Nov 4

Trick or Treat? You decide.

It’s a well known fact in my neighborhood that we give out pickles for Halloween. I think most people assume this is my “clean” alternative to candy, but that is not the case. So today, I write to set the record straight. While I’d like to be able to take credit for the 17 years and more than 100 bottles of pickles we’ve forked out, the credit really goes to my husband, Chip.

It started when our own children were babies. They had long gone to sleep and our outside lights were off, when two girls knocked on our door. Knocking at that hour deserved a trick, not a treat, and so my husband emerged from the kitchen with a stainless steel mixing bowl full of pickles. The girls were less than amused and held out for candy. Then the boy arrived –  clearly a classmate of the girls, but half their height and with a much squeakier voice. He sauntered up to the stoop, reached between the two girls and into the bowl, and pulled out a cold wet pickle. Without even a flinch, he threw it into his pillow case with his candy, worked very hard to utter “thanks” in the deepest voice he could muster, and walked away. The girls burst out laughing. My husband was hooked.

Photo Oct 31, 4 31 52 PM

This past Saturday evening, our first trick-or-treaters were two young girls.

“Are you from here?” we asked.

“We live on the other side of town, but I’ve been here before.” one replied.

We held out the two bowls – one of pickles, one of candy (you can decide which is the treat and which is the trick).

“No way!” shouted her friend. “They really DO give out pickles!”

…and so it goes every year. We have some who return 2 – 3 times a night. Others, who are yet to be enlightened, opt for the candy. But we still give out more pickles than candy every year, and it appears the parents like the pickles as much as the kids. It’s not unusual to hear kids running down the street shouting “It’s the pickle guy!” And I promise you, it is a badge of honor for my husband each and every year. I’m sure there are lots of ways to usher in Halloween without candy. Sadly, I can’t take credit for this one.

Share your Halloween traditions here – tricks, treats and everything in between. And now it’s time to get back to…

Eating clean and living well!

Terry Walters


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