I first met Kristen of Dine and Dish in person this past July. I instantly loved her infectious smile, not because she’s always smiling, but because when she smiles, it lights up the whole room. I had, however, gotten to know Kristen through her blog and her touching writing about family and food long before our first in-person meeting, as well as through the ingenious Adopt-a-Blogger where I’d been adopted as a first-year food blogger by Michelle.
I asked Kristen to share some of her family traditions and Halloween food ideas as we approach the holiday. I love how Kristen is constantly involving family and friends in food, making it a social event that brings everyone together. It comes as no surprise that she also brings people together online then, I suppose. Her Halloween story is one I’d love to start with my own neighbors someday as their children get old enough to trick or treat.
1. Halloween sort of signals the kick-off to the holiday lineup and the craziness at the mall for Christmas even though Black Friday doesn’t come until after Thanksgiving. Do you and your family have any special Halloween traditions?
We do have a wonderful Halloween tradition that we started 5 years ago. Each Halloween evening we have a group of neighbors over for a soup supper. Each of the 5 families brings a soup of some kind, I make homemade bread, and then everyone brings either a side or dessert. We all enjoy dinner together, take a group picture of all the kiddos in their Halloween costumes, then the trick-or-treating begins.
Each family that comes puts a sign on their door that the candy from their house will be at our address. Then, we put out the fire-pit to sit around and line up the buckets of candy from each house for the trick or treaters. Usually the dad’s stay back and pass out the candy and the mom’s head out on taking our own kids from house to house.
It is such a great tradition…always loads of fun!
2. What are some of your favorite Halloween treats?
I have a huge sweet tooth. I tend to steal the Twix, Kit-Kat and Starbursts from my kids bags. Oh… and Dots. I love Dots!
3. What candies do you pass out to the ghouls and goblins that come trick-or-treating on Halloween?
I always get a mix of candy… you know those huge bags that you can buy at Costco and Sam’s Club? We have to buy like 10 of those. We get a lot of trick-or-treaters in our neighborhood!
4. How do you handle the massive amounts of candy that kids can bring home after trick-or-treating?
I honestly don’t mind my kids having a little bit of candy every once in awhile, but what I really dislike is the constant begging after Halloween for candy. They seem to want it breakfast, lunch and dinner! 5 years ago, we started having the Halloween Fairy come. The way our little system works is this:
On Halloween night, the kids can eat all they want. The next day, we dump all the kids candy into one giant pile and go around from youngest kid to oldest kid. Each kid gets to pick out a total of 20 pieces of candy. It is really a lot of fun to watch them take turns and try to figure out which pieces of candy are the most coveted.
After the 20 piece selection process, we put the candy into a big cauldron and set outside their bedroom door. That night, the Halloween Fairy comes and takes the candy away and leaves a small toy for each of them (books, baseball cards, a barbie).
I’ve heard rumor that the Halloween Fairy has her husband take all the candy to work for his co-workers.
5. What are your plans for this year or, alternatively, what are you kids dressing up as?
We are, of course, having our soup supper. Other than that I’m honestly not sure yet! I’ve heard rumblings that one wants to be a football player, my 6 year old said she wants to be an elf. My 4 year old wants to be whatever the 6 year old says she wants to be. The baby is probably going to be the same thing her older siblings was at their age, which is a cute little Oatmeal Bear
Thanks so much for sharing your Halloween food and traditions with us, Kristen! Be sure to check out Kristen’s cheeseburger soup recipe on Dine and Dish. It looks perfect for warming up small bellies before sending them off to trick or treat in the cold autumn air.