My garden was full of these beautiful colours this morning. The day has flown by and now Halloween is nearly over for another year. It started earlier here than I was expecting when a small group of little witches and vampires arrived at my door last night. Poor things looked very disappointed with bags of yoghurt covered fruit pieces. How were they to know I’m a last minute Halloween shopper. As I write the stream of trick or treaters has trickled away to nothing, all fast asleep in bed by now, dreaming of their hidden treasures.
I have lots of happy memories of Halloween probably because I don’t scare myself out of my skin with films and books, unlike My Little Darling who can’t resist a good horror film. My memories are of Halloween parties, yes, they did involve apple bobbing, and toffee apples and fancy dress competitions. When I was about 5 I won the competition, dressed in a home-made sari, which my Mum managed to put together courtesy of step by step instructions on Blue Peter. The following year Halloween was very different. We’d moved abroad and were living in a big American community who introduced us the joys of trick or treating and pumpkin pie. My mother, a feisty Scot insisted on her Scottish traditions too. So any trick or treaters who came to our door had to perform something – a poem or a song – before they received any treats. Mum claimed that this was the tradition in Scotland. Whether it is or not I still don’t know. All the ghosts and goblins, young and not so young performed their ‘party pieces’ with looks of disbelief on their faces before they got their treats. I watched in embarrassment knowing that I would have to face them all at school the next day.
Every time I opened the door tonight I could feel my mum with me, telling me I should be getting them to do their party pieces first. Somehow it seems right that her spirit should be with me tonight. After all, our Halloween has its roots in Samhain, when people believed that the souls of our ancestors revisited their homes.
Quick supper tonight using store cupboard ingredients to make the most of some reduced salmon I picked up yesterday.
Quick Salmon Pasta
2 Salmon fillets
1 vegetable stock cube
Knob of butter or oil
- Cook pasta.
- Heat butter/oil in pan and sauté onion.
- Add stock and lemon juice, boil to reduce.
- Add salmon.
- Stir in cream.
- Stir in cooked pasta.
- Sprinkle with Parmesan to serve.