Through the Kitchen Window

My kids are all grown up now and Hallowe’en hardly holds the same cachet that it once did around our house. It’s a shame really. I never was (still am not) a very arty crafty sort of mom but I did manage to come up with some neat costume ideas over the years. OK . . . who do I think I’m kidding?? Some ideas were better than others.

I thought I’d indulge myself in a little stroll down memory lane this month and perhaps in the process, give you a few ideas as well.

I’m no Suzie Homemaker though, so there were many times my kids wore K-Mart specials. Plastic Batman, Spiderman and vampire outfits to name but a few. Nothing wrong with that though. Truth be told, the kids probably enjoyed being their favourite super hero or villain better than some of the stuff mom dreamed up. I was always on the look out for alternate sources of costumes. Since I don’t sew, it always made me feel better if I could at least be semi-creative.

If you’re willing to do a little research, there are a lot of different and unusual sources in your community. Look to your local skating club, dance school or summer theatre groups. They invariably put on year end performances and recitals that require costumes. Many times, they’ll hold costume sales in order to raise money for still more new costumes. Over the years as my children were growing up, these places were great sources of Hallowe’en finery. At sales like these we found cowboys and Indians, princes, princesses and gypsies, but also bumblebees, spiders, butterflies, trees, sheep, cows and our all time favourites a hamburger, a box of fries, a pizza slice and all sorts of other wild and different things.

And don’t overlook your basement. Large boxes can be gift wrapped and beribboned for a walking gift. Paint them white and add black dots for a die. Turn a box into a television set and make your child a TV star. Or make it a PC monitor or a box of cereal. The possibilities are only limited by yours and your children’s imaginations.

One of my favourite ideas, though not as popular with my kids (go figure!!) was to cut two holes into the bottom of an extra large green garbage bag (for their legs), have them step into it so that the open end is around their neck, fill it with crumpled newspaper and presto!! It’s an instant bag of garbage. Or use a clear bag and fill it with empty recyclable containers. You get the idea. And I better quit while I’m ahead -- if I even am ahead at this point. I can hear my kids cringing and groaning. For some unfathomable reason, they were never quite as enthusiastic about my costume ideas as I was.

What your kids are sure to love though, are these ghoulie treats. Have fun making them together and watch how quickly they disappear.

Snake Bits

  • Spaghetti Sauce
  • Cooked Ziti
  • 2 12 oz containers of Squeeze Cheese

Fill each ziti with squeeze cheese and place in shallow baking dish. Cover with spaghetti sauce and bake at 350 for 30 minutes or until hot.

Deviled Eyeballs

  • 12 eggs, hard-cooked, cooled and peeled
  • 24 green olives stuffed with pimientos
  • Mayonnaise
  • Mustard

Half eggs lengthwise, take out yolks. Mix yolks, some mayonnaise and mustard until you have a smooth paste. Spoon this mixture back into the eggs. Add one olive to the center of the mixture in the egg.

Tuna Salad Sandwich Spooks

  • tuna salad (your favourite recipe)
  • wheat bread
  • whipped cream cheese
  • black olives

Make tuna salad sandwiches as normal. Cut each sandwich into ghost shapes and ice top with cream cheese. Cut small eyes out of the black olives and place them on each sandwich.

Chocolate Orange Ooze Cupcakes

  • 8 ounces cream cheese softened
  • 1 egg
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • Yellow and red food colouring
  • 1 pkg. chocolate cake mix

Prepare cake mix as directed on box for cupcakes, until it comes to baking. To make filling: Combine cream cheese, egg and sugar. Blend in 2 drops yellow food colouring and 1 drop red food colouring, adding more colouring if necessary to reach desired shade. Fill cupcake liners half full with cupcake batter, then place 1 teaspoon filling at center of each. As cupcake bakes, the batter will rise to surround the filling. Bake at 350 for 25 approx. 25 minutes.

Vampire's Blood Shake

  • 2 cups plain yogurt
  • 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 pkg. frozen strawberries or raspberries, thawed
  • ice cubes
  • 1 pint strawberry ice cream

Mix yogurt, vanilla, and berries in the blender. Pour into tall glasses over ice cubes, or chill. Top with a big spoonful of strawberry ice cream.

That’s it for another month. Have a happy and safe Hallowe’en and we’ll see you back here next month.

And remember these important words from Miss Piggy, “Never eat more than you can lift.”