cinnamon

For Frosting: 3 oz package softened cream cheese, 6 tbls. softened butter, 1 tsp. vanilla extract, 1 tbls. light cream or half and half, and 3 cups unsifted powdered (confectioner's) sugar

Make a batter by mixing the eggs, pumpkin and sugar together. Sift dry ingredients together and add to batter. Pour into a greased 15 1/2 by 10 1/2 by 1 inch jelly roll pan. Bake for about 25 minutes. Cool in pan, and frost. Cut into small pieces--it is rich. These bars freeze well, so I usually make two batches and freeze one for later.

19 comments:

RevHRod said...

As I read your post I was suddenly tuned in to that smell of the candle burning the lid of the pumpkin. I love that smell!

Cathy said...

Tomorrow we go to the pumpkin patch, so I may come home with a picture like that.

Pumpkin bars sound delicious!

Wyldth1ng said...

Fun!
This is good one, thank you.

The Mollinator said...

I'm going to try your recipe this weekend! Thanks for the tip!

Jan said...

Thanks for the recipe! Thanks for the Friday 5/6, too!

leah sophia said...

i'm going to try your yummy recipe, too; and after being my sometimes observant self, i played both 2a and 2b. thanks for hosting this week!

Deb said...

That was fun! I had a 2 and a 2 1/2 when I counted. Why not? :)

And I still put candles in my pumpkins. It just has to be that way!

Deb

Sally said...

love this, great pics and a fun 5 to visit! Thanks

Jeni said...

When I was a kid, "Trick or treat" was a really fun event. We tried to find neat costumes out of what was available at home - old clothes, fabrics, etc., although one year my Mom did sew a costume for me for our school party -I was "Peter Pan." When we dressed and went out though, we only went to houses in our immediate neighborhood as the fun was to see if the people could identify us and how quickly. Today, kids are chauffeured around and go not house to house in the immediate neighborhood, but town to town often and you get people showing up who you have no idea at all who they are. The recipe sounds like one I used to have but it had a layer of orange marmelade on top of the cooled bars topped then with the cream cheese icing - really good and easy to make.

Presbyterian Gal said...

Great recipe and cool pictures. That pumpkin patch is awesome. This was a really good idea today. Thanks.

Diane said...

thanks for the recipe and pictures. You've got me all thinking about costumes now.

jill said...

Really, what other than real candles in the pumpkins?! It just has to be! The pumpkin bars look divine. Thanks for a great Friday 5-ish.

DogBlogger said...

Nice five! Thanks!

CoG said...

thanks for the pumpkin bar recipe. It looks yummy!

Counselor in Process said...

What a gorgeous sunset!

RevAnne said...

Yummy. I think I've made those pumpkin bars before.
Thannks for your play!

Kievas said...

We hardly ever follow recipes without modifying them, but we'll have to try the pumpkin bars.

zorra said...

I love that pumpkin patch picture! Fun!

Lorna said...

I've never seen a pumpkin patch. that is amazing :) thanks for sharing.