Ah, Halloween. A night of pure gluttony and over-indulgence. Kids racing around in the dark, tripping over dinosaur feet and struggling to see through oversize Dora masks, squealing "TRICK OR TREAT!" at every door, begging for candy. Their pillowcases and plastic pumpkins will already be bursting at the seams with 10 pounds of kiddie crack, but they'll still want more. More, I tell you ... MORE!!!
Back when I was still young enough to take part in this annual ritual of gorging oneself, my favourite stop would be at my grandparents'. Nanny and Poppa and their neighbours made their own brownies, caramels, cake, candy apples and cookies, each individually wrapped and handed out - some still warm - to the delight of the neighbourhood kids. This was the jackpot, far better than those rock-hard toffee chews and horrendous packets of Thrills gum other people were shlepping. There was no fear of razor blades or needle heads hiding out in the snacks; this was simple, hand-made, stick-to-your-ribs goodness made by the pure of heart.
Every year at school, there were ghoulishly decorated cupcakes brought in by keener moms (who did Christmas, birthdays, Easter and every other holiday in between, too). The orange- and green-frosted cakes sporting plastic spiders or gummy worms would be inhaled by everyone in the class - no one was left out. And then the teachers would have to put up with our wild, sugar-induced high all afternoon.
I'd love to be able to do that for my daughter and her friends: make up and give out homemade goodies that might be somewhat healthier, and definitely tastier, than what the candy giants have to offer. But between nervous parents, picky kids and risks of nut allergies or food poisoning, I'd have to get everyone to sign a waiver before I handed over the goods. Here's your treat ... please don't sue me.
In an effort to still stay on the healthy side of things, I was tempted to give out raisins, 100-calorie Sun Chip packs and juice boxes instead of the usual candy. Hubby advised me that I would be the one cleaning the smashed eggs off the car in the morning if I dispersed such lame offerings. So it's cherry Nibs, sour cherry Bubblicious and potato chips ... selections carefully chosen according to my "least liked" list, so I won't be tempted to eat any of it. Now, if I can just summon the willpower to avoid the inevitable arrival of miniature chocolate bars in the office tomorrow ...