Halloween as odd this year- not the normal type of strangeness though . . . this was work related. Paul had to work last night. There was a possibility that I'd have to work as well. Plus the past few weeks have been so nuts with work that there was no time to do any of our usual preparation. We had 2 uncarved pumpkins and the candy.
We did not bother decorating the front yard - and of course the neighbours noticed and kept asking what was up.
Paul started work at 1:00 PM. Because we didn't know if I'd be working or not we decided to carve the pumpkins anyway so they'd be ready if I was home.
In the afternoon I had word that I would not have to work (instead I get to go at it today SIGH). I quickly set up the treats to hand out.
When it got dark I lit the jack-o-lanterns and waited for the kids.
We had over 100 kids and their costumes were great. I guess with trick or treating being on a weekend parents had more time to spend getting the kids ready. It was nice to focus on something other than work for a change!
Paul finished work at 9:30.I picked him up and we had a later dinner. Our traditional Hallowe'en meal is chili. I didn't make any but had some in the freezer . . . an easy dinner. :-)
It was a chilly and wet Hallowe'en around here. We were worried that we'd have fewer children than usual but we didn't - although they arrived in a different pattern than in the past.
I'm getting ahead of myself.
I was a bit cranky - my boss scheduled a department meeting for the 31st. This is the first time I have had to work on Halloween in 13 years. I was NOT impressed.
Because I had to work we had planned on carving the pumpkins on Thursday night .. . then we had some wine with dinner. ..and some more and before you know it the wine was done and so were we. No way I was grabbing a knife to start digging into a big orange gourd!
I left work as soon as the meeting was finished, did my errands, and picked Paul up at work.
Our first task was carving those pumpkins. . .
We were all ready to go by 5:00 and I even had time for a rest.
We had appetizers in front of the fireplace while we waited for the children to arrive. They came later than usual - we had no one until at least 6:15 - and they came in groups. At one time we had 22 arrive at the same time!
I think because we have lived here for about 12 years many of the children who moved into the neighbourhood originally have outgrown Hallowe'en and many new families have arrived. The kids we saw were much younger than in previous years which was wonderful.
They arrived in rain gear covered costumes with their parents (many of whom were also in costume). I laughed at one dad who complimented us on our pumpkins. As he left I heard him say 'did you see those pumpkins? They were amazing. It took me 90 minutes to carve a crooked face'.
If only he knew how easy it is to carve cool pumpkins with the stencils and craving tools you can buy. . . well, everywhere!
In the end we had about 115 kids.
I made the traditional big pot of chilli which we served in the sourdough bread bowls that we brought back from San Francisco.
No doubt tomorrow night you'll be sneaking a few chocolate bars in between rings of the doorbell. Since it is Friday you might want to have some wine with those chocolate bars. Here is how you can pair the two:
Smarties - A common sugary, treat found in buckets and bags, Muscat wine isn’t perfect but a good compliment for the sweet treat.
Starbursts – A fruity favorite, a wine with noble rot like Beringer’s Nightingale will pair nicely.
Jollyranchers – The high acidity in Chenin Blanc off sets the sweetness in Jollyranchers.
Red Licorice - Pinot Noirs already have cherry undertones that make this pairing a no brainer.
Twix- The refreshing sweetness of Ice Wines taste delicious with Twix’s recipe of caramel, cookie and chocolate.
Kit Kat, 3 Musketeers – Kit Kats and 3 Musketeers are lighter, fluffier candy bars and need a medium wine like Merlot.
M&M’s – Everyone’s favorite candy that melts in the mouth, not in the hands, will melt perfectly with Red Zinfandel.
Mounds – For the coconut lovers (like myself), Cabernet Sauvignon’s harsh tannins actually pair well with Mound’s dark chocolate.
Hershey’s Dark chocolate – The bitter dark chocolate in Hershey’s makes a statement with the powerful red Syrah.
Snickers, Reese’s Cup, Candy Corn, Classic Caramel – Port already has a strong, sweet, creamy taste. Pair it with chocolate, caramel and any type of peanut and an amazing, memorable combination ensues.
We left the snow behind and headed to California for a long weekend of fun. We shoppedm toured wineries, tasted olive oil, met up with good friends, and ate some wonderful food. I can't wait for slow bowl 2009.