There are certain times of year when I feel more like a resident alien than others and Halloween is one of those times. Having lived in America for 11 years now, I can honestly say that I feel very at home here and enjoy embracing many of the traditions and celebrations that your nation holds dear. When October 31st comes around though, I find myself cringing at the thought of what’s to come.
Our first American Halloween was spent in San Francisco, and I will never forget going to Belvedere Street, Cole Valley and being totally blown away by the whole experience. I had never, ever seen anything like it! Whole houses bedecked in life size spiders, garages turned into cavernous vampire dens, the front doors left open revealing bloody, mangled body parts left halfway up staircases (I still hope they were fake!), axe murderers mingling with little mermaids, and yes, SO much candy!!!!!!!!!!!!! It was a far cry from the token pumpkin which would be carved and left outside my front door in London with a little tea light in it, to ward off any evil spirits. Extinguished at 8.30pm without a knock at my front door. From anyone. No little grim reapers, ghosts or ghouls ever came calling.
My children of course, like all children here, love Halloween, they’ve grown up with the parades, the costumes, the drama and trick or treating. I do try to enter into the spirit of it, but I think that because I didn’t grow up making a big deal of it, it’s hard to get as excited as they do.
This year however, I’m a little more excited than usual because I’ve decided to make a special Halloween Juice! As we decorate our house this coming weekend (always the last up on the block and first down!) and carve our pumpkins, we will be sipping this delicious Spooky Pumpkin Juice. My daughter, a die hard Harry Potter fan, will be delighted, as she will be drinking it out of her Hogwarts goblet and singing “Hogwarts, Hogwarts, Hoggy Warty Hogwarts!” My son will be happy because it’s VERY yellow (his favorite color of juice). My husband will be happy because in the traditional Ayurvedic medicine of India – home of the fabled Kama Sutra – the pumpkin is believed to both preserve and increase male virility, (say no more!) and I will be happy because they’ll all be drinking juice instead of eating candy!
Spooky Pumpkin Juice
½ sugar pumpkin (deseeded but not peeled)
½” piece of ginger
Handful of frozen mango chunks
Put the first four ingredients through the juicer. Blend the frozen mango chunks into the juice with a hand blender. I would have added garlic, just to keep those vampires at bay, but really, you just can’t get the taste out of your juicer!!!!!!! The other good thing about this juice is that you can save the seeds, roast them in the oven and snack on them, and use the pulp left over from making the juice to make pumpkin soup or add to pumpkin spice muffins!!
This juice is rich in beta-carotene, flavonoids, potassium, vitamin C and folic acid.