We’d cover the kitchen table with newspaper and have the kids draw out a design on a piece of paper so we could talk about how it would fit on the pumpkin and whether the design was carvable. Younger Son would do just that. Older Son would go right at his pumpkin with indelible ink (signs of things to come, in retrospect). Next comes the fun part, ripping out the oooie goooie guts, and separating out the seeds.
Guts: kids’ job.
Seeds: my job.
Carving: Dad’s job.Fun night, always. Perfect build up to the following night, Halloween. That is when it doesn’t get postponed…
The first year we lived here, Halloween was actually postponed. There was an ice storm and it was too dangerous to be out. What kind of alternate universe was this Midwest place I had landed in? Hell had frozen over and somehow ended up here. ON HALLOWEEN NIGHT! I spent that night with my eyes closed, wearing my shiniest red shoes, clicking my heels three times, “there’s no place like home, there’s no place like home, there’s no place like home . . .”
I think the only reason there wasn’t a mutiny of epic proportions is that it was not canceled, just postponed. I still would not have wanted to be a Mom that year, that had to be one really fun night to be stuck in the house with kids. I don’t know what those parents told those kids but I would have said that there was accidentally no candy in the whole state and if they went trick or treating before some was flown in, all they’d get is fruit and vegetables.
A few days later when we had kids come to the door, those kids were frozen all the way down to their, well, bones. It seemed that every single one had a runny nose. First and only time I ever stood at the front door giving out candy with a side order of tissues. The Midwest, it seems, was every bit as different as I thought it was going to be.
When my boys were young I tried to think of different treats to make for pumpkin carving night. Since all kids love Rice Krispie Treats, making them into Jack-O-Lanterns was an obvious choice. They were messy and sticky and gooie, just like the pumpkins we carved. Although they may look like they were done by a child, I made sure to decorate them before arming Older Son with a Sharpie
Jack o Lanterns
NOTE: I made these from rice krispie treats. If you are the one person in the world who doesn’t know how to make rice krispie treats, go to my “About Me” page, find my email address, email me and I’ll send you directions.
*Make up a batch of rice krispie treats. After melting the marshmallows, quickly add orange (1 part red, 4 parts yellow) food coloring before adding the rice krispies. Make these thinner than you normally would (jellyroll pan). Cut out circles with a circular cookie cutter or the lip of a cup. Press candy corn in at an angle for eyes. Cut pieces of fruit roll-ups for the mouth.
Opt: You can make the rice krispie treats according to your usual recipe (skip the food coloring) but again using a jellyroll pan. Put the food coloring into home-made or canned frosting. Frost the rice Krispies, then cut and decorate as above.