All Hallow’s Eve

It’s a rare occasion when a full moon falls on Halloween, and rarer still when it’s a blue moon! To celebrate this banner event, I offer a poem for the season.

Down from the forested mountains run
Broad shadows from the waning sun.
Hovering in the mistbound air,
The hidden moon waits, pale and fair.
A lingering rim of sun burns on,
Then the mountains gape and the light is gone.

Deep shadows drowning barren trees,
A whisper rustling fallen leaves,
A shiver in the wind, a sigh,
A mournful undulating cry~
The moon lets fall her veil and breathes
Her grace upon All Hallow’s Eve.
Gemma Brook

Candlelit Jack O Lantern

And inspired by VT Dorchester, whose mouth-watering date cake recipe makes me hungry and ready to bake, I also offer a recipe (though without VT’s flair).

I got this recipe as a kid from the Peanuts Cookbook by June Dutton, put out by Scholastic (long out of print, I believe). I made a “healthier” variation several years ago. We’ll start with that; it makes a dense, not too sweet cookie. It’s not for every one’s taste, I readily admit!*

Gemma’s “Great Pumpkin” Cookies
1/3 cup granulated fructose
2 ½ T canola oil
¼ cup plus 1 tsp liquid egg whites
2-4 T water as needed
1 cup canned pumpkin (not pumpkin pie filling)
½ cup whole wheat flour
1 cup whole grain rye flour
2 ½ tsp baking powder
½ tsp cinnamon
¼ tsp nutmeg
1/8 tsp ground ginger
4 ½ T dark seedless raisins, chopped
½ cup walnut pieces, chopped

Preheat oven to 375˚. Sift all dry ingredients together. Beat egg whites lightly. Mix oil, pumpkin, and water (I usually need the full amount of water). Fold in egg whites. Stir wet into dry ingredients, then fold in nuts and raisins. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper (I use unbleached compostable). Drop batter by spoonfuls onto the paper-lined cookie sheet. Bake 15 minutes. Makes about 2 dozen.

Peanuts’ “Great Pumpkin” Cookies
1 ½ cups brown sugar, packed
½ cup shortening
2 eggs
1 lb. can pumpkin [do they make 1 lb. cans anymore?]
2 ¾ cups flour, sifted
1 T baking powder
1 tsp cinnamon
½ tsp nutmeg
½ tsp salt
¼ tsp ginger
1 cup raisins
1 cup pecans, chopped

Pre-heat oven to 400˚. Mix sugar, shortening, eggs, and pumpkin thoroughly in a large bowl. Sift dry ingredients and add to pumpkin mixture. Blend well. Add raisins and pecans. Drop batter by teaspoonsful on ungreased baking sheet. Bake 12 to 15 minutes or until lightly browned. Remove from oven, and lift off with a pancake turner. Makes about 6 dozen. A delicious snack while you’re waiting for the “Great Pumpkin.”

Or a great snack while you’re waiting for the Halloween Blue Moon! It will rise a little after sunset hereabouts.

Happy All Hallow’s Eve!

Jack o Lantern glowing from within

*I baked this recipe on All Hallows’ Day, with what I had on hand (only whole wheat for flour, and olive oil for oil.) And — I quite like this batch! Of course, they’re always best fresh from the oven…

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