Tuesday, 2 November 2010

It's been a slice

Morning, as autumn wheels inexorably toward winter. The grass is silver with frost and crunches subtly underfoot. The most stubborn of leaves are giving up in droves and plummeting. I'm waiting for the #150, planting myself under a grand maple because it's All Souls Day already and I have failed to catch a single leaf for wishing. I catch two before the bus pulls up then watch gardens full of doomed, sparkling flowers flash by. Amid ghostly filthy snowman made from last weekend's snowfall, abandoned jack o' lanterns glitter with frost on this cloudless, bright, freezing morning.

I'm always come over with a sense of loss and waste as I survey smashed, rotting or shrivelling pumpkins. So many delicious pies that will never be.

Every All Saints' Day and for a few days afterward (if I'm persistent and don't allow the rot to set in), I put on my trusty DVD set of the Royal Shakespeare Company's marathon stage version of The Life and Adventures of Nicholas Nickleby Dickens, I feel, always smacks of late fall and early winter. Then I put out bowls and chopping boards and reduce the jack o' lanterns to saffron cubes before steaming several double boilers' worth, mashing them and stuffing them into two-cup freezer bags. (Canned pumpkin in my pies? Nevah!!! Canned pumpkin is mostly squash, y'know...)

This is a large project that easily takes up the length of the Nicholas Nickleby DVDs, which are among my favourite things ever. Someone has been kind enough to post nine minutes of what is a nine-hour show. Of the four main actors in this particular scene, only Roger Rees played one character, most of the fourteen cast members played anywhere from half a dozen to a dozen characters throughout the play:
A bit of trivia: the blond actress is Cathryn Harrison, a granddaughter of Rex Harrison. While searching for this clip I found a blurred but watchable version of the South Bank Show on the creation of this production. But I must to bed. I'll mash a bit of pumpkin before I go.


JoeinVegas said...

Pumpkins - a much better use than fuzzy Jacks.

Persephone said...

Well, they still get fuzzy if I don't complete the process soon enough. NaBloPoMo isn't helping...