Saturday, October 31, 2009

Chili from Days Gone & Farewell VMF 2009

Two Bean, All-Day Chili Topped w/ Avocado Creme & Smoked Paprika

Growing up, we always had chili for dinner on Halloween. On Halloween morning, mom would put a big pot on and let it simmer slowly all day…until it was an enticingly well-melded concoction of flavors and textures. My mom makes a mean pot of chili—a veritable tribute to hearty, spicy, tomatoey deliciousness. She served it up in bowls topped with cheddar cheese and saltine crackers.

I understand why it was always chili; this was something mom could throw on the stove and not fuss with throughout the day, allowing her time to get all of us and our costumes organized. But, I think she also had a far more cunning reason for serving us her chili: we devoured it like it was going out of style. Thus, despite all tactical and otherwise strategic intentions on our part to eat as little dinner as possible and leave more room for candy, we went out into the Halloween night with bellies full of beans…clever mom!

These days, it seems like Halloween has changed a lot…at least in our neck of the woods. Kids go trick-or-treating around their parents’ office buildings or at the local shopping mall. What’s up with that? If they tried to pull that sort of thing on us, we would have staged an outright revolt!

Nothing can match the magic of trapsing around in the crisp night air with friends and siblings, never knowing what type of character you might encounter around each corner. The sound of scurrying feet, shouts, and laughter wafting through the darkness as fellow trick-or-treaters made their rounds, gave way to mounting excitement as our pillow cases filled with treats.

Anything could happen on Halloween. Anything, good or bad, was possible in our imagination—we were brave and happy revellers ready for all the night could offer...

Well, we were usually in bed by 8:30…but you know what I mean.

I’m sure that there are places where that kind of Halloween magic still exists, but it certainly belongs to days gone by in our neighborhood. Last year we had a total of two trick-or-treaters come to our door.

Vegan Candy for Bona-fide Trick-or-Treaters

Nonetheless, I put on my pot of chili this morning. The Jack-o-Lanterns are all ready to light up on the porch. A bowl of candy sits full and expectant by the door. We’ll have a playlist of Halloween hits pumping out fun and spooky sounds from our sound system. And heck, I may even dress up as a black cat…all in wait for a glimpse of those rare creatures, those modern-day trick-or-treaters.

And, as I wait patiently on the porch, I’ll be thinking of all the wonderful ideas, recipes, stories, and photos I’ve seen during this VeganMofo. I have enjoyed it so heartily…thanks to all MoFoers everywhere…can’t wait to see you all next year!

Happy Halloween!!


  1. This may be my favorite post of yours yet. You did a wonderful job describing Halloween when we were young. And yes, your mom was quite smart making chili for dinner.

    We haven't had a trick-or-treater in over a decade. I thought it was just because we don't have any kids in our neighborhood, but the mall and office idea had not occured to me. Let us know if any little goblins show up at your house tonight. Now I am curious.

    talk to you soon,

  2. Yeah, very moving post. I love Halloween. We are fortunate to have those fond memories.

  3. We got about 5 or 6 groups of was better than last year. It seems that most of them weren't taught the proper Halloween etiquette though; only of few of them knew they were supposed to say "trick-or-treat".

  4. What? I am completely surprised by that. I can't imagine what they were thinking. Very sad.

  5. What a nice post! I too have enjoyed VeganMoFo 2009 so much, and have to thank you not only for your own posts but for being so kind and receptive about commenting on the contributions of others ;-)

    We always had "spaghetti casserole" on Halloween night. We used to think it was because Mom knew we had to eat our supper before we were allowed to go out, even this gross travesty, but now as adults we all love and crave it (or have veganized it and love the vegan version)!

    Happy Halloween to you, too!


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