In the land of the living...

October 30,2009
Professor Mom
Aliki McElreath( )

Aliki is a writer and college English teacher. She lives in North Carolina with her husband, two children (ages seven and ten), a dog, a cat, a rabbit, and too many fish.

Every year for the past few years we've hosted a family Halloween gathering at our house. My kids love to decorate for Halloween, and I love the chance to host a holiday party--especially a party that involves cooking up ghoulish looking cookies and other Halloween-themed food. I was so prepared this year--in advance, for once. Weeks ago I bought the party plates and tablecloth, and I've been collecting recipes and party ideas, and browsing Halloween sites for what seems like forever. It doesn't look like it's going to happen this year. Thanks, H1N1. Even if I were feeling better, which I'm not (this is the flu that won't stop giving), I'm not sure anyone would want to come to a party at a former House of Sick and eat food prepared by someone who spent almost the entire week curled up on the couch, blowing her nose and coughing. The house is a mess, laundry is piled up, and I'm behind in everything. I can't imagine having a party here on Saturday anymore than I can imagine going the next ten minutes without having to blow my nose. The kids are very disappointed, and I am, too. But, as I lie here on the couch typing this, and watching the fall leaves trickle past the window, I know I'll just be grateful to feel better, Halloween party or not. There is nothing--nothing--like being sick to make you realize just what a gift good health is, and how wonderful it is to feel your energy come back, and to be able to rise up from your couch and head out into the good days to come. ********** If I can't make all those Halloween goodies I was planning to, then at least I can share them with you here. Some of these recipes I used in past years, others are new ones I was hoping to try. These cookies are always a favorite every year. I've made them for school parties, and for the family party. I'm planning on making them again this year, since T. and L. would be very disappointed, I think, if we had a Halloween go by without those gruesome-looking finger cookies. Finger Cookies I found these Mummy Dogs by chance and I think it's perfect! I was going to make these with vegetarian hot dogs. Aren't they great? Mummy Dogs You can't have Mummy Dogs without Mummy Pizzas, of course. I've made these for our party before and they are always a hit. I don't think I would have had time to make anything from this site, but I loved looking at the recipes! Scroll down to the Eerie Eyeballs--maybe some day I'll try my hand at those (and how could you resist making Decayed Corpse Chips with Entrail Salsa?). T. really wanted to make these Marshmallow Witches and, since they're no-bake I think they'd be perfect for kids to help assemble. And if you want a super simple, healthy Halloween snack, serve up these apple bites. Apple Bites They're a great way to work some fruit and nuts into a holiday otherwise filled with nothing but sugar. Happy Weekend, and Happy Halloween, and stay healthy!