Wednesday, November 4, 2009

No, This is not (Completely) a Halloween Post

Blimey, you have no idea how long it took to plough through all these pumpkins.

Pumpkin soup, pumpkin pie, pumpkin chutney, I even resorted to pumpkin cheesecake! Sadly, the brood threatened mutiny over the pumpkin smoothies, but hey-ho, you can't blame a gal for trying.

We finally bid the last three goodbye by carving them into lanterns, and ate out to celebrate.

Yeah, I know Halloween was ages ago now, but bear with me, I'll move on swiftly enough.

Actually, Halloween proves a trifle problematic these-days. The two eldest have long outgrown trick or treating, but they are never short of a party to find, (cue the taxi-driver cap) but naturally, they never attend the SAME party together, oh dear me no, that would make life far too easy, wouldn't it? As for little Abby, she is still keen to uphold the extortion fine tradition of "Hop tu naa", but only if it involves going door-to-door with a bunch of friends in tow, and doesn't include Sam.

Actually, I can't say as I blame her - Sam's height is only exceeded by his enthusiasm, and most folk get leery of six foot plus, highly excitable 16yr old strangers hammering their doors down at night. So I usually manage to find some hapless parent to escort Abby and her group around, freeing me up to stay home with him. He happily decorates the house, lurks behind the door clutching his bowl of sweeties, and waits excitedly for the bell to ring. It never does, mind (the drive-way is much too long) but it doesn't dampen his spirits any. By the time we take the lanterns in, he's usually on such a sugar high on the un-claimed candy, it would come as little surprise should he actually spot the Wicked Witch of the West herself, turning loop-the-loops in the sky.

This year he wanted to bake cakes for the occasion. As you know, we've had family staying, and as it was half-term, my young niece, nephew, and great-nephew were equally as keen to get in on the act. Big sis' and little sis' (aka "The Tree-hugger's") had booked themselves into a meditation and healing group for the afternoon, so it seemed an auspicious enough time for the little ones (plus Sam) to get cracking in the kitchen.

It wasn't until big sis' was half-way out the door before she tossed out over her shoulder, "Don't put any milk or butter in Chris's cakes, will you?"


How the hell do you make cakes without those two vital ingredients?

And then came the punch-line, "Same for the frosting - oh, and remember NO chocolate, either!"

(I warned you she can drive me nuts, didn't I?)

Poor Chris, it must be rotten having a nutritional allergy therapist for a granny.

Sooooooo, I abandoned the double chocolate gateaux in favour of several batches of fairy-cakes instead - one of which looked very dodgy minus all the dairy - it looked even less appetising still with the watery sugar icing the poor lad had to top them with.

T'was nothing short of child abuse!

Still, he doesn't look too fazed I guess. He's the one with the glasses. Sweet Sam? Not being daft, he excused himself from the photo (he hates the flash going off in his eyes).


Jay said...

Hahaha! Yes, it is difficult baking without milk, isn't it? We did it when Son No. 1 was very young, trying to keep him off cow's milk for as long as possible. We found some reasonably acceptable alternative margarines, but of course, that doesn't help you if your sis makes That Request on her way out of the door. LOL!

Glad to hear Sam enjoyed himself, even if he did have to eat all the candy himself. ;)

Leslie: said...

We didn't have a lot of kids this year, but they were VERY well-costumed! Parents got into the act this year, too, as they lingered along the road watching and waiting for their little ones to run back after doing their "Trick or Treat" at the doors. One Dad was dressed as a hippy, complete with long blonde wig and a mock electric guitar, one was the Grim Reaper, and there was a Mom dressed as a blinking robot and another as a pumpkin. So although there weren't too many kiddies, we enjoyed the evening. The best part was eating up the leftovers. *burp*

PRH....... said...

boo! :)

No Halloween Treats for me Shrinky...I even got "tricked" on our annual fishing trip north...back to the drawing board.

Anonymous said...

I could eat pumpkin treats all month. Did you bake the seeds too?

"Hop tu naa" Huh? What's that mean?

It was mild enough for me to sit outside on the porch steps handing out candy to over 200 gremlins, ghosts and witches. One piece each because we get sooo many... but if I know the kid I'm more generous.

Sandi McBride said...

Not one lousy trick or treater! Bought candy, sigh....I use Silk soy milk in baking a good bit...and would die without Splenda...all in all my baking is pretty bland and

simon said...


Shrinky said...

Chewy, hop tu naa is the Manx equivalent of your Halloween Have a read, it's quite fascinating!

Jay, yes precisely! Had I had a wee bit of warning first, I could have prepared (I wasn't about to march five children and myself to the supermarket at this late in the game). Two of mine could only tolerate soy milk as babies, so I know exactly where you are coming from. They have largely outgrown that now, thankfully.

Oooh, what fun Leslie, you guys do sure know how to get into the spirit of things!

Oh Pat (smile), I must come over and find out more..

Sandi, when the children were younger I HAD to use soy milk and avoid dairy at all costs, I also was encouraged to keep Sam on a strict gluten and wheat free regime. Life was HELL!! I truly believe I was headed for a breakdown. I finally threw the towel in and gave up - guess what? The kids have never been healthier since!

Hey simon, how's it going?

Suldog said...

Sounds like a horror having to watch what you eat so carefully. I have a good friend who has a son who can't eat corn or any corn products. Well, what with every other thing on the shelves containing corn syrup these days... nightmare trying to shop and not kill her son!

TechnoBabe said...

You had family and fun over the Halloween holiday. The pictures look like you all had a good time. I don't know if we could eat so many pumpkins but I would make pumpkin bread and freeze them to give the neighbors over Christmas holidays.

Shrinky said...

Ooooooooh TechnoBabe, bread!! I never thought of that one!

Suldog, I can't imagine how parents cope with potential fatal allergies that are brought on by nuts, wasp stings and the like, it must be an absolute nightmare. I do think my sis tends to be a little hyper-vigilante tho'. One year she took it upon herself to test my four kids (unbeknown to me) and gave them all a sheet of everything they were "allergic" to. It included watercress, mushrooms, milk, tomatoes and lord knows what else. It took me months to get them to eat anything after that!! (When she tested me, she told me I was highly sensistive to alcohol - sheesh! Blasphemy that was..)

Akelamalu said...

You could've just give Chris a pumpkin in stead of a cake! LOL

Sniffles and Smiles said...

Oh are the consummate baker!!! Wow!!! I'm floored, amazed, and in total awe!!!! And so very sympathetic to Chris!!! Really delightful, and inspiring post, Carol...especially for me...I am trouble in the kitchen...while you were baking delicious sweets...I simultaneously caught my favorite sweatshirt on fire by leaning too closely over my pot of potato cheese soup which was simmering on the gas burner... fortunately, disaster was averted by the handy kitchen faucet...LOL...I don't think I shall ever achieve your finesse and acumen in the kitchen!! You are truly a gourmet!!! Love you! Janine XO

BRUNO said...

Don't tempt me to pull-out the "Scrambled-Egg Recipe From 1969", again!

Not sure about preservatives, but it had one-too-many "added-ingredients", for sure...!

SJ said...

Saw my share of pumpkins here and costumes. Definitely a big deal here in the US.

Nice brood!

Debbie said...

That is a tough task to bike without those ingredients! Impressive.

Sniffles and Smiles said...

Hi, dear Carol! Just stopping by to see what you've been up to!!! Hope you are having a terrific time of it! Love to you! Janine XO

Shrinky said...

Akelamalu, I think he was all pumpkin'd out by that time.. wink.

Oh Janine, I am no gourmet, believe me, something my family can easily attest to, I've had more than my share of culinary disasters, I promise you. I am the eteral optimist though, and have booked myself into a cookery school for a few sessions in the New Year - watch this space. That must have given you quite a scare to discover yourself alight! But I'll bet the soup was delicious, it certainly sounds so.

Oh my God, Bruno, it's all coming back to me now - eeeek! (Making the sign of the cross) Puleez don't drag that image back again, I promise never to mention baking again!

Cheers SJ, yeah, it's not QUITE so big a thing over here, but it's big enough for my tastes.

Hi Debbie, great to see you back again - well, it's not that you can't - it was the assumption I would leg it over at no notice to the supermarket with five kids in tow to pick up substitute ingredients that made me hot under collar. All came out well in the end - smile.

Hi Janine, um, well I did have a visit to the A&E dept a couple of days ago as it happened, but turns out it nothing serious, just enough for me to demand pampering for a couple of days (grin), and hugs back again to you, my dear friend.