OA: Samantha Stiles Column October 31, 2008

Remembering Halloween

Holidays always seemed better when I was little, especially Halloween, because nobody can ever really do things quite like moms can.

Case in point: My mom made excellent chili.

Every year for Halloween she’d cook up a big batch of chili that was not too hot, not too mild, it was just right. It had the right amount of beans and beef, right amount of tomato-y flavor and vegetables. Chili can be tricky. It can be too soupy or too stew–y. It’s all about the consistency.

As an adult, I’ve tried to duplicate her chili and have never gotten the hang of it.

One year, I messed it up badly because I put pizza tomato sauce in the mixture to try to thicken it. Wrong kind of tomato.

There’s also a lot of pressure to have a sexy costume when you’re a 20-something. It’s a concept I have never gotten the hang of.

The year I turned 21, I went to a bar dressed as a turtle in sweat pants for Halloween. Not sexy.

When you’re a little kid, you get to be cool things such as Bob the Builder, a non-sexy princess fairy or the many ridiculous costume ideas moms cook up such as little Dr. McDreamies.

Recently, in doing research for this column and the various Halloween stories and event roundups I’ve written, I came across some intriguing opinions.

Some parents let their kids keep all of their Halloween candy in their rooms. Some parents only let their kids keep some candy and then store the rest in the kitchen.

I was a child from the first group. A fact I confirmed with my mom who said this: “I always took out the good stuff and you didn’t know it.”

Apparently, my mom pilfered Almond Joys and Pay Days for years without me knowing. Even when I got older and started hiding my candy from my little sister, she would search our rooms for chocolate while we were at school, she said.

She also agreed that it was probably crazy for her to let us keep the candy in our rooms. Remarkably, both my sister and I have excellent teeth and are at healthy weights.

However, we are both candy–aholics. One of the worst things to be addicted to.

If someone asked me “would you like this apple martini or a bag of Skittles?” I would almost always pick the Skittles (unless it was a really bad day).

It’s all about the calories. One apple martini will not get you drunk, but for a relatively close amount of calories you can eat an entire bag of Skittles and be satisfied.

I’ve also read stories recently about candy sales being down this year and others about candy sales being on target.

It appears the economic crisis may or may not have crossed over into candy sales, forbidden territory in my opinion.

Halloween is supposed to be a happy time. It provides Martha Stewart with eight weeks of material for her show. That’s a lot of crafts, cooking and party decorations.

The economy shouldn’t threaten Halloween, it’s sacred. It’s the thing lasting memories are made of.

Halloween is the perfect time of year to remember what it was like being a kid.


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