Friday, October 30, 2009

boo to halloween

me, clearly, on the right
Now, I'm not a Halloween person. Never really have been. Something about a traumatic experience at age four which involved me being dressed up as a bunch of grapes (see above). Way too many green balloons for the toddler me to handle. A near fit ensued. Instead, I insisted that I was to be a "fancy lady." And my persistent four year old self prevailed. Vintage fur coat (must search attic for this)? Check. Drowning in pearls? Check. Pink frosted ray bans? Check.

It made no sense, really. But I guess there's only so much you can do in an argument with a tiny tot when it comes to dress up. Fancy Lady vs. Bunch of Grapes? I don't know. You be the judge.

That said, now I kind of try to avoid the holiday at all costs. Yes, there's still a part of me that likes to get crafty and make a costume from scratch, but beyond that, it's just another one of those hyped up occasions that never really delivers.

So here's my proposal. Since all of the bars in this city are going to have lines around the block with actual, real live monsters around every corner, I say let's "celebrate" Halloween IN this year. Whip up a fabulous meal and serve with all the lights out. Votive candles only. Scary good cocktails. And maybe freak you and your friends out by putting on a horrifically scary movie and then stay up all night because you can't bear to shut your eyes in fear of what could happen...

Since it is Halloween and my apartment is pumpkin-less, I'm thinking about swapping pumpkins for squash. Fair trade, no? Butternut squash pappardelle with sage and parmesan. Roast chunks of butternut squash in the oven with olive oil and plenty of salt and pepper until they're 3/4 of the way cooked. Then in a large sautee pan, add olive oil and butter, lots of sliced shallots and a few cloves of grated garlic until they're softened. Add in the butternut squash and lots of fresh chopped sage, toss it together and cover with a lid for a few minutes to allow the squash to finish cooking through. In the meantime, cook off a little under a pound of fresh pappardelle (my all time favorite pasta). Dump the pappardelle in with the squash mixture and grate in a ton of fresh parmesan. Finish it off with a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil and get ready to be down right sinful.

Serve this alongside a big salad of baby greens dressed with a maple-dijon balsamic vinaigrette, crumbled goat cheese, and dried cranberries, and pair it all up with a devilishly good wine (I'd go red, personally). And seriously?! Who wants to run around from jam-packed bar to jam-packed bar when you could be enjoying all of this? In fact, my decision has been made. How about yours?

Costumes optional.

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