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Article: Char-BOO-terie Gathering

Char-BOO-terie Gathering

Char-BOO-terie Gathering

Halloween is always a festive and nostalgic time of year for our family. When our daughters were growing up, it was our tradition every year to gather with good friends for a night of trick-or-treating. 

Although it is not usual for me to host a Halloween party, I always deck my house out for the occasion. So, this year I thought...why not host a party? It’s the perfect way to gather old friends and their children {and now their young children!} for an evening to extend the fun festivities beyond Halloween night as well as reminisce on the days of trick-or-treating traditions with our kids. 

The Gathering 

Every good Halloween party must be filled with spooky (but not scary!) décor and bowls overflowing with candy for guests old and young alike.  

This gathering will be on the eve of Halloween, leaving Halloween night free for full-focused trick-or-treating. Plus, another opportunity for everyone to show off their costumes will be a fun bonus. 

The finishing touches on the full experience will include lots of food, lots of candlelight, classic black and white Halloween movies playing on the tv’s throughout the house... and maybe a few new traditions will catch on! 

The Inspiration 

Mixing some “old” traditions that would be familiar to some friends attending from Halloweens past with some “new” is the main inspiration behind this gathering. Going along with the “old” nods, I thought adding in a few retro elements would be fun as well, which helped set an overall tone.  

Corralling the inspirational components together in a visual way always helps me create a cohesive look and stick to the core elements as I execute. 

The Traditions 

When our daughters were growing up, our annual tradition to celebrate Halloween was to gather at our dear friends’ house for a night of trick-or-treating. Fortunately for all of us, she lived in a walkable neighborhood with friendly residents and candy a-plenty.  

Immediately upon arriving, we’d gather all the kids in a group and snap a photo, which would become one of my favorite collections of photos to look back on and see the kids growing up before our eyes! 

A collage of Halloween photos from years' past
Each year, she served a big pot of chili with all the fixings – the perfect customizable spread for a big crowd. 

After chili, the parents piled into a hay-filled trailer and slowly followed the kids darting on foot from home-to-home yelling “Trick or Treat!” 

Once their sacks were filled to the brim with candy, we would head back to the house for the “big candy count” before heading home on a sugar high... and already start to look forward to the next year! 


The Table 

It’s not uncommon for me to move furniture around my home depending on the size and feel of a party I’m hosting, and this get-together was no exception! I quickly flipped my living room furniture with my dining room (losing the dining chairs) to create a centered, unobstructed serving table for a wraparound food spread. 

This table will house the full menu with the complete charcuterie spread right down the center, as well as the perfect build-your-own chili bowl station on one corner, and grab-and-go bites sprinkled throughout. 


The Bar  

The bar will also be fully decorated and fully stocked with my usual go-to's (beer and wine with a few common liquor and non-alcoholic choices) as well as a Dark & Stormy signature cocktail for the occasion. 


The Décor 

To give my usual assortment a refresh, I’ll mix my curated décor collection with some new additions from our stores that I’ve been eyeing, like larger-than-life flocked skeletons, paper-mâché ghosts, terracotta jack-o-lantern votive holders, and adorable ceramic ghost taper candle holders. 

One of my favorite décor pieces is my Halloween Tree that my mom handmade for me a few years ago using twiggy branches, some black spray paint, and a heavy pot. I usually hang some classic Coton Colors Halloween papier-mâché ornaments on it, but this year, I’m switching it up! My mom took it one step further and surprised me one day with handmade white gauzy ghosts to hang all over the tree. 

Let me share with you, lucky readers – you're the first to know that each of our three stores in Tallahassee, Tampa, and Atlanta will have limited stock of these precious ghosts this season for you to purchase for your own Halloween tree, too! 


The Menu 

Keeping with a more relaxed feel, I planned the food as grab-and-go style with a few heartier dishes to ensure no one goes home hungry.  

The full Char-BOO-terie menu includes: 

  • “Second-Place” Chili with “personalize your own” sides of shredded cheese, green onions, red pepper flakes, salt and pepper, and sour cream 

  • Corn bread bites 

  • A huge charcuterie spread with a big assortment of cheeses, meats, and complementary honeys, jams, and pickled finds from our favorite Stone Hollow Farmstead 

  • Mini Pulled Pork Tacos 

  • Chipotle Pecans  

  • Caramel Apples 

  • Candy, of course! 

In order to make day-of execution easier, I’ll cook my signature chili the day before {it tastes even better the second day!}, slow-cook the pork for tacos, bake the Chipotle Pecans, and gather the ingredients for my statement charcuterie spread. 


The Music  

Although we’ll have the tv’s on and playing classic black and white Halloween movies, we’re big believers in the importance of a curated playlist for a party. Which is why we’ve curated one for almost every mood... including Halloween! 

Click here to play our Halloween Playlist.


I hope I've inspired you to gather and celebrate the spooky season with friends near and far. We've even pulled together everything we used to make it easy for you to shop and host for yourself! Whether you go all out like we did here {many hands truly helps!}, or keep things simple, this time of year is a perfect excuse to get nostalgic and bring people together – especially those from years and traditions’ past! 



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