Saturday, 31 October 2009

Halloween This and That . . .

Five white ghosts and seven goblins,
Go parading down the street,
Boys and girls with funny faces,
Asking for a treat.

If a goblin rings my doorbell,
I will say "I'm not afraid!"
I will light my jack-o'lantern,
For the Hallowe'en parade.

I will give these scary people,
Apples, candy, cakes to eat;
Then I'll wave goodbye and watch them
As they march off down the street.

Happy Halloween! This was always one of my favourite nights of the year when I was growing up! It was always the day of the big Halloween party at school. My friends and I would spend hours together in the weeks leading up to it planning our costumes and getting ready for it. It was a very exciting occasion!

I dressed up as many different things through the years, and it was always so much fun!! Most of the time, it was something that my mother threw together, and occasionally I would have a boughten mask. I can't recall ever having had a store bought costume, and I used to envy those children who did, although now, as an adult, I am grateful for a mom who knew the value of homemade memories.

We'd have a Halloween parade at school in the afternoon once the party started, where we'd visit all the other classrooms and march around each room to music, showing off our creativity to the other students. It was always so much fun. Prizes would be given for the best costume and there were always loads of treats and snacks to feast on at the end!

We'd rush home afterwards, and it was all my mother could do to pin us down and get us to eat some supper. We'd be so excited that none of us were really hungry at all, and we were all afraid that if we were late in getting out that doorway to trick or treat . . . we'd miss out on all the goodies! I can remember feeling quite panicked sometimes over this, especially once the other trick or treaters started to arrive at our own door. My mom wouldn't let us out though, until we'd eaten and it was getting dark outside. I don't remember anyone ever taking us around to the different doors. We usually went on our own, but then again . . . it was a small community and we all knew everyone in it.

The ground was always partially frozen and hard beneath our feet, and the air quite cold and smelling like rotting leaves and burning pumpkins. Some people went all out decorating their homes and approaching their doorways was quite scary . . . as spooky music greeted us from inside and boney hands reached out the door to give us our treats. There was always a smart ass or two in the crowd that wanted us to sing or tell a joke in order to get our treat, and always more than a few spoil sports that pretended they weren't home . . . but we knew they were . . . they just didn't want to give any candy out.

We'd race around the houses, knocking on each door, our voices ringing out the words . . . "Trick or Treat!" Halfways through the evening, our faces would be all sweaty from the masks and our legs would be getting tired, but still we went on . . . we dare not stop until every house had been visited or most of them had posted "No More Candy" signs on their doors.

Back home we would go when we were exhausted and done . . . where my mother made us dump everything out onto the living room carpets to be gone through and checked to make sure all was safe and not tampered with. Ohh the boodle we would get . . . bb bats, molasses candy kisses, chocolate bars, suckers . . . apples . . . and our favourite treats of all . . . potato chips! We'd then be allowed to choose several items for a bedtime snack and it would be off to bed where we'd lay beneath the sheets, with satisfied smiles on our faces . . . our little minds already planning our costumes for the next year!

We don't get many trick or treaters where we live. I suppose because we live on the Estate where I work, we are too far out of the way and so, Todd and I have never experienced this treat together! I always make up a little bag of goodies for the little fella next door . . . but he is gone away this year so we won't even see him. But . . . rumour has it that a few children that are visiting up at work this weekend may be down to pay us a trick or treat visit, so I'm really excited about that! I can't wait! I'm going to decorate the door this afternoon and maybe even carve a pumpkin or two in anticipation! What fun it will be!

I know I posted this recipe on Halloween last year, but I just can't resist posting it again! I hope you all enjoy!!! The picture's not that great, but what the heck! My heart's in the right place, and that's all that counts!!

*Spooky Shepherd's Pie*
Serves 6
Printable Recipe

This tasty recipe came from out of one of those Grocery Store counter magazines. The picture on this recipe is really cute. This is a real winner to make for the kids on halloween. It looks positively "spooktacular!" If yours are like mine were, it was a nightmare getting them to eat any supper at all on Halloween, so this should help!

1 pound of extra lean ground beef
1 medium onion, peeled and chopped
2 1/2 cups frozen mixed vegetables
1 (14 1/2 ounce) tin of Italian style diced tomatoes, undrained
1 (12 ounce) jar of beef gravy
3 cups mashed potatoes
1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
1 egg, slightly beaten
salt and pepper to taste

Heat the oven to 190*C/375*F. Spray a 12 inch skillet with some cooking spray and brown the ground beef and onions over medium high heat for 5 to 7 minutes, stirring occasionally. Drain if necessary.

Setting aside 12 peas from the mixed vegetables for the garnish, add the remaining vegetables, tomatoes, and gravy to the ground beef. Heat to boiling. Reduce to medium low, cover and simmer for 8 to 10 minutes or until the vegetables are crispy tender, stirring occasionally. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Mix together the mashed potatoes, Parmesan cheese and egg. Season to taste with some salt and pepper.

Spoon the ground beef mixture into an ungreased 8 inch square bakiing dish. Top with mounts of mashed potatoes, to resemble ghosts. Place 2 reserved peas on each mount to resemble eyes. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, or until the potatoes are set and the meat mixture is heated through and bubbling.

The perfect steak is cooking over at The English Kitchen!


  1. Happy Halloween!

    That Shepherd's Pie is so cute. Graham was sitting on my lap & said, "We need to have a spooky cookie!"

  2. As an Australian I just don't get the treat thing associated with Halloween. I understand the fun element though.

    We had two very cute little tots here before. One was dressed a bee and the other as a witch. I must admit that my girls have both gone to seperate parties. Both are my pretty pink princesses although I'd prefer that the older girl had a more substantial costume but she looks great.

  3. Happy Halloween, Marie...have a spooktacular day! :o) We do get a few trick-or-treats here most years, so we have treats at the ready. But Halloween here isn't the same as back home, so I miss it. Your fun with Pez and pumpkin-decorated cake on your previous post was just what I needed--thank you! It's been foggy and mizzly here and I've not been feeling too terrific today--so tired. after a very busy week.. So your cheery posts have cheered! Hope we get to catch up soon! LOVE YOU HEAPS ((BIG HUGS))

  4. Your spooky pie is adorable. It is a fun day for the little ones. Hope you do get your visitors. They are a delight and I always enjoy them.

  5. Hi Marie, what fun it is reminicing about our "younger days " !!! we never did have trick or treat in Scotland (until very recent days) But we did somthing similar. I had better write about it in my blog as well. I do hope the wee ones from the Big House will come visit you tonight. where I live even though it is in the village but down a lane we have no street lighting and any child would have to be very brave to attempt to come down...and so far none ever have !!
    Much LOve Sybil xx

  6. Dear MArie,
    I say this with a lot of love. HAve you ever considered that the raucous celebration or participation in Halloween is not as harmless as we are told by popular culture. And that it might be very hurtful to the Saviour?

  7. HAPPY HALLOWEEN to you goul~I love it too! Love the shepherds pie cute! Come say hi :D

  8. the American Girl31 October 2009 at 20:10

    It seems like you have some great childhood memories!! Today is a beautiful day and I have seen some very creative costumes already (it's still daytime in my part of the States.) I am staying in tonight, but I look forward to wathing some old, classic movies... Enjoy the rest of your day! :-)

  9. Hi Marie!
    I love that your favorite snack was potato chips. So cute!

    And speaking of cute, I love that Shepherd's Pie!



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