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“A person should always choose a costume which is in direct contrast to her own personality.”

Lucy Van Pelt, “It’s The Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown”


Happy Halloween 2019! We celebrated this year by creating a new tradition, the first annual Chili Cook-Off at Blue Moon Farms. We opened our doors and our barn, not just for trick-or-treaters, but for the whole neighborhood. The theme was Sleepy Hollow (we even had an actual headless horseman at our farmstead!), a perfect combination of my love for anything spooky and all things Victorian. My Ghostly Equestrienne costume was inspired by Martha Stewart, circa 2009

“There was a contagion in the very air that blew from that haunted region; it breathed forth an atmosphere of dreams and fancies infecting all the land.”

The Legend of Sleepy Hollow
—Washington Irving

October 31st  also brought the first snowstorm of the season, in fact it was the most snow on Halloween in Chicago in almost a century, no trick! To ward off the windy and chilly night there were plenty of treats inside to be had. The highlight being Jim’s #spookybread, sourdough loaves he made by adding charcoal and carrot juice then combining the two doughs into a swirly masterpiece, which were accompanied by a moody charcuterie board. A party is just not a party without Deviled Eggs, and this recipe from the Martha Stewart archives was a hit! #imsomartha

We carried on the Halloween tradition which originated with the ancient Gaelich festival of Samhain, where people would wear costumes and light bonfires to ward off ghosts. Everyone joined in the fun, and even the frightful weather couldn’t keep the kids inside. However, trick-or-treating for our kids was replaced this year by a snowball fight!

To set the mood, we created a Halloween at Blue Moon Farms playlist, which you can listen to here.

It couldn’t have been a more perfect night for a chili cook-off, and as the sun went down on All Hallow’s Eve, the voting began! The eight chefs/families that participated really took the competition seriously and each chili was so delicious and different! From vegetarian options, to super spicy, offering different red meats and also chicken and turkey, each entry received several votes. In the end, the bell was rung and the winner announced—Firehouse Chili. And check out our family’s favorite, Jim’s Midwest Homemade Chili⁠.

Chili Cook-Off winners, Steve and Cheri, also celebrated their 20th wedding anniversary on Halloween!

Now that Halloween is over, are you wondering what to do with all those pumpkins? Check the link here for ideas on how and where to recycle your pumpkins!