Preparing for Halloween or All Saints Eve

I remember Halloween in Canada as a child. We went from door to door in Orleans, Ontario, and everyone knew each other then. Parents weren’t afraid to let their children walk around town. There was a price to pay at times to get some goodies. We would have to recite a poem we learned in school or sing a song.

At times the weather was mild, and it was fun to visit the various homes with their odd pumpkins and witches on their front lawns. Sometimes we already had snow and froze our tushies off. Mom would cover me up and try to fit the Halloween suit over it. I looked like a ball walking down the street, swaying from one side to the other trying to walk straight.

Years later I married my Italian husband and moved to Italy, and soon found out that Halloween didn’t exist. Sigh!

Where had I landed? So, when I had my children, I tried to find a decent pumpkin that looked like the ones we had back in Canada, but no, they were all green. Determined as I was, I carved out the eyes and mouth and put a candle inside. I put it in front of the main entrance. My kids got a kick out of it.

Now Halloween does exist in Italy. They mostly have parties and contests for adults and children for the best costumes. But no one goes knocking on doors for treats, or carve out pumpkins.

Hey! I have a three-year-old grandchild. It’s an excellent excuse to get my old Halloween stuff out that I stashed away in boxes years ago.

Check out this link if you’re in Italy at Halloween.

I would like to share a recipe for the occasion.

Pumpkin cake.

For a 22 cm in diameter pan. (8 inches in diameter)

500 g of yellow pumpkin peeled and cut into slices. (2 cups) I think any pumpkin will do.

200 g of cornstarch (1 1/4 cup)

1 tsp of baking powder

150 g sugar (3/4 cup)

A pinch of salt

75g of melted butter (1/3cup) or 2 tbsp of olive oil.

5 eggs

5 dl milk (16 oz or 2 cups)

2 tbsp rum or 2 tbsp vanilla extract or 1 lemon rind.

Icing sugar.

Cook the pumpkin for 10-15 minutes in 1,5 dl of water (5 oz) lightly salted, then drain and mash the pumpkin to obtain a dry consistency. While beating with a whisk, add the cornstarch, baking powder, sugar, salt, and butter. Then add the eggs one at a time and milk a few tbsp at a time. You should obtain a semiliquid batter to which you will add rum or vanilla or lemon. Put into preheated oven at 180°C (350F) in a deep cake pan previously greased and floured, for 45 minutes. Let it cool.  Serve sprinkled with icing sugar.

Let me know how it goes.


Author: eleanorannpeterson

As a child, I spent my summer holidays by the swamp catching tadpoles and other creepy critters or running after wild animals. I wanted to become a veterinarian when I grew up. But destiny turned my life around - I moved to Italy, where I obtained my BS in Environmental Sciences and Territorial Management. When not working in our family-run business, I write, read, play with clay, doodle, and go on scavenger hunts in the woods, followed by my six cats.

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