Monday, October 28, 2013

Celebrating Halloween - A way to join in the fun of the season!

It is great fun to carve some pumpkins and decorate your home to feel a part of the community and festivities on Halloween night.  Carving pumpkins invites trick or treaters to come to your home.  It is a magical holiday suited for the change of seasons.

I carve my pumpkins with traditional designs from my childhood.  I clean the pumpkins and reserve the seeds to be slow roasted in a pan drizzled with extra virgin olive oil and sea salt. (See recipe below.)  They are our favorite Halloween snack, along with a good glass of Italian red wine, lentil soup, and copious amounts of KitKats.

The tradition of carving pumpkins is an old American tradition but one that has its roots in ancient origins. It is widely believed that many Halloween traditions have evolved from an ancient Celtic festival. This festival is said to have been a celebration of the end of the harvest, and a time of preparation for the coming winter.

So on Halloween night, remember to always answer the door for trick or treaters, have plenty of candy, and keep the pumpkins lit until the last trick or treater arrives!

Raw pumpkin seeds, from a jack-o’-lantern

Extra-virgin olive oil

Fine sea salt

Put the pumpkin seeds in a colander and rinse and use your hands to remove all the orange pulp form the seeds. The seeds will be very slippery.

Lightly coat a baking sheet with oil.  Spread the pumpkin seeds out on the baking sheet and toss to coat them with oil.  The seeds should not be floating in oil, just covered lightly.

Season the seeds generously with salt.

Bake for 2 to 3 hours, until golden brown, turning them occasionally so that they brown evenly.  The seeds should roast very slowly. Remove from the oven and taste for salt. If needed, add another sprinkling of sea salt. Let cool completely, then store in an airtight container.

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