On most Halloween evenings our family enjoys a traditional gathering with several families for an early dinner of light appetizers, some hearty homemade chili, and an endless flow of hot mulled apple cider. These gatherings are hosted by our good friends Amy and Paul. There are usually about a dozen costumed kids running around the house grouped in 2s and 3s. At some point you will hear them planning their route around the popular trick-or-treating neighborhood to make sure they maximize the candy intake, giving special attention to the houses known to give full-size candy bars. There is also a recurring conversation or debate among the younger kids on whether or not this is the year they visit the haunted house at the top of the hill a rite of passage for neighborhood kids.
Amy and Pauls house acts as the central base for kids and parents to come in from the wet and cold weather to either warm up and recharge before going back out for another round, or to retreat for the evening and count candy loot. This is usually when the process of bartering and trading begins.
Its always nice to step into the house where you are greeted by the scent of the spiced apple cider, which chases the chills away with the first sip.
Today I have a wonderful recipe for Slow-Cooker Hot Mulled Apple Cider that will keep everyone warm all throughout Halloween night. There is no need to watch-over the cider; just plug it in and have a ladle ready along with heat-proof cups so people can self-serve at their leisure. The cider also doubles as a nice warm fall cocktail for adults over 21 by just adding a splash of bourbon.
Have a safe and fun Halloween weekend.