"Bacon is the candy of meat."

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Halloween Scene

The Bobcats held our first annual Halloween party last night -- we were lucky that Halloween fell on a Saturday this year (which led me to wish that Halloween get moved from the 31st to the last Saturday in October from now on). Our original idea was to have an all-pumpkin dinner, sort of an Iron Chef challenge, but we decided to expand to fall vegetables generally, and do a sort of Thanksgiving-if-you-didn't-have-to-make-your-family's-required-dishes with a couple of deep-fried turkeys at the center. For the first time, the Bobcat kids were invited, so the house was filled with various pirates, Jokers, bloody surgical patients, mermaids, spies, and tin woodmen.

We started off with sweetly spiced pumpkin empanadas, served with beer, fruit punch for the kids, and killer hot spiced apple cider spiked with Jameson's. I made a soup course of Mexican-spiced pumpkin soup with a lime crema that I doctored liberally with ground chipotles, cumin, cider vinegar, and maple syrup (following the good comments thread on Epicurious). Our main course included the deep-fried turkeys with gravy on the side, twice-baked potatoes, carrots with butter and thyme, zcornucchini bread, sweet potato pie, sausage stuffing, and I made a deliciously simple corn pudding.

We were, of course, stuffed by then, so took a trick-or-treating break around the neighborhood to get some exercise. Once everyone had returned, Wonder Woman (a/k/a Bobcat Stacy) led a riotous candy exchange while we drank white wine and coffee and plowed through a "devil dog" cake stuffed with orange cream.

Halloween never tasted so good.


mamele said...

WHOA, impressive!! BRAVA, lady cookiestuffs!

would you reuse any of those recipes again? i still have some squashes and pumpkins that need alchemy. i ordinarily am not a fan of maple syrup but if it's SUBTLE i can handle it.

Mlle Gateau said...

I would do both again, though the pumpkin soup required much adaptation from the recipe. I used really very little maple syrup, as I don't like strong maple flavor either, but you could use a bit of dark brown sugar instead I think for the same effect. Or no additional sweetener at all.

Key things I changed: used much less onion than called for, used liberal amounts of ground chipotle and cumin, used just over half the broth called for, added the touch of maple syrup and cider vinegar, and added a good deal more lime juice (and the zest) to the crema.