Pumpkin spice and all things nice!

Happy Halloween! I felt it would be quite fitting to post a blog all about our October traditions on the day itself, Halloween. Before I go any further did I just blink? Where has October gone? I feel like I say this every month lately but this one, wow!

Anyway before tomorrow when I start talking all things Christmas, yes I’m allowed to tomorrow as Halloween will be over, I’m here to talk October. Last year we made a few Halloween traditions that this year I really wanted to keep doing, I mean it’s a tradition. That means we can’t stop now! And why would I want to?

First up the pumpkin patch. Last year I discovered a lovely little patch right here in Taunton, Charlot orchards. We went for their apple day, picked a few pumpkins and it was so lovely. We even went back there this year! But this year our favourite fruit farm Thurloxton, opened its doors, well fields, for its first ever pumpkin patch. There were hundreds of pumpkins, as well as so many activities and a scary walk! It was great fun, ‘hit the witch’ game, followed by a stroll through the fields hunting for that perfect pumpkin. It was great, a little windy and rainy but what could I expect, it’s October after all!

We searched and searched for the perfect pumpkin and with pumpkin in wheelbarrow we headed to the carving tent. Tent is probably the wrong word, a massive undercover carving area with so many carving units. There was plenty of room for everyone and they had all the tools, even a bath for washing off the mud and pulp from the pumpkins, there was even a man helping cut the tops off the pumpkins so we didn’t have to!

We were in the dry scooping away at the insides, ready to make the scariest pumpkin! We decided on a classic jagged tooth face with scary eyes! Parker loved it! And when we all finished we handed the equipment back and headed on our way. We spent a good few hours of fun there, and our pumpkin is ready and waiting to be lit tonight.

This year is the first year that we’re taking Parker trick or treating, I’ve always felt he’s been a little too young, maybe I’ve just always worried about chewy sweets or lollies but now he’s 4 I feel he’s ready to get dressed up and head out, with me or Paul by his side. I’m secretly so excited! I can’t wait to see his little face when he’s all dressed up, I’ve even bought creepy cat ears for me, so that I don’t show him up as we’re walking around. Our street has a lovely rule – if there’s a pumpkin outside then you can knock. If not keep walking, so simple but so easy. We don’t want to disturb anyone who’s not in the Halloween spirits! Although this year I must make sure we pop our pumpkin out. When we lived in a back to back house a good few years ago, I think it was when I was pregnant with Parker, we had no trick or treaters and we’d bought so many sweets! So we had to eat them all of course! So sorry Paul, I’ll be making sure that pumpkins out do you don’t get all the treats again!

This year I actually tried to start a new tradition which I actually don’t think I’ll keep. I attempted a pumpkin pie… by attempted I mean it was so much effort for something that wasn’t to my taste at all! I’m even too embarrassed to take it to work with me for the girls, I know, it’s that bad! The pastry was going well until it said blind bake. I used rice instead thinking it would be fine but the pastry shrunk a treat, the sides folded on and it was a mess. Not to mention a little burnt after blind baking! Then the filling, I had one lovely round cooking pumpkin. 750 grams the recipe needed, I chopped and I diced and I weighed and once prepared I had 350 grams. Not quite enough but I muddled on, adding bits of munchkin pumpkins in an attempt to rescue it. No hope. Next sieve the cooked pumpkin into a purée. This was ridiculous. It took over half an hours and my arms ached. Who knew pumpkin pie was such a workout?!? Anyway all baked ready for the taste, it smelled delicious but oh my, it tasted awful. Maybe next year ill try again. Or maybe next year I’ll stick to cupcakes.

After the amount of love I have for a pumpkin spice latte I honestly thought I’d love a pumpkin pie. But no, awful. Not for me. I’ll just stick to Starbucks I think and let them handle the pumpkin spice. After all there’s nothing better after a long welly walk through the leaves and trees than a warm coffee shop with delicious autumn treats!

After the mood September brought I can honestly say October has been one of my favourites this year. Do you have any Halloween traditions in your house hold? I’d love to know what you do, let me know in the comments. And have a great Halloween however you spend it. Happy Halloween! x

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