A pumpkin too far

DJ isn’t speaking to me. I’ve ‘accidentally’ arranged to go out on Wednesday night to meet a friend and it just ‘happens’ to be Hallowe’en. So he’ll be all alone in the house hiding from trick or treatsters that night, unless he goes out. And he is terrified of children. Ha, ha ha…! What’s more, I’ve making a pumpkin lantern to place on the windowsill, which will no doubt attract them to our front door….oops. To be fair, this may be a frugal mistake. After all, it means that we’ll have to have something to offer the trick or treatsters, and paid for out of our own pocket, unless DJ spends the entire evening hiding in my study upstairs, which is the only room that doesn’t show a light from the front of the house (as he did last year…!). He’s currently sick with the lurgy – he caught from me – so he could just stay in bed with the lights off, although he’s now at the stage where he’s starting to feel better and a bit restless so is unlikely to like that suggestion.

What is the fascination with trick or treating on Hallowe’en now? We never did it when I was a kid but now it’s all the rage and frankly it’s a liberty. There you are in your own home, minding your own business, watching a nice film on the telly, or enjoying a glass of homemade beer, when some little oik dressed as Freddie Kruger deems it necessary to ding on the doorbell demanding free confectionery. If you don’t comply then he’ll pound your house with eggs and flour until it looks like an iced doughnut. What do you do?

I don’t want to have to go out and spend money buying a load of sweets that I’m not allowed to eat anyway because I’m on the frugal diet! On the other hand, I’ll have loads of pumpkin that will need using up when I’ve made my lantern. My neighbour Nina has kindly given me a delicious-sounding recipe for pumpkin & chocolate brownies, so I think I might give it a try.

Nina’s pumpkin & chocolate brownie recipe

150g pumpkin pealed & cut into chunks

1tbsp golden caster sugar

75g butter

75g plain chocolate

250g soft light brown sugar

175g self-raising flour

15g coco powder

3 eggs

Boil the pumpkin until tender, drain. Puree and sweeten with the caster sugar. Preheat the oven to 180 deg c/ gas mark 4. Grease and flour a 180cm x 30.5 cm tin. Melt the butter & chocolate together in a saucepan and then add the other ingredients. Stir everything together thoroughly and pour into the prepared tin. Bake for 15-20 minutes. Leave to cool in the tin and cut into bars. Enjoy!

A bit dangerous though, considering I’m supposed to be watching the old waistline. But I can feel doubly good that I’ve used up the pumpkin and handed the brownies over to the trick or treatsters rather than scoffed them myself! Mmm…in theory. And perhaps there’ll be some leftover for a nice healthy pumpkin soup.

Then again, an old school friend of mine, Lee, has come up with a brilliant wheeze to deter the would-be trick or treatster. You get a load of brussel sprouts and coat them in chocolate. Then you get an old packet of Ferrero Rocher, wrap the chocolate coated sprouts in some old Ferrero Roche wrappers and stick them in the box. Hand them out to your tormenters à la ‘the ambassador’s reception’ and they should never darken your doorstep again. Priceless! I’m not sure how frugal it is but it made me laugh anyway!  What are you doing for Hallowe’en?  Do you object to trick or treatsters and how do you deal with them?

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One Response to A pumpkin too far

  1. Pingback: Down with Halloween ! « Mark Foreman's Blog

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