Whether you like it or not the American custom of Trick or Treat is here to stay. In the village were my sons live it is taken seriously with adults dressing up as witches and making the trick or treat experience a mixture of Fright Night and visiting a theme park.
This custom has ancient roots from All Hallows Eve the night before All Saints Day in Christian Religions to pagan festivals. Now it is often seen as just fun. As a Dad it is a chance to let the more sadistic side of your nature loose!
As a magician, I have scared a few visitors coming to my door in the past; from using a guillotine, to apparently having a knife sticking in my arm pumping blood….Penn and Teller have a lot to answer for! But how can you embrace the trick part of the event instead of it becoming a case of children knocking at your door demanding sweets?
Many may have used pepper sweets from joke shops however, even I believe this is going a little too far. One of my favourites is using Jelly Belly Sweets, they do some very hot cayenne pepper and root beer flavours …not to many children’s tastes or the extreme sours and even the disgusting Halloween flavours, when mixed up no one can tell which is which.
Taking the sweets out of the wrappers and substituting pieces of fruit or veg, carrot sticks instead of chocolate fingers in Quality Street, grapes instead of blackcurrant and liquorice sweets can be good as can mixing food colouring with fruit juice to make a witches brew
My absolute favourite trick takes a bit of time to make – but is worth it. Parboil some Brussels sprouts, (they mustn’t be overdone) and then leave them to drain and cool. Melt some nice dark chocolate in a bain marie and once it is runny place a dry and cold brussels sprout on a cocktail stick and dip in the chocolate. Once coated allow them to dry, this may need repeating. Once dry they look very much like Ferro Roche, – when wrapped in a Ferro wrapper they look even better. The look of shock as an adult or child bites into one is worth all the effort.
Halloween also gives a time to do something special with our kids, from making a costume and carving pumpkin to learning a magic trick so when someone asks for a trick as opposed to giving a treat they can show them a trick.
Halloween is also one of the times of the year we can be kids ourselves so enjoy your time as a werewolf, Dracula or Zombie. I LOVE IT!
By the way, I find it is a great time to introduce children to the principle of taxation, the 10% Daddy tax on all sweets collected is worth exploring