Friday, October 31, 2008

Happy All Hallows Eve

The warm fragrance of cinnamon and sugar and freshly baked goods hangs in the cool morning air, the oven cooling in the autumn chill. Crumbs of cinnamon streusel dust my lips briefly before melting on my tongue with a tingle of warm spice.

There is nothing like getting up and baking first thing in the morning, leaving the air redolent with warmth and comfort to ease the pressures of work and schedules. This morning I baked crumb cakes. I haven't had them in what seems like centuries, but is only decades. The soft moist cake topped by cinnamon, sugar, flour, butter and water were better than I remembered that leave me longing for popovers cradling fresh butter and pomegranate-raspberry preserves. I'll probably settle for a mushroom, onion and Swiss cheese omelet sprinkled liberally with dill and fresh cracked pepper. It will be a nice follow-up to the butternut squash soup that I'll make tonight. All I need is crusty fresh baked bread and a bowl of toasted pumpkin seeds sparkling with sea salt so that when I open the door to ghosts and goblins and witches tonight (with the inevitable larding of princesses and super heroes) the mingled scents of herbs and exotic spices will welcome and warm them briefly before they continue on their begging rounds.

I had considered making caramel apples to give to visitors tonight, but parents are so cautious these days (as well they should be) about treats that have not come from a store hermetically sealed in plastic and I don't have any address labels made up in case there are any problems, so I will curl up with a few of the books I received yesterday from my supervisor and drink hot homemade cocoa and eat a freshly baked crumb cake propped up in bed with a few pillows and watch the stars prick the night sky above the flame-colored trees weaving up and down the face of Pikes Peak. As the veil between the living and the dead thins toward midnight, I'll keep a few cakes and a pot of cocoa nearby to share with family and friends who wish to visit for a spell.

Blessed Samhain and Happy Halloween.

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