Halloween in Paris

Ieva, me, and Edouard & our jack-o-lanterns

Ieva, me, and Edouard & our jack-o-lanterns

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.

Me & Sandrine at La Ferme de Viltain

Me & Sandrine at La Ferme de Viltain (Oct. 2014)

2) Make a jack-o-lantern.  You’re never too old for this.  Put it on your windowsill and impress your neighbors.

Edouard and me making jack-o-lanterns in 2012

Edouard and me making jack-o-lanterns back in 2012

3) Make some delicious Fall food!

My favorites:

  • 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.

Baked mini-pumpkin with sausage, spinach, & mushroom stuffing

Baked mini-pumpkin with sausage, spinach, & mushroom stuffing

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!

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