I have been quite looking forward to Halloween this year. With ‘Rona looming in the foreground, it has been fun inventing a new way of celebrating Halloween – keeping it intimate, a family affair. Then we took a walk to the park and oh my are our neighbours going all out this year! We are talking about full on lawn displays; the dead rising from the earth, disembodied heads hanging from doorways. Rather than becoming the shrieking shrivelling ball of fear that usually happens when she sees a spider, my wee girl E. was enthralled. Pouring over every gory detail and running on to the next, ridiculously excited about this Americanised holiday. Now I feel we aren’t doing enough. Then I wonder if we are actually going to get trick or treaters round?
Luckily I perform best under pressure – there is nothing like an imminent deadline to stoke my creative fires and get me into production mode. In the past, I would have been nipping down the shop to get the bags of kids sized treats for fear of opening a door empty handed and being egged by the local hooligans. But since we started our journey to reduce the amount of waste we produce as a family, I can no longer justify the plastic wrapped, single use horror that holidays like these so easily become. Instead, out came the cookbooks and the ever reliable Pinterest, and off we delved into a day of spooky baking.
It being literally the day before Halloween we kept it simple – meringue ghosts and our family favourites, iced ginger cookies. E. loved piping out the ghosts, and enjoyed experimenting with different nozzle shapes to get different effects (“like different kinds of poos mummy”). While they were baking we made our gingerbread dough. We make gingerbread cookies every Christmas so these are pretty easy for us now. We got out our cutters and tried to think how we could make our decidedly festive selection a bit more spooky.
When it came to icing, gingerbread skeletons were a bit complicated for little hands, so she made zombies and mummies instead – I love how her creative mind works. We turned the snowflakes into spider webs, and piped faces onto our meringue ghosts. If I don’t eat them all tonight we plan to package them up into tissue parcels so that kids can take them individually when they knock on and be safe from COVID germs and such like.
Wee one is super proud and cannot wait to hand her zombies out. Our journey to zero waste has meant that we no longer compromise on our values. It means putting more effort in, but when you get wonderful moments like this rainy afternoon spent together, it highlights how much you can get back in other ways. We made decorations earlier on in the week, a fun half term crafty activity, going through the recycling and craft box to make scary pumpkins and floating ghosts to hang in our windows. We’ve bought nothing new, used what we have had to hand, and anything not given away (or eaten!) will be stored to be put back out next year. All I need to do now is make a zombie princess fairy outfit…
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