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On Halloween, we like to set a spoooooky scene for our neighbors without making the wee little trick-or-treaters run off screaming in terror. Jack-o-lanterns are always a big hit, and the more the better. It takes some work ripping out their guts and carving them, but it’s totally worth it once they are all lit up and putting on a glow-fest. We use real candles that last all night, which also makes for that fabulous only-on-Halloween warm pumpkin-breath scent in the air.
We add some extra mystery to the scene by hanging scary curtains we make out of cheesecloth (from the housewares section of our local hardware store). We tack it to the top of the window frames and cut it into vertical strips. Finally we snip, tear and make holes in each strip, rubbing the cheesecloth to fray the edges. Fun, and theraputic, too! A candelabra at each window sets the scene.
The final touches include music: Bach’s Toccata and Fugue in D minor and, for Frankenstein’s sake, let’s not forget the cocktails. It is a holiday, after all. Our Halloween favorite, we modify from Absinthe Brasserie and Bar in San Francisco.
2 ounces Irish whiskey
Juice of half an orange
1/2 ounce ginger syrup
Dash of orange bitters
Shake the liquid ingredients vigorously with ice. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Run the orange peel around the rim, twist it over the drink, and drop it in. Slurp discriminately. There is candy to pass out, but you don’t want to be passed out with it.