Halloween

porchI am a person who remembers absolutely everything. I remember being sick when I was two years old and believed (one, hopes, due to fever and not psychopathology) that tiny men were marching out of my laundry hamper. I remember the first day of kindergarten, the exact words in the note from Eric saying he didn’t like me that way in fifth grade, the way the flap of skin looked after I jumped on a clam shell in Maine when I was ten, and the phone numbers of all my friends from high school.  I remember the way the air smelled in Boston on a day when it carried the ocean into the City, and the diesel smell of the streets in Europe. I remember slights and offenses and try hard to forget them. I remember generosities and kindnesses, and try to cherish them.  I remember to do the things I say I’m going to do, unless I’m under enormous stress. (That’s a whole different issue).

So remembering things about Halloweens past should be easy, right?  All of the pumpkins, and costumes, and cobweb-covered porches should transport me back, like Proust in Rememberance of Things Past:

And suddenly the memory revealed itself: The taste was that of the little piece of madeleine which on Sunday mornings at Combray (because on those mornings I did not go out before mass), when I went to say good morning to her in her bedroom, my aunt Léonie used to give me, dipping it first in her own cup of tea or tisane.

No dice. I love Halloween; in general I prefer the autumn holidays because they don’t happen in summer (which I dislike) and I don’t have to buy gifts, decorate the house or forget to send cards again.

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peanutbuttercupckaesRich, dark, devilish. Like a big Reese’s peanut butter cup. The recipe for these cupcakes sounded amazing, although once I started following it I had to tweak it a bit to get it to work. When they were finished, they were sublime!

I used two 12-mini muffin tins to yield 24 tiny cupcakes. They have a small mound of peanut butter frosting on top, then a glaze of dark chocolate and a Reese’s peanut butter candy on top. I know you will love these once you try them.

They are even great right out of the freezer!

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psycho_40.jpgGrowing up I was generally a very agreeable child. I did what I was told and rarely pushed the envelope. So why did I go against my father’s better judgment and watch PSYCHO, even though he told me I’d regret it when I woke up with nightmares?

Well, I was 14-years-old and I guess it was my way of proving to him and myself that I was a mature young adult who couldn’t be scared by a silly, old black and white movie. I had never heard of Hitchcock or this film and had no idea what to expect. Besides it was on in the middle of the afternoon, where children younger than me could see it, so how scary could it really be?

I had tested my capacity for horror a few times before and was smart enough to know the answer. Secretly watching JAWS when I was eleven had kept me out of the ocean since, but I didn’t consider that much of a sacrifice because I hated swimming and didn’t live anywhere near a beach. Plus, shark attacks DO happen, so my behavior wasn’t completely irrational. Almost drowning in the ocean had already made me wary of the water, JAWS just sealed the deal.

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pumpkin-cookies.jpgLittle munchkins and monsters, big ones, too, will be looking for special treats this weekend. Why not have some cookies to tuck into their hands?

My little two-year-old grandmunchkin will be with us this weekend. She’s one of the muffin monsters in our family. I don’t have muffins ready for her yet, but I think these cookies may be a good substitute.

Butterscotch Pumpkin Spice Cookies are not cloyingly sweet, although a thick smear of Maple Cream Cheese Frosting topping each cookie does add a fair amount of sweetness. Chopped butterscotch morsels stirred into the dough add flavor without big hard chunks  in each bite. Old-fashioned oats add a nice bit of chewy texture.

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bandaidcookies.jpgIt's that time of year of again...where gross food is welcomed by the little boys that inhabit my house. Nothing brings a smile to their face like something bloody, goopy, poopy or oozy when Halloween is in the air. They love it.

I saw these cookies and thought, my kids need to be welcomed home from school with these somewhat authentic looking bloody band-aids.

Sure enough, they were a hit. And really, these are not even a recipe, I mean there is nothing to their construction, but they got rave reviews. I could have baked all day from scratch and not gotten the fan fare these received. Go figure.

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