(I'm not entirely sure, technically, if we did import him and his wide, bunny, face, but as cultural references go it feels right, so I'm sticking with it!)
The Good ol' US of Stateside has given us many good things (especially in the world of food and beer) but the manufactured sentiment around what they call 'holidays' certainly isn't one of them. Apart from maybe seasonal ales and the Treehouse of Horror episodes of the Simpsons. They're usually pretty good.
I know I'm probably sound sounding like a grumpy, grizzled old grandfather, and some of you will be thinking 'pfft, it's only once a year, let the kids have their fun', so you can fuck right off too.
Fucked off yet? Good.
A tricky issueWe didn't do that sort of thing when I was a boy, obviously - it was just something we saw American kids doing in Hollywood films. We considered ourselves above such colonial nonsense, and rightly so.
So, my advice to anyone facing the threat of trick-or-treaters is to get your own supply of rotten eggs and be ready to throw them as soon as you open the door. If you have sharp reflexes and get the timing right, you can release the egg between the words 'trick' and 'or', and before they have time to complete the phrase, you've already shut the blessed door in their faces.
(As an additional precaution, you'll need to avoid parking your car outside the house and don't leave your letterbox or windows open. They'll probably still egg your house, but then they would've done that anyway, and you've had the satisfaction of a pre-emptive strike.)
|Boiling up pumpkin and potato|
Monster MashcakesThese crispy, pumpkinny treats are an ideal starter or party dish for the Halloween season.
Pumpkin and tamarind are a stunning, but largely unknown combination - the tanginess really cuts through the sweetness of the pumpkin and it also moderates the richness of the butter and creme fraiche.
Ingredients - makes about eight
One medium pumpkin
Rooster potatoes, 4-5, peeled for boiling/mashing
Creme Fraiche, a generous dollop
Oil for deep-ish frying e.g. groundnut
Dealing with a whole pumpkin can be tricky. You'll want to hack the top off, remove the seeds (which can be roasted for a snack) and then chisel away chunks of flesh and the stringy, pulpy bits.
Bring a big saucepan of salted water to the boil and throw in your chunks of potato, adding the pumpkin after 7-8 minutes.
|Get ready to do the Mash!|
You want the potato and pumpkin to get nicely mixed up, so be aggressive with your mashing technique. Like Dr. Thrilldare.
Once the potato-pumpkin mix is nicely mashed and has a nice pale orange colour, you'll need to let it cool down to a lukewarm temperature.
When the mash has cooled and gone fairly solid, take a fistful and shape into a patty - you could probably be clever and use a shape cutter to make a little halloween monster if you really wanted to. Roll each patty in breadcrumbs, but it doesn't matter if they're not completely coated.
In another pan, heat your oil until it starts to splutter, and throw in your pumpkin patties, turning half way through. When they're brown and crispy, they're done- smaller ones will go crispier faster, so you can produce a range of shades and textures.
As a final touch, use a bit of tamarind paste and/or creme fraiche to try and paint little demonic faces on them before serving.
Serve with a splodge of tamarind sauce on the plate.