Every year on Halloween, I make yummy treats for the neighbors. Well, for our sweet, older neighbors who live on their own and are so kind and good to us. They've lived here for decades and have seen lots of families come and go. It reminds me of growing up on my old street in River Forest, and how some of our older neighbors watched us grow up, just the way these folks are watching my own kids. I appreciate that now so much more than I ever did (of course) and while I was baking, I got to thinking about Halloweens past…
— My first Halloween memory was from when I was four. I went as Little Red Riding Hood in a costume my mom made. I remember she let me wear light blue eye shadow. My sister Alicia was a gypsy and I wanted to go trick-or-treating with her and the big kids but I couldn't keep up so I cried.
— In first grade, I loved Wonder Woman. I loved Wonder Woman (because, I mean, look at her!) and that was a problem because Alicia liked The Osmond's and both shows were on at the same time on the same night. I remember fighting over that a lot. My mom made me the most excellent Wonder Woman costume, though, complete with a satin body suit, crown, stars, cape, belt, and gold cuffs. I was bummed that I had to wear knee-high brown leather boots instead of Wonder Woman's super cool red ones but I drew the line at wearing at a jacket. There was absolutely no way I was going to hide one single inch of that awesomeness. Hands down my favorite costume ever.
— At school, we dressed up in our costumes and paraded around the neighborhood with our teachers. Our neighbors would come out of their houses and watch us and wave. Our moms took pictures. Those were the good old days…
— My sisters and I used to have Halloween parties in our old, creepy, spidery, cinder block basement. We cut out little paper pumpkins and taped them to the walls. They stayed there for years and years. My dad once told me that the hardest thing he had to do when they sold our old house was take down those paper pumpkins. That makes me sad to think about.
— When I was in fifth grade, I thought I was too old to trick-or-treat. My best friend didn't think so. She walked to my house in her Jiminy Cricket costume and when I told her I didn't want to go, her excited smile turned into the most heartbreaking tears I'd ever seen. As she started to walk away without me, I felt a lead weight in my stomach. "Wait!" I yelled, and ran back inside to get the rest of my White Rabbit costume on. Needless to say, the White Rabbit and Jiminy Cricket had one of the most wonderful Halloweens of their lives.
— My family went to Amling's on North Avenue for our pumpkins and to visit the haunted house every Halloween. One year we heard about a super scary haunted house that was being held at someone's home. I decided to have a Halloween party with all of my friends and bring them to the haunted house. I remember everyone hanging on me and screaming and I only made it ten feet before I freaked out and collapsed on a couch. One of the ghouls felt really bad for me and walked me through the rest of the house by hand.
— When I was in college and way, way too old to trick-or-treat, an old friend of mine had a costume party and I went as the yodel guy from the Cliff Hangers game on the Price is Right. I remember that one of my guy friends dressed up like one of my girl friends and it made her very, very upset. I still feel bad that we all laughed very, very hard.
It's funny, the things we remember, while making Whoopie Pies, which were awesome, by the way, and tasted like Suzy-Q's only much better.
And with that, I wish you a wonderful, happy, and delightful Halloween!