Friday, November 1, 2013

So last night…



I gave away Halloween candy from the front door of my house for the first time in forty years. 

Ever since I left home I’ve been on the run from holidays.  The major ones (Christmas, New Year’s, Easter, Thanksgiving) I worked; first in the theater, then in restaurants.  The minor ones, Fourth of July and all the “days” (Memorial Day, Labor Day, Columbus Day, Presidents’ Day, Martin Luther King Day, Arbor Day) I either worked or did my best to ignore.

Holidays are easiest to ignore if you're in a strange town or city.  If I don’t know anyone, the hype and the decorations, the commercials and, around Christmas time, the ever present and infernal music don’t seem to get under my skin is so much.  I even found the luminaria lining the downtown plaza of Santa Fe
ok, so this is phoenix. it looks the same.

 and the sailboat masts in Charleston brightly lit as miniature Christmas trees sort of pretty.
and  i have no idea where this is but i think it's florida. sue me.

And Halloween.  That’s an easy one to ignore if you’re living in a strange town.  Just turn your lights off and pretend you’re not home.  I mean, it’s not your house anyway, even if it does get papered or egged.
truthfully, this is not my house

For years, when I wasn’t traveling I lived on an island. 
this island. i did live on this island. honest.

Halloween was a breeze there, what few kids there were (and some people brought their kids on island specifically for Halloween) all got together and rode from house to house in someone’s truck or all wheel drive vehicle that had been decorated for the occasion.  All the kids showed up at your house at once, you dispensed your treat bags and admired their costumes and went back to watching Jeopardy.

I don’t count that as real Halloween trick-or-treating, although I’m sure they did.

For the last fifteen years I’ve lived in the woods.  The only people who found me without invitation were the 2000 census taker and one set of Jehovah’s Witnesses.  I’m still not sure how they did that.  
also truly my cabin in woods
I never had to put up Christmas lights, carve a jack-o’-lantern, or even put a political candidate’s sign in my yard.

Or buy Halloween candy.  Until this year, when we moved right into the center of town.

It wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be, even with three large mutts freaking out every time a stranger got close to the house.  Most kids passed us by, the combination of the front gate, the porch door and then the front door too daunting or too much trouble.

But I think I still prefer the day after Halloween.


Thanks for listening.  Here’s a pumpkin recipe for your trouble.

PUMPKIN FLAN

Sugar                     1 cup
Water                   ½ cup
Egg yolks                              5
Light cream                         2 cups
Pumpkin                              ½ cup
Cornstarch                          1 T
Sugar                     1/3 cup
Nutmeg                               1/8 tsp.
Cinnamon                           1/8 tsp.
Ground clove                     1/8 tsp.

Heat sugar and water, stirring frequently, until caramelized. Pour into 6 cups or ramekins. Mix together pumpkin, cornstarch, sugar, and spices. Beat in separate pan light cream. Add pumpkin mixture. Cool. Mix in egg yolks. Pour into caramelized dishes. Bake in a water bath for 1 hour at 350°.