Halloween. Ever since childhood this was one of my favorite holidays. I got to be someone else for the day and not my usual fat boring self. I could be a princess with curly golden hair and a sparkly dress with a waist, or I could be a lumberjack and wear my dad's flannel shirt and my corderoy after-school play pants (This was the 1950's, when girls had to wear dresses to school), or just be something mythical and out of this world. And the rewards at the end of the day were great - a giant bag full of the best junkfood around, mostly chocolates. Imagine how disappointed I was as an adult when my own son expressed a dislike of the holiday, a couple of years choosing to wear a t-shirt that said "This IS my Halloween costume!" instead of dressing up! And at the end of those days he gave me all his candy except for a few chosen pieces, because unlike his mom, he really doesn't like chocolate all that much and preferred the Smartees and candy corn. I frequently ask him to this day if he's sure he's my kid. As a reward for giving me all his candy, we had our own ritual of going candy shopping on November First, with him given a ten dollar bill and allowed to choose any candy he wanted, up to that amount. He chose wisely and that candy always lasted him until well into the new year. Tomorrow we'll continue that tradition even though he's in his late 20's.
Back in my S.A.D. days I would always make a beef stew for Halloween dinner, calling it Witch's Stew. When I started eating vegetarian I would make the same meal, just omitting the meat chunks. When I started McDougalling, things had to change, since the gravy I used wasn't exactly McDougall-friendly, and those that were didn't stand up to the length of time the stew would be simmering away in the slow-cooker. Imagine how happy I was when Vegenomicon came out, and included in it was this fantastic recipe for a great Halloween dish - Pumpkin Baked Ziti with Caramelized Onions and Sage Crumb Topping.
This is a nice, easy dish to put together, very flavorful, and can be easily McDougallized by using whole wheat pasta, cooking up the onions in a non-stick pan, using tofu ricotta instad of the cashew one, and omitting the topping and just shaking the spices from it mixed with some breadcrumbs on top of the pasta before baking. Not only is the margarine from the topping not McDougall-legal but my husband has this weird reaction to walnuts - every time he eats them he gets a gout-like pain in his big toe. Lab work says it's not gout, but the podiatrist said the pain sure sounds like it is.
I will probably also drop some of the canned pumpkin and a bit of spice into this morning's oatmeal. If I have the time and energy this afternoon I may even bake up a batch of pumpkin muffins from Mary McDougall's recipe, again omitting the walnuts.
I was hoping one of the stores around here would be selling Silk Pumpkin Spice nog, but once again it didn't arrive before Halloween. Last year none had the pumpkin OR the regular nog until after Christmas. Too late for the holiday season but just fine on a cold winter's afternoon.
I guess that concludes VeganMoFo 2011. I wish to thank all the people on the PPK Forums for making this another fruitful and enjoyable time. I haven't had the time to go visiting other blogs, but I do have the link to the blogroll right on this page so I can go back in the future to see what goodies I missed.
Let me leave you all with the best song I've ever heard: