Halloween Food stands apart among all the theme-based party
foods. While every other gathering focus on food to be deliciously presented,
in a mouth-watering manner, foods at a Halloween gathering is anything but
that. The foods at these gatherings look hideous, spooky, full of horror, and
appear anything but appetizing. But if you can stomach the not-so-appetizing
veneer, and dig deep, you would begin appreciating the delectable taste of the
An Indian-American’s take on Halloween
My brother, Anand stays in Virginia with his wife Rekha, and his sons – Om and Dev. In the passage below, he recounts what Halloween meant to him, initially, and what does it mean to him and his family, now. This is what he wrote:
Halloween – As I know it
I remember way back in 1998, when I was fairly new to the Americas, Halloween meant just another day off crazy work. But ever since I got married, a couple of years later, and we moved to suburban Virginia, I started understanding the significance of this day. I must say my little boys gleamed at the thought of wearing the costumes of their favorite characters. What Halloween truly meant to me is that you scare away your innermost fears and claim victory over evil. Which also aligned with my Indian mythology and the festival of Diwali a festival of lights that is celebrated around this time (in which Rama(Good) kills the demon king (Ravana).
Halloween Food – ‘Desi’fied
I despised having skeletons or witches in my front porch, so we rather have a sober Halloween where our decorations included colorful lights with jack-o-lanterns and maybe some cobwebs. I really look forward to the 100plus trick-or-treaters (an American tradition, where kids dress up as their favourite scary character and knock door to door in their community and ask for treats with this phrase “Trick or Treat” and collect candies in exchange for their tricks (costumes)) of all ages, that religiously visited our house wearing scary costumes. We try to innovate with our candy-giving by choosing M&Ms some years to Kit-Kats or Lollypops, which is an all-time favourite amongst the kids. Being a vegetarian, we spared the turkey and just cooked pure Indian vegetarian food for dinner. For the holiday spirit, we made apple pies and pumpkin-spiced cookies with bats and skulls on them. We would call a few of our neighbors and hang out on our deck.
A Fun Time For Children
The month of October also heralds the holiday cheer in US (no pun intended) where the weather gets a bit nippy, the foliage displays its cool shades of red and orange and radio starts playing ‘It’s the most wonderful time of the year’ and it truly is when America just winds down a busy year, starts it’s holiday shopping and plans for the New Year ahead. This year my two boys Om and Dev are planning to dress up as Power Ranger and Dinosaur as Dev is an ardent dino-fan. They dig out their special pumpkin-shaped plastic containers to collect the candies from the neighborhood. Once after 9 pm when the door knocks stopped and we were winding down for the day, we heard the bell. Few high school kids showed up without any costumes. I asked them since you don’t have any scary costumes, you have to do some trick for a treat. This girl just rolled her tongue and made a clover-leaf and took away the best candy we had for that night!