Hello everyone and welcome. We have now come to the last part of the year, the holidays. For me, the season begins on Halloween, a favorite of mine. I love pumpkins, both pie and jack-o-lantern. I love to make baked goodies with the pie ones and cut faces into the latter.
As a child, I would dress up and go trick-or-treating around my neighborhood. As I got older, my costumes became more elaborate. One year my folks helped me make this warrior helmet. I think my favorite year was when I was in high school and dressed up as the grim reaper, complete with a rubber mask.
More recently my wife and I decorate the front porch and pass out candy each year. Our neighborhood has been blessed with over 300 kids. It is fun answering the door and giving them their treats. Over the years, we’ve seen some really unique and beautiful costumes. We are looking forward to this upcoming Tuesday night.
In addition to the Halloween spirit, I love to create my vegan homemade pumpkin bread. I prefer to use pie pumpkins because they taste better than canned. This recipe is easy to prepare.
½ cup vegan butter
1 ½ cup sugar
1 pie pumpkin
2 Tbsp. apple sauce
2 cups flour
1 ½ tsp. baking powder
¾ tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. pumpkin pie spice (cinnamon, cardamom, nutmeg, clove)
Cut up the pumpkin into quarters and scrape out the seeds. You can use these to make baked pumpkin seeds later. Put the pieces into a Dutch oven and bake at 350° for one hour.
Mix the flour, baking soda, and baking powder in a large bowl. Then blend in the butter and applesauce and set aside.
The pumpkin is done when you can easily poke a knife into it. Peel off the skin and put the insides into a food processor. Blend until smooth. Then add the sugar and pumpkin pie spices and mix evenly.
Add the pumpkin mixture into the mixing bowl and mix until smooth.
Grease a 9” x 5” baking pan with butter.
Put the batter into the pan and bake at 350° for one hour. I recommend checking it at 45 minutes depending on your oven. The bread will be done with you can poke a toothpick all the way through and have it come out clean.
Take it out of the pan and let cool. Enjoy.
Creating lanterns are fun because you get to cut up the pumpkin and put your own touch on it. However, it involves careful planning so that you don’t cut yourself by mistake. I would recommend buying the pumpkin carving kit that is available at most stores. I make happy faces to represent how the season makes me feel.
Halloween represents letting go of the old so that the new can come in. I like that it is at the beginning of the season because by the time Thanksgiving comes, I am already in a different space. I use this time to focus on gratitude and what I can do to make the season as best as it can be, whether it be donating items to our church or else let a busy mother go in front of me while we are waiting in the checkout lane at the store. I am grateful for a lot of things. Most important is my health and my wellbeing.
Halloween happens right in the middle of the fall harvest. This gives me an opportunity to give thanks to all of the summer produce that was grown this year.
What are your plans for Halloween this year? What are you grateful for?
Stay tuned for next week as I will be featuring author Blake Everstone (‘Ominous Tales’ and ‘Jane/John Doe’). You are going to want to stop by and meet her and see why her efforts have made a difference in the world. You can check out her facebook profile here.
Until Next Time,
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