This Halloween nearly 60 million kids will go trick or treating (I think half of them come to my front door). The average child hauls in 91 pieces of candy, one-third of which will be pilfered by their parents. Over the years I have tried different ways to deal with all the candy in the house – now I let my children eat quite a bit on Halloween night (I admit, I help a lot) and then I dole out one piece a night until it’s gone. Well, really until it gets down to the gross candy no one wants, which is then thrown away. One memorable year my second oldest begged me to let him eat all his candy on Halloween night. The next day he called from school, where he was in the nurses office, and said, “Guess what, Mom? You were right – I did get sick from eating all the candy at once!”
In our house, pumpkin carving the week before Halloween is an exciting time. I usually make a crockpot chili or beef stew for dinner and we carve our pumpkins. I save the pumpkin seeds and toast them in the oven (you can also use a skillet). I wash the seeds with water, and then toss them in a little olive oil, spread on a cookie sheet, put some salt on them and bake them in a 450°F oven until they are brown and toasted. They are delicious when they are eaten warm from the oven. As we eat dinner and carve our pumpkins, we relive memories of past costumes and ideas for future costumes. My husband and I talk about our childhood Halloween memories and we tell our children about the costumes they wore as babies. It’s a night for family memories and for our children to learn about those family stories that happened before they were born.
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