Sunday, November 01, 2009

Halloween in England

On Friday (the 30th), we made a German chocolate cake from the Joy of Cooking recipe; it takes a lot of bowls/measuring implements/mixing utensils, but dang! it's tasty. For the two of us, I've found that the cake recipes in that book are just too big, both for our baking tins and our appetites, so I generally make 3/4 of a recipe. I had a tub of frosting in my cupboard from our last visit to the US--they don't sell it here. Cake mixes too are not common here, but who doesn't prefer a home-made cake anyhow? It's the lightest, fluffiest, chocolatiest cake ever. Two days later we still have half a cake left.

It's difficult to get big pumpkins here (the weather doesn't really support pumpkin growth), so when Partner decided to bring home one for carving, it was the "medium" size--about the size of a volleyball. We carved our jack-o'lantern while waiting for our cake to bake. I think it's been about ten years since I last carved one. We gave him fangs, a unibrow, and a leer.

It's not such a big holiday here, though I believe Halloween originated in the Celtic tradition. But all the modern celebrations are new to this country I think. Still, kids do dress up, and go trick or treating. I had to work Halloween (not really a big deal now that I'm an adult, to tell the truth) but Partner swears we had more than five kids show up this year. We live in a cul-de-sac, and not a lot of kids live on our very short street, so we haven't had many trick or treaters since I've lived here. That could also be due to the way Partner puts on a scary mask and leaps out at the children when they knock on the door. He says he scared one kid so badly she wouldn't take candy from him even with the mask off.

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