Halloween & the Jalapeño of DOOM

This post was just going to be about Halloween, but this morning I received some breaking news that I need to mention first before going ‘on topic’. Thanks to all those who voted, my novel’s cover has made it to the semi-finals of AUTHORSdb’s cover competition. YAY! It’s nice to have something cool come from several days cursing at GIMP.

Now I’m aiming for the finals, & this means I need your votes yet again. Semi-final voting only lasts until the 5th of November, so please, take 2 minutes out of your coffee break to press that button (I believe you have to provide an email address to authenticate votes). I would love to make it to the finals. Thank you in advance!

Now, on to Halloween….

We don’t go overboard with Halloween (aka Samhain) in my house, it usually involves a couple of decorative candles, a carved pumpkin, & some festive food (to use up the pumpkin’s guts). My partner took up his manly duties & subdued & disembowelled the pumpkin. I was left to turn it into a work of art. Unfortunately, its small size & a thick skin made this a somewhat fiddly & sweary task. This year’s carving reflected my over-indulgence of Doctor Who, & I chose an iconic scary monster from the series, a Cyberman.

It didn’t start of promising. The cramped & tough nature of the pumpkin, plus a rusty saw, left me with an open blister on my finger, & the Cyberman missing an eye, & I wasn’t even half way done. I took a breather, located plasters, & started from scratch on another side, this time making sure to carve from the inside of the design outwards (allowing me to compensate for over-sawing). It worked. An hour later I had a yellow hand & a cramped back, but more importantly, I had a half decent pumpkin.

Can you tell what it is yet?
What about now?


But what to do with its innards?

The majority got chucked into my electric soup maker, along with a large carrot, some fresh turmeric root & garlic cloves, a leftover broccoli stem, half an onion, & some vegetable bouillon. The result was a nice tasting soup the colour of SunnyD, but 100% healthier. A small portion was used to make some vegan apple & pumpkin muffins. I followed this recipe, but substituted half a cup of apple for the pumpkin, & replaced the 4 teaspoon’s of various spices & vanilla with 4 teaspoon’s of home-made pumpkin spice mix.

Neon-orange soup & the prettier of the muffins


Meantime, my partner decided to make some guacamole to have with some home-made (British) chips. We have two jalapeño plants, which so far have produced just two peppers, one red, the other still green. We decided to use the one ripe pepper, along with one of our last tomatoes (as garnish) in the guacamole.

We sliced open the pepper to find it had no seeds. Disappointed, we decided to try the flesh to see if it had any spice to it at all.

What followed was us both thinking, “well this is a bust-h oly fuck!!!”

Turns out the pepper didn’t need seeds to be hot. Cue us running around the house like mad things as the flesh melted from our mouths. Glasses took too long. I threw politeness out the window & swigged soya milk straight from the carton (it did nothing), whilst my partner ladled water from the tap into his mouth by hand. In the end some olives & a sprig of fresh parsley saved us, but the hang-time on the pepper meant our throats were still burning 5 minutes later. I have never had anything as hot as that, & I’ve downed a spoonful of Sriracha (I thought it was sweet chilli dipping sauce).

Don’t let its small size fool you, this pepper packs a wallop. See the cut little portion to the left, I had a millimetre off that, my partner had a piece the same size as the whole fragment!


Needless to say, only a tiny fraction of the jalapeño went into the guacamole.


The rest of out Halloween evening was less death-defying, & was spent grazing on chips, not too spicy dip, & muffins, while watching the Strictly Come Dancing Halloween show & Doctor Who (FYI, it was an awesome episode!).


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