Thanks so much for your ideas and recipes these past couple of days and also for your advice - to relax, enjoy and not get stressed out over being chosen freakin' SNACK MOM. You guys are wise birds and your thoughtful comments really helped me be less neurotic.
And Anal. Obsessive-compulsive. Messed up. Everything.
So, what did I choose to do? Well, many of your great ideas came too late. I just didn't give you guys enough time to write in before I had to make an executive decision. So, this was my approach:
Lucy and I made popcorn balls - home-made, wrapped in Saran and then Pumpkin-colored tissue paper, tied with a bow. Making something from scratch (although these are ridiculously easy to make and probably do not qualify as scratch) made it feel special, like we made an effort and it gave the whole thing "event-like" status. Lucy begged me to go to school every hour until we finally left. She was over the moon about these little guys.
Fortunately, Lucy's vegan classmate was absent yesterday, so I didn't have to explain to his mom (who is lovely) that I didn't use vegan butter. Whatever that is.
I emphasized the non-edible Halloween treats, which I purchased cheaply and figured even if the kids didn't like my snack, at least they would be tricked into a grateful stupor over pumpkin straws, pumpkin napkins, little plastic ghost containers housing pretzels and boxes of Halloween tattoos.
It was a plastic extravaganza. I'm sure NYC moms all over the West side were happy to have one more plastic skeleton head in their possession. But having lots of pieces, also helped give lots of kids jobs to do, so maybe this justifies cluttering the ecological landscape.
Children were made happy. Be damned the environment.
I also brought fruit, lovely plump raspberries and red grapes, for weird kids who hate raspberries. I chased it with low-sugar apple juice, which was like exotic nectar when drunk through a pumpkin straw.
Okay, so this wasn't the healthiest snack, but someone was princess for a day...
Lucy really loved having been so involved in the preparation and the ritual passing out of the snack. And she was the only one wearing a Halloween costume, which did not bother her in the slightest, and served only to heighten her princess status and to make her feel even more princess-like.
Like this is possible.
Oh! and the shoes...
The girls in her class got down on the floor and actually ogled her sparkling Cinderella princess shoes. With lights. They got down on the floor. Really. I don't think I've ever seen my kid so ecstatic as when her peers are bowed down before her examining her feet. Amazing.
Anyway, the popcorn balls were a hit and the remainder went to the staff. The best popcorn balls are made with corn syrup, I think, but because I thought I might be taken to task for using "the poison", I went with marshmallows, which also probably make lab rats break out into cancerous lesions, but Lucy and I had a hoot raiding the bag of mini-marshmallows as we cooked.
Here's the recipe for popcorn balls. And thanks again for the recipes and snack ideas - watch for them - I am now slated to do the snack before Thanksgiving and for Lucy's birthday in February, I'll need to use them. I'm trying them all.
You guys are the best!
Adapted from Cooking Light
This recipe makes 20 or so balls.
* 8 cups popped popcorn
* 1/4 cup butter
* 1/4 teaspoon salt
* 1 (10-ounce) bag marshmallows
* Cooking spray (or a little water works just fine)
Put popcorn in a large bowl.
Melt 1/4 cup butter in a large saucepan over medium heat; stir in 1/4 teaspoon salt and (10-ounce) bag marshmallows. Reduce heat to low; stir frequently to prevent burning. Cook for 7 minutes or until the marshmallows melt and the mixture is smooth.
Pour marshmallow mixture over popcorn. Spray hands with cooking spray or get them wet and get in the bowl with your hands and coat the popcorn well. Shape popcorn mixture into 20 (2-inch) balls.
Let harden and cool. Then, wrap with cellophane or Saran Wrap and tissue paper and ribbon to make little parcels.