Ghosts of Halloween Past

It already seems so long ago with Christmas just around the corner, that I really need to do a round up of the Most. Awesome. Halloween. Ever. And those aren’t even my words, they were overheard coming from the mouth of one of our party guests so it must be true non?

We kicked off the week that was with a bang at the yearly Nicholson Street Fete, raising money for this amazing little school. Ari walked the plank with paper mache crocodiles nipping at her heels while The King tried to join them in the water below before nicking off with them. Thanks Mossy for persuading me that we didn’t need the packhorse.

The school puts in an immense effort, parents exhausting themselves to raise money which provides resources to the students. It sets the tone for the whole peninsula with most houses decorated for the occasion, ours not withstanding.

And this is how they look the next day. See what I mean? Exhausted!

I had been preparing for our party for many weeks and had most of my baked goods frozen or at least prepped. The days beforehand were simply filled with decorating, icing and licking ones fingers (The Littles of course never Lady Moss)!

I used fondant which I coloured myself, and even managed to reuse the leftover pale blue from The King’s birthday by turning it black for my cat cookies.

The cookie dough was frozen, the recipe from Bronnie Bakes as always and thawed in the fridge. The day before the party it was rolled, baked and covered in apricot jam then fondant once cooled. I used an edible marker to draw on the pumpkin face once the fondant had hardened slightly. Fun!

I wanted to add a splash of colour other than orange and black, so we iced our cupcakes in green butter cream and swirled it on using glad bags with a hole snipped in the side. So much more hygienic than reusing an icing bag over and over. The wrappers, toppers and gel colouring all came from layer cake in the US which was super cheap and quick.

The final goody for the table was the eighties birthday party favourite, Frogs in a Pond or, cadbury freddo frogs set into green jelly. The were wolfed down by the little guests before any cookies or cupcakes were even attempted.

I used free printables from Three Monkeys Studio to make labels that we attached to cello bags filled with just a couple of lollies per party guest. I got this idea from the Bronnie Bakes site, that girl is my guru!

The piece de resistance was definitely the (spiked) punch with floating bloody hands. I got this idea from Martha Stewart and bought some cheap rubber gloves, filled them with cranberry juice and froze. Just before the party started I made the punch using sparkling apple juice, ginger ale and vodka. I had two sets of hands and was able to refresh the punch halfway through the party. It stayed beautifully chilled all evening and even provided much needed refreshment to some of the adult trick or treaters that stopped in. A few of the fingers dropped off but that just added to the effect I feel.

The best part of a party for me is the initial dressing of the space and that moment before the first guest arrives. When the food is placed perfectly and not an empty cup to be seen. I bought orange juice boxes and filled my much used glass bottles with water and colour matched straws. Being late spring in Sydney, and having our party outside, the guests were thirsty from all of the monster mashing before long. It was definitely a good idea to offer a sugar free drink option.

I always like to serve a little hot savoury food and fall back on my ever faithful vegetarian hotdogs served in mini dinner buns and teeny sausage rolls. I can throw the lot in the oven, set the timer and plate them up with a little sauce and some printed toppers glued to toothpicks. They were delicious and devoured instantly by adults and littles alike.

We played Pin the Face on the Pumpkin which Lady Claire (mum) kindly printed out a million times until it was blown up to just the right size. I cut out two triangles and a grinning mouth using pinking shears and black paper for each player to stick to the sheet using blue tac. I wrote their name on each piece using a white pen to keep track of the winning face.

Mossy created a You Tube playlist of Halloween tunes ranging from Tim Burton movie soundtracks, haunting Moonlight Sonatas and a crooning Blue Moon. The Littles danced and froze, danced and froze to the Ghostbusters theme song while the parents laughed and clapped in hysterical delight.

Our scary friends departed for bed around 6:30, leaving Mossy to take the munchkins trick or treating while Lady Moss entertained from the enviable position beside the punch bowl to hand out lollies and sweet party leftovers to all that passed by.

The Littles wore pumpkin outfits that were created using an idea from Homemade By Jill. I made gorgeous little hatettes inspired by Delia Creates but sadly they didn’t last the distance and were quickly discarded to allow for greater dancing capabilities.

As darkness descended and the sounds of racing footsteps grew faint, Ari and The King returned home with their loot and Lady Moss overheard a ghoulish specter retreating from our candle light door say “this is the best street ever, I’m so coming back next year!” We hope so little friend, because we agree.

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