The Halloween spirit is alive and well as usual in my neighborhood! Everyone is busy getting their costumes ready for the big night. There will of course be plenty of children trick or treating, but there is also a fabulous soiree for us older kids too. I’m amazed by the intricate costumes people dream up, and admit that I am usually flustered over what I might do? Costumes and stage make-up are not an area I excel in creatively, but I may have stumbled onto a costume this year….
I found several long lost suitcases full of designer clothes in the attic. A veritable treasure trove of memories – among them the infamous chocolate box dress Antony Price designed for me when I was 9 months pregnant. Now read carefully, and do not get those tongues wagging about my mysterious pregnancy, please!
It was Jerry Hall’s 30th birthday celebration, and I was mortified by the thought of going out in public the size of a beached whale, but couldn’t very well say “no” after she’d just thrown a magnificent baby shower for me only weeks before. So, I went to my favorite Fairy God Designer, Antony Price, and pleaded with him to hide my bump.
Alas, there was no hiding the bulging belly of a nine month pregnant woman, so Antony suggested we wrap it up like a box of chocolates and tie a big bow on top. That was how the chocolate box dress was born. Quite fabulous really – so much so that when I showed my daughter a photo of it, she made me promise not to give it away. I’m excited, that was the very first hint that one day I may actually become a grandmother. Although, don’t hold your breath, it’s not likely to happen anytime soon. Tatjana is busy building her film editing career first – I’m just happy it appears to be in her future plans.
Hmmm, I thought, it would be a shame to have only worn such a beautiful dress only once – what if I were a pregnant lady for Halloween? Then it hit me, I could go as the Duchess of Cambridge, that’s who I will be. If someone expects a trick I can always give birth to a pillow (instead of a prince).
Apparently, an uninvited and thirsty Halloween houseguest must have hitched a ride in on those cases. LOOK what I found in Daisy’s water bowl shortly after! I nearly had heart failure when I got close enough to see the red dot on it’s back, and jumped to the conclusion it was a black widow. Luckily, I was wrong, but I’m still convinced the red dot is natures way of saying “be ware!” I’m glad I found the culprit before my curious pup.
Once I calmed down, it made me think about the spider brownies I used to do for Tatjana and her friends on Halloween. Please excuse the quality of the photo, but you’ll get the gist – cut your brownies in rounds. Then stick some black licorice for the legs in the sides, and two red hot candies for the eyes.
Baker’s Chocolate Brownies
I’ve never found an easier, or more delicious chewy-ier, fudge-ier, brownie recipe than the one right on the Baker’s Chocolate box! One bowl, 6-7 ingredients I almost always have on hand. Plus it’s about 5 minutes to mix the ingredients, and then you just bake them off, ready in less than an hour start to finish!
Servings: 12 large brownies
3/4 c. (1 1/2 sticks) butter
2 c. sugar
1 tsp. vanilla (or espresso or coffee extract)
1 c. flour
1 c. chopped nuts, optional
Bake 30-35 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out with fudgy crumbs. Cool in pan; cut into squares or cut out with muffin round into rounds. Makes 12 large fudgy brownies.
Serving Instructions: Sprinkle powdered sugar or ice if desired. I usually eat mine straight up, but I also brought some pearl dust back from Fortnum and Mason’s last year to try.
Note: I usually substitute 1 teaspoon of espresso or coffee extract for the vanilla, because I think it compliments and boosts the flavor of the chocolate.
PS. Special thanks to Cami from Naples for sending the photos of me in the chocolate box dress at Jerry Hall’s birthday party all those years ago! Fun memories.
This post was first published October 28, 2014