Just like everything else this year, our Halloween was very, very different. Instead of our annual visit to our favorite pumpkin patch, a tradition that Lesley and I have held for 5 years, we picked our pumpkins out at Kroger. Carving didn’t happen until 4 days before and was the first year we didn’t carve with my parents. Most bizarre, there was no trick or treating. Failed traditions aside, we had a fabulous Halloween season.
The season started the way it always does for us with Halloween decorating day. We gathered our bins (which had almost doubled in contents thanks to Lesley’s generous neighbor!), made our witches brew, tuned in to our Pandora Halloween channel and got to work. This year we added a special treat to our party – monster eye balls made of homemade pumpkin spice and white chocolate ice cream. Maddie chose the flavorings and I got to play with my new chocolate molds. They were fun to make and turned out really good!
Mid-Halloween season the whole NHN family gathered and took an adventure for Story’s birthday. I can’t tell you the thrill I feel even writing that. An actual adventure! To a location! In 2020! It was a thrill. Lesley and I got so carried away with the fun of it that we purposely took a shady backroad detour to get there. And turned off the navigation for the fun of it! It was great fun.
The destination was the Marengo Caves. A beautiful US National Landmark in Southern Indiana. With mask on we explored the caves which were a sight to behold. When we finished we adventured back for Story’s birthday cake and presents. The birthday cake was a lemon blueberry with white chocolate frosting. The flavors were picked by Story, likely to see how much of a disaster Lesley would make of it. To everyone’s surprise, the cake was delicious! A true victory for Lesley and a good birthday for Story.
The big question for my mom this year was what to do about costumes. Would the kids need them? There is only one right answer to that question , of course. Yes! Typically mom has a lengthy vacation in the middle of this sewing season but, of course, that wasn’t the case this year. I hoped that might mean a less stressful season for her, but 2020 wouldn’t allow that. The cursed year reared its ugly head and sent a nasty fairy to loosen a rock on the ledge at my parents lake house. Unfortunately, dad found this loosened rock while mowing and fell resulting in 6 broken ribs. Poor mom has been nursing him back to health since. Still, she managed 5 amazing costumes complete with matching masks. Well done mom!
Lesley and I decided not to trick or treat this year and opted for a haunted house Halloween party instead. We settled on three rooms; a ghost room, Nightmare Before Christmas, and Hocus Pocus. Of course, I got carried away and added a Hamilton theme to the ghost room and added a 4th secret room just for Lesley – spiders. The preparation was quite a lot but I had a lot of fun putting it together.
The party itself was also a lot of fun. Lesley made a smorgasbord of thematic food which was delightful and her sister brought her adorable puppy. Mom came in a whimsical costume and the spider room worked perfectly to frighten Lesley. Halloween was on a full moon this year which had Maddie’s fear of werewolves on high alert. To Maddie’s delight, Lesley’s mom put together a protection spell that worked perfectly. All in all, it was a fine Halloween night.
Now, only 2 months left till the end of this dreadful year.
Monster Eye Balls – White Chocolate and Pumpkin Spice Ice Cream bowls
For the ice cream:
- 2 cup heavy cream
- 2 cup half and half
- 8 egg yolks
- 2/3 cup sugar
- 4 tbsp butter
- 10 oz white chocolate
- 1 tsp pumpkin spice
- green food coloring
- candy eye balls
For the chocolate bowls:
- 1 package melting chocolate (dark chocolate)
- In a medium saucepan, heat heavy cream and half and half until boiling. Stir every minute or so.
- In a medium bowl, mix together the egg yolks and sugar.
- Whisk in half of the cream mixture with the egg yolks, then return the cream and yolk mixture to the medium saucepan.
- Bring mixture to a boil.
- Remove from heat and stir in white chocolate and pumpkin pie spice.
- Add green food coloring.
- Refrigerate overnight or at least 6 hours.
- Use a ice cream mixer to churn the mixture into ice cream.
- In the meantime, melt the melting chocolate in a small bowl, melting only a handful at a time.
- Use a spoon to fully coat the mold with chocolate. Put in the freezer for 2-3 minutes to allow it harden. I've included a link to the mold I use below.
- Repeat the last two steps about 3 times until you are sure that each mold is coated and the chocolate is thick enough all the way around the mold. I use a paint brush to make sure the chocolate is even on the edges.
- Once the molds are solid, pop out the chocolate bowls and fill each one with ice cream. Put a candy eye ball on top and place in the freezer for at least 30 mins.