Seasonal mishaps

Is this Halloween accursed in some way? Under some spell? If things were going well, this would be a current photograph instead of one from a prior year.

Last night, some creature gnawed giant pits in the pumpkins that were going to be carved after work today. In places, the hull has been taken right down to the flesh inside. There’s no “good” side left. Candidates with teeth include gray foxes (unlikely), opossums (unlikely), and raccoons (probable). All these critters and more are to be seen frequently. They have accounted for all our cantaloupes thus far. I’m not even ingenious enough to carve faces in these cucurbits that will incorporate the gouges. They’re just all the wrong places. We’ve always left pumpkins out on a porch until carving time comes and nothing like this has ever happened.

And, then, there’s the trouble with the cakes. At this season, now that it’s a bit cooler, I bake a lot of Breton chocolate pound cake. The old tube pan is so dented and mis-shapen that it’s a bit of a disgrace. So I invested in a new Bundt pan. The first time, all was well, But since that initial success, the pan has been reluctant to release the cake. Every single cake has come from the pan in two pieces, and this is not one of those cakes that can be glued together with frosting and hidden under more frosting. It goes to the table pretty naked, so that people are fooled into thinking that it’s something that’s harmless to their diets.

So I don’t know whether I have the time or inclination to invest in two more pumpkins, and there’s a cake in the oven now (mixed this morning, batter chilled all day) and I’m in suspense about how it will emerge. I’m pretty certain that the cake will taste delicious, no matter how it looks, and Halloween will be fun, whether or not there are jack-o-lanterns on the porch. I always think of this as the national holiday of Austin and am just one of the many thousands who look forward to it every year.

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