My first North American halloween! It was a big deal. Saturday morning we went for a walk - a miserable walk, it was so rainy - and so many houses were full-out decked in cobwebs and pumpkins and stuff. We went to a great cafe about a mile away called Cagibi, because we had wanted to go to this jumble sale where you buy a bag for $3 and fill it up with anything you can find, but it wasn't on. Then I went to a second-hand store (called 'friperies' here) which had a special rental section open for costumes, because two friends needed them. One was the Picture of Dorian Gray, the other was Margot Tenenbaum. I went home via the grocery store and bought a squash because they were out of pumpkin :( but someone in my house had a pumpkin and gave it to me, so I made my mum's pumpkin pangrato recipe really nicely. It's such a comfort food.
1kg pumpkin or butternut squash
3 cloves of garlic
5 tablespoons of olive oil
a mild red chilli
1 tablespoon finely chopped rosemary leaves
the zest of half an orange
a handful of roughly chopped parsley leaves
4 handfuls of fresh white bread crumbs
40 g butter and a tad more olive oil
set the oven at 180 C/gas mark 4
Peel the squash discarding the seeds and fibres.
Cut the flesh into large bite-size bits and steam for 15-20 mins till tender (nb it never takes that long in the steamer)
Finely chop the garlic and put it in a shallow pan with the olive oil over a moderate heat (nb son’t leave the oil to long to heat up or it will be too hot and the garlic will burn on contact!)
Thinly slice the chilli and add to the pan with the rosemary and orange zest.
Tip in the parsley and breadcrumbs and stir while they colour lightly – no darker than a pale biscuit.
Put the pumpkin in a shallow baking dish or roasting tin, salt and pepper it, then add the butter in small knobs.
Tip the breadcrumbs over and drizzle with olive oil. Bake for 35-40 mins until the crumbs are deep gold and the pumpkin meltingly tender.
(originally from here: http://www.guardian.co.uk/lifeandstyle/2007/nov/25/foodanddrink.recipes) everyone in my house was really surprised I was making a savoury pumpkin dish, it's really more of a dessert thing here.
I got dressed up in my costume! I was Charmander the pokemon:
because Mayumi and I had found pokemon costumes at a halloween warehouse next door to a cinema when we turned up really early for the Keats biopic, Bright Star.
This is what we looked like:
We all gathered at Rue Clark and hung out for a while, eating incredible pumpkin cheesecake that Sheehan had made. Then we went out to a loft party but it was kind of dull, so I left and Emilio came with me but then he moaned for a bit about wanting to go back. I said he could but I wouldn't, and unintentional reverse-psychology seemed to work because he came with me. It was only 1am and we wanted to do something, so we climbed the mountain. Or rather, scaled, because we didn't use the path but hauled ourselves up a steep incline by grabbing on to trees and rocks. But we got all the way to the cross at the top, the first time I have, and we were the two highest people in Montreal because no building is allowed to be built higher than the summit of the mountain. The view was incredible. Here's me and the cross.
We came down after a while, and the hour had gone back (a week later than in England, yes) so we went to Second Cup for hot chocolate. Then we were tired, and went to bed.
The next day I set out for a walk because it was so beautiful outside. I really wished I had a camera. I walked to a second hand clothing store that was highly recommended, and bought a cardigan. There was a really nice tam-o-shanter, but it was $25 and I could knit it myself. When I mentioned this, the owner of the shop got really excited and started drawing up a business plan for how I'm going to make tons of them and sell them on campus. Whizzer. I sat in a square entirely carpeted with yellow leaves and read three chapters of my environment and culture textbook, and felt very virtuous. On my way back, almost right outside the friperie, I ran into Emilio and Emma. So we joined forces and went to a second-hand French bookstore and a really really yummy vegetarian restaurant where you fill up a plate at the buffet and they charge you by weight. After that, we hit up the army surplus stores. Lots and lots of funny hats.