By Jean Redstone
A number of my friends tell me that Halloween is their favorite holiday — and these are actual, already grown-up people with jobs and responsibilities and such.
I get it. What is more fun than dressing as someone you aren’t, play-acting an outlandish horror role, and hazing your family and even mere acquaintances until they scream? Or watching other people do that to bemuse themselves and you?
It’s a kids’ holiday and everybody ought to be a kid now and then. Here are three fun, fast recipes to encourage the Halloween Kid in everyone. The real secret to the success of a Halloween table is the icky, ucky, scary names and look of the food on it.
28 slices firm bread, such as whole wheat, pumpernickel and/or rye bread, trimmed into tombstone shapes (rounded at top, level at bottom).
Moist filling for sandwiches (egg, tuna, chicken or ham salad; PB and J, deviled ham, etc.)
1 8 oz. container whipped cream cheese
Purple kale or shredded cabbage or shredded lettuce, enough to cover serving plate
To make tombstone sandwiches, spread filling on half of the bread tombstones. Top with remaining bread tombstones . Use cream cheese on tombstone bottom to stick them to the plate. Add shredded lettuce, cabbage or kale for a creepy groundcover and to help tombstones stay upright. Let some tilt for shivery effect. Optional, write or pipe R.I.P. on a few tombstones using sour cream or mayonnaise. Cover with plastic wrap or tinfoil until ready to serve. Makes 14 large tombstones, 28 smaller ones.
Tip: For added ickiness you can garnish plate and/or tombstones with plastic creepy crawlies, or small skeletons or body parts.
Note: For smaller tombstones, use one slice bread and cut in half before spreading sandwich filling. Mix sizes for variety.
SLIPPERY, SLIMY SLUSHIE
1 pkg. lime gelatin
1 C sugar
2 qts 7-Up or ginger ale
4 C boiling water
3 C. pineapple juice
Mix all ingredients together except 7-Up. Place in container and freeze 4 to 5 hours. Remove from freezer when mixture is slushy. Place all slush in (12 inch) serving bowl and add 2 quarts 7-Up or ginger ale.
No punch bowl? This can also be made as slushies in individual glasses. Fill glasses 1/2 full with slush. Fill remainder of glass with 7-Up. Garnish the glass with fake bugs or other scary critters. Makes about 16-20 cups or glasses depending on size.
Tip: Dress up the slimy green punch with cherries and strawberries, cut up or, better, mashed, as in bloody body parts. Stick some “worm” gummies on the rim of the bowl or glass.
Note: To make an alcoholic punch, replace one or both quarts of the soda with champagne or other sparkling white wine.
DIRT DESSERT IN A CUP
1 pkg. (3.9 oz.) chocolate instant pudding mix
2 C cold milk
1 tub (8 oz.) whipped creamy topping, thawed
15 chocolate sandwich cookies, such as Oreos(TM), finely crushed (about 1-1/4 cups), divided
1 pkg bug gummies
Beat pudding mix and milk in a large bowl with a spoon or whisk for 2 minutes. Let stand five minutes. Stir in the whipped topping and 1/2 cup cookie crumbs. Spoon into 10-12 (6- to 7-oz.) paper or plastic cups; top with remaining cookie crumbs. Refrigerate 1 hour. Garnish with gummies just before serving.