By Erica H.
I have a slight issue when it comes to hosting a party. Okay, it's really more of a neurotic tic. Fine, it's a full-on compulsion and I actually expect to see it outlined in the DSM-V when it comes out next year. My problem is this: Must Make Themes. Picture, for example, a grown woman hunched over in the bulk foods section of the grocery store, removing all of the green Swedish Fish from the bin with surgical precision in order to complete her derranged vision of a perfect St. Patrick's Day bunco. This is what we're dealing with here.
So when I told myself that I would just make our mom's group Halloween party a potluck affair and it would be no big deal and I would have decorations up anyway and would exert basically zero effort, ZERO EFFORT, my self knew that I was lying to her. But I came so close, you guys!
"I will go to the grocery store and buy already-made guacamole and a jar of salsa and some of those cute black and orange Halloween tortilla chips and dump it all in a bowl, done and done."
"Okay salsa and guac in the cart, let's just look at the chips...hmm, no orange and black. Maybe in the seasonal section? No. Okay, I'll just buy regular chips. No one cares. Regular chips...in the cart...WAIT NO TURN IT AROUND I NEED CORN TORTILLAS I WILL MAKE HALLOWEEN-SHAPED CHIPS."
I was inspired by this post over at Manifest Vegan, though not inspired enough to, you know, delicately brush each little ghost and cat and bat with oil and bake them. Just inspired to use a cookie cutter on the corn tortillas and then dump them in hot oil for a few minutes.
The bad news: this technique takes CONSIDERABLY longer than just leaving the bag of tortilla chips in your grocery cart for crying out loud, Erica. Ahem. Sorry. The good news: first of all, you can make any shape you want, which is great for themed parties, especially when children are involved. Second, they taste better than the chips that you abandoned at the grocery store, all toasty and crunchy and salty. Third, people will ask, "Where did you get these?" and you can put on your no-big-deal voice and say, "Oh, I made them."
And it will be worth it.