Memories of Halloween Past

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Margot Howe

Assistant Cook
Joined
Jun 28, 2017
Messages
43
Location
Coventry
Finally, we have a touch of Fall here in New England. The color on the trees is starting to show. We've had a few brisk nights, almost touching the freezing mark. With Halloween just ten days away, memories of past celebrations floating in the back of my mind come forward.

As children, my sister, brother, and I would scrounge the closets and wrack our brains to figure out what we would be. I somehow always ended up being a hobo. It was not in the budget to buy things like princess dresses, nor were my talents great enough to accomplish such a thing.

During the college years, the memories are different. Trick or treating with a mug to various fraternities usually landed us in some sort of trouble.

Living in small-town America, the Fire Department put on a Halloween party for the children of their members. My husband was a volunteer so we would go yearly. One year we found an audacious blow-up thing that was worn on the head of our oldest child. She was a happy child to standout among the crowd but won no prize. The following year, the costume was handed down to child #2. He won first prize with it. Child #1 was furious.

As young married adults we attended parties of a different kind. The intention was to go and not be recognizable. We accomplished that one year as the husband dressed in army fatigues and I as a mummy – wrapped in layers of torn sheets and gauze. The best part of that gathering was that their near-adult son was incredulous that he could not recognize who was under all that makeup. Mission accomplished.

Not being particularly talented in crafts, I do put in an effort to make the home welcoming to the neighborhood children on Trick or Treat night. Having a reputation for handing out full-sized candy bars has not hurt that. And depending on time and finances, I try to decorate for just the one evening. In the past I have taken days to choose patterns for the carving of pumpkins, always trying for three completely different designs. I also purchase white lunch bags and put a black cutout of either a witch, hissing cat, or a bat on the bag. I weigh it down with sand and place a battery operated tea light in it. I use these to line the walk up to the front door. At the door, the children are greeted with a gruesome witch that cackles – motion activated. She floats just away from the front door and has startled more than one accompanying adult. Fun stuff!!

Of late, we gay divorcees and widows gather at my house. We share a meal and take turns answering the door to pass out treats. We attempt to play cards in between the ringing of the doorbell. It does not always allow us to keep track of who's play it is, but we have fun, eat chocolate, and have a good meal.

October is also the time I start baking for the holidays. I have fruitcakes that I make by the dozen as gifts for friends and family. Fortunately, it is a good recipe. It was brought over on the boat from England when my Mom immigrated. It is a two-day affair and as I make so many, you never know when the kitchen will be filled with their aroma. A favorite memory I have of Halloween is that of one day of Trick or Treat. I was taking fruitcakes out of the oven and passing out candy. As two young men left the door, I overheard one say to the other “Boy. That house sure smelled awesome.”
 

Kayelle

Chef Extraordinaire
Joined
Mar 17, 2010
Messages
14,789
Location
south central coast/California
Thanks for sharing Margot, that was a nice read. I've been lucky to visit your part of the country in the fall, and I'll never forget the spectacular colors. For me, my least favorite time of year is the Fall. The Devil Winds (Santa Ana's) blow so much of the time, and the closest thing to "falling leaves" is palm fronds crashing to the ground. However, I sure don't have any weather complaints about the rest of the year here.
I miss the little kids we used to get at the door when I lived in a traditional young neighborhood, but everyone has only grown kids around us now.
I remember the first year my younger son (now 45yrs) dressed for Halloween. He was such a painfully shy little guy with a head full of blonde curls, so we dressed him like Harpo Marx, complete with the top hat, vest, and horn so he could toot it for his treats.
Today, few people with little kids know who Harpo Marx was. ;)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rMBBhyV3sME
 
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Cheryl J

Chef Extraordinaire
Joined
Jun 4, 2012
Messages
10,080
Location
California
Great stories of the past, Margot and Kay.

I remember one particular year when I was around 5. I wanted to be a princess for Halloween, and my mother bought me a beautiful lacy princess gown - at least I thought it was at the time, but it was probably just a frilly nightgown. :LOL: I found out at the last minute that my friends were all wearing masks, so I had to have one, too. The one I liked was a monkey mask, and mom bought it for me. So there I was on Halloween....wearing a frilly princess gown and a monkey mask. LOL :LOL:
 

CarolPa

Executive Chef
Joined
Apr 1, 2013
Messages
3,135
Location
Pittsburgh PA
My memories of Halloween when I was young was that my mother never limited the amount of candy I ate, so half of mine was usually gone before I went to bed. LOL
 

jd_1138

Sous Chef
Joined
Jan 14, 2016
Messages
577
Location
Ohio
My memories of Halloween when I was young was that my mother never limited the amount of candy I ate, so half of mine was usually gone before I went to bed. LOL

Tummy ache. lol.

I remember when I first started to go trick or treating. That was in the 1970's. We'd be gone for hours by ourselves -- vaguely supervised by our 10 year old "big" sister. The 1970's. How did we survive?
 

Margot Howe

Assistant Cook
Joined
Jun 28, 2017
Messages
43
Location
Coventry
Memories of Halloween

Kayelle - I sure hope you got a picture of your little Harpo Marx! It would be awesome!
 

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