Sunday, October 30, 2011

Halloween Reflections, and Halloween Project #9: Pumpkin Seeds

Happy Halloween-Eve, everybody! Can anyone else feel the magic in the air? I know I can. I went to the grocery store today to pick up some things for a get-together I'm having tonight, and there were little kids dressed as bumble bees, Spiderman, unicorns...all kinds of fantastic and cute costumes, and I was overwhelmed by the power of this holiday. My windows are open and I have pumpkin seeds baking in the oven as we speak, and more than ever I wish I had the ability to stop time and live in this day for awhile.

I haven't always loved Halloween the way I do now, I used to hate it, in fact. I was a pretty pudgy kid, and I was certain that there wasn't a single costume in the world that would fit me. I was awkward, and I always forgot about Halloween until the last minute, and would be forced to come up with my own costumes (which for about 4 years straight was a shirt and skirt with the same pair of Fairy Wings), and one year I wore a devil mask and one of my Dad's suits...I was the Devil going to work, of course. Pretty clever, but no one would leave me alone about it. “Why are you wearing mens clothes?” They would ask.

What I should have said is “Because it's Halloween, and I can be anything I want to be. There are no rules here, and I want to be the mother fuckin' Devil, going to do his mother fuckin' job, and my mask is fuckin' AWESOME!” But I didn't. I stammered and stuttered and made up excuses about how Halloween was dumb, trying to cover up the fact that I was really just awkward, and I didn't have any imagination when it came to costumes (the costume was my Dad's idea, after all, I just thought it was quirky).

And then there were those 3 or 4 awful years where I was too old to trick or treat, too young to have a party. So I either tried to trick or treat in my makeshift costumes, old women sneering at my 'lack of effort' and turning me away from their free candy. Bah! Why even bother. I focused on the magic of Halloween, the beauty of Autumn, the colors, the spirits and the supernatural. I read ghost stories and learned about what the Wiccans and Pagans do for Halloween, I tried talking to spirits, I visited graveyards. It wasn't what I wanted out of Halloween (because I never met a spirit who gave me free candy), but if it weren't for that, who knows how I would feel about Halloween nowadays.

Then, about two years after I moved out, something hit me. Myself and my roommate decided to host a Halloween party, both dressed as pirates, and it was fantastic. I got drunk, I ate lots of candy, and at one point I was trying to steer my house from my porch. It. Was. Perfect. Halloween started running in my veins, and I immediately couldn't wait for next year. The next year, I spent about $150 on a fairy costume, and felt like a million bucks. Halfway through the night at the party I was hosting, myself and my at-the-time-friend Gabe went outside and confessed our feelings for each other. Tomorrow is our two year anniversary.

There is much more to Halloween for me, I could certainly write for hours about it. But it's something that I grew into, something that found it's way to my heart in every single aspect that a holiday can. For me, it's beautiful, spiritual, romantic...and of course, there's candy. I don't think there's another day of the year that makes me feel exactly the way Halloween does.

As a simple, delicious recipe, here's what I've decided to use to cook my pumpkin seeds this year. I wish I could give you my tried-and-true traditional Halloween baked good, but as I said, halloween isn't tried-and-true, it is always evolving for me.

What You'll Need:
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons margarine, melted
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon garlic salt
  • 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 cups raw whole pumpkin seeds

How To Do It:

  1. Preheat oven to 275 degrees F.
  2. Combine the margarine, salt, garlic salt, Worcestershire sauce and pumpkin seeds. Mix thoroughly and place evenly only a baking sheet
  3. Bake for 1 hour, or until crunchy, stirring occasionally. 

Hope you all have a fantastic Halloween!

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