Happy Howl-O-Ween from Pringles the Postal Worker,
And Carlie the Princess:
I think Pringles really enjoys wearing clothes. Not sure how I feel about that...
See his mail bag and sleeve emblem?
His hat didn't last as long, mostly because he couldn't see. And when he almost fell down the stairs, we decided that was enough of the hat.
We put on the costumes while it was still daylight out, mostly for picture-taking purposes. And since we had the camera out, I suppose we should show you the pumpkins and mums I've been blabbing about lately. They're thriving nicely, don't you think?
Once the sun set, the onslaught of (mostly cute but occasionally frightening) costumed kids began. Here we are, waiting for the gadzillion children to arrive and clean out our entire candy stockpile.
And here are my two little guys, totally zonked after countless doorbells ringing, dogs barking, and all the grabby hands of the little gremlins of the neighborhood.
Our little princess was tired, too.
After a while, we had to take turns holding Pringles while the kids came to the door. I am pleased to report that no kids lost any fingers to Pringles at my house this year.
When I filled up the candy bowl to nearly brimming over the sides, I thought for sure we'd bought enough candy. Here's what we started with:
The candy reserves were greatly depleted after about an hour. We made the mistake of telling one set of kids to "take as much as you want." The kids (eight-year-olds, if I had to guess the age) got eyes as big as saucers and started grabbing huge handfuls of candy from the bowl. After that, we rationed the candy to one or two pieces per kid.
This was the candy remaining at 7 PM, with still a full hour of trick-or-treaters left to go.
We barely made it out alive. I think we had maybe 5 pieces of candy left at the end of the night.
After we ran out of candy, we turned off our lights and walked over to what we have dubbed the "Spider House." When we first came to look at our house this time last year, these people had an enormous spider in their front yard. It was back this year.
See the caution tape and the skeletons? There was also a gigantic spider web behind the huge yellow spider, with a HUMAN BODY wrapped up in the spiderweb. Obviously it wasn't a real person, but the idea was horrifying. I am anticipating nightmares about a giant PVC pipe spider for weeks to come.
Oh, and also, before the trick-or-treaters started showing up en masse, I made what Steven has declared to be "the best chicken pot pie you've ever made."
I found that to be a very nice compliment, so I'll share the recipe with you. Its from (where else?) Everyday Food Magazine. I made one big pot pie and two individually-sized pot pies. (Look mom, the mini-red-casserole-dishes in play!)
(Remind me to stop posing for pictures. I look ridiculous.) :)
Chicken Pot Pie, from Everyday Food Magazine, October 2009
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 medium onion, cut into medium dice
1 large carrot, cut into medium dice
1/2 cup all-purpose flour, plus more for work surface
Coarse salt and ground pepper
4 cups low-sodium chicken broth
3 cups cooked chicken, cut into 1-inch pieces (1 pound total)
1 cup frozen peas
1 1/2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme leaves
1 sheet frozen puff pastry, thawed
1 large egg yolk
In a medium saucepan, melt butter over medium. Add onion and carrot and cook until onion softens, about 6 minutes. Add flour and 1/2 teaspoon salt; cook, stirring frequently, until mixture is pale golden, has a slightly nutty aroma, and is the texture of cooked oatmeal, about 5 minutes.
Whisking constantly, add broth. Bring to a boil, stirring frequently, until mixture thickens, about 8 minutes. Reduce to a simmer and cook 10 minutes. Stir in chicken, peas, and thyme; season with salt and pepper. Divide mixture among four 12-ounce baking dishes; refrigerate until room temperature, about 20 minutes.
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. On a lightly floured work surface, roll pastry to a 1/8-inch thickness. Cut into 4 equal squares, 1 inch larger than dishes; with the tip of a sharp knife, cut vents into pastry. In a small bowl, lightly beat egg yolk with 1 teaspoon water; top potpies with pastry and brush with egg wash. Refrigerate 15 minutes. Bake until pastry is deep golden and juices are bubbling, about 35 minutes.
Then go check on your dogs to make sure that they aren't trying to bite the miniature Luke Skywalker that just showed up at your door. Happy Halloween!