Friday, October 30, 2015

Halloween Of Times Gone By...For Adults Only

Pin It


I am sure most of you have not seen this post as it was one of my first when I started this blog.  I will be celebrating Halloween this year, not exactly in this fashion, but greeting kids at the door and later going up to a neighbor's house who also knows how to celebrate it in style.  For those of you who, like me, have doorbells to answer, here's a recipe for an easy, hearty and enjoyable dinner.  Some of us aren't kids anymore and we just can't survive on candy!



Halloween has always been, after Christmas, my most favorite holiday to entertain.  In years past, I did a lot of entertaining and prided myself in setting a beautiful table.  I think I thought of myself as the next Carolyne Roehm, my hero.

 I don't know how I packed so much stuff in my apartment.  There were plates and glasses and tablecloths and flower arrangements hidden all over the place!  I had quite a large archive in my brain of where everything was.  Now, as I unpack in a much larger house, I wonder how I ever did it. I don't entertain like that anymore, just don't have the stamina, or the money, for that matter.  Maybe now that I live with my daughter, the artist, I will get a second wind, but for the time being, here are some of the memories:

For the pumpkin, I usually called a kid, a nephew, a niece, a neighbor, anybody to carve the pumpkin.  Then I started to build from that. On that particular year, I was gaga over my black candles, and I was debuting my new china in orange tones I had literally carried from Gien, France.  Some raffia ribbons, lots of goodies from Marshall's, some old silver, and orange and black M&Ms  in little Halloween clay pots and poof! magic!

The menu was French (my idea of being quirky), and every year I invited only 8 people.  Small, intimate, sit down and easy to cook for. No costumes or funny drinks!  But yes, place cards, and  menu cards staggered around the table.  Champagne with cocktails for those who liked it and a good French wine with the main course.  In those days, with the dollar almost at par with the euro, it was affordable to do so.  Nowadays, it's prohibitive and a little ostentatious, if not politically incorrect!

HALLOWEEN 1998

Creme de Potiron
(Creamy Butternut Squash Soup)

Breast of Duck with Corn Cake
And Spinach Puree

Munster Avec Confiture d' Eglantine

Warm Chocolate Tart Jean Georges


That year I had gone to Alsace and come back loaded with confiture d'eglantine, a jam typical and only found in Alsace..  I really can't describe or translate eglantine, nobody, for that matter, can!.  It;s a small red fruit, not terribly sweet, loaded in vitamin C.  The taste is very hard to descibe, the only thing I can compare it to is guava...same color, but a totally different fuit.  At the hotel where we stayed, they served it with the cheese course which, in that region HAD to be Munster.  Here is a clip of eglantine confiture, in French but easy to follow.

Another year, 2002, I had just come back from Normandy and Brittany so Halloween was spent "in Normandy"

HALLOWEEN 2002

Terrine de Coquilles Saint-Jacques
Sauce Pernod

Soupe au Marrons
Creme Fraiche

Cailles Aux Figues Fraiches et Au Miel 

Puree de Poireaux

Tarte Chaude aux Pommes

Have fun this Halloween, and remember...




20 comments:

  1. You have so much style, always! I think you are my hero. Hope you are feeling lots and lots better.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh Francie, that is so sweet... I get inspired from others who do and take a little from here and there and apply it to what I already have. It also helps that I'm retired and have nothing better to do....

      Delete
  2. I'm sure that your Halloween parties were wonderful, always reflecting your high standards of entertaining. The eglantines I believe are rose hips, so any rose hip jam might approximate the European product. Conserves made from haws would probably be good also. Halloween has always been a favorite of mine, but it is not so big in Taiwan. However, today I am meeting some friends, and am taking along little toy Halloween goblins and pumpkins for the kids.
    --Jim

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. They were fun. It is so easy to decorate for Halloween as long as you tone it down...Thanks for the info. I do believe you are right about eglantines. I think somewhere along the line I found out the correct translation... it's been so long. Halloween is getting to be very popular around the world. Kids love all that candy. I have already had my fair share and keep having to refill the basket!. Love hearing from you, Jim.

      Delete
    2. In german the eglantine confiture called there hagebutter. Here in the Netherlands is it rozebottle jam. Made from de berries from the rosebush after the blooming. The eglantine is also a sort of rose and in dutch is egelantier.
      You must collect lots of those berries and put the pips out.
      Cooked like marmelade with sugar.And put them in jars.
      Is lots of vitamin C....
      I like that kind of jam.yummie...
      Here halloween is not so populair.
      But......is coming.... :-)
      Greetings
      Jeanne

      Delete
  3. Great post and what a great idea -- to entertain on Halloween!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Looking forward to your post next year. It is fun!

      Delete
  4. Both menus sound divine and I'm sure taste even better! Hope all is well!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Coming along...now at least I can pound the keys!!!

      Delete
  5. Your Halloween parties (and menus) sound marvelous and an invite to your table must be a coveted thing. In your 1998 menu, I notice that you serve the cheese course before the dessert, which I believe to be very French indeed. In England, we serve the dessert (or sweet/pudding as they call it) before the cheese. Now, what I want to know is which way around do Americans serve things?

    I'll be greeting little trick and treaters this evening but only for a while. We plan to escape for an early dinner at Tadich Grill as my daughter made plans to spend the evening with her friend trolling the neighborhood and then off to a sleepover.

    Enjoy your spooky evening.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I know about the English and French cheese order because I worked for Barclays for many years and trying to remember used to drive me batty. As to Americans and Latin Americans the cheese course is non existent. As a matter of fact they never serve it as it should be. They eat it straight out of the refrigerator instead of letting it sit for awhile. The difference is incredible. As a matter of fact I was just explaining to one of my daughter's friend last week about the Pope's nose and the etiquette on how to eat Brie. She and her husband were fascinated. I bet you they'll never forget!!! lol

      Nowadays no one gives a damn about these things and they do what they want. But they love to go to the UK and France and marvel at the way they do things.

      It's cloudy this afternoon so the little people will be ringing the doorbell early. It will be a long night. Enjoy your free pass!

      Delete
  6. Love your table setting - the black candles are so elegant! Happy Hallowe'en!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. They were very unusual then and cost me a fortune. Nowadays you can find them everywhere..thanks.

      Delete
  7. The Papal nose and Brie? Do spill the beans please! As for the American cheese course, thank you for clearing that up. No wonder I was confused. I'm so glad you mentioned the temperature of cheese - it makes all the difference in the world when a nice ripe 'un is eaten at room temperature. Ah, beautiful cheese .... a guilty indulgence.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's where the triangle of a piece of Brie comes to a point and is considered the best part. It is improper for the first person who takes a piece to do it by cutting it off horizontally. You cut the piece of Brie from the sides so as not to seem greedy by taking the best part! Don't ask me where this came from...

      Delete
    2. Oh, that's what it's called! Thank you, for clearing that one up for me too. I shall henceforth refer to it as the Papal Nose and think of you while doing so. You are a fountain of knowledge, but you already knew that, right?

      Delete
  8. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I am not publishing any more anonymous nasty comments. If you want to criticize what I wrote five years ago show your face.

      Delete
  9. I enjoyed reading the blasts from the past. As someone who used to love to entertain, I marvel that I had that much energy. In my remodel from hell, I've gone from a table that would seat 10 to one that will seat only 6. Pretty much sums up the trend!! So glad you are feeling better. You've had quite the year.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yep, an unforgettable one! But I am feeling better now. One of my next post will be about exactly what you are talking about.

      Delete

Thank you for visiting Lindaraxa. Your comments are much appreciated.

Pin It button on image hover