When I was little, Halloween was a day I looked forward to all year. As early as April, I would begin planning my costume, giddy with the endless possibilities.
I guess you could say that the Halloween addiction started young. I was a jockey for my very first Halloween, and I wasn’t even one yet. I assume I was planning that costume in utero. Then I was a clown (this was before Stephen King’s It made it to the big screen–there were no clown costumes after that), followed by a pirate (complete with a Mrs. Potato Head hoop earring on one ear), a black cat, and a princess.
If you’re counting, that’s five costumes. Five costumes that I have warm, fuzzy memories of. If this were a line chart, that fifth costume would’ve been my apex. My peak. Because from ages 6 on, I have had nothing but disappointment in the form of slapshod get-ups that always *seemed* like a great idea until the final execution (which, sadly, was always five minutes before I was supposed to meet friends to go trick-or-treating, totally negating the ability to come up with a new costume).
There was a gypsy that got me a lot of, “So your a homeless woman?” from the parents handing out candy. Then there was a “movie star,” which elicited a simple, “What ARE you, little girl?”
Even my more “successful” lame costumes had their issues. I chose to be a witch on the windiest, coldest Halloween night Maryland had seen in a hundred years. Which meant my billowy black dress was covered in a giant down jacket, and my pointy hat AND long, black wig blew off and into a nearby cow pasture just minutes after leaving my house. Essentially, I was a frowning kid carrying around a straw broom.
And yet, even with all of these set backs, I still really look forward to Halloween. I don’t dress up any more, but I do decorate our porch with a giant cotton cobweb and orange lights, and put a witch silhouette in out guest room window. I also officially dive in to my fall baking kick, which started with this Bourbon-Soaked Dark Chocolate Bundt Cake via Orangette.
I’m not really a bourbon drinker, but I absolutely loved the combination of the bourbon and the dark chocolate–separate they are good, but together, they are warm and wonderful, like a big, heavy blanket on a chilly Fall night. Better still, the recipe is easy to follow and the cake tastes better the second day, which means you can make it the night before and serve it with confidence the following evening.
And if the following evening happens to be Halloween, you will have a chance to redeem any unfortunate costume choices you make (like Nancy from Sid and Nancy…minus Sid. Yes. I’ve been there.)
Check out the other Cakes of the Month!