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October 2001 Issue
Putting your best foot forward ...
by Patty Waage
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If you are hosting an adult party, a spider bread bowl for dips will get rave reviews. This one is made from frozen bread dough, or even bread machine dough. Once the bread has thawed, form one loaf into two circles one smaller than the other, the smaller one is for the head of the spider. Then, using another loaf, form eight legs by rolling them out into leg shapes and attaching them to the body of the spider. Let this rise until its doubled in size and then bake, as you would bread. If you prefer a shiny spider, brush with some egg whites before baking. Cutting the top off of the head forms the bowl for dip and body and scooping out the insides. Be careful not to get too close to the crust or it will become weak. Save the bread you scooped out to spread the dip on. Spinach dip would make a good filling for this, add a couple of drops of food coloring for a gooey inside surprise!


Spider Bread

  • 2 loaves of frozen bread, thawed
  • Egg whites
Divide one loaf into two balls, one twice the size of the other. Divide other loaf into 8 sections and roll out into legs then attach to the body. Coat with egg whites for a shiny surface. Bake as you would bread.
  • Yields: one spider loaf
  • Preparation Time: 1 hour, plus rising time


Spinach Dip

  • 10 oz frozen spinach, blotted dry
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1 cup mayo
  • ½ cup chopped green onions
  • 1 tsp. parsley flakes
  • 1 tsp. lemon juice
  • ½ tsp. seasoned salt
Chop spinach into little pieces and blot dry. Cream other ingredients together in a large bowl. Once creamy, then add spinach and mix well. For a Halloween treat, add a few drops of blue red or green food coloring. Spoon into bread and refrigerate until party time.
  • Yields: about 4 cups
  • Preparation Time: 20 minutes

Kids love making tootsie pop ghosts for party favors, or you can even hang them on a giant spider web, and let each child choose his/her treat. You can make a party game out of it and have each child decorate his/her ghost with markers. If you want to hang them outside, I recommend using pieces of white plastic (like cutouts from a white garbage bag). Children can also help make tootsie roll spiders. Take a tootsie roll, wrap in black paper, and then twist pipe cleaner legs around the body. You can hang these on the spider web as well as the ghosts.

Decorating your yard could be a family project. You can make a ghost dance, by simply placing wooden dowels in the yard and then use, either white trash bags, or old sheets to form the ghosts. Wad up some newspaper in a ball shape and tie to form the head then place over the dowels and secure. Then tape or tie two of the pointed ends, one on each side to another ghost to form a ring, either around a tree or another ghost in the center.

You can also use this method to string ghosts from tree limbs. You can make a giant spider in a similar manner, using black trash bags and leaves or wadded up newspaper. Fill two trash bags one for the body and a smaller one for the head and attach it to the larger back with duct tape or string. Roll up 8 trash bags for legs and attach them to the body forming your spider. You can anchor them to the ground using dowels and then rake up a pile of leaves around the spider to look like it’s made a nest. Get a rope spider web and place in a corner behind it and hang rubber flies from it.

A witch crashed into a tree could be a funny sight for people passing by your house. All you need for this is a pair of sweat pants, a long sleeve shirt, a piece of fabric for a cape, a witch's hat, an old wig or some string for hair, and a couple dowel rods or 2x4’s -- although you may also want some old gloves, socks and shoes. Place the dowel rods or 2x4’s into the legs of the pants and then nail them to a tree or post. Make sure to leave about 6 inches of the board sticking out to form hips and give your legs a little bit of form. Nail the hair to the tree and then the hat over it, then stuff the pants and shirt with some news paper to form a legs, arms and a torso. Nail the shirt to the tree, using dowel rods to form the arms. Tie the cape to the neck of the shirt and cover with some of the hair. Place some old gloves over the end of the dowel rods for the arms and stuff, then tie closed at the wrist to keep them in place. Place some old shoes or boots and socks over the pants to form feet. A monster or scarecrow can be formed in a similar manner.

Everyone can enjoy making some Styrofoam tombstones and placing them around the yard. You can make these from those giant sheets of Styrofoam from a hardware store. Draw tombstone shapes on your foam -- do the larger sizes first -- and then have adults cut them out with a sharp knife. Once you have your larger tombstones cut out, you can form smaller “pet” headstones to make your very own pet cemetery.

You can find all sorts of fun and inventive Halloween treats, and crafts if you do a search on the Internet. Sit down with your kids and have a fun time, some websites even have games kids can play. Research the history of trick-or-treating, and how Halloween started. But most of all, remember Halloween can be fun for everyone! But, before you start all of these neat projects, you'll want a good meal. Might I suggest this one?


Cat Litter Casserole

This one's compliments of my good friend Elaine.
To make dumps:
  • 1 cup Bisquick
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1 lb. ground beef, turkey or pork sausage
To make litter:
  • 2 cups long grain rice
  • 3-3/4 cups water
  • 2 tsp. salt
  • 2 tbsp. butter or margarine
  • Large mixing bowl
  • Rectangular baking pan
  • Deep saucepan with lid
  • Fork
  • Paper towels
  • Large spoon
  • New stainless steel "pooper scooper"
With an adult's help, preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Using clean hands, mix together the dump ingredients in a large bowl. Mold pieces of this mixture into various size/shape "dumps".

Place so they don't touch each other in an ungreased baking pan. Use two if they don't all fit. With an adult's help, bake the dumps for about 20 minutes or until they are all brown, firm and slightly rusty-colored.

While the meat cooks, put all four litter ingredients into a large saucepan. Then with an adult's help, heat on high until the water comes to a boil. Stir, turn heat to low and cover the pan. Simmer without lifting the cover for fourteen minutes.

With an adult's help, remove the saucepan from the stove and carefully (to avoid having your face melted away by the steam), lift off the cover. Break apart, or "fluff" the rice with a fork and set pan aside.

When "dumps" are done, carefully transfer them onto paper towels to drain.

Spoon the rice and "dumps" into the now empty baking pan, leaving some "dumps" partially uncovered, the way Kitty does when he/she is in a hurry! Use pooper-scooper to serve.

  • Yields: 8-10 servings
  • Preparation Time: 45 minutes

Happy Halloween!

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