Since the wonderful Iggy has kindly sorted my photos for me already, it's time for me to do my post about celebrating Samhain (or Halloween, if you prefer).
The post starts a few days early though, because on Thursday I made a new batch of bread...
I used Jazz's sandwich bread recipe again, and I'm much happier with this batch; I allowed it to proof a bit longer, and also filled the pan better, so the loaf was actually full sized this time. Mmm... Fresh bread! *Drools*
After that, I made some cat cookies...
Don't worry, they're made with cat substitutes, and are 100% vegetarian! LOL!
It took me until Friday to finally finish Kero's new bandanna...
(I only just had it done when I did the post about my plans for Samhain, LOL!)
I was going to make something else with the rest of the fabric, but I didn't get to it. I've put the fabric away and will use it to make something next year.
On Sunday we went for a walk along by the ocean and saw some really cool pumpkins.
Some people who were something to do with boats (I'm not sure what, but they were definately doing something boat related) had carved a boat in to one, and they allowed me to go and see the boat-o-lantern. They also had a jack-o-lantern with razor sharp teeth. I would have grabbed photos, but I couldn't. I'm sure you can guess why... Yes, that's right; my camera was at home!
Note to self: remember to take the camera with you every time you leave home, "just in case," because you never know when you'll need it!
When we got home, I prepared the veg for dinner, and made my mushroom and winter veg pie while watching "Practical Magic" and "The Little Vampire" on Sunday afternoon, while Kelly was meeting Tom Baker (the 4th Doctor). Here's the pie:
And here's the pie with a piece missing...
I even made my own pastry for it.
I know that's not the exact type of pastry they say to use, but I figured the type of pastry wouldn't make much difference, and I know I can make that pastry recipe, and I wanted to make my own pastry rather than buying it.
Anyway, it was a very nice pie, if I do say so myself! I had it with cauliflower and some homemade mint sauce (the recipe for which is due to be published on my recipe book blog in two days time, if you're interested).
Kelly had some beef he'd cooked over the grill instead, because he doesn't, "do vegetarian stuff," so didn't want any of my pie. I would have liked him to have some of the pie with me - and I'm sure the cow would have prefered him to as well - but... *Shrugs*... More yummy pie for me, I guess; poor cow though!
Anyway, while the pie was cooking I had carved my turnip; say hello to Mr Turnip Head:
After that I carved my pumpkins while watching "The Nightmare Before Christmas" and "Harry Potter And The Philosopher's Stone" (the first Harry Potter movie, for those who don't know). I also seporated the seeds from the rest of the pumpkin stuff so it was ready for me to be able to cook the pumpkin the following day
By that time I was tired and covered in pumpkin, so I had a bubble bath, read some blog posts while my hair dried, and went to bed.
I waited until Monday morning to put up my decorations...
I knew the perfect place to hang my batty friend...
The hook he's hanging on is one end of our washing line; the way it's done the line loops around atatching to a hook just outside our door at one end, and a hook the other side of our outside area at the other end, making two short washing lines (plenty big enough for a good sized load of washing though). The banner is pegged to one of the lines, so that will show you where it is if you're curious.
Anyway, with most of the decorations up I wanted to get a photo of Kero before I put the jack-o-lanterns where I wanted to put them. So I persuaded Kero to stand with the pumpkins and turnip I had carved...
...We got that shot first try; he's such a good dog! Oh, and he seems to love his new bandanna. He got rather upset when we took it off come bed time.
Anyway, then we put the pumpkins and turnip on the folding table outside...
...Below the banner where it could be seen by anyone looking down in to our outside area...
Decorating all sorted, I went back inside to bake my pumpkin pie...
I don't think it turned out too badly for my first ever attempt at making it; it tastes like pumpkin pie anyway, so that has to be a good thing, right?
I had some leftover pastry, and there was a very small amount of pumpkin pie mixture that didn't want to fit in my pie dish with the rest, plus I still had almost half a can of evaporated milk. I didn't want any of it going to waste, so I made a gypsy tart:
(Officially gypsy tarts don't have pumpkin mixture in them, but I put a little in it anyway).
And I made a few spice muffins:
Then, since Kelly was a bit disappointed at the fact I'd decided not to make more cookies, I made a batch of chocolate cookies in the shapes of ghosts, bats and hands:
Baking done, I started on the cleaning.
By the time dinner time was over and it was almost time for the trick-or-treaters to arrive, everything was cleaned up (even me) and I was enjoying a piece of pumpkin pie with cream, and some of Rosmerta's pumpkin juice...
Tip for anyone wanting to make the pumpkin juice: easy on the spices! I made it last year and spiced it well; I didn't like it. I made it this year with just a very small amount of spice; it was much nicer tasting!
As I said, we had 23 trick-or-treaters; I was so happy... Still am, LOL!
Speaking of happy, the kids were extremely happy when they saw the goody bags we'd made up for them. A lot of people here just give a small treat and that's it, but we felt mean doing so and wanted to do more. So, we brought some of those cheap papery trick-or-treat bags you can get and put a little treat selection in them; a small packet of chocolate mice, a "Freddo" bar (which is basically a chocolate frog), and a few other things. When Kelly handed the kids a bag each they got really excited and couldn't thank us enough. I love hearing kids that happy and excited! :)
Once we knew there would be no more children arriving I settled down to do my ritual.
I didn't get photos because you already saw my altar in the second part of my tea party, and you can't meditate and use a camera at the same time.
Kelly did his own ritual after I was done; he'll be posting photos on his blog soon, if anyone is interested.
Then I continued reading posts while waiting up for when my candle went out, since I didn't want to fall asleep with it still burning, but didn't feel it was right to put it out. Besides, as part of Kelly's ritual he needed the candle to stay lit on his altar, and since I did mine first mine went out before his anyway.
If you're wondering, we did them at different times because the altars are near each other in the bedroom, and we both wanted to do our rituals in privacy.
I'd brought this cool mug to use over Samhain:
But I didn't end up using it. I used it the next day instead. LOL!
By the way, do you see the incense sticks in their packet in the mug? They were a free gift from Pagan Dreams (the place I got the mug). They're cinnamon.
I hope you enjoyed my post; sorry if it was a bit long, I tried to keep it as short as I could, which isn't easyy for me, since I love to talk and love to write, so my posts can get quite long sometimes (if you didn't notice, LOL!)
Also, sorry for the quality of some of the photos; lighting wasn't great, and I've forgotten how to work the flash on my camera again. LOL!