Say “Bonjour” to my petit potimarron, a small squash that is a cross between a potiron (pumpkin) and a marron (chestnut). And they taste like, well.....a cross between a potiron and a marron. Go figure. You can roast it, puree it, steam it, or just carve it up for a mini-jack-o-lantern which is what I ended up doing. The seeds, which I have every intention of roasting, will no doubt sit in my fridge until they say "Bonjour" to me when I open the door.
Halloween is a holiday barely acknowledged by adults here in France. While children are embracing this Dia de los Muertos (Day of the Dead), in no small part due to EuroDisney plastering half the city with posters advertising Halloween Night at Euro Disney, France has traditionally celebrated Toussaints or All Saints Day. It is tradition to visit the cemeteries and leave flowers on the graves. Someone asked me where exactly Toussaints (tous = all; saints = saints) came from and I am embarrassed to say I didn’t have a very good answer, so after a quick spin around Google, I was quite enlightened.
It seems this Halloween tradition hails back 2000+ years to an early Celtic holiday at the beginning of the winter season, October 31st. “...Spirits of the dead were believed to roam freely and on the day known as "The Day of the Dead," living relatives would help their dead loved ones complete a safe journey to the afterlife. People would paint or carve scary faces on gourds and turnips and disguise themselves in outlandish costumes to scare away the evil spirits that were also thought to be wandering the earth that night. The Catholic Church, angered by these pagan practices, sought to eliminate them by declaring a new festival of religious observance called All Saint's Day ("Toussaint"), a day in which every saint would be honored...”
A much more uplifting holiday if you ask moi, and one that could have avoided the spawning of Freddie Kruger and his 10 sequels of horror. Happy Halloween and BOO!