Halloween has always been one of my favorite holidays. I loved it as a kid. I had this GIANT plastic pumpkin about a foot and a half tall that would get filled ¾ full with candy. I didn’t mess with those tiny little 6 inch round plastic Jack-o’-lanterns, trick or treating is serious business. You need to have the right tools.
Now as an adult, I just enjoy the spirit of giving joy to the neighbors, as they share their creative costumes with me. So, Halloween has always been a big deal for me. We’ve hosted our family and friends for over 10 years. When we moved to this neighborhood, I intended to keep the tradition going. Thankfully, my new neighbors warned me, “Make sure you buy LOTS of candy.” To which I responded, “Hmph, are you talking to me? (insert eye roll here) I ALWAYS buy lots of candy,” and they responded, “No, I mean LOTS and LOTS of candy.” There was a sense of warning in their voice. So I said, “like how much???” This is when they filled me in on the details, and I went directly to the internet and had half the candy in California delivered to my doorstep.How to be Neighborly: On Halloween, keep the lights on.
Halloween begins as soon as the sun sets, and a small but steady stream of neighbors drop by with the younger trick or treaters. About one hour later is when the action really starts. Hoards. Droves. Herds. Masses… of spidermen, witches, warlocks, teenage mutant ninja turtles, princesses, supermen, ladybugs, clowns, ballerinas, and the like, descend on the neighborhood with their plastic pumpkins, backpacks and pillowcases ready to be filled. A courteous line forms all the way down the driveway, and creatures of all kinds file in, orderly, smiling, waiting. One by one, they arrive at the door, hopeful, smiling. “Trick or treat!” they exclaim with joy. There’s no tricks, only treats. Off they go to the next house that has an equally long line. This goes on for about 2 hours, or until the candy runs out. About 1,500 kids served and counting.
Thank goodness for the internet…. and my neighborly warning! Look for the November wrap up on Halloween 2016 in an upcoming post! I hope it’s a good year!
Here’s a pumpkin soup recipe that will keep you warm as you dish out the sweets…
Smoked Pumpkin Soup
This soup is great because it’s super easy, delicious, and basically fat free.
- 1 onion, diced
- 1 tsp hot smoked paprika (*)
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 3 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp pepper
- 28 oz can diced tomatoes
- 29 oz can pumpkin puree (unsweetened)
- 2 c chicken broth (or veggie if making vegetarian)
In a pot, place 4 tablespoons water, diced onion, paprika, garlic powder, salt and pepper. Combine and sweat the onions in the spices over medium low heat for 3-5 minutes. Don’t let them brown. Put the onions in a blender, and then add the remaining ingredients. Puree until smooth. Return the soup to the pot and heat for another 5 minutes. You can make this ahead and reheat when ready to serve.
(*) If you want it spicy, then double the paprika.