Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Halloween Traditions

As a child we had several Halloween traditions. Some of these I passed onto my past nanny family of 20 + years and they adopted them. They also developed their own traditions. So here is a summary of the blending of some fun customs you may also enjoy!

Carving Pumpkins
This is a given for many families but we took it a bit further by having each child and adult in the household carve at least three and sometimes four pumpkins for our annual display. When the children were small they drew their design or face on their pumpkins and the adults did all the carving. Once they were old enough to use the plastic carving "saws" we let them do most of the work. Each year we'd chose a tall pumpkin and a large round pumpkin to carve Bert and Ernie (from Sesame Street). Once we get all our happy, scary, fun pumpkins carved we'd get them out on Halloween day to set up our display. We use holiday twinkle lights in our pumpkins - they are safe and a long string of them can light most many pumpkins. It made the house a favorite stop for the neighborhood for many years!

Spider Cracker Snack
After rest time or school we'd make Spider Crackers for our snack. You'll need two crackers of you choice for the body, Chinese noodles for the legs, raisins for the eyes and a nut butter or spreading cheese for the insides. Spread the cheese or nut butter onto one cracker, attach "legs" and top with second cracker. Stick "eyes" on with the cheese or butter and there you go! These snacks are easy to assemble and fun for children to make. We'd always have several on a plate for their parents to munch on when they got home from work.

Chili Dinner
This is something my mother always did for us and I started doing for my employer family - making a hearty chili dinner before going out Trick-or-Treating. My mother never wrote down a recipe and thus the final product was often different from one time to the next. I, of course, do it the same way. The basics are ground turkey or beef, a variety of beans of your choice (I like chili beans, black beans and kidney beans), tomato sauce and seasonings to taste. Served with shredded cheeses and /or sour cream and wheat bread, it really makes a full meal. A great warm start to an exciting evening.

Pumpkin Pie
After a night of Trick-or-Treating at the neighbors everyone would come back together for a slice of pumpkin pie and warm up by the fireplace. We'd take this time to hear all about the fun, inspect and sort out their candy. They could have one candy treat but often the pie was the bigger draw. It it was an especially cold night we might also serve hot apple cider or hot chocolate. I remember it as a sweet time to be together before heading off to bed.

We'd love to hear about your traditions!! Won't you share with everyone by making a comment?

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