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Pesto and Pumpkins!

October 26, 2010

As I was sick all weekend there was no weekly shopping trip, but luckily Target and Russo’s are on my way home so I stopped by to pick up some necessities for the week:

Candy Corn Pumpkins!!

And REAL PUMPKINS!

To be carved at at later date, but I am hoping if we carve them, light them and stick them outside on Halloween, I might for the first time in my life get to host trick or treaters! Since I grew up in the Netherlands where they don’t have Halloween, trick or treating was always a little bit contrived, but fun nonetheless. I went to an American School, so they would get families to volunteer to recieve trick or treaters, give them a candy stockpile and then you along with your parents would wander the neighborhoods trying to find Deijerweg 76 (aka 76 Elm Street) or Bruchtlaan 8 (8 Foster Street). Now this might seem like an easy task, but it took nights of strategic planning, what streets had the most houses (hit them early), which houses had base privileges (aka would have magical American candy like hershey’s kisses or twizzlers), and what would be the best route to follow to minimize walking between houses. Growing up I heard legends of what it was like to trick or treat in the good old US of A, visions of overflowing pillowcases full of the best candy ever filled my mind, imagining what it would be like to gasp…just trick or treat on your own street. So needless to say since returning to this country I have looked forward to Halloween each year with enormous anticipation, ready to see in real life the reality my imagination had painted for so many years while tricking and treating abroad.

Junior year of college I lived off campus, and saw the opportunity to welcome countless children, I carved a pumpkin, purchased the best mix bag of candy I could find at target, even grabbed one of those plastic pumpkins from CVS, but as All Hallows Eve weened, I sat with a full bucket of candy and huge disappointment. So this year, living again in a residential neighborhood, with actual children (I have witnessed them frolicking the yard, playing games like whacking a stick while screaming, or running in the street after dark, both greatly productive and entertaining), I am trying to keep my hope at bay. I resisted purchasing a mix bag target, opting only for the candy corn pumpkins, BUT I will carve a pumpkin and perhaps do some Googling of the trick or treat scene this side of Moody Street in Waltham.

A few more nights and we will see if at last my tick or treating destiny comes true. I am afraid I might have to wait until I have an actual child of my own to experience this but who knows, perhaps there is a rent a child program out there for Recovered Halloweenless Kiddos.

While the pumpkins await carving, dinner was cooking. Lovely Grill Boy took care of making some pasta while I was at the store and we had a kind of low key dinner.

I had a bunch of pesto leftover from Lasagna last week, so rather than let it go to waste I made pesto,  I didn’t capture the pictures, since I was focused on the lasagna, but I’ll describe it nonetheless and you can see the tasty outcome.

Homemade Pesto

2 cups fresh basil leaves
1/4 cup pine nuts
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon olive oil
Salt

1. Add all ingredients to a food processor (I use the magic bullet), and blend.
2. Add a tablespoon or two of hot pasta water to the mix to assist in the blended.

3. Mix into your favorite pasta!

*top with some extra cheese and pine nuts for an added bonus
**add peas or green beans to your pasta as you cook for some veggie bonus

We had some salad on the side as well, with fresh spinach from Russos, although it needs some washing when you get it, its easily one fifth the cost of bagged spinach at any chain grocery store. And bonus I got to use one of my old school kitchen gadgety tools, the lettuce spinner.

It might be a pain to get out and clean but look how much water it gets out!!!

While I spun the spinach, Grill Boy helped out as sous chef, peeling and dicing the veggies

And voila dinner in less than thirty minutes (bread was just topped with a little bit of butter, garlic powder and salt and toasted in the toaster oven for about 5 minutes)

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