Friday, October 26, 2007
A Pumpkin/Apple Friday Five
It's Singing Owl's turn at the 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?
My sister and I trick-or-treated when we were children, until we turned 12 (local ordinances restricted the great candy hunt to children 12 and under). We carved pumpkins and roasted pumpkin seeds for a couple more years.
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?
My mother still gives out candy, I think. Ben is not fond of the holiday (a throwback from his Pentecostal raising, maybe), so although I have no problem giving candy or little treats (Wendy's Frosty gift certs are my favorite), we don't do anything at my house. We close it up and go to the movies if we're not working. My niece, Jamie the Exceptional, will be dressed up as a chicken...she's so cute!
2. Candy apples: Do you prefer red cinnamon or caramel covered? Or something else?
Don't care for either one. Ben loves caramel, especially the ones we got at the Wythe-Will candy store in Williamsburg. They don't dip them in caramel; they sort of smooth it on in multiple layers with a spoon. I think the last one must have had 1/2 inch of caramel on it. Chocolate for me...We used to have a neighbor that gave out full-size $100,000 bars, and we loved them. (Now they are 100 Grand bars).
3. Pumpkins: Do you make Jack O’ Lanterns? Any ideas of what else to do with them?
At a church bazaar several years ago, I bought a set of wooden cutouts & metal stakes...when assembled with a good-sized pumpkin, it becomes turkey. Unfortunately, I've lost them. I'm fond of just a couple of pumpkins sitting on a bale of hay or pine straw in the yard as decorations.
4. Do you decorate your home for fall or Halloween? If so, what do you do? Bonus points for pictures.
Not since I lost the turkey stakes in #3, unless it's the aforementioned hay bale display.
5. Do you like pretending to be something different? Does a costume bring our an alternate personality?
I have all the personality I can stand right now...I'm not much on costumes. Don't mind seeing other folks dress up, but it's not for me.
Bonus: Share your favorite recipe for an autumn food, particularly apple or pumpkin ones.
Mmm...I have a great pumpkin cheesecake recipe, with sour cream topping and a seasoned graham cracker crust...I'll have to find it and post it.
Finally, here it is:
Pumpkin Cheese Pie (no, really, it's cheesecake)
2 8oz packages of cream cheese, softened
1 1/2 cups sugar
4 large eggs
2 tablespoons flour
1 16oz can pumpkin
2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
1 teaspoon vanilla
graham cracker crust to fit 10" springform pan
1 1/2 cups sour cream
4 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla or maple flavoring
Preheat oven to 325 degrees. For filling, beat cream cheese, 1 1/2 cups sugar, eggs, and flour until very creamy. Stir in pumpkin, pie spice, and vanilla. Mix until smooth and pour into well-greased, crust-lined springform pan. Bake for 1 1/2 hours or until a knife inserted into the center comes out clean.
For sour cream topping (a must, and you will want to lick the bowl. Go ahead. I do.):
Mix sour cream, 4 tablespoons sugar, and flavoring and pour over cheese pie while pie is still hot. Chill for at least 4 hours before serving.