If you had knocked on our door last night, you would have been greeted by four witches, a baby pumpkin, Morticia Addams and a princess. Okay, you may have been surprised to find the princess (M, who has been practising dressing-up as a witch since at least July, suddenly decided last night that she would rather wear a pink, sparkly costume), but the rest of the crew were probably normal enough among family gatherings on October 31st.
Earlier in the day, I collected together an assortment of black bin-liners and cobweb material so that my husband could transform our upstairs playroom into a witch’s lair for our 3 children and two of their friends. We prepared witch’s hair (black spaghetti), cauldron stew (bolognaise sauce), a snake-pit jelly and ghostly biscuits. I even went to the unaccustumed length of buying black eyeliner, mascara, glittery white powder and black nail varnish to complete my Morticia look (if it was off-putting to play the piano last night with black nails, I can confirm that it is even more so to type with them now!).
Underneath the party cliches and hype however, Hallowe’en has ancient roots that remind us of the changing seasons and our connections to the land. Standing at the end of summer, the festival once marked the beginning of a New Year in the old Celtic calendar. How fitting therefore that this October should also be a time for Rose Levy Beranbaum to both celebrate the 20th anniversary of The Cake Bible and to look forward to the publication of her new book in 2009!
It was in more ways than one therefore that our celebrations last night were completed by Rose’s Pumpkin-Walnut Ring (which I made in a loaf tin, being completely unable to find a small-enough tube or Bundt pan in any local shops last week).
Happy Hallowe’en to everyone and Happy Birthday to The Cake Bible. 🙂