Happy O’Halloween from scary Juliet, my favorite witch. Look deeply into those big brown eyes and be very afraid. Juliet packs five pounds of ‘tude when she needs to.
According to a book on one of my bookshelves, Halloween originated in 5th Century B.C. Ireland as an end-of-summer event. On this night, fires were extinguished on Celtic hearths to take maximum advantage of the late-October Irish chill to rid their homes of evil spirits. While the stay-at-home spirits were literally being chilled out, the locals, dressed in costumes as demons, witches and other assorted scary things, gathered outside for a giant bonfire. The costumes were to keep the spirits, already in a nasty mood after being driven from cold homes, from choosing to inhabit the Celts’ bodies. Thrown into this orgy of evil-spirit purging was a celebration of the summer’s harvest. Also thrown in (to the bonfire) were unwitting villagers who had been identified as being possessed. If all this wasn’t off-putting enough for the spirits, the Celts carved the prototype of the modern pumpkin jack o’lantern, a very large hollowed out-turnip, with the face of a demon, lighted it with a candle and displayed it for good (or bad) measure .
Or, so it goes.
If the witches and goblins in your life like to eat something other than candy corn (my personal favorite!), here is a recipe to try. It would look great on your Thanksgiving table, too.
Recipe: Creamy Cauliflower and Leek Soup
2 tablespoons olive oil
3 tablespoons butter
3 leeks, cut into 1 inch pieces (use only the white parts of the leeks)
1 large head cauliflower, chopped
3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
8 cups vegetable broth
salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
1 cup heavy cream (optional)
Saute leeks, cauliflower and garlic in heated olive oil and butter for 10 minutes. Add vegetable broth and bring mixture to a boil. Once the mixture boils, reduce heat, cover and simmer for 45 minutes until the cauliflower is soft.
After 45 minutes, puree soup. Season with salt and pepper and mix in heavy cream. Blend until smooth. Warm (do not boil) and serve.
Cook’s Note: I add a bit of tomato to the soup to give it a bit of color. I usually sprinkle some paprika on each serving of soup. Like most cream soups, this one is best on the second day.
This recipe is adapted from an AllRecipes recipe. The link appears here: Creamy Cauliflower and Leek Soup
Juliet got a little weary from my photo-shoot. The little witch needs a hug.