Halloween at the Checkout Lane

You're standing in line at the grocery store and waiting for a sweet, old hag to thoughtfully fill out a check. The pumpkin spice gelato is melting onto your pumpkin spice donuts, and then your glance over to the magazine rack that lines the aisle. Halloween magazines – everywhere! Okay. There's a lot of cutesy, cheesy stuff and none of it's your scary style but they're fairly fun for your October coffee table or breakfast nook. Here are some of my better recent finds:

Make: Halloween
This special issue of Make magazine features some pretty nifty projects, but be warned that this intended for serious tech junkies. Many of the projects come with warnings of death (due to electrocution or projectiles) but makers around the country rejoice. The project that I most want to try is the Ultimate Fog Chiller for low-lying fog. It ramps up the cooler concept ten-fold and requires low-tech and only 6 materials.


100 Best Pumpkin Recipes
From the editors of Better Homes and Gardens comes this pumpkin-centric issue and yes, most of it features with sweets. Pumpkin doesn't havee too much flavor on its own, but add sugar and spices and you've got something great. The stands out for me where the two pumpkin bread puddings and the pumpkin tiramisu. The few savory recipes teeter between questionable (pumpkin mac and cheese, pumpkin tortilla chicken casserole), intriguing (pumpkin risotto, pumpkin ginger soup).

Better Homes and Gardens: Halloween Tricks & Treats
While I'm not the demographic for BHG, I find their Halloween issues to be really packed with ideas. So much is thrown onto the wall that inevitably some of it sticks. The photography evokes early Martha Halloweens though never quite as dark. I was surprised by the level of sophistication of some of the decor (like the Eerie Elegant Soiree and the Sinfully Sweet Glampire Cake). It's a family friendly affair for sure, but I could see taking some of these things to the dark side.

Martha Stewart Living: October 2016 Issue
The single most disappointing magazine is Martha Stewart's October issue. Halloween is almost completely absent. In previous years a companion Halloween-centric issue was released alongside the issue but not so this year (to my knowledge). First, Meredith Corp. took over day-to-day operations of the magazine, then Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia was sold last summer, and now little is left of the senior creative staff. Fans worried about the creative direction of the magazine and this proves once for all that the elegant party is over.