Saturday, November 01, 2008

Recovering from Halloween

There are many scary elements to this picture, not the least of which is the fact that the daughter is wearing a dress to make Halloween treats.
This is from the Better Homes and Gardens Birthdays and Family Celebrations cookbook, 1963. I do have many interesting Halloween celebration ideas in various cookbooks, including an "Apple Bobbing Party" from the Southern Heritage Celebrations book, where they recommend cooking "Steak on a Stick" right next to marsh mellows - and this is even pictured. But this one caught my eye for the odd popcorn ball treats, including "Chief Jellybean" and the "Good Witch". This book also suggests that Dad do the 'knife work' on the pumpkin. I'm happy to let my husband do those sorts of things, but was curious about why Mom couldn't do it...

Yesterday, I did my first party as one of three kindergarten room moms. It was pretty fun - I actually used some of my gear from teen programs at the library for games. The kids had cones filled with peanut free trail mix, taffy apple bar, fruit and huge goody bags among games and a parade. Then the boys and I went in costume to the hospital to visit my Dad, only to find a party in progress there too. My baby wore a skeleton sweatsuit during the day and a Winnie the Pooh costume at night. The kindergartner wore an Obi One costume, though the light saber was not allowed at school!

Then we all went trick or treating at night. Surprisingly, a pocket of my neighborhood goes crazy for Halloween. I am talking huge fog machines, yards complete with animated witches and things coming out of the ground, and complete graveyards. The families dressed up in vintage costumes, with theater lighting and effects. Now, my five year old was mildly curious about these, and elected instead to visit the homes with the garage doors open and the men with complete bars set up handing out some candy. Which is scarier? I did ask one of the production homes what they would do for Christmas. One told me he already has it planned...

So November is here, along with Thanksgiving. It's also National Novel Writing Month, and of course I signed up. I also got a new contract for another librarian book with Kim Patton, am speaking in Nashville next weekend, am hosting Thanksgiving, and have a bunch of work and writing deadlines - including the staff mystery dinner tonight - but I'm sure I can fit it in, right?
Maybe. Last year I did manage to write every day of November.

Here's a recipe from SH Celebrations Thanksgiving to get everyone in the mood:
Cranberry Frappe
2 cups fresh cranberries
2 cups water
2 cups boiling water
3 oranges, halved
3 lemons, halved
2 cups sugar

Since I don't really think anyone wants to make this - and you can email or comment if you do - essentially you boil this stuff - strain it, mold the pulp - and I'm not kidding- into a bread loaf pan. Yum yum.

I just finished Chaiverini's Quilter's Kitchen. Lots of good recipes in there. Good gift for any cooks or quilters for Christmas. That is one of my favorite series - many feel good elements, but lots of realistic life overtones. Some volumes are quite sad, but the history is very interesting.

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