Pumpkin Day

We used to have huge pumpkins growing in our garden, Babbo and Piero (the gardener) would haul them up to the house. I thought of them as the dinosaurs of all vegetables - huge and clumsy.

My father and I and our giant pumpkins

Mum would carve them, dig the seeds out and tell me all about Halloween, how she used to go trick or treating growing up in Buffalo, New York. I ’d never seen anyone go trick or treating, but for Halloween in Florence mum would always make a  'jack o lantern’. She’d have our friends for dinner and a few scary stories courtesy of my brother would always find their way to the table. Italy didn’t have a Halloween tradition but we did.

Cooking and eating our giant pumpkins

Sydney doesn’t really have Halloween in it’s culture either but I guess what I’ve learned from the people in my life is - if there is a reason to celebrate, CELEBRATE!

So last year on the 31st of October I invited Coco’s little friends over. I bought sweets, delivered them to my neighbors and sent our kids to trick or treat at their houses. This Halloween, before my friend Simona and I left the house for this year’s trick or treating, the road looked deserted, so once again I ran over to our neighbors to hand them some sweets, but as I reached the doors of their homes they came out with wigs and smiles saying “we are ready for them!”

My daughter celebrating halloween

Although we didn’t have a million houses to go to and there were not thousands of children, there was just enough spirit for a very special Halloween: Caring neighbours, good friends and a lovely dinner at the end of it:

“Rusty nail juice” (peach juice for the kids Bellini’s for the adults)

Rusty nail juice peach juice for the kids Bellini’s for the adults

“Blended bat wings” (home made Olive pate’)

learn to cook asparagus risotto

“Snotty risotto” (Mikes absolutely scrumptious asparagus risotto)

And then

CROSTATA ALLA FRUTTA FRESCA DI SIMONA (Simona’s surprise fruit tart)

Italian Cooking classes - make a fruit tart

Grazie amica mia! What a night!What a cake! What great Halloween xoxox