Well, Halloween has come and gone and I have nary a picture to show for it. It's not my fault, really -- I whipped out the camera as soon as Maddie was suited up (a witch with pink hair) only to remember that the batteries had been removed to power the GPS on our last ill-fated canoe trip (don't ask).
So, just take my word for it. Maddie looked stunningly scary. (I really think the whole no-teeth thing added to the effect.) We had our annual Eat Chili/Pass Out Candy/Walk on Hillcrest get-together and it was a rousing success.
When Todd and I moved in together in early October of 2003, we had no idea that we were moving to Louisville's Halloween Mecca. The Disneyworld, if you will, of Halloween. We are just around the corner from Hillcrest Avenue, where people go ALL THE HELL OUT for this holiday.
Seriously -- you think you are in the spirit because you carved a pumpkin? You got nothin' on these people. Giant inflateables, cobwebs everywhere, yards transformed to graveyards, you name it, Hillcrest's got it. My favorite this year was the house which had a giant screen showing The Wizard of Oz while they played "Dark Side of the Moon." (Since I've always wanted to test out that urban legend, I was so tempted to stand there and watch the whole thing.) And of course, the brass band is always a favorite. (I remember the first year, I thought that a bunch of people had decided to go to a party dressed up as orchestra members, which makes for a very boring Halloween costume, but definitely adds something to the whole event.)
We handed out candy with a vengeance. We always start out slow, giving just a piece or two to each kid, then when it gets late and I start to panic about the house being perpetually filled with Nerds and Laffy Taffy, I start hurling it out the door in handfulls. At the very end, Todd and Maddie were out in the street overflowing the poor kids' bags with everything we had left.
This year I expanded the inside-the-house offerings to three different kinds of chili, almost like a chili cook-off for myself. I didn't take a vote, but if I had, I think the white chili would have been the hands-down winner. And since I actually tried very hard to remember what I was dumping in the pot, I can pass it along! I hesitate to actually call this a recipe, because the amounts are all approximate, but I think it would be pretty hard to mess up. AND, it would totally be a good way to use up leftover turkey, so consider it a late Halloween and early Thanksgiving present from me to you.
2-3 cups of cooked chicken (or turkey!), diced or shredded
1 big ginormous onion, diced
2-4 cups chicken broth
2 cans of chopped green chilis
1 can green enchilada sauce
a dash or two of hot sauce
Oregano and ground cumin (I just dumped in a handfull or so of each, kind of heavy on the cumin because I like it a lot.)
5 or 6 cans of white beans, UNdrained
1 cup of salsa
Saute the onion in a bit of oil or butter until soft. Add the oregano and cumin and saute a couple of minutes more. Dump all the rest of the ingredients in and simmer for at least 30 minutes or so to let all the flavors blend together. (Mine was a bit soupier than I like, so next time I'll go lighter on the broth, but I like chili to be REALLY thick.)
Garnish with shredded cheese, crackers or crumbled tortilla chips, sour cream, and salsa.