Saturday, November 5, 2011

Halloween Party

Last Saturday we hosted a Halloween Party here at our house. My neighbor and I planned it together. Most of the pictures are crummy and have lots of other people's kids in them so I'm not going to post them (I don't know how they'd feel about that).

The big story of the party was how nothing is as easy to make as it looks like it will be. For example:

Cheese Finger Food: Those lines aren't just sliced into the cheese, they're carved. And the space under the green pepper is carved. And cream cheese doesn't like to be applied or stick in small amounts.

Edible Eyeballs: Again with the cram cheese not wanting to stick. Apparently a real pain to assemble. (My neighbor made these first two.)

Apple Bites (attempted by another friend): The almonds wouldn't stick in or broke all over the place. I believe the word "shattered" may have been used.

I struggled with the 48 cupcakes I baked (one white mix, one chocolate). I wanted to make spider webs on them with icing, which worked OK, but would have been much better if I had gotten a teeny-tiny icing tip and more icing. I just used one (one! what was I thinking?) of those little tubes of icing gel to make the circles on top and a chopstick (those of you with toothpicks could use that) to swipe out lines from the center. That part worked on the 5 cupcakes I had black icing for.

I also had some cupcake stencils I got at Crate and Barrel a lot of years ago (so I have slightly different patterns from those on the link) and they didn't work at all except to be the straw the broke my camel's back and I let Kate loose with orange sprinkles and candy corn to decorate the rest.

On a successful note, I purchased and chopped my first jicama. Sam, Kate, and I all tried a piece. It tastes almost exactly like nothing. I used it for this Hallow-bean Salad which ultimately I didn't try at all due to eww, black beans and pepper?

We also did Jar-o-Lanterns. This was moderately successful (I'd say less stressful should you choose to invite and thus expect fewer than 20 children and not have to solicit and goo-gone* a dozen jars from various friends and then at the last minute empty a few in your own fridge just to be sure you have enough) but when we pulled the tape off, some of the paint came off around the edges. Maybe because I picked up "glossy" acrylic craft paint (I think that's what I got) because who knew they made that and that I should look further than the end cap display? The bottle said it was for wood, glass, and a host of other materials one might want to paint orange. Glossy orange.

We also divided kids into pairs and had the wrap each other up like mummieswith toilet paper. This was pretty funny, although the cheap-o single ply I bought kept ripping and they got frustrated with that, but the hilarity outweighed the irriation. Another activity we had was for the kids to make fingerprint animal scenes (ink the finger, put on paper, and draw on antennae or legs or eyes or whatever). They also decorated their goody bags (brown paper bags, $1 stickers) which were filled with glow bracelets, pencils, earasers, dorito/cheeto-type snacks, and some** candy. We finished up with a candy bar where they could help themselves to candy corn and M&Ms (note to self, have more plain M&Ms for next time).

My sister-in-law made some witch's brew which was oh so very good and sadly didn't last long in the non-cool fridge once the power went out . . . I should have drunk it all right after the party.

All in all it was really fun. I was extraordinarily stressed in the days leading up to the party, especially as the number of children coming grew and grew. We ended up with 17 children and some parents. It was super fun and we are already talking about what we'll do next year . . . . first off is to not invite children (I'm kidding . . . sort of . . .).

*I can tell you from first-hand experience that imitation goo-off products do not compare to goo-gone. It's the best by far.

**We were slightly neurotic/stingy with the sugar so the candy distribution was kept minimal. This did not stop the kids from being loud and wild; apparently all they need is each other for that.

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