Friday, October 29, 2010

29 October 1956 “Halloween Treats, Recipes and Memories”

halloweenkids Halloween is in the air.
Here’s a great Louis Armstrong Halloween song.
I thought I would share some recipes from the Betty Crocker Cookbook for boys and girls. There is still time, I believe, to use them before this Halloween.
bettycrockercookbookThis is the original 1957 version and you can buy a nice reprint in the shop  HERE. They start at around $11.   bettycrockercookbookkids This is the version I shared with you. It is also available in the store HERE and starts at $8, these are not reprints but originals, I believe. I don’t think I earn any pennies from this last one, but it is a good book, so I put it in there for you.
These books are great as they are meant to be used BY children to cook. It is amazing when you think of the level of cooking, including cakes, that they have for children. Such a wonderful gift to give to a child, the ability to cook and bake.
Here is the Halloween Party menu with recipes from that book.halloweenparty halloweenparty2 Don’t you love the jack-o-lantern cake? It is so clever and meant to be doable by a child. Though I think mother’s help might be needed for the very young. The candy corn teeth are wonderful.halloweenparty3 I may have to try this myself!
kidscookbook1  kidscookbook2
50scostume I think this is such a great costume. It is almost surreal. I like that children used to go as random things, scary, fun so on. Though some may have coveted the new ‘store bought’ costumes, as did this girl here (Read her Blurb on the site where I found this photo), her actual home-made costume, which includes a hulu hooped bottom, is almost Mardi Gras quality.
storeboughtcostume Here is an example of the coveted 50’s store-bought costume. And these: storeboughtcostume2
I have to say, many of  children that trick or treat in our downtown, here in Sandwich, actually have some really wonderful home-made costumes. Though, many cape children are subjected to the mall for Halloween, although they probably love it. I noticed more ‘store-bought’ costumes on those children, not sure why.
I also recall the decorations I had as a child were actually those left over from my parents 50’s start with children. As my older siblings were actually born in the early 1950’s, I grew up with many vintage items. It seemed my Halloween decorations were always a bit different than my friends.
I recall getting down the decorations box from the attic in early October labeled, “Halloween”. There was always a subsequent smell associated with these, a sort of musty-moth ball mingled with a scent, undescribable, that sent elation through me. Every year when I was young, I would go through all the old costumes (and I mean all the costumes that my brothers and sisters had had for many years) try them on, parading around. I would play this game every year, sorting through trying to see what I might want to be, only to decide something new that my mother would have to make. It was a sort of unspoken rule that we had with our Halloween.
And, of course, this was followed by decorating. All the old paper and crepe paper decorations would be carefully lifted out. I remember black cats with metal joints, so they moved.halloweencat  A  full sized witch that did they same, pumpkins and there was  a happy little child dressed as a hobo. And there were the various vintage noise makers (of which I still have a few and see they sell for a mint on ebay) that were fun to clang and rattle and blow upon.halloween-noisemaker
Part of the fun I recall from my own real Halloweens in the late 70’s was getting to run about in the dark. Of course you would have a parent with you, but you would be in a group of fellow costumed compatriots and you always outnumbered the adults. There you were, getting to run about the streets at night arrayed in your finery. Your vision would be partially skewered due to whatever contraption you were wearing that year. There always seemed to be the sound of your own breath pumping with the rhythm of your heartbeat. Running on the pavement, the crunch of leaves and the squeals of your companions was often muffled by papier mache’ or ill-placed sheets. We would rate the decorations on various houses, complain if we received pennies, apples or ‘pal’ gum (it wouldn’t last all day). And we would revel in homemade treats: Popcorn balls, candied apples, rice crispy treats died green or orange laden with candy corn or red hots, an occasional cupcake with a plastic pic you could secret away later. The night was crisp and cool and we were out after dark.   Allowed to wear whatever we wanted and let loose upon the world of grownups where they were required to give us treats or face the consequences. I don’t recall ever administering any tricks, other than the occasional grab and run you might try when some childless candy giver would offer up a bowl and a “Take what you like”. Of course, if mother saw you, you had to give some back, but parents were often busy gabbing away on Halloween, so it was a kid free for all.
I also remember the count, stash, and trade that followed a good haul. You would  be slumped on the floor, your booty dumped before you from your pillow case, plastic jack-o-lantern, or bag, ready to deal. Like a Moroccan trader on Market day, you were ready to deal : “Okay, I have two bit-o-honey’s for a mini snickers” “That popcorn ball is worth more than that”.
And, of course, there were your favorites that weren’t even on the trading table. And the requisite ‘bad candy’ that no one even wanted for free, the little orange and black taffy’s that always seemed to come out by the millions at Halloween.halloweencandy I don’t know if they make these any longer, but they seemed to be produced in the millions when I was a kid. No one knew where they came from, they just appeared at the end of October and were strewn everywhere. There always seemed to be some in the kitchen ‘candy drawer’ and you’d find them hidden in pockets of jackets or bottoms of school cubbies. They were the kind of candy a parent might try to placate you with and you would rather just give up on the candy hunt and go out and play.
Well, have a happy Halloween and Happy Homemaking.
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