I have to apologize to my fellow bloggers. I’m still trying to catch up with all of your lovely posts from when I was on vacation, but am enjoying reading them and replying as I get to them. Lots of great posts out there!
Halloween is fast upon us and this weekend I was feeling a bit zombie-like, since the moment I returned from vacation I put in about a 50-hour work week between Monday and Thursday to catch up. Whew.
Oh wait, maybe I meant those other kind of zombies…but I like these better! Ah, the life of the self-employed…but I’m truly fortunate to be busy!
Alas, work makes for less frequent blog posting sometimes.
Or looking at other people’s blog posts.
Or taking the time to reply to their blog posts.
Or being coherent.
But on to more seasonal talk. I LOVE Halloween. I’ve gone through many phases with it, from being “into” elaborate handmade costumes, to being uninterested in costumes, to winning costume awards to not feeling like dressing up, period. My year as a very authentic Statue of Liberty including an aqua green patina from head to toe might have been my penultimate costume, so for now I’m resting on those laurels. For many years we attended a fabulous Halloween party and planned our carefully crafted costumes well in advance. Unfortunately, they had to stop as it got out of hand, growing from a core group of known guests to about 200 folks tromping through their house—most of whom they didn’t know (hard to identify folks in costume) and that had just come in from the street. Let’s say they weren’t good guests. The city life on Halloween night can be something else…really something else.
While I have no plans to dress up this year, I will at least don my witches’ hat and some choice witchy earrings, possibly a cape and maybe some ghoulish make-up to dole out goodies to trick-or-treaters on Monday. And of course, the pumpkins must be carved…my favorite thing to do.
I don’t use the fancy tools, not that there’s anything wrong with that at all, I just do a quick sketch, then freehand carve with a kitchen knife and see what happens, just like we did when I was a kid. Each year, we usually have anywhere from 40-80 kids come through…a popular neighborhood it seems!
This year’s two rather smallish pumpkins are now jack-o-lanterns awaiting their big night. Our two kitties have served as inspiration for pumpkins the last three years. You can judge how well I captured their likeness from my photos of them on the fall post.
In honor of the weekend and mostly because our weather has taken a decidedly chilly turn (I remember far many more sweltering Halloweens than chilly ones), I made a large batch of chili for last night and Monday night’s dinner before trick-or-treaters. Chili is my Halloween night dinner tradition, and you’ve already seen the post about my chili here and the recipe for it here.
I’ve had a hankering for apples lately, and had two lovely gala apples in the fridge. This inspired me to come up with a new cookie recipe to have for dessert tonight, as apples are so seasonal. The result: Fresh Apple and Walnut Oatmeal Cookies with Sweet Cider Glaze. This is a recipe I cobbled together from several recipes, using my own favorite ingredients, then added a little glaze on top because I had some mulled cider and thought it might make an interesting touch. They were such a hit that I’ve decided to keep them in the repertoire for fall and the holidays. Give these a try and see what you think.
Have a very Happy Halloween y’all!
You make a great Lady Liberty, Betsy! Love your cat-o-lanterns…and those cookies look devilishly good! Happy Halloween!
Hi Nancy, I loved doing the Liberty costume. I can’t believe we didn’t get a good picture of it and by the end of the night, it was totalled! Cat-o-lanterns…I love it! These apple cookies are so easy to make and so good…you should try them. Happy Halloween to you, too!~Betsy
I love the feline jack o lanterns. And isn’t it crazy how you have to make up for your vacation!
Thanks, Greg! RE vacation, yep, it’s the fast paced world we live in…trying to fit it all within a much shorter timeframe!
It almost defeats the purpose of a vacation, if you have to work twice as long and hard when you get back. “Almost” being the operative word. Welcome back and love the cat o’lanterns. Your cookies sound fantastic!
I know, timing was the villan on my vacation, really. All was planned in advance to a schedule, and then there were delays in approvals…not so uncommon in my field, but kind of taxing when you can undo all the good that vacation did 3 days after you return! Thanks for your compliments John, these cookies are really good, and almost gone after a racing gathering last night. Actually it was your post on that delicious sounding cheddar crusted apple pie that made me start to think “apples, I want something with apples.” Glad you like my cat-o-lanterns. They are a hit with the kiddos!
I adore those jack o lanterns, .. coming from a halloween free country (when i was a kid), i am fascinated by these pumpkin creations but not so impressed by the commercial side of it! Now i live in ta rural area so i still do not need to get involved, it is a city thing the trick or treating! Your cookies look adorable and i hope you are caught up on your work. So where are the vacation pics?.. c
C, I can see why trick or treating in a rural area would be difficult! Thanks for the compliments on the jack-o-lanterns and the cookies. I’m going to post the jacks lit shortly. Alas, their models were kind of Halloween party poopers when all the activity started…they just yawned. About the vacation pics, they are in my Going Coastal post…the one before this one, check it out! I’m caught up with work for the moment and today has been a fun and more normally paced day. A very Happy Halloween to you!