I love Halloween.
Not for the costumes or candy. Not for the thrill of the spooky or scary, the guts or the gore.
I love Halloween because I love the scent that hangs in the air on a late October evening. I love the opportunity to meet new neighbors and gather with friends in the cold and the dark.
I think it heightens my appreciation for the flickers of light, for the glimpses of glow.
As a child, of course, I went trick-or-treating.
In high school I did the reverse – baked treats with friends to dole out to the neighbors, door-to-door.
These days I look forward to being on the other side of the door. I crouch close to the entryway, candy in hand, anticipating a parade of cute costumes. But the doorbell seldom rings. We live on a street with heavy traffic and the families opt for the quieter neighboring streets.
Consequently, as an adult, I do not yet have a Halloween tradition.
2 T. Olive oil
1.5 c. diced onion
1.5 c. diced sweet red peppers
2 c. pumpkin purée
2.5 c. milk
2 t. chili powder
1/4 t. ground cumin
1/8 t. cayenne
salt and pepper to taste
minced sweet red peppers for garnish
1. In a large stock pot, heat oil and sauté onion and red peppers until limp (3-5 min.).
2. Add pumpkin purée and milk. Heat thoroughly.
3. Cool soup slightly, then blend until smooth.
4. Add spices, salt, and pepper.
5. Continue cooking over low heat for 15 minutes.
Serve hot, garnished with minced red peppers.
What about you? Do you have any Halloween rituals?