Trick or treat


When I was quite small my family were early adopters of trick or treating. We had spent a couple of years on loan to the United States and learnt all about Halloween ‘traditions’.

I can not remember very much about these early tricks and treats, except the time that one of our young playmates was dressed as a ghost in a white sheet. Her sheet caught fire from the candle in her hollowed out swede (no pumpkins widely available in those days in rural England). It was a spectacular trick and probably earned us extra treats.

For young readers today I should explain that a hollowed out swede is a carved root vegetable, not an unfortunate Scandinavian. These have been superseded around here (perhaps not in other places) by orange pumpkins (swedes, not Scandinavians).

It has clearly been a good year for pumpkin growing locally. Prices have plummeted and some are being given away. This has probably triggered a glut of online searches for pumpkin recipes.

Actually pumpkin is one of the most disappointing foodstuffs in the world. No matter what you do with it, it turns out to taste like watery mush. The only reason people cook it is because they feel guilty to throw away so much vegetable bulk. All recipes for pumpkin actually contain many other things that have more flavour. If you try the recipes without adding pumpkin they will usually be better. In fact you could substitute almost any edible material for pumpkin and the dish will be much better… try apples, pears, bread, fish etc.

That’s not to say that I would turn down a slice of pumpkin pie if offered. Just so as you know.

Have a happy Halloween.

PS The same applies to marrows generally. Except that they don’t even make good lanterns.

2 Responses to “Trick or treat”

  1. 1 Sarah

    Up here the kids go ‘guising’. But they have to perform a joke, song or poem to get the sweets!

    Agree with your point on pumpkins though. Add to it the fact that your kitchen gets much messier carving a pumpkin than it ever did carving a turnip (what we call a swede up here!)

  2. 2 Becky Stafford

    My friend Iain educated me on the ways of guising last year. Until then I knew nothing of it, I must say my brother makes a lovely pumpkin soup which is just heavenly…not watery mush!

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