Halloween Week here has been rather festive, even though I have yet to figure out my costume (I will most likely throw a pair of pearls over one of my many dresses and call it a day). On Tuesday, Elena and I spent the evening at The Merchant House on East 4th Street, which is reputed to be the most haunted house in all of New York City. The tickets had been booked initially for a much larger group, but none showed, and thus we braved the spirits together. I am the daughter of a man whose idea of a Saturday afternoon is traveling to various historic landmarks in the tri-state area, and thus part of the allure of the Merchant House is that it remains the only completely furnished 19th century home in the city. The tour was a generous mix of history and horror, but with utmost respect for the family who is said to haunt the home – we paused at their portraits in a way that felt entirely sincere on the part of the guide.
I spent most of my afternoon and evening yesterday baking several different kinds of Halloween treats – pumpkin seed brittle, candy-speckled shortbread, pretzels in the shape of fingers (it’s as uncanny as it sounds), brownies which were meticulously cut into the shape of coffins, caramel apples that never hardened fully and which were the evening’s only true failure.
If only you could see the nasty little blister that has taken residence on the pad of my thumb. I need to remember to keep my fingers away from boiling sugar, but I get far too distracted by my excitement sometimes.
I collapsed into bed a little after midnight, my face sooty with flour and sugar. I peeled myself off my sheets sometime later to remove my apron and change into pajamas. I am exhausted – truly, truly exhausted – but incredibly proud of how everything turned out.
I do not have any plans for this evening. The costume party I am attending is this weekend, mostly in the name of frugality, since all of the Halloween decorations will be gloriously discounted come November 1st. I will be spending my last true night of the autumn season – since, after October, it’s all a downhill spiral into winter anyway – with friends and a deliciously sinful amount of sugar.
Wishing you a safe and happy but not at all healthy (in the best of ways ) Halloween!