The future’s bright, the future’s orange in Toronto

17 Oct


… or at the least the next couple of weeks in this run up to halloween.  For the past month or so the city has become increasingly orange with pumpkins popping up on porch stairs and piled up in vast mounds outside grocery stores.  Each time I walk past these gargantuan displays I never ceased to be amazed by the size of some of these fruits, large enough to make a play-house for a small child.  Rows of grocery store shelving has been given over to treats for trick or treating and Halloween costumes from witches to batman line the aisles.  Some people definitely take their halloween house decorating really seriously, covering their lawn with giant inflatable black cats, spiders and frankensteins that eerily move their heads as you walk past.  This morning I passed by a miniature cemetery, complete with crumbling gravestones and cobwebs, that someone had assembled in their garden.


Now one autumnal bake I’ve never really got on well with is pumpkin pie.  It’s not just that in the UK pumpkins, like thanksgiving and major, all out halloween celebrations, still seem very North American.  I once decided that it would be a good idea to try making my own pumpkin pie as I had an American friend coming round for dinner.  The resulting creation was not a success, resembling a rather sorry meatless sausage roll in texture and consistency.  As my husband points out, using fresh pumpkin to make pumpkin pie often does not produce good results.


So it is with some trepidation that I always try pumpkin pie, despite its often tempting aroma of spices.  After my most recent experience however, I’m certainly going to be more confident about the merits of pumpkin pie.  At a reception at the McMichael Gallery of Art in Vaughan, just outside Toronto, (to celebrate the opening of their Double Take exhibition exploring representations of Canadians and the Cecil Beaton exhibition from the V&A) the canapés included delicious pumpkin tartlets, with a rich sugary crust, delicately spiced filling and a generous but not overpowering swirl of cream cheese frosting.  Not a soggy sausage roll in sight!


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