The leaves are falling and the Southern-bound geese are cawing – time for my favorite fall fun! Sounds corny, doesn’t it? But it is time to harvest the corn after all, so why not?! My family has a lot of fall traditions that mean a lot to us. When my kids were small, apple and pumpkin picking were looked forward to with as much excitement as Christmas morning. Taking that hay-lined wagon ride out into the crisp autumn fields to choose our wares was a fall rite of passage. Carving pumpkins was our ultimate pleasure.
Halloween cooking baking was the most entertaining. By the end of the day, the table and floor were covered (as were we) with inches thick of flour, sugar and all kinds of assorted, colored jimmies of every shape and kind. It took a lot of patience because it always turned out to be a big mess, but it never bothered me. I realized this was precious, special time with my kids.
We would then settle into watching “The Worst Witch” all together on the couch under a shared blanket in the dark with candles burning eating our Halloween cookies and milk. My girls loved it, and so did I! The movie isn’t scary. It’s a kids’ movie that lasts just a little over an hour about an awkward young girl trying to make it in a young witch’s academy. It’s more about doing good over evil, and we’ve been watching it annually since my youngest was 4 years old. I’ve always had a thing for the handsome grand wizard/warlock (much to my children’s chagrin!) played by Tim Curry. When he says “absolutely” my heart melts!My kids are grown now, but these are still revered traditions. It’s a little harder with Megan living in Florida, but I know she tortures her fiancé Matt into watching the movie with her each year. I usually send her the Halloween cookies that Katie and I still bake. Katie is a die-hard for traditions as well and also tortures her beau Blake with the annual watching of “The Worst Witch.” Blake also enjoys the pumpkin picking/carving. We’re all kids at heart!
So gather your kids, go out to a farm to pick some apples and pumpkins, carve them, bake cookies, cozy up together, watch “The Worst Witch” and have a very Happy Halloween!
(P.S. I thought I’d share the cookie recipe with you in case you want to make these cookies with your little ghouls and goblins. It is a recipe I also use for cut-out cookies on all holidays – Thanksgiving turkeys, Christmas bells and stars, Valentine hearts and Easter bunnies.)
HOLIDAY SUGAR COOKIES
1 cup butter
2 cups sugar
2 tsp. vanilla
2 tbsp. ½ and ½ cream
4 cups flour
2/3 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. salt
2 tsp. baking powder
Cream butter and sugar; add egg and vanilla. Beat well. Sift flour, soda, salt and baking powder together. Add to butter mixture alternately with cream; chill thoroughly in refrigerator for at least an hour. Roll very thing. Use cookie cutters – different shapes. Bake in 350 degrees for 8 – 10 minutes. Cool completely.
1 lb. bag of confectioner’s sugar
½ tsp. of salt
4 tbsp. butter
1 tsp vanilla
Touch of milk to creamy consistently (not too soft but spreadable)
Cream butter; add salt and vanilla and sugar a little at a time with a touch of milk to help in mixing.
Ice cookies and decorate with assorted jimmies. You can also add a touch of food coloring to the icing if you want different colors. Place finished cookies on tray and set in refrigerator for 10-15 minutes to set. Store in air tight container.