First, Halloween is taking shape in our house as Otto brings home a new pumpkin every few days and we plan the big night as if it were a birthday. This is a first for us not because Otto is old enough to walk and beg, a prerequisite I feel needs to be met before trick or treating, but because this is not a loved holiday in our house. Dave and I both HATE Halloween because of tragic childhood memories involving bad costumes and cold weather. But since we are trying to be the “cool” parents, listening to Zeppelin with Otto, taking him to the park anytime he wants and buying him beer on the weekends, we are taking him trick or treating with a large group of professionals. I assume there will be a princess, a Stars Wars character and lots of bargaining in this gang of older and wiser chicklets.
We have decided to dress Otto up in a homespun do-it-yourself costume that not only will utilize things he already has but will not support the hideous store bought ones that litter every aisle of every store this time of year. He will be a wolf hunter in head to toe camouflage gear sporting a toy gun and a helicopter, ironically of course. Bad taste maybe, but I find it hilarious and satisfying all at once.
Brody will not be forced to don a costume and walk the streets with screaming children who want to pet him and then throw Skittles at his head. He has now retired on all fronts and gets to lie around anywhere he likes and do anything he likes. He’s earned it for God’s sake and he is milking it for everything its worth. He will most likely get a Tootsie roll and a hug at the end of the evening if Otto is feeling generous and kind.
The second event involves election night grub. Dave and I have been discussing what the menu should be for election night and I have to admit it is becoming an obsession with me. We thought we’d have two options, first an Obama menu and then second a McCain menu. Obama could be anything from Nigerian inspired food to good old fashioned hot dogs and slaw while McCain would have to be something that your grandmother would make and no one would eat. Possibly an artificially colored Jell-O salad or a coagulated Ambrosia that sits on the table for hours and hardens into a weapon of mass destruction.
Since I am lazy by nature, the thought of researching Sub Saharan African nibblies is off the table. I am voting for American cook out fare complete with a gingham table cloth and a drunk uncle. All week I have been mulling around the idea of making homemade chili and creating the best God damned chili dog this side of the Mississippi. Notice the twang and the fervor? I am red stating the shit out of this hoping to encourage as much Obama support and hot dog love as possible.
I even jumped the culinary shark today in the name of chili dog cravings. While shopping at Trader Joe’s, that liberal sesspool of quirky food stuffs and whimsical chalk drawings, I bought a can of vegetarian chili and a nitrate free package of Niman Ranch hot dogs. My intention was to feed them to Otto on a lazy and harried evening when I couldn’t get my shit together to reheat some gourmet dish Dave had prepared for him. But on the drive home my cravings took over. Otto would be having lentils and peas with turkey for lunch and I would wait patiently until his nap to fix my lunch.
As soon as he was down I heated up the hot dog in a skillet and poured what looked like cat puke into a small sauce pan and heating it until it bubbled. Interestingly, the bubbly effect made the chili look more pukey but the smell was divine. I then toasted a piece of white bread, put in the dog, spooned the chili on top, sprinkled it with chopped onions and shredded cheddar cheese and mustard and embraced my inner white trash roots. The only thing missing was a warm can of beer, a house with wheels and an abusive relationship.
With the first bite I knew what our election night would be like. We will sit in front of the television like suburban animals eating chili dogs on real buns with homemade turkey chili and all the fixings. Fresh, homemade oven baked fries, an arugula salad and ice cold beer served in chilled pint glasses. Desert will be chocolate chip cookies and ice cream and an Obama victory. From my lips to God’s ears…