The month of October is filled with lots and lots of Salzman traditions. The first weekend in October we head out to Underwood Farms to pick the perfect pumpkins, eat lots and lots of horrible junk and take a tractor ride. This year, Levi was the one having the most fun.
getting lost in the corn maze
helping Levi pick his pumpkin
Isaac is happy with his choice
The biggest one for Eli!
A holiday is not a holiday in our home without "themed" cookies. This year we made 10 dozen ghost cookies. This pretty much covered the Halloween Fair at school, Levi and Isaac's class parties and there were even a few left over for Isaac's soccer team.
Sugar cookie (Martha Stewart Cookie Book)
Royal Icing (epicurious.com)
(this recipe is great because it is made with powdered egg whites-it spreads great and is oh so easy!)
These cookies are near and dear to my heart. My Grandma Rose's cookie jar was never empty. And these were the tasty little treats that filled the special little tin that sat on top of her kitchen counter top. Half of her cookies were adorned with m & m's and the other half with multi-colored non-perils. My grandma would always take the last little bit of dough (the part that she couldn't get into the cookie press, because there just wasn't enough) and she would make little crescent shaped cookies out them and cover them with the colored non-perils. These were always my favorite because they were really fat and super crisp. I actually had forgotten about those and only remembered them as I was writing this. I make these cookies for Halloween and Valentine's Day. For Halloween I usually only use orange and black m & m's but this year I found this color group and opted to mix it up!
20 dozen! I can't share my grandma's recipe, but any cookie book has a "sable" dough recipe. The Fannie Farmer Baking Book by Marion Cunningham has a pretty good one. They are not as good as Grandma Rose's but they will do the trick.
Packed up and ready to be delivered!
Pumpkin carving is another Halloween tradition. My mom started it when the boys were really young. She would let the boys pick out their design and then she would do all the work. The past two years the boys have gotten into the carving act and this year Eli spent over an hour working on his pumpkin(his is the elaborate one with the spider pattern). He worked so hard and it shows. Isaac was more interested in mutilating Levi's oh so tiny pumpkin(the one that Levi treated more like a ball. He amused himself for a good amount of time just throwing it down the stair case in the back yard!)
For the past 8 or 9 years, we have been going to our neighbors on Halloween night. We order pizza and salads (some sort of attempt to get something w/out sugar in them before they venture out for the evening) and watch the kids become looney and crazy as the sun starts to fade. Isaiah is Eli's best friend and this is where we all convene on the eve of 10/31. It is, always the same cast of characters (around 4 families), however this year we were missing one family as they moved out of the neighborhood. We all definitely felt the void. Grabbing their flashlights and glow sticks we move on out. What usually happens is by the time they get to the top of the street the group dismantles and breaks off into sub groups. However, this year, they moved together in a pack! Levi totally got the whole concept. The candy, the tag line, the running, the whole kit and kaboodle. He could not be stopped. He wanted to go and go and go. After a serious sugar high and then and even bigger sugar crash, he finally fell asleep, at around 10pm!
The loot, all 9 lbs of it!
Several years ago, Isaiah's mom, Kelly, introduced us to the "switch witch". The kids are allowed to keep 7 pieces of their stash and the rest gets picked up by the "Switch Witch". The bag of candy is left on the front porch along with a note from the kids. The kids are allowed to request something in return for the candy. In the morning, the bag of candy is replaced with a little something that each child wants (sometimes it's toys, books, gift cards, art supplies, whatever ). She is a very magical and brilliant woman and we all welcome her with open arms!
me and my boys '08