|Come here you!|
Happy Halloversary! That’s the greeting my friend Anna tweeted me as Jason and I celebrated our second wedding anniversary – that’s right, on Halloween. I even made a pumpkin pie to celebrate. No mean feat, seeing as I’ve never even tasted one before.
Halloween isn’t widely celebrated here in Australia, which is a shame, yet I see evidence of that starting to shift. I find it strange that there’s been such a backlash against it as I’ve moved from my teens into adulthood. When I was a kid it was a given to go trick or treating and we always got a good haul around our neighbourhood. Perhaps our area had more migrants who had celebrated it in their own childhoods, I don’t know. All I know is one day I had it and then it just seemed to fade away. It was just another excuse to dress up (like I needed an excuse) and it was always my favourite time of the year, so it only ever made sense to get married on Halloween too.
There were other reasons. Halloween originates from the Celtic harvest festival, Samhain and is traditionally thought of as the time when the spiritual world and our own is closest together. It’s a very spiritual and magical time. Jason and I have both lost people close to us so it seemed like a nice gesture to include them in this way (ironically, we didn’t invite any living guests). Another reason was that we had our first ever kiss whilst watching a cult movie called “The Crow” which I believe is based on a comic. In “The Crow”, Eric Draven and his fiancée Shelley are to be married on Halloween. Tragically, the day before, they are murdered and then Eric spends the rest of the movie trying to avenge their deaths so they can rest.
Anyway, crows/ravens, Halloween etc has always been associated with our relationship. We watched the movie on our wedding night…I even have one of Eric’s most poignant quotes “It can’t rain all the time” tattooed on my arm. It cheers me up when I’m feeling blue. So “The Crow” featured in our Halloween wedding, along with a tribute to Tim Burton’s movies and our love of gothic influences (although neither of us have ever manged to be serious long enough to be considered goth). You can read more about our wedding on Offbeat Bride.
|When the stupidly tall fall in love with the stupidly short & are left alone with a snapshot camera, great crimes against composition ensue.|
On Sunday, Jason cooked me a lovely breakfast. It started off as a recipe I found in Donna Hay’s “No time to cook” but has evolved as Jas made it his own. He now likes to serve the Pancetta Baked Eggs with a side of sauteed mushrooms and balsamic infused mini roma tomatos. Yum. Later in the day we watched Sherlock Holmes and then went out for dinner at Clancy’s Fish Pub, followed by some icecream. By that I mean we had icecream for dessert, not that we were sneakily tailed home by the frozen treat 😉
I think if I can take any good from this year of limited money, it’d be making the most of the funds we have. We could’ve done what we used to do on anniversaries and go spend a hundred or so in some slap up restaurant, but this time we spread our celebration over the whole weekend, feasting on our favourite (very good quality) takeaway food and casual dining. It was great.
|I’m yet to meet a redhead (barring hospitality workers) that sets the table with the cutlery the right way around.|
Now, I did mention earlier about a pumpkin pie. Well, I don’t have a decent photo of it due to my issues with the pastry (slightly underdone) but it did taste rather nice, especially the next day when I reheated it in the oven and gave the pastry a chance to crisp up. Here is the recipe. As I understand it, it comes from another Donna Hay book. I found it on an internet forum and added my own touches, so you’ll get my version.
1 sheet shortcrust pastry (I used Pampas reduced fat sheets)
1 cup pureed cooked butternut pumpkin (more on that)
1/3 cup brown sugar
1/3 cup cream
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon (I used cinnamon sugar)
sprinkle of ground nutmeg.
Some pecan nuts
maple syrup or in my case, maple flavoured syrup.
I used 1/2 a butternut pumpkin. I cut it into small pieces then microwaved for about 5mins and then drizzled it with maple syrup and baked for about 20mins. Test it, if it’s too soft, you can stick it back in the microwave. Or you can boil it or cook the whole thing in the microwave. I just love the taste of roasted pumpkin is all. Don’t do what I did and try to puree the chunks in the blender. Mash them with a fork then puree with a stick blender…I learnt that the hard way.
Oven at 180c
Put some alfoil or baking paper in your pie tin so it’s easy to remove the pie again. Grease lightly. At the same time you’re cooking your pie base you could lightly roast th pecan nuts in some maple syrup.
Spread the sheet over your pie tin or shallow cake tin (mine approx 18-20cm although Donna suggests 22). Trim to fit. Place a sheet of baking paper over the top, fill with beans, pasta or rice to weigh it down. Cook for approx 10 mins, remove weights and cook another 10mins or so. Keep an eye on this as it’ll vary depending on your oven. Mine was a little undercooked so it’s probably best to watch until it’s just golden…perhaps best to cook a little bit of the trimmed pastry alongside it to check. Cool in the tin.
Turn the oven to 150c Combine cooled (but not cold) pureed pumpkin, sugar, eggs, cream and cinnamon with the nutmeg. At this stage I put all the ingredients in my proper jug blender to ensure they were nice and smooth. Pour ingredients into the pastry case (still in tin) and bake at 150c for 50mins-1hour or until set. At about 40mins you can add the roasted pecans to the top. Any earlier and they will sink. Let cool down a little in the tin then serve warm with cream and maple syrup. As I said earlier, I actually enjoyed my pie more the next day after reheating for about 10mins at 200c, but this will depend how well you cooked it the first time.