Sunday, October 31, 2010

That is your last piece of candy!!!!!! I mean it, this time.

     Tonight sugar will prevail.  Kids across America have awoke to await the sunset, enjoying a sweet breakfast of pre-Halloween candy. My son usually quite docile at 9am, is dressed and patrolling the neighborhood, in search of others like himself.  Air horn in hand, skeleton t-shirt and sugar coursing through his veins,he asks when will it be dark?
     One year, my oldest son was a Ninja and he enjoyed all the accessories that completed the look. One small problem though, it was raining, not just sprinkling...flat out raining. I remember my husband giving my son an umbrella, and my usually jovial happy-go-lucky son was crushed, clearly upset with the prospect of carrying an umbrella with his cool looking ninja sword.  What he said, will forever go down in the history books as unarguably the right thing to say, when learning there is no way out of carrying that umbrella...."Dad, Ninjas don't carry umbrellas!"  From that moment on, when I think of Halloween, I think of umbrella toting ninjas.
     I can already tell you that it is only 10 am and my husband has already uttered those all too familiar words.."You better calm down, or there is going to be no Halloween!". While I sit here writing this my youngest is a slow-brewing tsunami of energy, unable to sit still, pacing a path from the kitchen to the living room, speaking in tongues from time to time, making utterly no sense at all. While, my husband patiently awaits the World Series, subdued and irritated all at the same time.
     "Calm down" is the present destination of this years Halloween.  I wonder if my parents, went through the roller coaster of sugar addiction. I, for one am a chocolate bar enabler.  There is not a Baby Ruth out there that I do not love with all my heart.  But what sits behind me, is the Frankenstein of my chocolate addiction.  Swapping candy for cheeseburger Doritos, he laughs and crunches, laughs and crunches as the drug:sugar infiltrates his ability to reason.  "Put that pumpkin down now!", "Quit bothering the cat, he's gonna scratch you!", "Stop it!", and my personal favorite "Knock it off!" are the sounds of a peaceful home.  Home sweet home.
     Last year, my number one goal was to get the kids fed before they went out in search of sugar loot. However, I was a little under the weather with that pesky flu, the H1N1. So you can imagine how heartbroken I was that I could not enjoy my annual intake of mini Baby Ruth bars, gory scary movies and the inevitable sweet crash of the overindulgence of candy, then perfect silence as my youngest slept off his sugar buzz. I was sick, and certainly not what I envisioned my perfect Halloween to be.
     This year, gratefully no swine flu and instead of a recipe of cheeseburger sliders that bombed miserably, which by the way I threw away in the morning. We will be having pizza, which I kinda feel is Halloween food anyway. It's mobile and kids just like it no matter what, the greasier the better. I never had such harsh critics until I had a husband and kids.  God bless them, they tell it like it is.  Which is fortunate for me. I would not like to launch a grape jelly, cream cheese and pickle pizza without a fan club.
     I am going to share my pizza dough recipe again, because it is a fool-proof pizza dough, it works every time(taking into consideration, when the humidity drops the flour gets lighter, so less flour is needed in winter, than in the summer).  What I mean to say is, if the dough is sticky add a wee more flour until it pulls away from the mixing bowl, no longer tacky on the fingers and is elastic. You can add spices during this process if you would like, adding garlic and dried basil gives your dough that much more character.  The possibilities are endless.  Either way, Have a Happy Halloween and if you are parents of wee ones, I hope the evil trickster Senor Sugarpants does not linger to long on your doorstep. ;)

2 cups King Arthur All Purpose Flour
1 tablespoon Fleischmann's Dry Active Yeast
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp sugar
1 cup warm water(110F to 115F)
1/4 to 1/3 cup olive oil

In a mixing bowl fashioned with a dough hook, add all the dry ingredients, including the yeast. Combine the warm water and olive oil and pour into mixing bowl.  Turn the machine on low and mix until the dough pulls cleanly from the sides.  At this point you might have to add more flour, just add a little at a time, like 1 or 2 tbs at a time. When the dough is elastic and no longer is sticky to the touch, oil the same bowl that you mixed the dough in, cover with a towel and set in a warm place, until doubled in size.  Punch down and your ready for cheese and your favorite toppings.  Good hot oven is the key to getting a good rise and browning, anything over 400F is a good starting point. 

You wouldn't believe on All Hallow Eve what lots of fun we can make, with apples to bob, and nuts on the hob, and a ring- and- thimble cake.~Carolyn Wells


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