Friday, November 01, 2013

a Happy Halloween

I am sitting at the table with Halloween remnants scattered around me: a bowl of clementines with jack-o-lantern faces drawn on, a witch's broom on the floor, unwashed travel mugs of spiked cider (so good), a stack or orange paper plates, yarn for making ghosts' necks, and, of course, candy, my own Reese's cup wrapper at my wrist.

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.

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