Monday, 2 November 2015

Scary possibilities!

Make the impossible possible Day - I actually did this last week! For the last several months it's been absolutely impossible to arrange a get together with a certain couple of friends (you know who you are!).

No joke, between all our diaries (social butterflies that we are - haha, I wish, it's mainly been because of work!) it's taken literally months to sort something out. However, last week I was absolutely determined so gave a list of dates and suggested that we either consider a night we wouldn't usually socialise on (Monday) or give up altogether!

The impossible became a reality last Monday when we all had a lovely evening together over lamb stew, a few bottles of red, Trivial Pursuits and several hands of Scabby Bitch (it's a card game!)

Halloween - we really wanted to try this but it'll have to wait til next year or the year after, so this year we had our annual pumpkin carving competition...

and the 'loser' was sacrificed for the best pumpkin soup I've ever had (my own recipe too!)!

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 onion chopped
2 large garlic gloves crushed/finely diced
300g white potatoes
1kg pumpkin peeled and chopped
1/4 tsp dried chilli flakes
2 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp ground coriander
handful fresh coriander chopped
1 litre chicken stock (I made using 2 knorr chicken stock pots)
1/2 cup double cream
100g spicy chorizo sliced, quartered, fried (no oil required) and then drained on kitchen roll

Heat oil in large (very large!) pan and add onion and garlic. Cook stirring for 3 minutes or until onion has softened, add potato and pumpkin. Cook stirring occasionally for 5 minutes or until potato starts to brown. Add chilli flakes, ground cumin and ground coriander. Stir well and cook for 1 minute. Add stock, cover, bring to boil and then reduce heat and simmer for 12 minutes then set aside for a couple of minutes to cool. Use a hand blender to blend it in batches then return it all to the pan on a low heat, add the cream, chopped fresh coriander and chorizo, season with pepper and serve with toasted bread!

And then we decided to take ourselves off to the Pine Woods for the Halloween walk! 

Now we've walked through the pine woods before in almost dark conditions (against my better judgement) and I swore I'd never do it again - not to mention the bizarre things I've seen in the daytime - yet, at my suggestion, we found ourselves wandering over to see what it was all about! It wasn't quite what either of us was expecting, we thought it would be a group walk through the pine woods and that there'd be spooky things along the way (like when they did the scarecrows along the path) but it was nothing like that and we left, having walked 'the walk' in just over 5 minutes. 

After a look around the gift shop at Harlow Carr John gave me the option of heading to Charlie's via the safe and well lit main road or to take the eerie and terrifying route through the pine woods proper (by now it was approaching true darkness). In a fit of what can only be described as madness I opted for the latter. By the time we were halfway through it was pitch black, my death grip on John's hand had cut off the circulation to his fingers, and by the time some idiot on a bike, with no lights, came up behind us I was ready to drop to the floor, curl up in a ball and scream my lungs out (which wouldn't take long)!

After a couple of much needed drinks at Charlie's it was time to head home (via the safe and well lit main road) to watch suitable Halloween entertainment with plenty of trick or treat goodies (I always buy some and no-one ever knocks - waste not want not haha!).

And then I spent half the night awake and terrified just waiting for it to get light so I could get up!

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