Hallows’ Eve

Halloween is one of those holidays with a purpose that’s not quite straightforward. Luckily the History Channel helps provide some insight!

  • Halloween is thought to have originated with the ancient Celtic festival of Samhain, celebrated on November 1. The day marked the end of summer and the harvest and the beginning of winter, a time of year when people perished in the cold.
  • On the night before, people believed that the dead would return as ghosts. People would leave food and wine outside to keep the ghosts away, and would wear masks when going out to disguise as fellow ghosts.
  • In the 8th century, Pope Gregory III designated November 1 as a time to honor all saints and martyrs; and the evening before was know as All Hallows’ Eve, which was later shortened to Halloween. Good to know!

This year I landed on the straightforwardly festive pumpkin costume. Shown below celebrating with Lesley, Claire, Beth, Kelsey, Corey and Rachel!

In other festive events, I made a trip to the Mansion on O St. in Dupont. Creepy! The building is part boutique hotel, event space and museum and entirely overwhelming with the amount of kitschy items on display.


For a team outing we were put to the test to find any hidden passageways in the four floors of connected row houses. Not an easy task! We found five out of about 70, which was apparently still an impressive feat.

Back at home in the kitchen, I simmered up a batch of vegetarian chili, packed with carrots, onions, peppers, tomatoes, black beans, broth and spices. It turned into a nice, warm harvest bowl! I followed this recipe, and guestimated some ingredient proportions: mental note to include less carrots next time. I’m new to this chili thing so haven’t found the best pairing – noodles or cornbread might make it into the next iteration, but pretzels worked for round one.

– EmPan



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