Halloween this year was ideal -- all of the dark, murderous, gory stuff held at bay. Instead there were neighbors gathered, kids on swings, throw-back costumes (Michael Jackson, skeletons, witches, cat in the hat), pizza, and streets teaming with kids. Once, when Silas was two, I broke up with Halloween. Good to know, even Halloween break-ups can be redeemed.
That's Silas's real hair -- gelatin does wonders -- and he now wants to wear a mohawk to school every day...
My mom, Goldilocks, was my favorite.
Spiced Apple Cider
from Bon Appetit
1 gallon apple cider
1 T whole allspice (I used ground and less than that)
1 t freshly grated nutmeg (I used dry and less)
4 whole cloves
3 cinnamon sticks
1 vanilla bean
Brandy, Calvados (apple brandy), or Bourbon (I used bourbon)
- Combine cider, allspice, nutmeg, cloves, and cinnamon sticks in a large pot. Scrape in seeds from vanilla bean; add bean. Bring spiced cider just to a simmer over medium heat. Reduce heat to medium-low and cook just below a simmer until flavors meld, about 1 hour.
- Strain cider through a sieve into another pot or heatproof punch bowl; discard solids in sieve. Add brandy/bourbon to taste, if using.