This time of year, memories of Halloweens past start to surface. For instance, I recall the year it rained so hard that my witch’s hat—which was lined with black crepe paper—got soggy and caused my hair to turn a weird shade of blue for a few days.
That was scary, but not as frightening as the memories I have of Halloween parties hosted at my childhood home where my mom would turn off the power, light a few candles and pass around bowls of brains (ramen noodles) and discarded eyeballs (green olives) while telling stories about the unfortunate souls who had lost their body parts—those same parts we were sticking our hands into and getting grossed out over.
As I’ve gotten older, the weird wonder of All Hallow’s Eve has stayed with me. I don’t think there’s ever been a year I haven’t worn a costume, and, more often than not, I host a party to commemorate the horrific holiday.
This year, the festivities at Hell House will be slightly more subdued. Instead of an all-night monster mash, I’m hosting a Dinner Party of the Dead. As a nod to my food-related Halloweens of the past, I’ve asked guests to bring menu items that either look disgusting and taste great, or else make up hideous back-stories for their innocuous looking hummus and pita plates. Once we’ve had our fill or panna cotta brain and cocktail sausages that resemble severed fingers in blood, I’ll send all the creatures back into the night with full stomachs.
I haven’t quite decided what the main course is going to be, but trolling the Internet is giving me lots of good ideas. I think I’ll pass on the Gross Diaper Dip—which gives options of serving fake baby poop underneath a plastic baby or on an opened diaper—but I’m leaning toward Mummy Meatloaf for the main course and Oreo Eyeballs for dessert (see recipes).
I’m hoping my guests will get creepily creative, as well, and can’t wait to see the edible horrors they create. I’m hoping to make more macabre memories, and I need their help.
Mummy Meatloaves—from http://www.aroundtheplate.org
1 lb. lean ground beef
1/4 cup breadcrumbs
1 tbsp Soy sauce
1 tbsp ketchup (+ a little extra for dipping)
1 tube of pizza dough
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Prepare the meatloaf: mix together the ground beef, egg, breadcrumbs, soy sauce and one tbsp of ketchup.
Make meatloaf mummies by shaping little men out of the meat mixture. Open the pizza dough (pop!) and flatten pieces out with your fingers. Wrap the meat people with the half-inch strips of flattened-out pizza dough to look like bandages. Leave space for the eyes. Cook uncovered for 10-15 minutes, until golden brown. Once out of the oven, you can add some personality by using ketchup to create eyes. Serve with extra ketchup.
Oreo Eyeballs—from http://www.joannaparypinski.com
1 1lb package regular Oreos
1 8oz brick cream cheese
3/4 package white chocolate bark
blue or green food coloring
red food coloring
Process Oreos in food processor until they are fine crumbs; add cream cheese bit by bit. Process for a while and soon the mixture will start to ball up. Roll small balls and put on cookie sheet lined with waxed paper. Place sheet in freezer for half an hour until frozen or firm. Melt white bark. Dip Oreo balls in white chocolate with spoon and place on sheet.
Once the balls have hardened, mix blue or green food coloring with some white chocolate and paint circles onto the balls for the iris. Press a chocolate chip into the center for the pupil. Mix powdered sugar with a little water and plenty red dye. Use a toothpick to draw veins. Keep in a chilled environment.
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