Hallowe’en

Anne here. Shh, I'm typing this furtively in the half-dark, hoping nobody can hear me.

It's Halloween*! Once again it's caught me unprepared — my head's been in 19th century London where it's Spring, not Halloween. And so I'm sharing this brilliant Halloween photo of Harrod's in London, because I'm feeling slightly floored, too. Harrods I never get Halloween right.

(* For those of you who are reading this and thinking "What's wrong with the woman, she still has plenty of time to get ready for Halloween!" I would remind you that downunder, we're nearly a day ahead of you. And Halloween is happening now!)

So flocks of small, costumed children have been ringing my doorbell all evening, and since the first horribly disappointed lot, I'm hiding out, not answering the door. Because I have nothing to give them, not a sausage! (Which doesn't mean we give out sausages at Halloween in Australia, it just means my cupboard is bare. Exceptionally so.)

There are two or three slightly softened, possibly furry cough lollies left over from my last cold — do you think they'll do? No, I didn't think so. Which is why I'm sitting here in the twilight, typing as quietly as I can, avoiding disappointing more kids. I never get Halloween right.

Last year I was heading off to the supermarket in my car and saw flocks of little ghosts and witches excitedly roaming the neighborhood demanding sweets with menaces, and I thought, "Aha, this time I'll have something for them," and I bought chocolates and sweets and felt very Halloween prepared.

Jack-o'-LanternAnd I waited. And waited.
And… not a sausage. 
All the little ghouls and ghosts and witches had disappeared off the streets and gone in to have their dinner and do their homework and watch TV shows set in places where kids have proper neighbors who know what to do at Halloween.

And there I was with all kinds of goodies of the kind that I don't normally allow in my house because I would eat them. 

And yes, you know the rest. I did, gradually, nibble my way through the entire Halloween collection.

Which really was not the plan.

The thing is, we don't really do Halloween in Australia. The first time I ever saw a carved Halloween pumpkin was the year we went to live in Scotland, when I was eight, and it wasn't a pumpkin, it was a carved Hallowe'en turnip. People hung them on their porches and sat them on front steps and they glowed eerily in the dark. I thought they were wonderful, and I tried to make one myself — it was a miserable failure — turnips are quite hard to carve —but we managed to hollow it out and stick a candle inside the poor wonky thing and I was thrilled anyway.

When I was growing up in Australia the big day was 5th November — Bonfire Night, part Guy Fawkes Night, part clean up the rubbish before summer to clear away fuel for bushfires. It was the highlight of my year. I love a good bonfire, and I adore fireworks. 

We used to burn an effigy of Guy Fawkes, and though we kids knew it was because he'd tried to blow up parliament, it was a trifle bewildering, considering the way our parents talked about politicians and the government. But he'd clearly botched the job so we thought that was probably why he was being burnt. 

Bonfire night was something we prepared for for months, dragging fallen branches up from the bush, and collecting old car tyres and other burnable rubbish. The bonfire was lit as darkness fell — echoes of Samhain — and the blaze that went up thrilled my little heart every time and still does. All the neighbors would be there, and in the dark you'd see other bonfires in the distance. It was such a connection — with the community, and with the past.
Bonfire(Courtesy of www.hauntedbay.com) 

We'd have fireworks — we'd saved up for months to purchase them —  sky rockets launched precariously from coke bottles, and various others with intriguing names — Roman candles, Vesuvius, Catherine wheels. Little kids waved sparklers, and older ones let off crackers, from the tiny tom thumbs (or squibs) to "penny bungers" or "thrupenny bungers" that made the loudest bangs. I adore fireworks and the scent of crackers going off takes me back to those nights every time.

We'd stay up as late as we possibly could, and the last thing we'd do before being forced to bed was to tuck dozens of foil-wrapped potatoes into the ashes. Then next morning at crack of dawn, we'd creep out and start raking the warm ashes for the potatoes, and eat them, still hot, with butter and salt. We'd rekindle the fire from the coals and cook sausages for breakfast. Bliss.

We don't seem to have Guy Fawkes night any more in Australia. I think it disappeared because they banned fireworks, probably because there were always injuries, what with huge fires and kids throwing crackers. And maybe because bonfires and fireworks started bushfires — November is the beginning of the dry summer period here and we're always in danger of bushfires. Or maybe it's because I live in the city now. I'm not sure.

However, thanks to watching so many TV shows from the USA, the kids in Australia have started to go Trick or Treating. I don't blame them. What's not to love about dressing up in scary costumes and going around the streets legitimately demanding sweets from strangers?

It's not widespread yet — some years you get no kids knocking on the door, other times (like tonight) you get lots. The thing is, it's probably the first time any of these small polite ghouls and ghosts and witches have gone trick-or-treating, polite because usually their mothers or fathers are with them, hovering discreetly in the background. The parents have never gone trick or treating either. There's no protocol for it here — none of us know any more than we've seen on TV.

And it's risky business, trick or treating in Australia. Apart from people like me for whom Halloween is a non-event on the calendar, and who forget to stock up with chocolate and lollies, or just stare at you blankly, people are just as likely to greet them with a diatribe about Halloween not being our tradition and how you kids today watch too much American TV!
And then the question is, who is scaring whom. LOL

It's all a long way from the old Celtic festival of Samhain where all this started. But traditions are not set in stone and are constantly evolving, and so the old Celtic practices of Samhain  gave way to the celebration of All Hallows Eve, Christian festivals and celebrations grafted onto pagan ones, and resulting in a mix of both, and so it goes. These days for most people Halloween is just an excuse for some fun, and I'm all in favor of fun. Barmbrack

One day I'll get it right and bake barmbrack, a kind of fruit bread my grandmother used to bake, in which silver tokens symbolizing various future events would be baked. There's an Irish recipe here. And here's a recipe that doesn't involve yeast. Lots of fun and delicious too. And I love the range of ghoulish halloween food I found on this site. I'm definitely going to try those spider chocolate crackles and those adorable witches hats. If I'd been better prepared, I might even have baked some of these for the little neighborhood ghoulies.

So what are your plans for Halloween? Do you have any special seasonal traditions, or bonfire and firework memories to share? And how do you prepare for trick-or-treaters? 

85 thoughts on “Hallowe’en”

  1. What wonderful memories, Anne!
    I can remember Halloweens from my childhood when our trick-or-treat forays ranged all over town with minimal adult supervision. Ours was a safer world. The grands go only to homes of friends and family. Another difference is the time. The little ones now will begin ringing doorbells well before dark. I love seeing the smallest ones in their costumes. The three-year-old grand will be a princess but one who wears purple cowboy boots. She insists those boots go with everything.
    I baked and decorated cupcakes for the grands. The rest of the trick-or-treaters will have to be satisfied with candy bars.

    Reply
  2. What wonderful memories, Anne!
    I can remember Halloweens from my childhood when our trick-or-treat forays ranged all over town with minimal adult supervision. Ours was a safer world. The grands go only to homes of friends and family. Another difference is the time. The little ones now will begin ringing doorbells well before dark. I love seeing the smallest ones in their costumes. The three-year-old grand will be a princess but one who wears purple cowboy boots. She insists those boots go with everything.
    I baked and decorated cupcakes for the grands. The rest of the trick-or-treaters will have to be satisfied with candy bars.

    Reply
  3. What wonderful memories, Anne!
    I can remember Halloweens from my childhood when our trick-or-treat forays ranged all over town with minimal adult supervision. Ours was a safer world. The grands go only to homes of friends and family. Another difference is the time. The little ones now will begin ringing doorbells well before dark. I love seeing the smallest ones in their costumes. The three-year-old grand will be a princess but one who wears purple cowboy boots. She insists those boots go with everything.
    I baked and decorated cupcakes for the grands. The rest of the trick-or-treaters will have to be satisfied with candy bars.

    Reply
  4. What wonderful memories, Anne!
    I can remember Halloweens from my childhood when our trick-or-treat forays ranged all over town with minimal adult supervision. Ours was a safer world. The grands go only to homes of friends and family. Another difference is the time. The little ones now will begin ringing doorbells well before dark. I love seeing the smallest ones in their costumes. The three-year-old grand will be a princess but one who wears purple cowboy boots. She insists those boots go with everything.
    I baked and decorated cupcakes for the grands. The rest of the trick-or-treaters will have to be satisfied with candy bars.

    Reply
  5. What wonderful memories, Anne!
    I can remember Halloweens from my childhood when our trick-or-treat forays ranged all over town with minimal adult supervision. Ours was a safer world. The grands go only to homes of friends and family. Another difference is the time. The little ones now will begin ringing doorbells well before dark. I love seeing the smallest ones in their costumes. The three-year-old grand will be a princess but one who wears purple cowboy boots. She insists those boots go with everything.
    I baked and decorated cupcakes for the grands. The rest of the trick-or-treaters will have to be satisfied with candy bars.

    Reply
  6. I’m with you regarding Halloween, I live in the North of England and until recently is was nothing with Bonfire Night being the main night. I do, however, recall my father making turnip lanterns-we ate turnip for days afterwards. On Bonfire Night we would roast potatoes in the bonfire.

    Reply
  7. I’m with you regarding Halloween, I live in the North of England and until recently is was nothing with Bonfire Night being the main night. I do, however, recall my father making turnip lanterns-we ate turnip for days afterwards. On Bonfire Night we would roast potatoes in the bonfire.

    Reply
  8. I’m with you regarding Halloween, I live in the North of England and until recently is was nothing with Bonfire Night being the main night. I do, however, recall my father making turnip lanterns-we ate turnip for days afterwards. On Bonfire Night we would roast potatoes in the bonfire.

    Reply
  9. I’m with you regarding Halloween, I live in the North of England and until recently is was nothing with Bonfire Night being the main night. I do, however, recall my father making turnip lanterns-we ate turnip for days afterwards. On Bonfire Night we would roast potatoes in the bonfire.

    Reply
  10. I’m with you regarding Halloween, I live in the North of England and until recently is was nothing with Bonfire Night being the main night. I do, however, recall my father making turnip lanterns-we ate turnip for days afterwards. On Bonfire Night we would roast potatoes in the bonfire.

    Reply
  11. I loved Halloween when I was a kid, but it’s palled now that I’m an adult. When I was a kid, everyone went out trick-or-treating. We went all over our neighborhood and everyone else’s too. Halloween was one day where your parents wouldn’t freak out when you went to strangers’ houses.
    Parents are more hyper about danger to their kids now, and we don’t get many kids. We used to get the teenagers, and I don’t want to give out candy to a kid who’s taller than I am. I make my husband give out the candy. He likes doing it, anyway, and we only get a few young kids now, with their parents behind them.
    I was really angry when the exercise instructor at night school cancelled class tonight, Halloween night, because she was afraid people wouldn’t come. I mean, really, Halloween? It’s not like it’s Christmas. And then, today, we get an email from the director of the school cancelling all tonight’s classes. We had a snowstorm on Saturday, an unusual event for October in mid-New England, and a lot of branches came down and power is still out in places. So, I would have had tonight off anyway. But I’m still going to make my husband hand out the candy.

    Reply
  12. I loved Halloween when I was a kid, but it’s palled now that I’m an adult. When I was a kid, everyone went out trick-or-treating. We went all over our neighborhood and everyone else’s too. Halloween was one day where your parents wouldn’t freak out when you went to strangers’ houses.
    Parents are more hyper about danger to their kids now, and we don’t get many kids. We used to get the teenagers, and I don’t want to give out candy to a kid who’s taller than I am. I make my husband give out the candy. He likes doing it, anyway, and we only get a few young kids now, with their parents behind them.
    I was really angry when the exercise instructor at night school cancelled class tonight, Halloween night, because she was afraid people wouldn’t come. I mean, really, Halloween? It’s not like it’s Christmas. And then, today, we get an email from the director of the school cancelling all tonight’s classes. We had a snowstorm on Saturday, an unusual event for October in mid-New England, and a lot of branches came down and power is still out in places. So, I would have had tonight off anyway. But I’m still going to make my husband hand out the candy.

    Reply
  13. I loved Halloween when I was a kid, but it’s palled now that I’m an adult. When I was a kid, everyone went out trick-or-treating. We went all over our neighborhood and everyone else’s too. Halloween was one day where your parents wouldn’t freak out when you went to strangers’ houses.
    Parents are more hyper about danger to their kids now, and we don’t get many kids. We used to get the teenagers, and I don’t want to give out candy to a kid who’s taller than I am. I make my husband give out the candy. He likes doing it, anyway, and we only get a few young kids now, with their parents behind them.
    I was really angry when the exercise instructor at night school cancelled class tonight, Halloween night, because she was afraid people wouldn’t come. I mean, really, Halloween? It’s not like it’s Christmas. And then, today, we get an email from the director of the school cancelling all tonight’s classes. We had a snowstorm on Saturday, an unusual event for October in mid-New England, and a lot of branches came down and power is still out in places. So, I would have had tonight off anyway. But I’m still going to make my husband hand out the candy.

    Reply
  14. I loved Halloween when I was a kid, but it’s palled now that I’m an adult. When I was a kid, everyone went out trick-or-treating. We went all over our neighborhood and everyone else’s too. Halloween was one day where your parents wouldn’t freak out when you went to strangers’ houses.
    Parents are more hyper about danger to their kids now, and we don’t get many kids. We used to get the teenagers, and I don’t want to give out candy to a kid who’s taller than I am. I make my husband give out the candy. He likes doing it, anyway, and we only get a few young kids now, with their parents behind them.
    I was really angry when the exercise instructor at night school cancelled class tonight, Halloween night, because she was afraid people wouldn’t come. I mean, really, Halloween? It’s not like it’s Christmas. And then, today, we get an email from the director of the school cancelling all tonight’s classes. We had a snowstorm on Saturday, an unusual event for October in mid-New England, and a lot of branches came down and power is still out in places. So, I would have had tonight off anyway. But I’m still going to make my husband hand out the candy.

    Reply
  15. I loved Halloween when I was a kid, but it’s palled now that I’m an adult. When I was a kid, everyone went out trick-or-treating. We went all over our neighborhood and everyone else’s too. Halloween was one day where your parents wouldn’t freak out when you went to strangers’ houses.
    Parents are more hyper about danger to their kids now, and we don’t get many kids. We used to get the teenagers, and I don’t want to give out candy to a kid who’s taller than I am. I make my husband give out the candy. He likes doing it, anyway, and we only get a few young kids now, with their parents behind them.
    I was really angry when the exercise instructor at night school cancelled class tonight, Halloween night, because she was afraid people wouldn’t come. I mean, really, Halloween? It’s not like it’s Christmas. And then, today, we get an email from the director of the school cancelling all tonight’s classes. We had a snowstorm on Saturday, an unusual event for October in mid-New England, and a lot of branches came down and power is still out in places. So, I would have had tonight off anyway. But I’m still going to make my husband hand out the candy.

    Reply
  16. Alas, the huge snow-laden Nor-Easter that hit the northeast has wreaked havoc with the local trick-or-treating plans around me. There are still a lot of trees hanging in electric wires, r half poised to fall, so it’s dangerous for the kiddies to be walking around, esopecially at night. The town is suggesting all celebrations get pushed back to the coming weekend, but somehow it’s not the same, is it?
    Halloween was a big deal when I was little, and we always made out own costumes. But these days I’m just as apt to totally forget it. But i do love carved pumpkins!

    Reply
  17. Alas, the huge snow-laden Nor-Easter that hit the northeast has wreaked havoc with the local trick-or-treating plans around me. There are still a lot of trees hanging in electric wires, r half poised to fall, so it’s dangerous for the kiddies to be walking around, esopecially at night. The town is suggesting all celebrations get pushed back to the coming weekend, but somehow it’s not the same, is it?
    Halloween was a big deal when I was little, and we always made out own costumes. But these days I’m just as apt to totally forget it. But i do love carved pumpkins!

    Reply
  18. Alas, the huge snow-laden Nor-Easter that hit the northeast has wreaked havoc with the local trick-or-treating plans around me. There are still a lot of trees hanging in electric wires, r half poised to fall, so it’s dangerous for the kiddies to be walking around, esopecially at night. The town is suggesting all celebrations get pushed back to the coming weekend, but somehow it’s not the same, is it?
    Halloween was a big deal when I was little, and we always made out own costumes. But these days I’m just as apt to totally forget it. But i do love carved pumpkins!

    Reply
  19. Alas, the huge snow-laden Nor-Easter that hit the northeast has wreaked havoc with the local trick-or-treating plans around me. There are still a lot of trees hanging in electric wires, r half poised to fall, so it’s dangerous for the kiddies to be walking around, esopecially at night. The town is suggesting all celebrations get pushed back to the coming weekend, but somehow it’s not the same, is it?
    Halloween was a big deal when I was little, and we always made out own costumes. But these days I’m just as apt to totally forget it. But i do love carved pumpkins!

    Reply
  20. Alas, the huge snow-laden Nor-Easter that hit the northeast has wreaked havoc with the local trick-or-treating plans around me. There are still a lot of trees hanging in electric wires, r half poised to fall, so it’s dangerous for the kiddies to be walking around, esopecially at night. The town is suggesting all celebrations get pushed back to the coming weekend, but somehow it’s not the same, is it?
    Halloween was a big deal when I was little, and we always made out own costumes. But these days I’m just as apt to totally forget it. But i do love carved pumpkins!

    Reply
  21. Bah! Humbug! I’m an anti-Halloween. Just another excuse to buy more. It would make more sense for us to celebrate it on 30 April just as it would make more sense for us to celebrate Easter now. My grumpy old woman is well and truly out today. Must take her off to work (probably the reason she’s grumpy).

    Reply
  22. Bah! Humbug! I’m an anti-Halloween. Just another excuse to buy more. It would make more sense for us to celebrate it on 30 April just as it would make more sense for us to celebrate Easter now. My grumpy old woman is well and truly out today. Must take her off to work (probably the reason she’s grumpy).

    Reply
  23. Bah! Humbug! I’m an anti-Halloween. Just another excuse to buy more. It would make more sense for us to celebrate it on 30 April just as it would make more sense for us to celebrate Easter now. My grumpy old woman is well and truly out today. Must take her off to work (probably the reason she’s grumpy).

    Reply
  24. Bah! Humbug! I’m an anti-Halloween. Just another excuse to buy more. It would make more sense for us to celebrate it on 30 April just as it would make more sense for us to celebrate Easter now. My grumpy old woman is well and truly out today. Must take her off to work (probably the reason she’s grumpy).

    Reply
  25. Bah! Humbug! I’m an anti-Halloween. Just another excuse to buy more. It would make more sense for us to celebrate it on 30 April just as it would make more sense for us to celebrate Easter now. My grumpy old woman is well and truly out today. Must take her off to work (probably the reason she’s grumpy).

    Reply
  26. Janga I love the sound of the little princess in the purple boots. So cute. The littlies do look so gorgeous. And I’m cross with myself that I wasn’t organized for it this year.
    Here it seems they finish knocking on doors by dark — excellent for those of us hiding out. LOL. As I said, we have no protocol for trick-or-treating. But kids dressing up is fun.
    Joanna, I don’t remember eating turnips for days afterward. LOL. I do remember I loved the name some of the Scots used for mashed turnip — “bashed neeps”

    Reply
  27. Janga I love the sound of the little princess in the purple boots. So cute. The littlies do look so gorgeous. And I’m cross with myself that I wasn’t organized for it this year.
    Here it seems they finish knocking on doors by dark — excellent for those of us hiding out. LOL. As I said, we have no protocol for trick-or-treating. But kids dressing up is fun.
    Joanna, I don’t remember eating turnips for days afterward. LOL. I do remember I loved the name some of the Scots used for mashed turnip — “bashed neeps”

    Reply
  28. Janga I love the sound of the little princess in the purple boots. So cute. The littlies do look so gorgeous. And I’m cross with myself that I wasn’t organized for it this year.
    Here it seems they finish knocking on doors by dark — excellent for those of us hiding out. LOL. As I said, we have no protocol for trick-or-treating. But kids dressing up is fun.
    Joanna, I don’t remember eating turnips for days afterward. LOL. I do remember I loved the name some of the Scots used for mashed turnip — “bashed neeps”

    Reply
  29. Janga I love the sound of the little princess in the purple boots. So cute. The littlies do look so gorgeous. And I’m cross with myself that I wasn’t organized for it this year.
    Here it seems they finish knocking on doors by dark — excellent for those of us hiding out. LOL. As I said, we have no protocol for trick-or-treating. But kids dressing up is fun.
    Joanna, I don’t remember eating turnips for days afterward. LOL. I do remember I loved the name some of the Scots used for mashed turnip — “bashed neeps”

    Reply
  30. Janga I love the sound of the little princess in the purple boots. So cute. The littlies do look so gorgeous. And I’m cross with myself that I wasn’t organized for it this year.
    Here it seems they finish knocking on doors by dark — excellent for those of us hiding out. LOL. As I said, we have no protocol for trick-or-treating. But kids dressing up is fun.
    Joanna, I don’t remember eating turnips for days afterward. LOL. I do remember I loved the name some of the Scots used for mashed turnip — “bashed neeps”

    Reply
  31. Wow, quilt lady — 75 bags made up — that’s very impressive. The local kids must love you! There is no way I would have had 75 kids come knocking. And I’m sure that with my record, if I had made up 75 bags I would have had to eat a lot of them in the end. Happy Halloween!
    Linda and Cara/Andrea, sorry to hear about the storm. That’s a bit early, isn’t it? And yes, it’s not the same, postponing it to a more convenient/safer time. The day is the day.

    Reply
  32. Wow, quilt lady — 75 bags made up — that’s very impressive. The local kids must love you! There is no way I would have had 75 kids come knocking. And I’m sure that with my record, if I had made up 75 bags I would have had to eat a lot of them in the end. Happy Halloween!
    Linda and Cara/Andrea, sorry to hear about the storm. That’s a bit early, isn’t it? And yes, it’s not the same, postponing it to a more convenient/safer time. The day is the day.

    Reply
  33. Wow, quilt lady — 75 bags made up — that’s very impressive. The local kids must love you! There is no way I would have had 75 kids come knocking. And I’m sure that with my record, if I had made up 75 bags I would have had to eat a lot of them in the end. Happy Halloween!
    Linda and Cara/Andrea, sorry to hear about the storm. That’s a bit early, isn’t it? And yes, it’s not the same, postponing it to a more convenient/safer time. The day is the day.

    Reply
  34. Wow, quilt lady — 75 bags made up — that’s very impressive. The local kids must love you! There is no way I would have had 75 kids come knocking. And I’m sure that with my record, if I had made up 75 bags I would have had to eat a lot of them in the end. Happy Halloween!
    Linda and Cara/Andrea, sorry to hear about the storm. That’s a bit early, isn’t it? And yes, it’s not the same, postponing it to a more convenient/safer time. The day is the day.

    Reply
  35. Wow, quilt lady — 75 bags made up — that’s very impressive. The local kids must love you! There is no way I would have had 75 kids come knocking. And I’m sure that with my record, if I had made up 75 bags I would have had to eat a lot of them in the end. Happy Halloween!
    Linda and Cara/Andrea, sorry to hear about the storm. That’s a bit early, isn’t it? And yes, it’s not the same, postponing it to a more convenient/safer time. The day is the day.

    Reply
  36. Kezia, I’m chuckling here about your grumpiness. Confronted by a small princess in purple boots I’m sure it would melt away.
    I tweeted about this post when it went up, and a friend tweeted back with a couple of WC Fields quotes: “I like children. If they’re properly cooked.”
    And, “There’s no such thing as a tough child – if you parboil them first for seven hours, they always come out tender.” ― W.C. Fields

    Reply
  37. Kezia, I’m chuckling here about your grumpiness. Confronted by a small princess in purple boots I’m sure it would melt away.
    I tweeted about this post when it went up, and a friend tweeted back with a couple of WC Fields quotes: “I like children. If they’re properly cooked.”
    And, “There’s no such thing as a tough child – if you parboil them first for seven hours, they always come out tender.” ― W.C. Fields

    Reply
  38. Kezia, I’m chuckling here about your grumpiness. Confronted by a small princess in purple boots I’m sure it would melt away.
    I tweeted about this post when it went up, and a friend tweeted back with a couple of WC Fields quotes: “I like children. If they’re properly cooked.”
    And, “There’s no such thing as a tough child – if you parboil them first for seven hours, they always come out tender.” ― W.C. Fields

    Reply
  39. Kezia, I’m chuckling here about your grumpiness. Confronted by a small princess in purple boots I’m sure it would melt away.
    I tweeted about this post when it went up, and a friend tweeted back with a couple of WC Fields quotes: “I like children. If they’re properly cooked.”
    And, “There’s no such thing as a tough child – if you parboil them first for seven hours, they always come out tender.” ― W.C. Fields

    Reply
  40. Kezia, I’m chuckling here about your grumpiness. Confronted by a small princess in purple boots I’m sure it would melt away.
    I tweeted about this post when it went up, and a friend tweeted back with a couple of WC Fields quotes: “I like children. If they’re properly cooked.”
    And, “There’s no such thing as a tough child – if you parboil them first for seven hours, they always come out tender.” ― W.C. Fields

    Reply
  41. I only went trick or treating once as a child. Maybe it’s because I grew up in the city or because I lived in a very Orthodox Jewish neighborhood, but Halloween was a non-event in my childhood. I find myself bewildered by it now as an adult.

    Reply
  42. I only went trick or treating once as a child. Maybe it’s because I grew up in the city or because I lived in a very Orthodox Jewish neighborhood, but Halloween was a non-event in my childhood. I find myself bewildered by it now as an adult.

    Reply
  43. I only went trick or treating once as a child. Maybe it’s because I grew up in the city or because I lived in a very Orthodox Jewish neighborhood, but Halloween was a non-event in my childhood. I find myself bewildered by it now as an adult.

    Reply
  44. I only went trick or treating once as a child. Maybe it’s because I grew up in the city or because I lived in a very Orthodox Jewish neighborhood, but Halloween was a non-event in my childhood. I find myself bewildered by it now as an adult.

    Reply
  45. I only went trick or treating once as a child. Maybe it’s because I grew up in the city or because I lived in a very Orthodox Jewish neighborhood, but Halloween was a non-event in my childhood. I find myself bewildered by it now as an adult.

    Reply
  46. Lovely post, Anne! Made me quite nostalgic for the three years we lived in England and celebrated Guy Fawkes night. We thought it was terrific!
    I live in the middle of NOWHERE so I don’t get any trick or treaters. And as I spent most of today, most of the weekend in fact, decorating Halloween cupcakes at work I am glad the holiday is over!
    I loved Halloween as a child and except for the three years in England my Dad always took us on candy patrol as he got a big kick out of it. He was such a big kid himself and he always insisted on “inspecting” our candy and ate all of the “defective” ones.

    Reply
  47. Lovely post, Anne! Made me quite nostalgic for the three years we lived in England and celebrated Guy Fawkes night. We thought it was terrific!
    I live in the middle of NOWHERE so I don’t get any trick or treaters. And as I spent most of today, most of the weekend in fact, decorating Halloween cupcakes at work I am glad the holiday is over!
    I loved Halloween as a child and except for the three years in England my Dad always took us on candy patrol as he got a big kick out of it. He was such a big kid himself and he always insisted on “inspecting” our candy and ate all of the “defective” ones.

    Reply
  48. Lovely post, Anne! Made me quite nostalgic for the three years we lived in England and celebrated Guy Fawkes night. We thought it was terrific!
    I live in the middle of NOWHERE so I don’t get any trick or treaters. And as I spent most of today, most of the weekend in fact, decorating Halloween cupcakes at work I am glad the holiday is over!
    I loved Halloween as a child and except for the three years in England my Dad always took us on candy patrol as he got a big kick out of it. He was such a big kid himself and he always insisted on “inspecting” our candy and ate all of the “defective” ones.

    Reply
  49. Lovely post, Anne! Made me quite nostalgic for the three years we lived in England and celebrated Guy Fawkes night. We thought it was terrific!
    I live in the middle of NOWHERE so I don’t get any trick or treaters. And as I spent most of today, most of the weekend in fact, decorating Halloween cupcakes at work I am glad the holiday is over!
    I loved Halloween as a child and except for the three years in England my Dad always took us on candy patrol as he got a big kick out of it. He was such a big kid himself and he always insisted on “inspecting” our candy and ate all of the “defective” ones.

    Reply
  50. Lovely post, Anne! Made me quite nostalgic for the three years we lived in England and celebrated Guy Fawkes night. We thought it was terrific!
    I live in the middle of NOWHERE so I don’t get any trick or treaters. And as I spent most of today, most of the weekend in fact, decorating Halloween cupcakes at work I am glad the holiday is over!
    I loved Halloween as a child and except for the three years in England my Dad always took us on candy patrol as he got a big kick out of it. He was such a big kid himself and he always insisted on “inspecting” our candy and ate all of the “defective” ones.

    Reply
  51. Lovely memories, Anne, thanks for sharing. I grew up with Guy Fawkes Night in the Midlands, coming to Australia when I was 7, when the big deal was Empire/Commonwealth Day if I remember correctly. I had to move from the city to my new place in the country to get my first trick-or-treaters at the door last night. They looked so cute and their mother waved from a distance.
    Far from being an American event, the Celtic roots are strong, as you point out. Wendy Harner’s Hoopla column goes into fascinating detail at http://thehoopla.com.au/halloween/ for those interested. Me, I’m off to try Barmbrack.

    Reply
  52. Lovely memories, Anne, thanks for sharing. I grew up with Guy Fawkes Night in the Midlands, coming to Australia when I was 7, when the big deal was Empire/Commonwealth Day if I remember correctly. I had to move from the city to my new place in the country to get my first trick-or-treaters at the door last night. They looked so cute and their mother waved from a distance.
    Far from being an American event, the Celtic roots are strong, as you point out. Wendy Harner’s Hoopla column goes into fascinating detail at http://thehoopla.com.au/halloween/ for those interested. Me, I’m off to try Barmbrack.

    Reply
  53. Lovely memories, Anne, thanks for sharing. I grew up with Guy Fawkes Night in the Midlands, coming to Australia when I was 7, when the big deal was Empire/Commonwealth Day if I remember correctly. I had to move from the city to my new place in the country to get my first trick-or-treaters at the door last night. They looked so cute and their mother waved from a distance.
    Far from being an American event, the Celtic roots are strong, as you point out. Wendy Harner’s Hoopla column goes into fascinating detail at http://thehoopla.com.au/halloween/ for those interested. Me, I’m off to try Barmbrack.

    Reply
  54. Lovely memories, Anne, thanks for sharing. I grew up with Guy Fawkes Night in the Midlands, coming to Australia when I was 7, when the big deal was Empire/Commonwealth Day if I remember correctly. I had to move from the city to my new place in the country to get my first trick-or-treaters at the door last night. They looked so cute and their mother waved from a distance.
    Far from being an American event, the Celtic roots are strong, as you point out. Wendy Harner’s Hoopla column goes into fascinating detail at http://thehoopla.com.au/halloween/ for those interested. Me, I’m off to try Barmbrack.

    Reply
  55. Lovely memories, Anne, thanks for sharing. I grew up with Guy Fawkes Night in the Midlands, coming to Australia when I was 7, when the big deal was Empire/Commonwealth Day if I remember correctly. I had to move from the city to my new place in the country to get my first trick-or-treaters at the door last night. They looked so cute and their mother waved from a distance.
    Far from being an American event, the Celtic roots are strong, as you point out. Wendy Harner’s Hoopla column goes into fascinating detail at http://thehoopla.com.au/halloween/ for those interested. Me, I’m off to try Barmbrack.

    Reply
  56. Louisa, I love it that your dad did the candy patrol and protected you from defective candy – LOL. My dad had a big sweet tooth, too.
    And bonfires I think, speak to some deep historical race memory in us.
    And Halloween cupcakes sound fab. What a nice thing to do.

    Reply
  57. Louisa, I love it that your dad did the candy patrol and protected you from defective candy – LOL. My dad had a big sweet tooth, too.
    And bonfires I think, speak to some deep historical race memory in us.
    And Halloween cupcakes sound fab. What a nice thing to do.

    Reply
  58. Louisa, I love it that your dad did the candy patrol and protected you from defective candy – LOL. My dad had a big sweet tooth, too.
    And bonfires I think, speak to some deep historical race memory in us.
    And Halloween cupcakes sound fab. What a nice thing to do.

    Reply
  59. Louisa, I love it that your dad did the candy patrol and protected you from defective candy – LOL. My dad had a big sweet tooth, too.
    And bonfires I think, speak to some deep historical race memory in us.
    And Halloween cupcakes sound fab. What a nice thing to do.

    Reply
  60. Louisa, I love it that your dad did the candy patrol and protected you from defective candy – LOL. My dad had a big sweet tooth, too.
    And bonfires I think, speak to some deep historical race memory in us.
    And Halloween cupcakes sound fab. What a nice thing to do.

    Reply
  61. Valerie, thanks for dropping by the wordwenches. And thanks for that link to Wendy Harmer’s blog.
    Interesting that you met your first trick-or-treaters in the country. I would have thought the city was the place to find them. Fun to see the littlies all dressed up.
    Hope you don’t crack a tooth on a silver charm in the barmbrack.

    Reply
  62. Valerie, thanks for dropping by the wordwenches. And thanks for that link to Wendy Harmer’s blog.
    Interesting that you met your first trick-or-treaters in the country. I would have thought the city was the place to find them. Fun to see the littlies all dressed up.
    Hope you don’t crack a tooth on a silver charm in the barmbrack.

    Reply
  63. Valerie, thanks for dropping by the wordwenches. And thanks for that link to Wendy Harmer’s blog.
    Interesting that you met your first trick-or-treaters in the country. I would have thought the city was the place to find them. Fun to see the littlies all dressed up.
    Hope you don’t crack a tooth on a silver charm in the barmbrack.

    Reply
  64. Valerie, thanks for dropping by the wordwenches. And thanks for that link to Wendy Harmer’s blog.
    Interesting that you met your first trick-or-treaters in the country. I would have thought the city was the place to find them. Fun to see the littlies all dressed up.
    Hope you don’t crack a tooth on a silver charm in the barmbrack.

    Reply
  65. Valerie, thanks for dropping by the wordwenches. And thanks for that link to Wendy Harmer’s blog.
    Interesting that you met your first trick-or-treaters in the country. I would have thought the city was the place to find them. Fun to see the littlies all dressed up.
    Hope you don’t crack a tooth on a silver charm in the barmbrack.

    Reply
  66. In Iceland Halloween is not celebrated by many and is mostly used by teens and young adults as an excuse to dress up in silly costumes and get drunk. This is a fairly recent thing.
    Two celebrations here are reminiscent of Halloween. The first is New year’s Eve, when we have bonfires and in some places people dress up as elves and trolls and dance and sing in the new year.
    And on Ask Wednesday you will see hordes of kids prowling the streets from mid-morning to mid-afternoon, clad in costumes and going between businesses singing and getting given candy.

    Reply
  67. In Iceland Halloween is not celebrated by many and is mostly used by teens and young adults as an excuse to dress up in silly costumes and get drunk. This is a fairly recent thing.
    Two celebrations here are reminiscent of Halloween. The first is New year’s Eve, when we have bonfires and in some places people dress up as elves and trolls and dance and sing in the new year.
    And on Ask Wednesday you will see hordes of kids prowling the streets from mid-morning to mid-afternoon, clad in costumes and going between businesses singing and getting given candy.

    Reply
  68. In Iceland Halloween is not celebrated by many and is mostly used by teens and young adults as an excuse to dress up in silly costumes and get drunk. This is a fairly recent thing.
    Two celebrations here are reminiscent of Halloween. The first is New year’s Eve, when we have bonfires and in some places people dress up as elves and trolls and dance and sing in the new year.
    And on Ask Wednesday you will see hordes of kids prowling the streets from mid-morning to mid-afternoon, clad in costumes and going between businesses singing and getting given candy.

    Reply
  69. In Iceland Halloween is not celebrated by many and is mostly used by teens and young adults as an excuse to dress up in silly costumes and get drunk. This is a fairly recent thing.
    Two celebrations here are reminiscent of Halloween. The first is New year’s Eve, when we have bonfires and in some places people dress up as elves and trolls and dance and sing in the new year.
    And on Ask Wednesday you will see hordes of kids prowling the streets from mid-morning to mid-afternoon, clad in costumes and going between businesses singing and getting given candy.

    Reply
  70. In Iceland Halloween is not celebrated by many and is mostly used by teens and young adults as an excuse to dress up in silly costumes and get drunk. This is a fairly recent thing.
    Two celebrations here are reminiscent of Halloween. The first is New year’s Eve, when we have bonfires and in some places people dress up as elves and trolls and dance and sing in the new year.
    And on Ask Wednesday you will see hordes of kids prowling the streets from mid-morning to mid-afternoon, clad in costumes and going between businesses singing and getting given candy.

    Reply
  71. Bibliophile, thanks for your comment. I knew about New Year’s Eve bonfires in Iceland, but I’d never head of Ask Wednesday. It sounds to me as though that’s a forerunner of trick or treating. I’d love to know. I’m always interested in how traditions are passed on in different countries and adapted to the new situation.
    And my guess is that kids all over the world will pick up American-style trick-or-treating from the TV.

    Reply
  72. Bibliophile, thanks for your comment. I knew about New Year’s Eve bonfires in Iceland, but I’d never head of Ask Wednesday. It sounds to me as though that’s a forerunner of trick or treating. I’d love to know. I’m always interested in how traditions are passed on in different countries and adapted to the new situation.
    And my guess is that kids all over the world will pick up American-style trick-or-treating from the TV.

    Reply
  73. Bibliophile, thanks for your comment. I knew about New Year’s Eve bonfires in Iceland, but I’d never head of Ask Wednesday. It sounds to me as though that’s a forerunner of trick or treating. I’d love to know. I’m always interested in how traditions are passed on in different countries and adapted to the new situation.
    And my guess is that kids all over the world will pick up American-style trick-or-treating from the TV.

    Reply
  74. Bibliophile, thanks for your comment. I knew about New Year’s Eve bonfires in Iceland, but I’d never head of Ask Wednesday. It sounds to me as though that’s a forerunner of trick or treating. I’d love to know. I’m always interested in how traditions are passed on in different countries and adapted to the new situation.
    And my guess is that kids all over the world will pick up American-style trick-or-treating from the TV.

    Reply
  75. Bibliophile, thanks for your comment. I knew about New Year’s Eve bonfires in Iceland, but I’d never head of Ask Wednesday. It sounds to me as though that’s a forerunner of trick or treating. I’d love to know. I’m always interested in how traditions are passed on in different countries and adapted to the new situation.
    And my guess is that kids all over the world will pick up American-style trick-or-treating from the TV.

    Reply

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