The Hallowe'en "Season"

Has anyone else noticed that Hallowe’en is no longer a “day” but a whole “season?” And it starts just after Labor Day and everywhere you go there are window displays complete with ghosts and witches, spiders, skeletons and pumpkins. You can buy any kind of costume, from princesses to vampires.

And the candy! TONS of it. In my local supermarkets the Hallowe’en candy takes up more space than boxed cereal. And that is saying something!

If people are actually buying all this stuff our economy must be in better shape than we think it is.

Hallowe’en was much simpler when I was a kid. I hate to sound like an old codger, but back in the day if we went out trick-or-treating it was during the afternoon and we went to just a few neighbors, who would give us some homemade cookies.

Imagine that.

Most of the time we had a family Hallowe’en “party” (that meant my brothers and me and sometimes my cousin Leslie) at home.

My Dad would put coins in apples, put the apples in a huge bowl filled with water and we would dunk our faces in and try to bite an apple (and get to keep the coin). Sometimes he would tie the coin-stuffed apples to a string and we would have to jump up to bite them.

It was fun. And always followed by roasted marshmallows and my father’s fabulous hot chocolate.

Those were good days and warm, terrific, safe and fun Hallowe’ens.

Here’s his recipe. He made it with whole milk, but use what you want.

My Dad’s Fabulous Hot Chocolate

2 cups milk

4 regular size marshmallows

3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder

2 tablespoons sugar

pinch of salt

3 tablespoons very hot or boiling water

3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract

Heat the milk with 2 of the marshmallows over medium heat until near-boiling (the marshmallows should be melted or almost completely melted). While the milk is heating, mix the cocoa powder, sugar and salt together in a bowl. Pour in the hot water and stir ingredients to form a paste. When the milk is ready, add the cocoa paste and vanilla extract to the milk and stir to combine ingredients. Pour into 2 cups OR, for better results, whirl the mixture in a blender, then pour into 2 cups. Add one marshmallow to each cup. Makes 2