Oct 162012
 

Rocks painted by Chris Feldsparr, Mother of the Head Candy Corn of Gothtober.com

Time for a mid-month Gothtober “Fall Interlude”

Been feeling horribly homesick for the last three weeks. I grew up in a beautiful place, running through orchards to pick apples for pies that Mom would bake. I’d hide in Grapevines, and watch as over the months, they’d turn from rich deep green into a sea of fire colored wonder flanked by dark coniferous trees during Autumn. I miss the scent of the rich loam of northern dirt, mustard flowers, redwood trees and even the cow pies. Especially prevailing at this time of year is “first crush” or the smell of fermented grapes processed and placed into wooden barrels by wineries in their haste to take advantage of the season’s best. I may be an Angeleno, but river water runs in my blood, and I’m a Forestville girl at heart.

I also miss my family, who are all really awesome, and what makes homesickness even more excruciating? Photos from HOME! Mom sent me pictures of she and Papa Rick’s pumpkin patch, and she also sent me a photo of her fabulous halloween rocks! Mom’s a rock painter, as you can see, she’s quite good, and these petrified jack’o’lanterns are so dang adorable I want them ALL, but I’ll settle for just one, if she’s even giving them away! I think CraftNight’s going to have a rock painting night soon, thanks for the inspiration, Mom!

Mom and Papa Rick’s 2012 Pumpkin Patch Surprise! Look at ’em GROW!

And the PUMPKIN PATCH, well… in my mind I’m always thinking I’ll have a patch like this at some point, but our soil has so much clay, and it gets kind of hot for pumpkins down here, so it would take some kind of insane amount of diligence on our part to actually have a successful patch. For instance, itps 90 degrees outside right now! Scandalous!

But up north, it’s quite a bit cooler, there is fog, just the kind of cold damp environment for a squash to thrive. The Feldsparr Patch is AMAZING, just look at those pumpkins! Papa Rick is a consumate gardener, he’s always growing things in his garden, their potatoes are so buttery, their garlic is so ¬†much better than supermarket garlic, or even farmer’s market garlic! It’s always a pleasure coming home and eating from their homegrown patch of veggies! I wonder if pie is going to happen, or soup, or pumpkin pizza, or if they’re going to turn into Jack’o’Lanterns… I hope we’ll get an update!

This concludes the Gothtober mid-month “Fall Interlude”, thanks for reading!

– Julianna Parr, Head Candy Corn

Oct 042012
 

Pumpkin Illustration from “Jack & Jill” magazine 1953

Visit Gothtober Pumpkin #4 on the Gothtober Countdown Calendar and download a Zombie Recipe Classic from Artist and Designer, Yuki Okada!

It’s true that after awhile, even something as exciting as an entire plate of fresh brain curds can get tiresome. Yuki steps in today to steer you gently away from the same old boring gourmet brains to try something a little different, even, dare I say, refined. You see, Halloween doesn’t have to be all foil-wrapped mini candy bars, nor does it have to be triangular-shaped tri-c0lored candies masquerading as maize.

Halloween can get highbrow, it can be nimble like pointy spider legs or the claw of a rat’s foot. No matter how thin you slice it, it’s still mystery meat and it might as well be delicious. Zombies might at first be a little confused by this sumptuous dish, but give it about 30 seconds, and their senses will be overcome with this delectable alternative to the customary brain dish they usually demand.

This recipe is actually vegetarian, but very far from vegan, it involves seasonally appropriate ingredients suitable for placating your Jekylls or your Hydes when hosting gatherings. If you enjoy decadence, this is your jam.

The recipe also calls for a “sugar pumpkin” which is different from your everyday pumpkin that you see in the bins sitting at the entrance of your local supermarket. The main difference is that “carving” pumpkins are grown specifically for that purpose, and are more hollow inside. Sugar pumpkins, on the other hand, are grown for their taste, thus they are smaller, sweeter, a bit darker in orange color and packed with pulp to be used for things like soups, muffins, pies and breads.

You can find GREAT sugar pumpkins out at Lombardi Ranch, which is a trek, but worth it for the petting zoo, bands, scarecrow alley and all of their other seasonal produce. Take a look at their calendar, and get there early if you decide to go on a weekend, it gets pretty crowded. You should also make sure you have a “corn on a stick” there, as they serve possibly the best I’ve ever eaten at their farm stand. I discovered Lombardi Ranch in 1990, and it’s my go-to pumpkin patch for family fun.

Another favorite, from what I’ve heard but not seen, is the Faulkner Farm Pumpkin Patch out in Santa Paula, which has hay rides, pony rides, face painting… and something called a “Pumpkin Chucker” which sounds very intriguing.

Here’s a list of ALL of Los Angeles Pumpkin Fun, from Hay Rides to Corn Mazes!¬†

Other possible locations to find sugar pumpkins could be Trader Joe’s, Bristol Farms and Whole Foods. There you have it, now go get your sugar pumpkin and get cookin!