Things to do now that Halloween is Over

Halloween’s over, and I have to say that I’m not going to miss all the creepy skulls and skeletons that have graced the stores and neighborhoods, and seem to be even scarier than last year. But this is a great time to start thinking about the upcoming months; here are five things to do now that Halloween is over that you’ll be glad you did when December rolls around:

1. Get your gingerbread house candy.

If you think you might make any sort of gingerbread houses this Christmas season, now is a great time to get the decorations. Your ten dollars will go a whole lot farther on the on the 70% off candy clear-outs than it will midway through December. Remember to get some chocolate candies for the chimney, hard candies for the windows (what? you didn’t know that jolly ranchers melt in the oven to make beautiful translucent gingerbread house windows? I guess a demo is in order.), and gummy candies for the Christmas lights.

2. Fill the dress-up box

Take advantage of the post-holiday sales and the selection. And keep an eye out for costumes that would make great Christmas and birthday gifts but aren’t available year round, like fancy wings, beautiful crowns, all sorts of dresses, and miscellaneous hats.

3. Roast some pumpkins

Pumpkins that haven’t been carved can all be eaten! (make sure that they aren’t the little shellacked kind. If its unnaturally glossy, leave it as a decoration.) The beautiful fairy-tale pumpkins from San Luis is going to be dinner one day this week –  I’ll post the instructions and recipe after it happens. I’ve even read that the mini pumpkins can be baked up into soups, pies, and mashes.

4. Compost your decorations

Leftover hay, carved pumpkins, cornstalks, and leaves are all great material for the compost pile. The nice thing is that if you get the compost pile built up now, it will spend all winter getting wet and decomposing, and you’ll have some great dirt waiting for you in the spring when you go to plant the garden.

5. Pop some Indian Corn

The beautiful, multi-colored Indian corn hanging in bunches on our walls and doors is the same type of corn used for popcorn, only more colorful! Instead of throwing it away as Thanksgiving and Christmas gets closer, you can pop it for delicious snack! One way to pop it is to remove any leftover corn husk from the top and stick the whole cob in the microwave in a pyrex dish. This method will get you less popcorn (it tends to stay squished in place on the cob), but is really fun to watch as the kernels explode in front of your eyes. Alternatively, you can remove the corn from the cob (much easier than it sounds) and pop like normal popcorn on the stovetop or in the microwave. This popcorn is so toasty and flavorful that you might not even need butter or salt on it! And it has a beautiful color of the red and blue kernel inside each piece.

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