Although the stores have been stocked for well over a month now with all-things Halloween, in my slice of the world October is officially pumpkin season.
As I write this post I can’t help but wonder if poor Linus ever got to see the Great Pumpkin he so desperately yearned for each Halloween amid the relentless laughter and torment from Lucy, Charlie Brown, and even Snoopy.
I made some simple pumpkin cookies for all the Linus’ out there who are still in search of their own Great Pumpkin.
In a few short weeks I’ll be sitting on my driveway at 6:00 p.m. sharp. I’ll have my big bowl of candy at my side ready to distribute handfuls to the trick-or-treaters of all ages who will be walking the streets in search of goodies.
At 9:00 p.m. I’ll go back inside and turn off the outside lights just as all the other neighbors will do. Halloween will be over for another year.
That’s how it’s done here. Halloween is a carefully controlled environment. It’s a three-hour ordeal and the kids won’t/can’t come to your door: They expect you to be outside waiting and if you’re not, they’ll bypass your house in search of someone who took the time to wait outside for them.
After years in South Florida I still can’t get used to it. I used to think it was a “local thing” but sadly I think it’s more a sign of the times. Parents are simply terrified to let their children out of their sight.
What a world we live in. We were so carefree as kids in New York and I will always cherish that.
Each Halloween I anxiously awaited the bell signalling the end of the school day so my sisters and I could run off the bus, don our costumes and grab pillow cases from the hall closet. Plastic pumpkins and buckets were way too small for all the loot we were in search of. We had big plans.
Off we’d go in an earnest attempt to hit up every house in the neighborhood for one kind of sweet or another.
Even better when Halloween fell on a weekend and we could start our quest shortly after lunch.
It wasn’t until I was much older that it dawned on me it didn’t really matter if you wore a $5.00 costume or a $50.00 costume each year because most of us kids had our winter jackets on to protect us from October’s chilly air as we set out to do our trick-or-treating.
Funny the things you do when you’re young.
Other than the candy, Halloween was never one of my favorite holidays as a child. I was scared to death of the whole haunted house phenomenon and I’ve never been one for skeletons, horror movies, or scaring the crap out of the next brave and unsuspecting soul who dared to enter the driveway. I thought it was just plain weird.
No, it was definitely the candy I was after and without a doubt I had my favorites. If you were one of the neighbors who gave me something unwrapped or in some way tampered with that I wasn’t allowed to eat for fear of dying a long, slow and painful death, you were not my favorite neighbor for a long while.
And I had a good memory.
I loved carving pumpkins every year and although mine would never be considered show-stoppers, I enjoyed every minute of fishing out the seeds and flesh, and then making those jack-o-lanterns my own with a knife and a variety of colored markers.
I decided to keep my pumpkin cookies simple. The larger pumpkins are chocolate and the smaller ones are sugar cookies. I had some leftover sugar cookie dough and it was enough to cut out 10 small pumpkins.
There’s not much to explain here as far as decorating: After outlining and flooding I let them dry completely.
And then added some lines and a small stem. I’ve been trying to work on drawing straighter and more even lines so this was a good opportunity for some much-needed practice.
And then each pumpkin got some swirly greens attached to the stem. Notice I don’t say “leaves”. I had intended to make leaves but this is what I ended up with so I just went with it.
Simple, and easy to make for a crowd and pumpkin cookies will surely never go out of style.
I also made some ghosts and witch’s hats and I’ll be posting them in a few days.