Getting Seasonaly Traditional with The League!


By Shawn Robare

I swear, this season is just whipping by at mach 2.1!  Every time I think I can get caught up on the 31 Days of Monsters countdown, something else pops up and needs to be dealt with.  I have some pto coming my way at the day job, so I’m pretty sure I’ll have all the cels I planned on sharing scanned and up on the site by the 31st, it’s probably not going to be daily though.  That being said, I did want to take a second and participate in this week’s assignment from the League as it’s in the vein of the season and doesn’t require me to break out Photoshop and a scanner.  This week’s topic is all about our personal Halloween traditions, and at Branded HQ the wife and I have been slowly building ours over the last decade or so.

Though Halloween has always been my favorite holiday, it’s really become something special over the last 12 years as I met, wooed, dated, lived with and ultimately married the lady that would become my wife.  I finally had someone to share my love of the holiday with, be it someone to stalk the seasonal aisles of stores with, or a victim to watch my horror movie marathons with.  Throughout the 2000s we started a number of Halloween traditions, and as soon as I stared up this site back in 2006 we found the inspiration to add more and more.  One of the first traditions we started was extending the holiday throughout the entire month of October.  One of the ways we do this is by trying to carve a new jack-o-lantern every weekend throughout the month.  We’ve done two so far…

  

We also try and take some time out to make some fun Halloween foodstuffs throughout the month.  This year we’ve made a couple batches of homemade Hi-C Ecto-Cooler (thanks largely to the Strange Kids Club for the recipe)…

The first batch was straight up to test the recipe (1.5 cups of sugar, 1 packet of orange Kool-Aid mix, 1/2 packet of Lemonade Kool-Aid mix, 3/4 cup orange juice w/no pulp, 3/4 cup of tangerine juice, 14 cups of water, and 4-5 drops green food coloring), which was pretty damn close to how I remember this wonderful concoction tasting.  The second batch was mixed with various liquors trying to find the perfect accent to flavor (FYI, vodka worked best in a one shot to 12 oz ratio.)

In addiction to Halloween-y drinks, every year for the past few years we’ve been selecting a recipe out of my favorite cookbook of all time, Vincent & Mary Price’s Treasury of Great Recipes

The book is filled with a metric ton of rich and quite unhealthy dishes scoured from the world’s finest restaurants (circa 1960), and though none of them call for bats wings or eye of newt, the calories alone will cause you to faint with fright!

Rounding out the seasonal food traditions is an unlikely craving the wife and I have during October.  For the past three years we’ve been attending the Historic Oakland Cemetery Sunday in the Park festival, as well as the Little 5 Points Annual Halloween Parade.  Both events feature local food trucks, in particular, our absolute favorite, the Pallookaville Corn Dog Truck!

Though there’s nothing spooky about these dogs (strictly speaking), Pallookaville only operates during select times of the year and this is the month when we get a chance to hit them up.  It’s not Halloween unless there’s at least one Corndogula (regular) or Fryinstein Monster (huge dog with segments of Italian sausage, kosher hot dog, and kielbasa) consumed.

Speaking of Oakland Cemetery, this past year the wife and I made the plunge and lost a crap-ton of weight.  October 20th marked the one year point in this new journey, and we celebrated by participating in the Run Like Hell 5K.  We had a blast and are pretty sure this is going to be a new Halloween tradition.  Not only was it fun to run, but a good chunk of the run takes place in the actual cemetery!  I couldn’t resist and had to take some goofy photos for the event…

Of course one of our main traditions is visiting all the Halloween displays in the stores.  Some of our favorites are the yearly Bony Bunch collections at Yankee Candle, the gourmet and retro candy displays at the Fresh Market, and of course Target (even though it gets smaller and smaller each year and the marketing gets more and more generic.)

Last, but certainly not least, is our annual horror movie and TV special marathons.  We do our best to pack in as many movies and specials as we can over the month, culminating in some all-day events over the last few days leading up to Halloween.  This year, in addition to digging into my collection of films and TV, we’ve also scored some tickets to see some really fun flicks on the big screen.  This Wednesday I’m really looking forward to a double bill of Frankenstein and Bride of Frankenstein thanks to TCM and Fathom events.  I’ve never seen any of the Universal flicks on the big screen and I can’t wait to see these two.  We’re also going to try and make a screening of John Carpenter’s Halloween which is returning to the big screen during the last week of the month.

So, what are some of your favorite Halloween traditions?

Also, if you enjoyed reading about my traditions, why not check out some of the other participants of the League to see what they love to do around this time of the year…

Hobgoblin, Monster Cafe, is getting back into the swing of things and starting some new traditions…