Born and raised in New England, one of the things I miss the most about this time of year are all the Fall festivities. I love apple picking, hiking colorful trails, yummy fall food, and of course, Halloween!
I’ve been living in Paris for 5 years now and this year is first time I haven’t organized anything for Halloween. In the past, I’ve held costume parties at other people’s houses (my tiny Parisian apartment couldn’t handle a soirée of that magnitude).
Although trying to get my French friends to play games was like pulling teeth (beer pong or doughnut-on-a-string anyone?), I found that house parties were great because people were more likely to dress up.
I’ve tried to have costume parties at Parisian bars but that was pretty much a fail:
i.e. My 24th birthday party when I asked everyone to come representing their country… Besides myself who was all decked out in American flag paraphernalia, the outcome was that one of my friends from the Philippines wore a traditional Filipino outfit and 2 people wore the colors of their country flag. That’s it.
And for my 25th mustache party? I had to provide the mustaches. Otherwise it was a no-go.
And lets not even get into the Halloween party I had at Bonne Nouvelle 2 years ago.
Anywho, what I’m trying to say is that trying to rally the French to go all-out for a Halloween party is pretty hard business. And now that I’m no longer a student, it’s even worse.
But for those of you in France who are looking to kindle the Halloween spirit like myself but aren’t up for the task of planning a huge shindig, there are still some things you can do 🙂 Here are my ideas…
1) Find a farm near you: Go apple picking and buy pumpkins!
There are actually several farms outside of Paris that you can get to by train. I like the Ferme de Viltain.
This year I went there and bought 10 kilos of apples (can you say tarte aux pommes?!), 2 Giant pumpkins (jack-o-lanterns!!), and 2 little pumpkins (to eat?). Score.
2) Make a jack-o-lantern. You’re never too old for this. Put it on your windowsill and impress your neighbors.
3) Make some delicious Fall food!
- Candied apples
- Homemade apple sauce
- Roasted curry pumpkin seeds (A good use of all those seeds from your jack-o-lantern)
- Pumpkin soup
- Stuffed mini-pumpkin
This last one is something I tried for the first time this year. I got the idea from a Naturalia flyer (organic grocery store here in France) and decided to improvise a little.
For the most part I followed this vegitarian recipe here: baked pumpkins with spinach mushrooms and cheese
BUT since I am a meat-lover, I changed it to include sausages… and a lot more garlic.
You can find my improvised recipe here: Baked mini-pumpkins with sausage, spinach & mushroom stuffing.
Well, that’s all I got for this year. If you have any other ideas on how to celebrate Halloween in France, feel free to share!