Both keen and talented bakers, these two lovely friends of mine, Andrea and Leslie, voiced interest in getting to know one another, so the three of us got together at our place on Saturday evening, to eat some delicious food and watch some Halloween themed films. Nick was out of town, making this was a ladies' night.
Of course, we couldn't have two desserts for dinner, so Andrea brought a savory baked dish and Leslie brought the sweet.
To start, I made an appropriately themed appetizer : These are deviled eggs, made with mayonnaise, onion powder and garlic powder, a little salt, and decorated with black olive spiders.
We chatted with cocktails (this rum punch for A and me, and a virgin version for L), while the aroma of Andrea's special Macaroni and Cheese Casserole baking in the oven filled the kitchen.
Oh my goodness, with a made-from-scratch sauce including several types of cheese and perfectly cooked noodles, it was absolutely delicious.
To go with that, I made a tossed salad served with this dressing, and this recipe for Mexican Black Beans. I thought the black colour would go well with the orange Mac and Cheese, making it a perfect Halloween combo. Also, since the Mexican holiday, Día de Muertos, is celebrated around the same time, I thought a Mexican dish was a good addition. This was my first time following that easy recipe, and the beans turned out really well. Note : to serve three, with some leftovers, I cut the original recipe in half.
We decided to take a break a begin with the films, before having dessert, but I'll show you what was in store for us. Leslie made these wonderful chocolate cupcakes, topped with cake-pop eyeball. So cute and so good.
Andrea brought over some movies, plus I'd scanned Youtube and Netflix for other Halloween themed film options.
First we watched Charlie Brown The Great Pumpkin. It was a definite favourite when I was a kid (although I did end up in tears year after year, when I saw that Charlie only received rocks in his Tricks or Treats bag). I hadn't seen it in ages so looked forward to it. It was as good as I remembered, but a lot shorter than it seemed back then.
↑ a shot of the tv while we were watching ↑
Second, keeping with animation, we found Disney's 1949 Legend of Sleepy Hollow on Youtube. I can't recall ever having seen it before and quite enjoyed it.
At this point, we broke for those cupcakes and a cup of tea.
Then we put in the excellent classic, Ghostbusters, and all loved it. "Who you gonna call?!"
After that, it was time for Leslie to go. Andrea was sleeping over, so after a glass of wine and a good talk about her very exciting upcoming travel plans (the Czech Republic, including Prague), we called it a night. Ok, I guess it wasn't technically "calling it a night", considering it was 3 in the morning when we finally hit the hay!
We slept in late the next morning, breakfasted on a reheated plate of the previous evening's leftovers and cups of coffee. Then we watched another movie on Netflix, this one Tim Burton's Sleepy Hollow from 1999, staring Johnny Depp.
↑ Andrea's excellent socks, hand knit by her friend Rebecca. ↑
Andrea headed home at 4, leaving Eddie and me, to snuggle up with a good book. By coincidence, not realizing at all that Awakening by Sharon Bolton is a ghostly story when I downloaded the ebook from the library, even the book I was reading was Halloween appropriate.
You guys know that I love my vintage things (and you can peep many of my thrift store finds in these photos, such as the tablecloth in the kitchen, the plate the eggs are on, the bowl the beans are in, and the tea towel), but what my collection lacks are true vintage Halloween decorations (like the enviable ones blogger Magpie Ethel has shown here, and here). Although I'd love to have some, I've never come across any at the thrifts, and don't really feel they are something I need to spend "real" money on, on ebay.
That's not to say that I didn't have seasonal decorations on display though, because you know I did! Here's what I had out ...
These first two pieces are things that my mother gave me when she retired. She was a primary school teacher, so had these decorating her classrooms ...
Plants and a gargoyle : the red mum is between blooming, and is currently loaded with buds ready to open. The gargoyle face is something that I usually have in the garden, but decided to bring inside.
The pretty white Impatien also came indoors from outside. It's a self-seeded plant that grew all by itself in one of the planters, so when I noticed it, I transplanted it and brought it in. It's doing beautifully, with new buds and flowers. I wonder how long this annual plant, meant to add summertime colour to outside gardens, will last inside.
This blow-mold pumpkin is as close to a vintage Halloween decoration as I have. It's something I was given in the late 80s and actually goes onto a flashlight. I displayed it with a little battery operated tea-light in it. (Aside: I've never tried those "fake-candles" before but have to say, that now that I have, I am sold. They're excellent -- no fire hazard to worry about and a flickering "flame" that looks quite realistic in the right containers.)
Oh, and another "almost vintage" Halloween item I have, is this greeting card from the 80s ...
And made from a vintage handkerchief, this little ghost joined the party ...
The blue glass lady, who looks like a ghost to me, is a bell with a ringer under her skirt. I got her this summer, when working on an estate -- I've been acting as a consultant on collectible vintage items, and loving it. After the estate sale had wrapped, this lady was left behind, so I made an offer and took her home. The green plaid woolen blanket on the sofa also came from there. The glass pumpkin, pictured on the table below also came from an estate I worked on. I've actually gotten quite a few beautiful new-to-me vintage pieces this way in recent months, which I plan to tell you about once I've obtained appropriate permission.
This stein with a skull on it is one of the few things that Nick kept from his past. Before we met, he had decided to completely change his life, and part of that involved getting rid of most of his stuff, but this was one item he held onto.
You've seen my autumn themed crocheting recently (in this post), and the little sequin owl is something I found on the sidewalk down the street last year. It's ribbon was broken, so it appeared to have been something hanging on someone's backpack. I was glad to rescue him from the dirt and grime of the street.
Here's the little felt and embroidery I made, who has a style appropriate to Día de Muertos. You can find a post about how to make him here. The chair he sits in was handmade by the father-in-law of my sadly departed aunt Lucy. I personally never met the man, but have some of his handy-work on permanent display.
And speaking of cats, this guy certainly did an excellent hosting job when the ladies were visiting. Everyone was given a turn with him on their laps, and cuddles all around.
Thank you for checking out my post. I hope you have a great Halloween weekend.
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