Halloween - the pagan and most discussed feast, at least in Italy
Anyone who knows me, knows that I like ritual and that includes all kinds of pagan and non-pagan feasts. On these occasions I can connect to that feeling in a more fluid, simple, I would say ancient way. Of course it is possible to experience a personal rebirth every day of the year but in Spring, when I lived in Switzerland and the mountain tradition asked that we walk barefoot on the grass for the first dew; this simple gesture connected me to that experience, as well as having fun.
For me a ritual is worth it anyhow, no matter what the case may be, I mean that in a positive way; I find no difference between lighting a fire in the woods and silently contemplating it, singing hymns in a church or dancing in front of a religious statue.
Yesterday my Indian friends celebrated Diwali the festival of light; I have often participated in Jewish, Muslim and gypsy celebrations and have always breathed an air of communion between people, and the divine, each as he/she lives it.
But back to Halloween, I especially like it because I prepare some spicy cake, I carve and decorate my pumpkin, and I light a candle to keep the witches away ....
Today I was at the bakery and I listened to the usual old lady on duty who said scornfully,
"Enough with Halloween, enough with these American fashions" and I would have liked to remind her that this American holiday, as she says, is original from old Europe before the birth of our Lord, and more precisely in Ireland where the Celts, a pagan people, celebrated on October 31st the Samhain, literally, the end of the summer party. On 1 November the new year began.
During that night Celts believed that the veil that separated the living from the dead thinned and we could communicate more easily with the souls of the dead, hence also the tradition of lighting candles to keep the witches away.
“Tiocfaidh an Samhain”....that is Gaelic for Samhain is coming!!!
When Christianity arrived in Ireland, Samhain was transformed into All Hallows ’Eve - Eve of all Saints.
The tradition was then exported to the United States by Irish migrants only in the 1800s.
Next year I'll tell you why the pumpkin is the symbol of Halloween.
For now, let us be happy and satisfied with the delicious
Pumpkin pudding with amaretti and cinnamon:
300 g of butternut squash
a pinch of salt
250 ml of whole milk
1 whole egg and 1 egg white
50 grams of almond flour
50 g of cane sugar
For the caramel:
50 g of cane sugar
10 amaratti – italian almond biscuits
Clean the pumpkin, cut it into cubes, and cook it with a little salt water in a saucepan until it is soft.
Blend the pumpkin in a mixer and add eggs, sugar, milk, almond flour and vanilla.
Prepare the caramel separately by pouring the sugar, cinnamon and a little water into a small pan and cooking it over a high heat, stirring continuously with a wooden spoon. When the sugar begins to brown, lower the heat until the caramel is ready. Quickly pour the caramel into the molds, crumble the amaretti, and then pour the pumpkin mixture. Bake for about 1 hour at 180 ° C.
Once cold, put the puddings in the fridge to firm up for at least 2 hours.
They can be served with whipped cream or ice cream:)