There are a few immutable laws of nature: gravity; E = MC2; and "if something can go wrong, it will."
I'd like to propose another: "If you forget to buy Halloween candy, or don't buy enough, a thousand extra trick-or-treaters — in addition to the ghosts, witches, princesses, Batmans and Kardashians already in your neighborhood — will be bussed in from all over; and every single one of them will stop at your front door with their plastic pumpkin-buckets outstretched."
The second part of this rule is: "If, having been burned in the past, you lay in a supply of candy big enough to feed the Northern Hemisphere for a year, it will rain and no one will come; or trick-or-treaters will decide it's too much trouble to schlep all the way down your side-street in the dark just for a snack-size box of Good & Plenty; or word will get around that, last year, you gave out little boxes of raisins."
For us, this Halloween fell into the later category. The weather was damp and raw and only five trick-or-treaters showed up.
What am I supposed to do with the 25 pounds of assorted candy I purchased the day before it went on sale half-off? Fill my Thanksgiving turkey with Hershey's Kisses Cornbread Stuffing?
I can't just sit here looking at a mountain of chocolate bars and other sweets —at least, not without eating some. And I can only inflict so much of it on my granddaughter before my son gets a restraining order against me for child endangerment by way of candy.
This is why I came up with a few recipes and alternate uses for our surplus of Halloween treats.
If you, too, are sitting on a hoard of undistributed goodies, and any of the following ideas sound good to you, feel free to try them. Who knows? Maybe some of the recipes will catch on and become staples of Thanksgiving and Christmas (and New Year's and Valentine's Day).
• Candy Corn Bran: Remove the raisins from a new box of raisin bran; replace with two scoops of candy corn. It's a great way to get your kids off to an energetic start in the morning, as well as encourage them to take a nap a few hours later ... in math class, when their blood-sugar crashes.
• Reese's Peanut Butter Cups and Jelly Sandwiches: Pretty self-explanatory, but use whole-wheat bread for "extra" nutrition. If you're gluten-sensitive, substitute Moon Pies for the whole-wheat bread.
• Feed the Squirrels: Ordinarily, I wouldn't encourage anyone to feed squirrels in their backyard; frequent handouts can create pushy rodents with a sense of entitlement and bad teeth. But for sheer entertainment, you can't beat watching a squirrel trying to chew the caramel in a Snickers bar and bouncing — ping ping ping ping — off tree trunks once the sugar kicks in.
• Peppermint Patty Sweet Tea: Brew a batch of iced tea from scratch. While the water is still hot, dissolve one or two (or three, or four) Peppermint Patties for every tea bag used. Chill and serve over ice in tall glasses. Garnish with Junior Mints.
• Milky Way Muffins: Take one box of muffin mix, any brand, and 18 Milky Way Fun Size candy bars. Throw away the muffin mix. Eat the Milky Ways.
That last one is my favorite.Copyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times