Happy Harvest and Halloween to everyone! What a great time for a glass of apple cider, donuts, a slice of pumpkin pie, and a candied apple. There is no shortage of great foods to eat! Yes, sometimes it feels like calorie and perhaps sugar overload!
Many people consider the October harvest as a celebration of a bountiful fall season. For me, the Harvest season is a wonderful time of baking pies and transitioning from grilling to bringing out the slow cooker to make stews and hardy soups. I need a mental transition from summer to winter as I love the warm weather and dislike bitter cold temperatures and snow. My summer is typically packed with outdoor activities. The harvest time helps me prepare to slow down for a while.
Over the years, I have enjoyed Halloween from a different perspective. When I first met my husband he would go to Mayer Brothers for cider and donuts. Now, I too love going to Mayer Brothers and it is a yearly event for us! Mayer Brothers is a family-owned cider mill started in1852. The original intention of this mill was to press the apples of local farmers and families into cider. Over time they started to produce their own apple cider (which is excellent) and expanded into selling other homemade goods and products.
It would not be Halloween if we did not stop for an apple slushy and a donut. It can be hard to get close to it as there can be lines going outside the building. This year, we had to drive by several times before we could get close to the place. We even tried during a home football game thinking there would be less people. To our surprise it was packed with a line out the door. Not only do they have real apple cider but home made goods such as donuts and pies. Plus a ton of other yummy items. This year we are trying a local made sweet chili sauce that is delicious. Yes, it can be a dangerous place!
My husband loves to carve a pumpkin and place a candle in it for Halloween night. Each year we (well Greg) picks out two large pumpkins that have a nice carving front. They look so nice in front of our house lit with a candle. The children who come around for trick or treats comment on seeing a real carved pumpkin.
I am not so talented to carve a real pumpkin. So I get a painted pumpkin. I like to get one with a funny face!
On Halloween night we always have a quick dinner since trick or treats start at 6:00. We get anywhere between 40 and 90 children. My mother will get around 300 children as people drop them off by the carloads. It is not unusual to have 20 kids running at you all at the same time for their candy. Typically my mother stays in the garage since she is kept pretty busy. Plus she wants to make it easier for the children so they do not have to navigate the stairwell in such large groups.
With the storm on the east coast this year, it is hard to know how many will be brave enough to go outside. And some of the children are growing up and may be too old to go out. I do enjoy watching the children run down the street. They are so excited running from house to house. Sometimes I do not get to the door in time and they are standing on the porch yelling “trick or treats” and are looking into the house to see if someone is coming. They are just too adorable! The little ones are so cute in their costumes and not quite sure what is going on. Typically their parents are telling them what to do.
Before the kids arrive, Greg puts the pumpkins outside and light the candles. Once it is dark we go outside to admire the glowing pumpkins. We typically have the movie Halloween on – though the best part is the intro music and pumpkin that takes over the screen. And of course who doesn’t love “It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown”! Below is a picture of my decorative piece celebrating this great cartoon!
I remember as a child that Halloween was typcially a cold, windy night as we lived near the lake. We often received strong winds from the lake. Our costumes were simple and came in a box with a clear lid. There would be a plastic mask with a plastic gown. If the mask did not fit properly, it steamed up inside as you breathed. And since it was typically cold, you had to wear your coat over your plastic gown.
One year I was taking a young boy out for trick and treats. His costume was the Kool-Aid character used in their commercials. This was a very popular drink at that time. Of course the evening was spent with everyone yelling out the famous commercial sayings “oh yeaaahhh” or “Kool-Aid”. Unfortunately the strong winds would get underneath the large Kool-Aid pitcher he was wearing and would blow him to the ground and he would start to roll down the hill! Yes, always be careful of your costume selection on a windy night!! I think we were both glad when that night was over!
I would love to hear about your Halloween traditions or how you celebrated as a child. It is always nice to hear your stories!