Thursday, 27 October 2011

Lighting up the Night: Diwali, Halloween or the Struggle Between Sweet and Salty

Lots of pumpkins yesterday at the Jean Talon Market, all ready to be carved for Halloween next week.

I didn't see anyone preparing lights for Diwali, though, whose beginning was celebrated by South Asians yesterday. It also is a festival of lights, and in Anita Rau Badami's novel The Hero's Walk, almost makes up for the loss of Halloween when one little girl raised in Vancouver is transported back to India.

Here's a link to a Diwali treat, chewda. It's not unlike the nuts and bolts snack mix that was popular at cocktail parties 40 years ago, only chewda is much better and more highly spiced, IMHO.

My decided preference for fat and salty things probably may have contributed to my famous "stinginess" at Halloween. Our treats were always little boxes or raisins or something similar. The kids, of course, craved candy, and were half embarassed at what we handed out, until they had eaten enough of their Halloween loot to have a sugar high. I've mellowed a bit in my old age--I've even been known to buy little packs of M&Ms (definitely superior to Smarties.) But I'll take chewda any day.


lagatta à montréal said...

You will find Diwali celebrations and treats one neighbourhood west of Jean-Talon Market, in Parc-Extension, which used to be mostly Greek and is now mostly South Asian. Even the Parc/Jean-Talon Loblaws sells Diwali snacks, though of course they are much better homemade. Some of the little restaurants also make fresh naan bread, so much better than the packaged type even if you are taking it home.

Alas the walk up to Parc-Ex from Outremont, while not long, is most dispiriting...

I dislike sweets too, in general, with some not-too-sweet cake exceptions,(such as French yogourt cake with lemon, or Dutch apple cake) but I'd always much prefer savouries. Can we hand them olives or, if they eat meat, charcuteries? Perhaps tiny Babybel cheeses in the pretty red and yellow wax? Those aren't too strong for most kids' tastes, though I liked sharp Cheddar and Gruyère even as a wee thing.

My word verification is "babicat"!

patricia said...

Happy Halloween! I miss it a lot. Is Jeanne going to give away candies with you?

(I prefer Smarties.)

Mary Soderstrom said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Mary Soderstrom said...

Jeanne is in St. Léonard this evening, but we carved a pumpkin yesterday. She was more interested in mashing the seeds and strings from the inside with a spoon than making the jack o'lantern. That will be different next year, I suspect.