If you ask me what I remember from the Halloweens of my youth, it’s always the candy. Not the costume, but the candy. In fact, as I’m writing this, I can’t think of a single costume I wore as a kid, save for that ridiculous one-piece clown outfit that my grandmother had sewn for the family (and our mom made each of us kids wear at the appropriate age, as if it were a rite of passage to deal with the utter embarrassment of the damn thing).

Yes, Halloween was always about scoring candy. After our evening rounds, my older sister and I would spread out our loot on the living room floor and negotiate trades for the candies we liked. I always hated Sweet Tarts; those were easy to give up. Most of the miniature chocolate bars were non-negotiable; Three Musketeers, Baby Ruth, Nestle Crunch (especially Nestle Crunch!), and Snickers were my protected players. Mounds, Butterfingers, and Almond Joy were imminently tradable.  The candy corn were like minor league players; you might have to throw in a few to complete a trade.

Junk food was obviously my reason for wearing any clown outfit on Halloween. I’ve mostly given up junk food as an adult — although the occasional afternoon candy bar craving still hits — but I still associate Halloween with food. So do a lot of others, including chefs and bartenders.

After the jump, I’ve aggregated a number of Halloween recipes, events, odd-ball items, and party round-ups from around the web (thanks all for doing the work already!). Many of these dishes, recipes, and cocktails sound, alternately, funny and inventive and maybe even tasty (or nasty). Frankly, I miss the thrill of trick or treating for my haul.

Photo by StarMama via Flickr Creative Commons, Attribution License