Halloween is my favorite holiday, and has been for about as long as I can remember. I like the spooky mixed with the mundane of suburbia. I like the idea of ghosts and ghouls coming out for just that one night to walk among us. And, yeah, I like the idea of candy. Hey, I’m only human.
I don’t remember my first Halloween, but I do have some fabulous Halloween memories. When I was young (younger than 7 as I remember the house, so it was pre-divorce of the parental units), my elementary school had a Halloween fair. This was Back In The Day When Parents Let Their Kids Walk Around After Dark, and I walked the four or so blocks to the school for the carnival (mostly with friends) and then walked home again in the dark. But coming home, I was laden down with goodies. One such goody was a peanut butter cake. Now, I loved (and still love) peanut butter. I’ll take a peanut butter cookie (if it’s my mom’s recipe) over chocolate chip any day. But I had never had a peanut butter cake before, and I was thrilled beyond belief at what I was certain was going to be a taste-sensation.
Yes, you guessed it. I tripped and–kerplop went that cake! (Of course, the truth is it was still tasty, if a little bit squished. Thank you Saran Wrap for keeping it covered!)
Ah, that first keen Halloween memory. And so many more to come…
The picture at the very top is of my oldest daughter at her first Halloween (well, actually her second, but her birthday’s just a few days before, so she wasn’t much more than an orange blob playing at being a pumpkin). Honestly, I think I missed the boat by not baby-modeling that kid. Can you say “college fund”? Not that I’m biased or anything.
Here’s the same little girl last year.
Yeah. Things change.
And here are my two little angels on two different years:
Back when those pictures were taken, we lived in a neighborhood with one acre lots, so that trick-or-treating was worth it (you burned off all those carbs just trotting to the next house). Thus the trick-or-treating in the shopping mall (see the Rue 21 sign?). Some shoe store gave the kids coupons. COUPONS!!! Helllllooooooooooooo? (picture me banging my head against a wall). Shopping mall trick-or-treating is not for the meek.
Now, though, we live in Bigtime Suburbia where the neighbors know each other and the kids get “booed” (someone leaves a basket of candy on your porch during the season and you’re not afraid to eat it!) and the neighborhood is so trick-or-treat oriented that folks actually don’t bother closing their doors and waiting for the ring. They just set up tables in their front yards and let the ghouls and goblins come grab the candy.
it. is. awesome.
And in celebration of that awesomeness, I have two treats (and no tricks!) for all of you.
First off, I can’t offer a peanut butter cake recipe, but I can help you out on those cookies I mentioned earlier.
Here you go:
Grease cookie sheet and sift together:
1 c. sifted flour
1/2 t. soda
1/4 t. salt
Beat the following 2 minutes, then add the above. Beat 1 minute.
1/2 c. shortening (soft)
1/2 c. brown sugar, firmly packed
1/2 c. granulated sugar
1 unbeaten egg
1/2 c. peanut butter
1 T water
1/2 t vanilla
Drop by teaspoonfuls on sheet and press lightly with fork dipped in flour – to flatten cookies and ridge the tops.
Bake: 325 degreesF for 15-20 minutes
makes 3 1/2 dozen yummy cookies
(and for those of you who have followed my eating adventures or who know me well, no, it’s not Paleo. But it’s pretty dang yummy.)
And, finally, did you know that THE CAT’S FANCY takes place right around Halloween? In fact, Halloween plays a pivotal role in the story because … oh, wait. No spoilers! And in honor of the Halloween connection, I’ve marked the book down at Kindle and Nook. So if you don’t already have a copy, grab one! (And if you do have a copy and are so inclined, I would totally appreciate tweets and/or honest reviews at Amazon or B&N.com or wherever you’d like to post. That’s always mucho appreciated!)
Happy Haunting Everyone!