Sunday, January 31, 2010

It almost seems like Halloween time

Some of my favorite shows on TV are 'Haunted History', 'MonsterQuest', 'Scariest Places on Earth', and 'Ghostly Encounters'. I've been catching a lot of these shows lately, and every day and every night I search the TV Guide channel to see when they will be on. They seem to be showing them so much lately that it almost seems like it's the Halloween season! I remembered watching these shows almost every night in the days leading up to Halloween. I looked forward to them every night. I love it when shows like these come on when it isn't even Halloween time. In some strange way, it seems to satisfy my Halloween yearning. Today, there was even a special show on about Vlad Tepes, a.k.a. Dracula.

They will be repeating a 'Haunted History' episode at 1:00 a.m., and I have every intention of staying up to watch it (or at least trying!). It was about haunted places in New York and the surrounding area. I only caught a bit of it this afternoon when it was on, and I'm looking forward to watching it all the way through. I have never been to the east coast, but I'd really love to. It is, after all, where one of my favorite spooky tales takes place- The Legend of Sleepy Hollow. I can't wait to visit many of the world's supposedly haunted locations.

I think I'll go grab a little shut-eye before my favorite show comes on!

Thursday, January 28, 2010

A little Halloween treat for late-January

Shortly before this last Halloween, our local newspaper published a bunch of recipes sent in by readers from the surrounding areas. I think there must have been at least two or three whole pages that were devoted entirely to making Halloween drinks, appetizers, and desserts. I was so excited when I saw this that I saved the newspaper so I would have the recipes handy to make for the following year. One of the recipes that sounded especially good to me was a Pumpkin Dip, which won third place in the 2009 Elk Grove Giant Pumpkin and Harvest Festival. I love dips, and I love anything pumpkin, so I figured this would probably end up being a new favorite. The combination of pumpkin and cream cheese made me think it probably tastes a lot like pumpkin cheesecake- definitely at the top of my list of delicious desserts! No, it isn't pumpkin season, but I'm missing Halloween and longing for a taste of it, so I decided to give this one a try. Being the health-conscious person that I am, I did buy the reduced-fat cream cheese to try. I have used the reduced-fat kind in things before and didn't think I noticed much difference. Below is the recipe, if you care to try it for yourself. Let me know if you make it, and what you think!

Pumpkin Dip

2 cups canned pumpkin
Two 8-ounce packages cream cheese, room temperature
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground ginger
4 cups powdered sugar
Gingersnaps or sugar cookies

In the bowl of an electric mixer, fitted with the paddle attachment, combine pumpkin, cream cheese, cinnamon, and ground ginger. Beat until well blended. Add sugar and beat until smooth. Serve dip with gingersnaps or sugar cookies.

Per 1/4 cup: 208 calories; 28 g carb; 10 g fat.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Halloween musings

Almost four months have passed since our favorite night of the year. Christmas has ended, and All Hallow's Eve is a long nine months away. I sit here listening to the haunting music of Nox Arcana, on a cold, windy, rainy night near the end of January with thoughts of Halloween occupying my mind. I miss it; long for it even, and so I decide to search the Web for more images, stories, or poems to add to my already huge Halloween collection. It doesn't take long until I come across something that my eyes immediately become fixed upon. A simple typing of the word "Halloween" into a search engine, and dozens of dark images pertaining to Halloween appear on my screen. I am searching for a new muse, and almost immediately I have found one. He sits atop his black steed as the moonlight creeps steadily through the twisted branches of a haunted forest, illuminating an ancient gravestone. A victim of the Horseman, perhaps? He waits there for the next one to come along, surrounded by stillness, his large gloved hand gripping the scarred end of his sword. His horse, one leg raised as if ready to lunge forward at the urging of his immortal master, chomps anxiously at his bit. He knows that at any moment the race will begin and he and his dark rider will once again be off in pursuit of another helpless soul.
And so they wait in the blackness, quietly, a thick fog dampening the fallen leaves, with only a glowing pumpkin to light the way. Its twisted grin and glowing eyes a reminder to all to beware, for it is Devil's Night. It is October 31st. His rampage begins.
The Legend of Sleepy of my favorites. I look at this picture and I want it to be October 31st all over again.