Happy Halloween! The older my kids get, the more we all enjoy Halloween. We try to add a couple of new decorations each year. This year we went into our woods and found 5 or 6 branches (about 7 ft tall) with lots of little branches. The kids made foam pumpkin faces…20 of them…and we hung those on the branches, which were in a big crock on our deck. We strung purple fairy lights and it made a cool Halloween tree. Then, when my mom was here kid-sitting, they added foam purple and black bats to it. It’s definitely something we’ll do again. It looks cooler at night, and I never said it was fine art!
We carved jack o’lanterns, of course. The little ones enjoyed getting the guts out, and then they loved the roasted seeds. I just washed the seeds and let them dry a little, then put them on a baking sheet. I sprayed them with olive oil cooking spray, sprinkled them with sea salt and black pepper, and roasted them at 300 for about 30 minutes. I think. I forgot about them while we were watching “Hocus Pocus” and my husband rescued them from the oven just as they were perfect.
The oldest was great at carving. In fact, he declared himself the Pumpkin Master. Whatever. He did make a cool pirate pumpkin, though. He used one of those little pumpkin saws, not an actual knife, for those grandparents or social workers who might be reading this!
We needed some treats for neighbors, so we dipped giant pretzels in white chocolate, then made eyes with mini Oreos, white chocolate, and chocolate chips. The nose is a jellybean and the claws are melted chocolate. They’re perched at the edge of the caramel apple dip we had for dessert last night. It’s so yummy. I just put some cream cheese in the middle of a platter, drizzle caramel sauce over it (Trader Joe’s Salted Caramel), then sprinkle it with Heath bits from the baking aisle. We have it with Granny Smith apples, because you need to cut the sweetness!
The boys and I made these for teacher gifts. They should have been fun and easy, but turned into an all-afternoon project. We waited too long to gather our materials…it started pouring rain just as we walked outside. So all the trimmings were wet and we had to wait for them to dry. Once dry, I tried every form of glue I had. Finally E6000 worked, but it takes a long time to dry. The boys were proud of the results, though, and excited to give them to their teachers. I think the teachers probably appreciated something that wasn’t candy.
Oh, and that blurry photo of the jacks up top? I took about a dozen photos, but various family members insisted on walking by the camera just as I pushed the button. The shutter was staying open a long time because it was dark and I didn’t want to use a flash, so the walking by shook every exposure. That one’s the best I managed. Not bad.
Have a hauntingly good Halloween!