This is the perfect time of the year to be cooking with pumpkins - most of the unsold ones left over from Halloween should be available cheap in the shops.
- Pumpkin Mash
Very simple to make - 2 medium potatoes, peeled and diced. A quarter of a small pumpkin, peel, remove the seeds and dice the flesh. Boil the potato and pumpkin in salted water until soft, then mash together.
- Roasted Pumpkin Seeds
Scoop the seeds out of the pumpkin, wash and dry them. Toss them in oil with salt, paprika and a little chilli. Spread onto a tray and bake in the oven (gas mark 6 for around half an hour). Leave to cool then eat.
- Roasted Pumpkin
Diced pumpkin can be added to roast vegetables to add variety of texture and flavour.
Add pumpkin to a vegetable soup.
We are off to a hamster show on sunday so we decided to have our Firework Party a couple of days early, on friday instead. Last year we left the firework buying til last minute and I think we had to go to about 4 supermarkets before we found one which still had some in stock.
We had invited some of Emma's friends from Uni and when we opened the door to let one in, a cat ran in. It was the one from down the road which is often lurking outside in the mornings and tries to slow me down on the way to work. There were other people in the area letting off fireworks and she obviously didn't want to be outside with all the noise.
She ran upstairs and hid under the bed but soon came downstairs and would wander back and forth between the front room and the kitchen. Later arrivals thought she was our cat. She looked hungry so we gave her some of the cat biscuits we get for the hamsters.
We had bought two boxes of fireworks so we let off one box first before retreating back into the house for a drink of hot spiced cider. This was inspired by the hot cider sold at various festivals, and is made along similar lines to a mulled wine, with coriander, nutmeg, cinnamon and ginger simmered to give extra flavour. Later on after more guests arrived we let off the second box.
First time around, the catherine wheels didn't stay attached to the fence and one fell onto the path, setting fire to some dried leaves. Second time, we hammered them into the fence with a bit more force. They didn't spin round very well and we ended up with melted lump of plastic on the end of the nail.
At the end of the night, the cat wouldn't leave and she ended up sleeping at the end of our bed. We were woken up in the early hours of the morning by her walking about on the bed trying to attract our attention. I got up and followed her downstairs - she was telling us that she wanted to go outside. At least we know she is well housetrained. We haven't found any 'presents' left behind any of the furniture. At least not yet.