Halloween had me at “hallow” from my first painted on whiskers. I came into the world five hours after midnight on November 1st, just missing the dubious pleasure of being called a witch the rest of my life, though some have taken the liberty anyhow.
Over the years I’ve amassed a story or two about Halloween parties gone by. One year when I was living in Danville, California my second husband and I were invited to a costume party thrown by people he worked with. New to this particular job, but not the Bay Area, it seemed to him an opportunity to get to know his co-workers on a personal basis, so after conferring with me he accepted.
Friends of ours were in town for the weekend so the invitation had been extended to include them. Like us, they loved getting dressed up so they went all out. Marissa was dressed as Rapunzel with enough hair to stuff a mattress and Matt came as a turkey. As for our side, I was a mermaid with a detachable tail that took up half the trunk, and my husband wore leaves of cabbage all over his head slathered with makeup and blood. A hand painted sign hung around his neck reading “cole-slawter”. We were informed he made this costume up. Really, who would have thought?
Not having been to their house before, but having been provided directions, we headed into the City on a cold fall night. Matt had to be stuffed in the front seat (sorry, couldn’t resist) and I sat in the back with Marissa my tail lying between the two front seats. I love San Francisco. Never tire of going there. All the exquisite little restaurants tucked along the confusing seesaw of streets, great theater, and the beautiful view of the Bay and the Golden Gate bridge.
After getting lost several times and heading down one way streets that seemingly led to more one way streets we finally arrived at our destination. Realizing we should have taken a cab, parking was a nightmare. After nearly an hour of circling the blocks we squeezed into a spot being vacated about five blocks away. For those of you who have visited San Francisco on Halloween night you know that to say it is a zoo simply doesn’t cover what you experience there. Parades in the streets, every imaginable getup and costume. Chaos reigns supreme. Even with my mermaid tail blowing in the strong wind blowing in off the Bay, we went unnoticed.
While trying to read the house number on the directions underneath a streetlight, the paper was whisked out of my husband’s hands. Despite running after it while holding his cabbage in place, it flew up above him and disappeared into the darkness. Assuring us that he knew the street and that the hosts had indicated there would be signs pointing upward to their apartment, we forged on. Blessedly finding ourselves on the street we pressed through the crowds. For Matt, literally a large butterball, and me with my inflated tail, this was somewhat of a challenge. Someone pointed to a large sign with an arrow by a flight of stairs. I, for one was ecstatic because it was so cold my scales were starting to break off.
Music and a wedge of light came from the top of the dark hallway, and shadows of dancing devils and monsters could be seen in smoke filled silhouettes against the wall. We’re heeeerrre. There was no specific person to greet us at the door. That being the case, we just held our wine and appetizer plates over our heads and milled through the undulating masses toward what appeared to be a very crowded kitchen. Welcomed enthusiastically by those already there, we were pointed toward the glasses, ice, and food tables and sent on our way. Thus far my husband hadn’t found the host and hostess so we mingled. It was so loud that it was difficult to engage in conversation. Being unable to do much else we danced for awhile. People were very friendly and an hour into it we fell in with a group in the corner. At that point my husband asked where Jim and Janice or whatever their names were, at any rate our hosts, were to be found. A fireman with a hose over his shoulder pointed in the direction of the DJ. We made our way over to say hello and thank them for the invitation. It became quickly clear that they most definitely were the hosts of this party, however, this was not the party that we’d been invited to. After a moment of silence, we all started laughing. Nice people, they asked us to stay. We did, and made some new friends. They came to our party the following year, and made sure to introduce themselves before they ate any of the appetizers just to make sure they were in the right place.
Turkey Cutlets with Lemon Pepper Sauce
1 1/2 lbs. turkey breast cutlets
4 Tbsp. sour cream
3 Tbsp. mayonnaise
2 Tbsp. jalapeno pepper, seeded and minced (use gloves)
3 tsp. lemon juice
1/2 tsp. lemon zest
1/8 tsp. plus 1/4 tsp. black pepper, divided
3/4 cup seasoned bread crumbs
1/2 tsp. salt
3 Tbsp. Parmesan cheese, grated
2 Tbsp. chopped parsley
1 garlic clove, minced
2 Tbsp. olive oil
1/8 tsp. capers
In small mixing bowl combine sour cream, mayonnaise, jalapeno, lemon juice, lemon zest, and 1/8 tsp. pepper. Set aside.
Combine remaining ingredients except turkey in large resealable bag. Shake turkey cutlets to coat well.
Heat oil in large skillet over med. heat. Add garlic and cook for 2 mins. until fragrant. Add cutlets and cook for 2-3 mins. on each side or until cooked. Add capers and cook an additional minute. Serve with dollop of sauce and lemon wedges. Serves 4.