Monday, September 26, 2011

Halloween Family Traditions...and Some Winners!

And the Winners Are...
Congratulation to the two winners of our Giveway.  Marilee has won the Halloween Rag Quilt Table Runner and Jenny has won the kit to make her very own!  I am attempting to contact the winners, but if you see your name before I do, email me at with your full names and addresses.  Congratulations!

Halloween Family Traditions 
Where did your Halloween family traditions start?  When I was a little girl we lived in Alpine, Utah.  The old school...which was pretty creepy and had only four classrooms and a rickety fire escape...also had a gymnasium next door.  My fondest Halloween memories from that time are of the school's carnival and spook alley in that old gym.  The whole town turned out for the pond, pop bottle ring toss, bean bag games.  Afterward we did a little trick or treating, which I did with my eyes shut...because people in costumes are scary!
The Old Alpine School.

When we moved to American Fork, I was in third grade.  My mom was in PTA, so she helped out with the Harrington School carnival.  Spook alley mostly...grape eyeballs and spaghetti gutts.  The classics!   My favorite part of the carnival was the sloppy joes and doughnuts.  Today, they are still the perfect Halloween foods.

We were too broke to buy costumes, so we had to use our imaginations and whatever we could dig up out of an old box in the basement, but I think we came up with some pretty good ideas.  Still, it was annoying to be dressed as the world's scariest witch and then have to wear a coat!

Devey Family Trick or Treats
Like I was saying, we didn't have a lot of money, so we couldn't afford to give away full-size candy bars like many of our neighbors.  So we improvised.  With a little creativity, we made some of the most popular treats on the block.  Our two favorites were treat bags filled with candied popcorn and Tootsie Pop Ghosties.

Saturday I made a huge batch of candied popcorn...for demonstration purposes.
My recipe card is below...still written in my high school handwriting.
(I made recipe cards for my "hope chest")

"Karen Lundell's Candied Popcorn"
Also known as "Granny Goose Popcorn."
  It was colored bright red and was sold in bags in the Potato Chip aisle. 
I can still taste that red dye they later banned.

3/4 Cup Milk
2 Tablespoons Butter
2 Cups Sugar
1 Tsp. Vanilla
Food Coloring

Cook to a softball stage.  Pour over a dishpan (?) full of popcorn and stir until all the popcorn is coated and becomes sugary.
Note:  I use 4 to 5 bags of microwave popcorn.  The buttered variety makes it even yummier.

My collection of little treat bags.

My favorite bag from childhood immortalized on a tee-shirt.
My "Halloween Costume."

Some bags I stuff with batting and use for ornaments.

Best filled with popcorn as Nature intended.

The Tootsie Pop Ghosties I was telling you about.
Suckers, cocktail napkins, ribbon and a marker.  Easy Peasy!
I decided to give these as treats this year, but I'm getting them done in advance.
Do you ever have that nightmare that it's 5 p.m. on Halloween and you haven't bought the candy yet?
Nowadays, they put the candy out so early, I buy it three or four times!

Simple Halloween Candle Jar
All you need is a pint canning jar, a pumpkin scented candle from Walmart and some candy corns.

Set the candle in the jar and surround with candy corn.
Tie on a fun tag with jute twine.
Wa La!

I finally made something with that stuff I keep buying from Pick Your Plum every day.

Note:  The winners were chosen using the True Random Number Generator from


Anonymous said...

Thanks for the Memories :) ( Lisa)

The Feathered Nest said...

Hi sweet Shirley!! Your popcorn recipe sounds so delicious to me!! I remember getting yummy popcorn balls when I was a child...and I think we made those ghostie pops too ~ sweet memories of childhood. Wishing you a wonderful week, hugs and love, Dawn

Shandi said...

Greg was just talking about that popcorn recipe, so thank you for posting it! I'll have to give it a try :)

Unknown said...

Is that brown or white sugar for the popcorn?

Shirley Hatfield said...

Hi, Melanie! It's white sugar! =D

Betsy said...

Hi Shirley,

Thanks for commenting on my blog! I'm so glad to find yours and I'm your newest follower. Halloween memories are some of my favorites. My mom always made pumpkin soup before we went out trick or treating and I did the same for my kids. They are all grown now, but still want pumpkin soup and pumpkin bread for Halloween dinner if they're home. We also had either homemade costumes, or the ones that came in the boxes at the drugstore. I still remember the soggy feeling inside that mask after trick-or-treating all night!