First and foremost, I love The Witches, by Roald Dahl. (If you read his autobiographies, Boy and Flying Solo, you'll see the fascinating seeds for many of his imaginative tales.) The Witches is narrated by an orphaned boy who lives with his Norwegian grandmother. She cares for him, feeds him, educates him, loves him, but most importantly teaches him how to spot a witch in disguise. Beware of well dressed women with wigged heads, since it is a well known fact that witches are bald. Beware the gloved hands, hiding hideous claw like fingernails. Beware the square toe-less feet, the blue tinted teeth, but most of all beware the eager interest in little children. (The book is mildly frightening, but the movie is down right terrifying since the Grand High witch is extremely hideous.)
For smaller children (or those with a juvenile turn of mind, like myself)....
Shake Dem Bones, by W. Nikola-Lisa, recounts a Halloween party but reads like poetry and jazz music; scoo-bee-doo-bee-doo-wah, yah.
The Berenstain Bears Trick or Treat, by Stan and Jan Berenstain is full of mischief, misconception, and misadventure, but it's all resolved in the end.
The Little Old Lady Who Was Not Afraid of Anything, by Linda Williams, tells of a brave little woman whose courage is tested by a piecemeal scarecrow. We put on a reader's theatre every year for Family Night with this book.Miss Nelson is Missing ,by James Marshall, is every grade school teacher's fantasy. Miss Nelson, fed up with her misbehaving students, disguises herself as the witch Viola Swamp, and then heaps on the discipline and homework. Did I miss any wonderful kid's Halloween books? Leave me a comment and let me know. And now, a very kid friendly cookie to accompany our young-at-heart literature. All children love to roll and cut out cookies, and these gingerbread babies are sturdy enough for the chubbiest little fingers. They're strong enough that you can poke a hole in the top and hang them from a tree which is handy at Christmas time, but don't wait until then to make a batch. The homespun smells of molasses, ginger and cinnamon are meant to be enjoyed in the fall. And if you can tell me a better way to spend an October afternoon than with young charges by your side, an exciting Halloween book in your hands, and a cookie waiting on the plate, then I'd like to hear about it. Now is the time to stop and enjoy. Thanks so much for joining in for Cookie Bookie. I've had about 2000 readers here daily, and I'm still so amazed at your kindness and interest. Your comments mean the world to me. I've got all kinds of fun stuff planned for the holidays, so keep coming back and spread the word!Gingerbread Cookies
Estimated Cost: $2.00 for about 2 dozen
Keep this recipe in mind when you are out of eggs.
1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup molasses
1/2 cup sugar
2 and 1/4 cup plus 1/4 cup flour
1/2 teasoon baking soda
1/2 teasoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ginger
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
Preheat oven to 350. In a small, melt butter. Stir in molasses and sugar, and cook until mixture is smooth and not grainy. Remove from the heat and cool to lukewarm. In a separate large bowl, combine 2 and 1/4 cup flour, soda, salt, ginger, cinnamon and nutmeg. Pour butter mixture over dry ingredients and stir to combine. Work in remaining 1/4 cup flour. Dough should be like playdough. Roll out to a generous 1/4 inch thick and cut shapes. Bake for about 8 minutes, depending on size of cookie shape. I like mine a little underbaked so that they stay soft. Let cool for two minutes on cookie sheet and transfer to rack. Frost as desired. (I use about 2 tablespoons butter, 2 cups of powdered sugar and enough milk to make a spreadable frosting.)
P.S. I just adore my cakestand. It's perfect for every season. With just a change of the ribbon, it's ready for fall. I'm honestly considering having some made. Everyone needs such an adaptable cakestand.
See you After the Weekend that Pork and Spicy Green Bean Recipe...