Thursday, 28 October 2010

MORE Pumpkins? Yes, More Pumpkins.

We picked our own pumpkins at that same PYO farm we went to for berry picking this summer. They had a vast field full of lonely pumpkins, each of them begging to be taken home. The surrounding field also had more autumn vegetables like gourds and squash, so we picked a few of those as well.

It was cold! out on those fields, but the sky was clear and the early evening was beautiful. We went with some friends and all the kids were besides themselves with pumpkin joy. 

Once we chose our pumpkins, we dropped them into these holes for measurement. Isabella kept sticking her head into the holes saying, "Where's the ladybird?" (Ladybird is Britspeak for ladybug.) It was a random question, but one that demonstrates what is usually on her mind - she loves ladybugs.

Finally, on a rainy day, we decided to carve this pumpkin up into something "very scary," at Isabella's request. She helped me scoop out the seeds (which we toasted with salt and sage, of course), and carved it!

An awesome jack-o-lantern sure to scare the goblins away from our doorstep.

Monday, 11 October 2010

Onward to Halloween

candy-filled pumpkin parcels a la MarthaStewart
Isabella and I have spent an awful lot of time with Halloween decorations this year. I searched through every box in the shed and garage trying to find all five of my old Halloween decorations, but to no avail. So I invested in some cheap homemade versions instead. Halloween is fun and it's a pity that it's not celebrated  in the same over-the-top way we do it back home. So no trick-or-treating outside the American community over here, but I'm working on a deal with my neighbors...

The garden is beginning to go to seed - my runner beans that are still left on the vine have gotten hardened outer pods and the seeds inside have turned...magical! They're purple! We have serious plans to start a beanstalk. "Bella and the Beanstalk" - it has a nice ring to it.

And of course, it is again baking season - the time of year that I get stingy with the heater but very generous with running my oven. These spooky treats were inspired by my Creative Director, Isabella Aida, who really wanted a ghost with glasses and a happy face. The glasses wouldn't fit, but he is quite happy as you can see.

And lastly, I have been making a bigger effort to write down all the funny things Isabella says at this age. Unfortunately, most of them get missed, but here are a few (mind you, these are coming from a two-and-a-half-year-old with a cute little high-pitched elf voice, and just a tinge of baby accent left):

"I like my orange hair."

"This is AMAZING!" As said after taking her first bite of dinner, and a clue that my constant hyperbolic speech is rubbing off on her.

"That's a FINE pumpkin, Mama." Evidence of more accrued British culture and speech.

And my favorite from last week: I had gone into her room to get her out of bed and she looked to the window and said, "The sunshine is ready!" Beautifully put.