Friday, January 23, 2009

Crepe Pumpkin Candy Packets

A couple years ago, I decided to go all-out on the behind-the-scenes festivities on Halloween night. I made a beef stew with a holiday wine-laced broth, filled bowls with mixed nuts and candy, loaded a basket with shiny red apples, and spread out a few hot appetizers. Looked like a pretty cool Halloween bash forming. I figured it would be worth it since some of my coworkers usually showed up to see my display, along with a hundred people my parents and sister invited - none of which are all that into Halloween. Topping it off was the annual crockpot filled with spiced wine, cranapple juice, and cinnamon sticks. That's always a highlight with my coworkers - hot spiced wine while getting the grand tour of the display. My instructions are very clear - "Mom, I have some people coming over later, so don't turn the crockpot off. Even if you think I'm done with it, just leave it on." She nervously turns it off, and heating up ceramic mugs of spiced wine in the microwave at the end of the night has become another annual tradition.

Nobody ate the nuts, or the apples. Two people tried the stew. The bowl of Halloween M&Ms was empty.

That same year, I made crepe paper pumpkins with candy and soft squishy eyeball toys inside. Got the instructions from the October Martha Stewart magazine. Took a long time to do and they looked really neat. I don't remember how many I made, but I gave them all out. I'd say that 90% of the trick or treaters gave me a look as if I were dropping a bar of soap into their bags of candy. As a child, on Halloween night, if I got a soft crepe paper pumpkin obviously filled with candy, I probably would have taken it home and fallen asleep holding the little orange thing - trying to figure out what was inside it without wanting to tear it open. Counting the pieces of candy with my fingertips through the paper. It probably would have been mid-November before I ripped the crepe paper skin. I really can't imagine what was so confusing to them. Maybe they thought they weren't getting candy, that I was pulling a fast one on them. That they were filled with raisins.

In the morning hours of November 1st that year, after I had broken down the Halloween display and was heading to my car to drive home and go to bed, I looked up the street and saw a tiny orange pumpkin on the asphalt. One of my crepe paper pumpkins. It was un-torn and perfect. I drove home with it on the dashboard. I ate the candy in the morning and played with the soft squishy eyeball for the next month. I think I brought it to work and it's still probably somewhere in the office covered with lint and dust.

Image source.

Reminds me of the time I brought authentic Christmas Crackers to my parents' house for Christmas. "Who do you think YOUUU are? The Queen of England?" That sort of thing.


Mr.Macabre said...

I SOOOO know this feeling! When my best friend and I would do the whole Halloween party thing, we would go all all the tiny details and touches to make it perfect, trying to make it an affair that Martha Stewart herself would be envious of to hear the whining of the people that were RSVPing, "do we hafta dress uuuuuuuuuup?".
And then we would only get a handful of people come and mainly sit on the back porch, smoke, talk and drink beer, which is why I don't do parties anymore.
Bitter, no, I'm not bitter, just because I can feel the hot bile from my stomach churning up my throat, burning my mouth, I'm not bitter.

Rot said...

I am.

Andrea said...

Why? Why is Halloween such a difficult occasion for people to understand!? It can be SO fun and exciting and different and it sure gets wearing to have people look at you confused when they see you excited for it in March. I think it's awesome that you made those pumpkins and was sad to hear you found one on the street. Talk about pearls before swine. But never surrender! I think I made the message loud and clear at our annual Halloween party with one of the costume awards saying "Least Effort". Ha. I guess I'm a little bitter, too.

Shellhawk said...

I truly believe that tilting at windmills is a time-honored profession, and should be practiced often and with great intensity. You might actually break through people's inherent need for "coolness, not visible enjoyment."
This year, I plan to announce my haunt in the local paper, as apparently two more have gone down in flames.
Someone must step in and fill the void, and educate the heathen masses!
It might as well be us.
Hola! Pancho! Where's my lance?

jay's shadow said...

i think were should create our own gated community, like the ones where your house and your yard have to look a certain way. then we can have a halloween block party and would not have to worry about the ones who would rather look "cool" than have fun. halloween is sooo misunderstood, people think it is just for kids, and when you celebrate it when you are an adult, you get branded as a "DEVIL WORSHIPPER".
we could put up a 20 ft fence and have a get at the entrance. who ever lives there will have a garage door opener for the gate.( gun turrets on top, guard dogs.....ok, im done. i just get tired of stupid people.>:(

JHMDF said... I want some stew. My wife wants to do a big Halloween Party every year and invite people from our jobs..........I make sure we just stick to the haunt.

Anonymous said...

Martha Stewart cries herself to sleep on Halloween night, wishing she were you.

Your house is the house (and haunt and party) I've been looking for all these years. Where have you been hiding?

Shellhawk said...

Further reflection on the "Queen of England" comment (as I, too, once brought crackers to Christmas)...
Break out into "Henry the Eighth, I am! Henry the Eighth I am I am!" Sing loud. Sing long. Sing PROUD!

Bones said...

We had crackers this year. Pretty cool. I don't think we've had them before.

But yes, it's amazing how some people don't really get it. I don't even get trick-or-treaters where I live.

Anonymous said...

I know this is a way old post but I HAD to comment seeing as how I made the EXACT same Martha Stewart pumpkins that year and the people I gave them to had the EXACT same response. Dude....those were kick ass pumpkins. I kinda cried a little just now for the pumpkin left behind on the sidewalk....And don't even get me started on my Halloween-themed 21st birthday that year that NOBODY wanted to bring carved pumpkins to even though the BIRTHDAY girl requested it. Whatev.

Rot said...

People suck. Bringing carved pumpkins to a bday party is a GREAT and cool idea.

MorbidMariah said...

Well, I feel pretty lucky now! My haunt is part outdoor display and mostly party/indoor display, and every year just gets better as far as other people's enthusiasm and participation. I say stay strong, don't let em get ya down, and if you keep doing it because YOU love to, that enthusiasm becomes contagious.