When it comes to Halloween treats I consider my 11-year-old daughter, Lenina, to be the ultimate authority.
Nobody loves sweets and desserts like Nina – especially those that contain chocolate.
Pity any future suitor who makes the “mistake” of getting her flowers over chocolate on Valentine’s Day. In fact, I always tell the Honeybee that, when Nina does start dating, if she ever brings home a boy I find to be less than perfect for my little girl, then I’m going to take him aside and tell him exactly that: flowers, buddy – NOT chocolate.
Heh. That ought to seal his fate.
Anyway, I asked Nina if she could give me a list of the best Halloween treats she’s ever found in her goody bag. She was more than happy to oblige, of course.
Ironically, most of the treats Nina finds in her trick-or-treat bag every Halloween that she considers to be the among the best are NOT your typical fun-sized candy bars.
Here was her list of Halloween treats she loves to find in her trick-or-treat bag, but rarely gets (along with a little color commentary by yours truly):
1. Giant-sized candy bars. I know what you’re thinking, but keep in mind I said most of the treats weren’t chocolate – not all of them. Did you really expect anything else from a chocoholic like my daughter? We have some deceptively wealthy neighbors who enjoy handing out really big candy bars every Halloween. Not fun-sized. Not the typical regular-sized ones either. I’m talking about the GIANT ones that are just a little bigger than the state of Rhode Island.
2. Juice boxes. According to Nina, she loves it when she gets a juice box – especially if she’s been out trick-or-treating for awhile. She quaffs them on the spot – and why not? It quenches the mighty thirst she builds up as she’s out gathering up her Halloween booty, thereby allowing her to stay out longer, which in turn results in even more candy! Hey, trick-or-treating is hard work, folks.
3. Fruit roll-ups. This is another juicy treat that Nina likes to eat on the spot because “they’re refreshing” and it helps give her added energy.
4. Fun Dips. This is also known as Lick-a-Stix. The genius who created the Fun Dip – fruit-flavored powdered sugar and a candy stick used for dipping – smartly realized that most kids love to play with their food. The Fun Dip provides one of those rare instances where kids can actually do that without getting yelled at by Mom and Dad. Oh yeah, and as Nina noted, “Lick-a-Stix taste goooooood.” (She told me to make sure I spelled “good” with the extra vowels.)
5. Marshmallows. Nina says she loves getting mini marshmallows because we almost never buy them. She’s right. We’re not campers, so we never make smores. The only time we have mini marshmallows is during Thanksgiving when we put them in the fruit salad and use them as a topping for the candied yams.
6. Money. Just for the record, I asked Nina how much money she would have to get in order to push “money” to the top of this list. Without the slightest bit of hesitation she gave me her answer: $2.50. It’s almost as if she had previously pondered this question. Maybe she did.
7. Candy apples. Nina likes these because they’re fun to eat. For the record, she didn’t feel the same way about caramel apples. Really? When I was a kid, I preferred the latter. (I know, since this isn’t my list I should just shut my trap.)
8. Popcorn balls. “Who doesn’t like like popcorn balls, Dad?” You’re right, Sweetheart; I certainly know I love them. So that makes two of us. For the record, Nina also noted that: 1) popcorn is always more fun to eat when it is in a ball; and, 2) she awards bonus points for kettle corn.
9. Goodie bags. Usually, these are small plastic bags adorned with Halloween decorations filled with a few pieces of candy and/or other small gifts, and then tied-off with decorative orange and black ribbon. Nina loves these because “it’s like a present and so you never know what you are going to get.” Think of it as a way for the kids to practice for Christmas.
10. Erasers. I know this may be hard to believe for some of you, but kids love erasers – especially if they are shaped like an animal or some other character. I think that’s because they they’re always using them on their homework. I know Nina can’t get enough erasers, so when she does happen to find one in her Halloween bag she acts as if I just gave her permission to have a second helping of dessert. Alright; maybe that’s going a bit too far, but I think you know what I mean.