If you are an Edward Gorey fan (and if you are into Halloween it’s hard for me to think you aren’t) then you probably know about his long habit of illustrating novels and doing book cover art for his own published works as well as for various and sundry in what was an amazing career (alas, gone too soon!). This year I was fortunate enough to come across a copy of The Dwindling Party (Random House, September 1982), about the visit of the MacFizzets to Hickyacket Hall – and was quick to purchase as it seemed in good condition (a birthday present to myself). Did I mention it was a pop-up book? It is a beautiful example of his stylings and wit and is fun to read aloud as one flips through curious and clever pages of the artist’s hand. If you haven’t come across one yourself, do check out online, it’s not to be missed. If you are fortunate enough to come across a good copy, don’t hesitate to pick one up if pocketbook allows. I won’t tell more and spoil the sneaky surprises it offers and I beg your indulgence for not giving up spoilers, I will simply post a couple pics (cover and one of the fold-outs) to tempt you…
Odd that throughout this time of the year anything pumpkin spice can seem like the end of a bad joke, worthy of a suffering sigh. Its appearance in items it should never be uttered in the same breath with, a la pumpkin spice hummus or sausage or salmon create the stuff of ghoulish nightmares. While the pumpkin parade of flavor combinations continues to surprise and revolt – I would like to take the time to point out my favorite go-to for pumpkin enhanced treats that offer no tricks, Trader Joe’s.
Once again, this strange little market offers a delectable dainty for an autumnal munchable in their Pumpkin Chocolate Chunk Oatmeal Cookie Mix. Simple one bowl mixing method gets you a lovely chewy cookie with amazing pumpkin flavor surrounding good-sized dark chocolate chunks that pair well with libation of choice; tea, coffee or milk. I also tried two variations – a quarter cup chopped walnuts which enhanced the cookie to amazing levels of yum, the addition of crunch-complemented chewiness was sublime.
My second variation was to add walnuts and flame raisins and this gave the cookie the trifecta of sweet, bitter and tang and while more interesting was almost too much of a good thing 😉 In any case, whatever variation you choose, do try these at home and tell me what you think. October is a month-long excuse for indulging in sweets and these will see you through.