Happy Halloween!

Monday, November 1, 2010

Happy halloween, friends--


How can you not love a world which offers you a view like this on an autumn evening? As you know, I just got back from Italy, and it's easy on a trip like that to be seduced by all the beautiful places in the world--the historical sights and museum pieces and strangers-who-become-friends. But what's really magical is remembering how special it can be in your own backyard.



October has always been one of my favorite months. I love the crisp, cool air, the return of the deep green grass, the gilded sunsets, and the multi-colored leaves. But mostly, I love the last, heralded day of the month. Halloween. I love driving down the streets of my small town at five p.m., seeing the pint-sized ghouls and goblins and Harry Potters walking down the streets with their plastic jack-o-lantern candy carriers, clutching their parents' hands. I love the parents who walk these same streets in haphazard, hastily thrown together costumes, standing back while their kids go from door to door. It all reminds of the days, long ago, when my own little Batman held my hand and laughed at the door of every neighbor's house.



I also love Halloween because it is the beginning of the holiday season. I know, I know, we don't want to rush the chaos that's coming, and we all have huge holiday to do lists, but just now, in October, we can stand back and gaze with starry eyes at all the family moments and memories that are just beyond our reach. I can think about what my Thanksgiving menu will be, gather recipes, consider place settings, and imagine that the big day will be exactly what I want it to be. Of course, there's all the cooking, cleaning, shopping, planning, baking, etc. yet to come; but that's all in the hazy future. Today, I can think about how wonderful the holidays will be and how excited I am to get together with the people I love. And, best of all, I know my son will be coming home and for a little while, we'll all be together again...



All this holiday talk reminds me. What are some of YOUR favorite holiday recipes? What are the "must haves" on your holiday table? Maybe we could all share some recipes on the blog. I'm especially looking for an exceptional sweet potato recipe. Got one? Share it!



As you probably know, Winter Garden is coming out soon in trade paperback--perfect for the book clubs that have been waiting for it. I'm gearing up to do a big giveaway in December, and--drumroll, please, I'm also going to give away a few precious copies of my new book, Night Road. I'd like to give away some on Facebook and some on the blog. I'm just wondering--how many of you are on both the blog and my facebook page? For those of you who are both, which do you prefer and why?

Finally, don't forget that my publisher is currently planning my April book tour right now. I'll be hosting a book club in some city--and it could be your city. All you have to do is vote--and maybe I'll be coming to a book store near you. I'd LOVE to meet some fireflies on the road. The voting lasts for 10 more days, so let your voice be heard and VOTE! Here's the link: http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/3XMHKQ7

Hope you all have a fabulous Halloween and an even better November...

Arrivederci--

Kristin

13 Comments:

Anonymous Lois - Beaverton OR said...

Kristin - I follow both the blog and facebook. They each have something special to offer. I enjoy the frequent glimpses into your daily life or thoughts on facebook, but I think the blog is wonderful because it give a more indepth chance to share a bit of your life and get a little taste of you writing voice between novels. If I had choose one over the ofther, I think I would pick the blog. But really I enjoy them both and am glad you share your time and stories with us readers!

November 1, 2010 at 2:32 AM  
Blogger Lakeshia said...

I really enjoyed reading your blog today. My favorite time of the year is fall and I love Halloween. I'm looking foward to Thanksgiving as well and the homemade stuffing that my best friend of 30 years makes. It a unique recipe that is made with corn meal. Hopefully I can get it from her and post it here.

November 1, 2010 at 9:20 AM  
Blogger Lakeshia said...

I really enjoyed reading your blog today. My favorite time of the year is fall and I love Halloween. I'm looking foward to Thanksgiving as well and the homemade stuffing that my best friend of 30 years makes. It a unique recipe that is made with corn meal. Hopefully I can get it from her and post it here.

November 1, 2010 at 9:20 AM  
Blogger april said...

Ok, blog updated with Halloween photos and lunch recipes (we had a birthday lunch).

http://princessapr.blogspot.com/

November 1, 2010 at 11:09 AM  
Anonymous Lois said...

Happy Halloween Kristin,

Love your autumn evening view!

October is one of my favorite months as well, though I love the four seasons. I love the changing of colors in the fall, crisp cool air, sweaters, apples, pears, soccer, and football and of course Halloween. Your description of driving down the streets of your small town reminds me of the days with my children. I am sorry to see October end.

I have always felt that October and Halloween is the beginning of the holiday season continuing on until after the first of the year.

The "must haves" on my holiday table is turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, gravy, candied sweet potatoes, green bean casserole, cranberries, dinner rolls and pumpkin pie and pumpkin roll.

I am so excited to hear that Winter Garden will be coming out soon in trade paperback. I can't wait. I am on both the blog and your facebook page. I don't have a preference. I like both.

Hope you had a fabulous Halloween, which it sounds like you did and an even better November as well.

Lois

November 1, 2010 at 7:38 PM  
Blogger april said...

Weird. My original response didn't post.

Anyway, first, if the book tour is in April, you should definitely come to my town because my NAME is April. :)

October isn't one of my favorite months, but I was married in October (11 years) and Little Miss was born in October (3 years ago last Thursday). So, it's not a bad month certainly. I do love the Fall.

What was missing is that we had a birthday lunch for Little Miss on Saturday and then Halloween on Sunday. Pictures and recipes are on my blog which did show up in an earlier comment.

We're not hosting Thanksgiving this year so we'll bring whatever is requested. I usually do side dishes like the cranberry sauce or an appetizer. The last Thanksgiving, I did sausage dip. I imagine we'll be up for similar items this year.

November 1, 2010 at 8:30 PM  
Blogger Patricia T. said...

I love the blog because you feel like you're sitting down with a cup of tea and chatting. But, I also like the snippets you post on FB. Love it you have so many fans on FB!

Wanted to to sign up so you might consider coming to Dayton, but I don't have a book club and I don't belong to one. So, I really missed out on this one -- especially since Sharon Ross at "Books & Co." at The Greene has tried for years to get you to visit Dayton. It is a huge bookstore with a large area available for authors giving talks.

Am leaving tomorrow for my annual conference of ministers in NE Oklahoma. Always a nice place to regroup, be in nature and be with so many old and new friends. Will be back Nov. 15. Am taking "Winter Garden" with me to reread, as it has been 9 months. Know I'll get lost it in again and see things I didn't before.

Love everyone's comments -- will look forward to recipe ideas.

Patricia

November 5, 2010 at 10:27 PM  
Anonymous donna said...

Hi Kristen: I always look forward to reading your blog. Am not on facebook. Have no desire to set up an account etc. and connect with people that I haven't heard from in 40 years! All of my current friends I keep up with via the good old fashioned telephone. Reading is my passion and totally enjoy some of my favorite authors blogs which give a glimpse into their world. Thanks for sharing and please do not abandon the blog.
Donna

November 8, 2010 at 11:25 AM  
Blogger april said...

Oh just thought I'd mention that it turns out that we are hosting Thanksgiving. *sigh* Inlaw drama. Probably old traditional foods. Thanksgiving is never the time to try new things but stick with what's always made us happy.

November 8, 2010 at 5:23 PM  
Anonymous Kristin said...

Hi Kristin -- I like to read both. I completely love seeing your posts on FB and since I am on there everyday, I always read them --- and try to win goodies! :!) The Blog gives more insight to you as a person, and that is why that is very enjoyable to read as well. Fall is my favorite season and is so pretty here in Western PA. I choose October as my month to be married -- 14 years ago -- because it is so colorful and lovely. Looking forward to reading about your time in NYC.

November 9, 2010 at 11:02 PM  
Blogger Kimberly Fisk said...

What a gorgeous picture, Kristin. I can't wait to hear more about your trip to Italy. Share! Share! Share! :)

I can't believe how quickly this year has flown by and that the holidays are almost upon us. Usually this is the time of year I break out into a cold sweat when I think of all that needs to be done. But none of that this year. I'm jumping in with both feet. :) Decorating. Baking (not that I need the added calories). Shopping. Wrapping gifts. I've already asked the hubby when he's planning on stringing the outdoor Christmas lights. From the look I received, we shall see if I get my lights. :)

We're hosting Thanksgiving again this year and, at last count, have 25 people coming. I've already started making my list of everything that needs to get done and have almost completed the menu. But would love to get a cranberry recipe from my Firefly sisters.

And since Kristin asked, here is my sweet potato recipe. I haven't found a single person who doesn't love these (and yes, that includes people who usually don't care for sweet potatoes or yams). Trust me, they are that good.

THANKSGIVING SWEET POTATOES

Ingredients
2 ½ lbs. sweet potatoes (or yams), peeled and cut into approximately 1inch cubes
½ cup brown sugar
1/3 cup milk
3 eggs, lightly beaten
¼ cup butter
1 tsp. vanilla extract
¼ tsp. salt

Directions
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
2. Boil cubbed sweet potatoes until tender (about 10 minutes)
3. Drain
4. Transfer to food processor and puree until smooth
5. Add: brown sugar, milk, eggs, butter, vanilla and salt
6. Transfer to baking dish and bake until puffed (approximately 1 hour)

This recipe doubles very well. Also, I bake them in a Polish Pottery dish. It’s a large oval that’s approximately 1.5 inches tall. The pottery is naturally nonstick so it works really well. Do not spray pan—if you do, the potatoes won’t “puff”.)

I hope you enjoy these as much as my family does.

November 14, 2010 at 7:54 PM  
Blogger Patricia T. said...

Just returned from my conference. Great week. Managed to find time to reread "Winter Garden" again. Wow, I saw the book through different eyes. Still cried as the fairy tale progressed and at the end. What a great escape for me during a very busy and thought-provoking week. I really hope this book is made into a movie. It is still my very favorite. Finished it Sunday night while flying over Arkansas -- so I reread the last few chapters again. Realized I missed the fact that Anya had 10 more years with her extended family before her transition.

Kimberly -- Thanks for the recipe. Fortunately, I only have to cook one item for Thanksgiving as we will be with my husband's kids. It's good we'll all be together celebrating this Thanksgiving together and remembering our grandson.

Yeah -- the new Harry Potter movie out this weekend.

Have a great Thanksgiving everyone!

Patricia

November 16, 2010 at 8:02 PM  
Blogger Kristin said...

Thanks to everyone for your comments about facebook and the blog. Like all of you, I enjoy both forums. Facebook is fast and easy; the blog is more in depth and intimate. I really feel as if I get to know you all better here.

April, you always crack me up. It will definitely be the official "april" tour. :)


And Patricia--it's not set yet, and you heard it here first, but there is a chance that I will be coming to Dayton on the tour. Will let you know for sure when I know. But I would love to see you! Check back...

November 16, 2010 at 8:40 PM  

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