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… and many other worthy things.
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I think the last costumes I made for my two grandchildren who live in California was a cross between a princess and a witch for the girl and Dracula for the boy. Kristen’s was goth and beautiful and Josh’s was suave and debonair. She was charming of course, but I was sorry to see him with fake blood and horrid eye makeup. But that was quite a few years ago. After that they had other plans such as growing up. Costume making has been a little more rewarding for Olivia, she doesn’t favor the macabre, and in fact she has been emphatic about never wanting to be anything scary or gross for Halloween. I go all out with the costumes and they end up costing me far more than anything the stores sell. Well that’s just fine with me, I could never relate to dressing up to a bloody, half dead trauma patient for fun. But that’s just me so I continue to make beautiful costumes for the girl as long as she wants them.
Pumpkins! The giant all American monstrosities, tasteless and full of water are only good for jack-o'-lanterns and when finished composting. Trust me; it’s not worth the trouble to cook them. There is an actual pie pumpkin, much smaller and of course more flavourful than the jack-o'-lantern. But still not as good as the European pumpkin, the type street vendors used to sell from their drum stoves along with roasted chestnuts in times long gone.  I hold onto the romantic notion that the vendors still come out on chilly days in old Budapest...
After I get the girl from school today we will get a couple of pizzas and head up the hill for a quick bite and to record her getting ready to go out trick or treating with a girlfriend and the little cousin. When they leave the house I am coming home to hand out mini chocolate bars to the neighbouring kids. Once again the front yard is covered with maple leaves, its fun wading through the crunchy leaves. When the tricksters are gone I am hoping for a wind to carry the leaves next door haha, that way there will be less to rake into bags. Going by events of previous years, the next door’s tree will add to our pile. I can’t rake at the moment, the man won’t let me so I suppose once again it will be all up to him to tidy up the front yard. Have a great Halloween!


I used to be on the opinion that people should eat their annual slice of pumpkin pie and be done with it until next Thanksgiving or whatever they happen to be celebrating. Then I tried Chef John’s recipe. It went like wildfire.
2 cups of pumpkin puree
3 egg yolks
1 large egg
1 [300 ml] can sweetened condensed milk
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp fine salt
1/4 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
whipped cream for serving

• Preheat oven to 425 F.
• Whisk together pumpkin puree, egg yolks, and egg in a large bowl until smooth.
• Add sweetened condensed milk, cinnamon, ginger, salt, nutmeg.
• Whisk until thoroughly combined.
• Fit pie crust in a 9-inch pie plate and crimp edges.
• Pour filling into the pie shell and lightly tap on the work surface to release any air bubbles.
• Bake in the preheated oven for 15 minutes.
• Reduce heat to 350 F and bake until just set in the middle, 30 to 40 minutes.
• A paring knife inserted into the filling, 1 inch from the crust, should come out clean.
• Allow to cool completely before serving.

Watch Chef John’s video



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I began to post recipes for my family and it turned out to be a work in progress. "zsuzsa is in the kitchen" has over 900 recipes of Hungarian and international recipes. My recipes are organized into a cookbook format. On top of the page click on the cookbook to get access to all my recipes. If I ever figure out how to add a printer friendly gadget I will add it. In the meantime feel free to cut and paste. Happy cooking!

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