... you hang out with your dead friends. Samhain (Halloween) is the night when the veil between the worlds of the living and the dead is at its thinnest. That is, if you believe all that non-Muggle hocus pocus. Every year, around this time, I take a few minutes to break bread (or in tonight's case, risotto) with my dead.
I know Halloween is actually on Thursday. But I'll busy passing out candy to kids that night, and I'm sure those little goblins would ruin my somber remembrance dinner. And tomorrow night, I have a pre-Halloween engagement with some friends. So I hosted my annual "Feast of the Dead" celebration tonight. First, I set the table with pictures of all of my dead friends and family (including pets!).
For at least seven years, I've made the same stew every year for my Feast of the Dead. It's a smoky seitan stew from Bryant Terry's Grub. But after seven years of anything, one should break tradition. So I switched things up with this Roasted Acorn Squash Risotto from Cooking By the Seasons, a vegetarian cookbook with a focus on Goddess-centered holidays.
Look. I know it doesn't look fantastic. I made the risotto the night before because I knew it'd take forever. And reheated risotto doesn't photograph well. Plus, I was too hungry to remember the parsley garnish. But I know you believe me when I tell y'all it was delicious. Arborio rice is cooked up with roasted, mashed acorn squash, pecans, and sliced vegan sausage. The cookbook is vegetarian, not vegan. But all of the recipes are easily convertible. I subbed soy creamer for the dairy creamer. It was creamy and hearty and just lovely.
On the side, I made Salad Greens and Oranges with Raspberry Vinaigrette from Cooking By the Seasons.
This is a simple autumn salad with black olives, orange sections, red onions, greens, and a homemade dressing of sesame oil, raspberry balsamic vinegar, sugar, and lemon zest.
You can't have a Feast of the Dead without a seasonally appropriate dessert! Imagine Vegan Cafe got a fresh batch of Halloween-themed desserts in on Monday night prepared by my friend Stephanie of Swell Baked Goods. I bought this Ginger-Deadboy to enjoy with my feast.
Cute, right?! He was actually chocolate, not ginger. But chocolate-deadboy doesn't have the same ring to it.
After dinner, I said "goodnight" to the dead and got to work carving my Jack-o-Lantern.
Oh, and speaking of Halloween and fall-ish times, check out my posts on the Earth Balance website. The lovely folks at EB asked me to submit a couple recipes to them and do a guest post. One more goes up Wednesday, but so far, you'll find my recipe for Tipsy Dark Chocolate Pecan Pie (from Cookin' Crunk) and a post with an interview from me.