Sunday 31 October 2010

Marie's Sunday Six

Welcome to my smilemakers for October 31st, 2010. Happy Halloween!! I thought where it was Halloween I would share with you six Happy Halloween Memories, memories that bring a smile to my face and a warmth to my heart. Who knows . . . some of them may even be the same as your own!

As a child growing up in the 1960's and 70's it just would not have been Halloween without Charlie Brown and The Great Pumpkin being on the telly at least once. It was all a part of what made Halloween so very special. Ever the outsider, Linus waits in the town pumpkin patch for the arrival of The Great Pumpkin. He sits faithfully in the pumpkin patch with Sally (who is only there to be with him). Meanwhile, the other kids plan to go trick or treating. Much to my delight, Charlie Brown ruins his ghost costume by cutting too many holes into the sheet. Adding more humor is Peppermint Patty (dressed as a witch) scaring Marcy senseless. As misfortune would have it, Sally unloads on Linus, blaming him for missing Halloween. Long after Sally has left, Linus sleeps in the patch until Lucy comes and takes him inside (Lucy does have a soft spot). I still love watching it to this day.

Jack O Lanterns! I love the Halloween Tradition of Jack O Lanterns! I love everything about them . . . from the picking out of the perfect pumpkin, to the spreading of the newspapers on the dining room table. Drawing the perfect Jack O Lantern face and carving it out. The way it smelled . . . all pumpkiny and wet newspapery . . . the way each year we declared that . . . "This year's Jack O Lantern was the best ever!" The smell of burning pumpkin and rotting leaves that permeated the cold autumn air as we raced through our town from house to house . . . I loved it as a child, I loved it as an adult when I had children of my own.

It's not done much over here in the UK, but in North America most people decorate the outsides of their homes for Halloween. Bats and spiderwebs, Jack O Lanterns, pumpkin lights, scary music. Everything from small and simple to grande and ostentatious! Halloween Decorations run the whole gamut! It was one of the things I loved most about Halloween when I was a child. My mom never went in for much decorating, but I loved to decorate for my own children. It was fun! I loved seeing everyone's as a child and I loved to see them when I had my own children and would walk them through the neighbourhood. You really have to admire some people's ingenuity and decorating talents!

Dressing up and trick or treating! When I was a child we would have a Halloween party at school and we would dress up for that on the afternoon of Halloween, always assuming it fell on a school day. If it was on the weekend, we'd dress up and have the party on Friday afternoon. It was fun seeing all the other costumes and having a practice run before the night's trick or treating. I can still remember the sweaty feeling on my face after hours of breathing behind the plastic of my mask . . .the weight of my trick or treat bag . . . the excited voices singing out "Trick or Treat!" . . . the horror of someone actually wanting you to sing a song or some such to get your treat . . . getting home afterwards with tired legs, sweaty heads and faces, dumping the candy out on the living room carpet so my parents could go through it with us and the picking of which treat out of them all that we were going to have that night before we went to bed. It was all pretty wonderful!

Halloween Molasses Kisses! Yes, I am one of those wierdo's that actually love them! What I wouldn't give to have one now! They were sticky and gooey and made for a good jaw exercise! I just loved the flavour! They tasted like Halloween!! I loved BB Bats too!!

Bobbing for Apples!! I love Bobbing for Apples. Does anything taste any better than a wet apple, fresh from the bobbing tub??? I think not! One year, when my children were growing up, we hosted a Halloween Party at our house. I believe my husband was away in Croatia that year so I thought it would make the evening more special for the kids with their dad away. We decorated the house all up and our costumes were fabulous. There was lots of food and treats and kids, and we bobbed for apples in our whirlpool tub! It was so much fun! I hope that I built some happy memories for them that they can now look back on with smiles in their hearts . . . just like the smile I have in my own with the remembrance of that one special Halloween!

There is so much more about Halloween that I love, so many Happy Halloween memories for me. It wasn't evil or seen as such. It was good, clean fun, and exciting. Nobody worried about anyone poisoning you, or kidnapping you . . . we knew who all our neighbours were and we felt happy and carefree and very festive. I am very grateful for my Halloween memories and for having been born at a time when I could build some. I wish you all a very Happy Halloween filled with smiles and happy memories and the opportunity to build some fresh ones!!!

My mom always had a difficult time getting us to eat supper on Halloween night. We were always a bit stuffed from our parties at school and too excited to want to settle down and eat anything. Supper was always something simple and quick. Here's a tasty, quick supper that fits the bill perfectly, even if it's not Halloween! You can multiply it very easily to feed more than two people and can even cook several in more than one skillet! It doesn't even have to be Halloween. This goes down a real treat anytime!

*Potato Wedge Tortilla for Two*
Serves 2
Printable Recipe

I like to use a mature cheddar cheese on this. It has a lot of flavour and a little goes a long way so I don’t have to use very much. This is a really nice light supper and very quick to put together.

1 TBS sunflower oil
1 large potato, scrubbed, dried and cut into 8 wedges
(There is no need to peel it, the extra texture from the skin is lovely)
1 small onion, peeled, halved and cut into wedges
1 red bell pepper, seeded and cut into chunks
6 eggs
A large handful of grated mature cheddar cheese (about 1 cup)
Sea salt and cracked black pepper to taste

Heat the oil in a non stick frying pan and add the potato wedges. Cook over medium heat for about 15 to 20 minutes, turning occasionally, until golden brown and cooked all the way through. Remove from the skillet and keep warm.

Add the onion to the skillet and fry it until it is soft and golden, then add the red pepper and cook until it is softened as well. I like to turn up the heat a bit here and let them get a bit browned on the edges. Return the potatoes to the pan.

Beat the eggs together, seasoning them really well with salt and pepper to taste. Pour this over the potato, pepper and onion in the frying pan. Push it around a bit so that it fills the whole pan around the vegetables. Cook over medium heat until it looks quite set. I lift the edges with a wooden spatula from time to time to let the uncooked egg flow underneath.When it is looking almost done, scatter the grated cheese over top and flash it all under a heated grill (broiler) until the cheese is golden brown and bubbling. Remove and let sit for a few minutes before cutting into wedges to serve.

In The English Kitchen today, Caramel Apple Baby Cakes!


  1. Happy Halloween, Marie! Halloween is not a big deal here either, so sometimes I miss the "real" Halloween of back home... though it really is just a a commercial, media & marketing driven machine now isn't it?! LOL! The real holiday is a far cry from our ancient ancestors had it. LOVE your potato-y tortilla for today. That would make a nice weekend brunch dish! Hope this finds you have a great weekend, my friend. :o) Dare I hope we get to chat soon? Let me know when you have some time... LOVE YOU LOTS ((BIG HUGS))

  2. Halloween was and still is a happy time here too. We keep it that way because we enjoy the fun and the little ones. I always love starting my Sunday off reading your smile makers. Have a Happy day!

  3. happy halloween! its such a fun time to make so many wonderful memories as a family. we always decorate sugar cookies, make pumpkin muffins, paint pumpkins, carve the "family pumpkin," trick or treat, go to lots of fun parties and decorate like crazy! somehow though, we forgot to watch the charlie brown movie. darnit!! that was something i always watched as a kid too!

  4. Such fun memories of Halloween. I share many of them with you. I have always loved this holiday...I know that some of my friends do not like it but I always have. we do the cute halloween stuff not the scary. With 3 family birthdays halloween week with Claire's right on halloween.. it is a special time at our house.

    I hope you had a great day. Hugs, Lura


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