The Hot Pot Blog

October 31, 2012

Happy Halloween!

Halloween_MG_2055October 30, 2012
Will and Mr. Babu, one of our Embassy gardeners. In spite Will’s deer-in-headlights reaction to the camera flash here, Will and Babu are best buds.

One of our neighbors and I were chatting early on Halloween morning when she let slip that Halloween is her favorite holiday.

“Oh you’ll see!” she said.  “Parents dress up, kids dress up, everyone comes out and walks around and it’s the best night here all year.”

She was right.  I love Halloween. It’s my little sister’s birthday and we used to always celebrate with lots of decorations and intricate cakes and cookies and costumes and a big Halloween party.  Luckily Delhi seems to like Halloween almost as much as we do.  About 70 kids in costumes ran, skipped and practically flew around the compound on a sugar high while designated candy givers sat out in front of nearly every house giving out candy and quizzing all of the bumble bees, princesses and tigers passing by.  Friends stopped to chat, parents shamelessly (and admirably) repositioned toddler hands to grab the Crunch bars instead of the Gobstoppers in the candy bowl, and my sister-in-law, who teaches at the school across the street, made each kid promise to share their candy with their teacher in the morning.  I think they would have minded more if they weren’t so wowed by her auto-rickshaw costume and the highly-coveted boxes of “Nerds” in our candy stash.

Halloween_MG_2018October 30, 2012

Halloween_MG_2025October 30, 2012

The zeal with which some houses went all out on the Halloween decorations completely blew me away and I’m already brainstorming what we can possibly do next year to get in the game.  There were gorgeous luminaries, giant blow-up lawn decorations, lights, pumpkins and even zombie brains over at Tuk y Tam’s house (by far one of the best decorated of the night):

Halloween_MG_2062October 30, 2012

Will was a little apprehensive about the whole Halloween exercise.  We first tried on his Halloween costume a few weeks ago (on loan from our friends at Tuk y Tam) and while Will loved our “awww!” reactions, he did not love actually wearing the outfit.  For weeks he carried it around the house over his shoulder, smiling adorably up at us to try and elicit the same enthusiastic reactions without actually having to put the costume on.

But what kind of parents would we be if we didn’t half-traumatize our son by sticking him in a costume and taking photos?  To wit: Will is not technically smiling in these pictures, he’s more on the verge of hysterically crying:

Halloween_MG_2042October 30, 2012

Halloween_MG_2046October 30, 2012

Luckily, once we got outside and Will saw all of the other babies/toddlers also being forced to wear a variety of fleece animal get-ups against their will, he got more into the spirit of things.  While he wasn’t quite up for trick-or-treating at anyone else’s house, he had a fine time digging through our bowl of candy until he came up with two boxes of Nerds to shake and clap and throw on the ground.  Who knew those Nerds would be so popular?

HalloweenIMG_2053October 30, 2012

HalloweenIMG_2054October 30, 2012

After all of the anime characters and witches and yodas had made their rounds, we headed inside to pour over our loot have dinner.

On Tuesday afternoon I had spontaneously decided that I wanted to make lasagna for Halloween and that I wanted to invite all of our friends over for dinner.  That meant buying tomatoes, making two batches of sauce, croutons for a salad, making two batches of homemade ricotta (easy, cheaper than store-bought and delicious) and then making homemade noodles because well, they just taste better. I stopped short of making the mozzarella but I might try next time–shredding Indian cheese cannot be that much easier than making it myself.  For a brief, insane moment I worried about what to make for dessert before remembering that it was Halloween and therefore the one night of the year when I can legitimately serve Kit-kats and crunch bars in lieu of cake.

All was going well until: a) I realized that none of our friends could come over for dinner because we were all handing out candy and, by the time trick-or-treating was over, it was bedtime for all of our very little kids; and b) Our hand-crank pasta rolling device spontaneously disassembled all over my foot and broke my toe. Whatever. The lasagna was delicious and now we’ve got an entire second batch assembled in the freezer and ready to bake for our rain-date lasagna party.

Time to go chase Will around the room, but before I sign off, a photo from Halloween last year:

And now this year:

Halloween_MG_2050October 30, 2012

What a difference a year makes!

How was your Halloween?  Did you dress up?  Decorate?  Steal candy from your kids’ buckets after they went to sleep?

0 responses to “Happy Halloween!”

  1. sara says:

    I laughed out loud with the image of Will carrying that costume around over his shoulder trying to get the same reaction he did with it on. Smart boy! Halloween is such an American holiday. I just love it too. It makes me feel young and it makes me smile so much to see my children enjoying the candy, costumes and slightly scary stuff just as much as I did. Every year just gets more fun with the kids. Next year Will will be completely into it, I’m sure! Parading around with some little friends. Happy Halloween to you and I sure hope your poor toe heals quickly.

  2. Daniela says:

    Ouch on your toe! Those hurt and there’s not much you can do about them but let them heal. Will is an adorable Dalmation! Hope it wasn’t too hot of a night. Loved your sister-in-law’s costume. Did she make it? And OMG you made pasta and sauce and ricotta from scratch! You are truly amazing!

    • Dani says:

      The costume was perfect for the just slightly chilly (you know, upper 70’s) night we had for Halloween, thank you so much for letting us borrow it!!

  3. stmemory says:

    Will is just too cute in his costume! That homemade lasagna sounds delicious – time well spent for the future. This weekend I made some of that no-knead bread that you blogged about a LONG time ago. I had lots of extra time because of Frankenstorm Sandy, which gave folks at FSI a 5 day weekend. I’ve been reading your posts via email, and haven’t visited our your actual site until recently (when I needed the link for the bread recipe). I just love the look of your blog!

    • Dani says:

      Thanks so much! Hope the bread turned out ok! I’ve since gotten obsessive with sourdough and make at least one or two loaves a week–must post my recipe for that one of these days as well! Hope ou guys got through Sandy ok!

  4. We skipped out on Halloween this year and opted instead to go to Luang Prabang for the end of Buddhist lent and Loy Khratong festival. Glad we did because 1) it was magical (will post about it soon) and 2) both kids rebelled against their costumes!

  5. Natasha says:

    Will is so cute! Halloween was fun here. The embassy goes all out with decorations and the kids (I think there were 230+) go trick-or-treating around different offices, which were decorated for a contest (sadly, my husband’s office came in second). His office did a Dia de los Muertos theme so we were dressed up as Mexican campesinos and had our faces painted like skeletons. I think we were a little too scary for some of the littler kids!

    • Dani says:

      I love that some embassies do trick or treating to the offices, that sounds like so much fun! Although, I will say, the ambiance of going around at night was really, really fun. Love the Day of the dead theme, that must have been so cool!

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