- Holidays and Celebrations
Make Halloween Better Than Scare Night
It should be mandated that moon should always be full on October 31st - that should written down some where! It goes without saying that the air should be chilly. But, although it has been fun in the past to scary little children, I now think, it should be a night of just fun stuff - maybe a little scary but making sure that young kids are not really frighten. No bad dreams for kids that come to our door!
Knowing that the idea comes from the the dead (not the ones that moved on) having a night were they could walk the earth to vent their frustrations does not help but make the night frightening., Halloween is suppose to be a scary night. (The night were the dead walk among us!) But has not our world grown too scary on any given day? Why not make this night a time where families walk the neighborhood together, guarding their children and greeting friends. Perhaps all will share a cup of warm cider later when the kids are in bed, passed out from eating too much sugar.
Here Kitty, Kitty . . .
What could possibly be scary about a little pussy on the front porch? This pumpkin was carved by the artist , Ray Villatrane, who is known more for the work he has done for DC Comics.
The art of carving pumpkin goes way far in our history - some scary, some not. If you are carving, be careful but have fun. Kids love to get their hands messy and pulling out pumpkin seeds and webbing is more than messy!
If you do carve, consider making your own dried pumpkin seeds. wash and roast the seed in a very slow oven (about two hundred degrees for a couple of hours or use a dehydrator.. They make a great treat. If you like your seeds salted, then soak the seeds (before baking) for several hours in a heavy salt brine. (Make with 2-3 cups of salt and four cups hot water. Stir until the salt is dissolved,) Let the seeds air dry before baking.
Hot Apple Cider
When I was growing up, there was a neighbor that always had hot cider and doughnuts for Halloween. Strangely, it was the only time that any of the kids saw her, but she was friendly and all the mothers liked her - so we ate and drank her treats and no one ever played a trick on her! Her house was the one that we all saved for the last stop.
To make hot cider, you can buy cider and just heat it until slightly warmer than a baby's bottle. If you want more spice to your hot cider, add cinnamon sticks and perhaps a little orange juice when heating for that extra favorite.
Apple Cider Doughnuts!
What better snack to have with hot apple cider than apple cider doughnuts.
Vermont Apple Cider Doughnut Recipe
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 5 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 2 large eggs, at room temperature
- 3-1/2 cups all-purpose flour, plus extra for work surface
- 1-1/4 teaspoons table salt
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1-1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
- 1/2 cup low-fat buttermilk
- 1/3 cup boiled apple cider
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- Coconut Oil for frying (I love it - takes high temps without burning and adds a slight coconut flavor.)
- Cinnamon sugar (1-1/2 cups sugar mixed with 3 tablespoons ground cinnamon) or confectioners' sugar
In a large bowl using stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, beat together sugar and butter until mixture is pale and fluffy, about 4-6 minutes. Add eggs, one at a time, beating until it is well incorporated into the sugar-butter mixture
In a medium-size bowl, whisk together flour, salt, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, and nutmeg; set aside.
Pour buttermilk, boiled cider, and vanilla into sugar/butter/egg mixture, slowly. Mix well, and don't worry if the mixture looks a bit curdled; it'll smooth itself out. Add flour mixture and combine gently just until fully moistened.
Line two baking sheets with waxed paper or parchment paper and dust generously with flour. Turn dough out onto one baking sheet and pat gently into 3/4-inch-thickness. Sprinkle dough with additional flour, cover with plastic wrap, and place in the freezer for 10 minutes to firm up. Remove dough from the freezer; use a lightly floured 3-inch doughnut cutter) to cut out about 18 doughnuts with holes. (You may gather the scraps and roll again as needed, but you may need to chill the dough more to firm it up.) Place cut doughnuts on the other baking sheet as you go; then transfer to the freezer for 5 minutes to firm up again.
Line a plate with a few layers of paper towels and set it nearby. In a Dutch oven or large pot, heat 3 inches of oil to 370° (test with an instant-read thermometer). Drop 3 or 4 doughnuts into the oil, being careful not to crowd the pan. Cook until browned on one side, about 1 minute; then flip and cook until browned on the other side, about 1 minute longer.
Repeat with the remaining dough (if you find that it's getting too soft as you work your way through the batches, pop it into the freezer again for 10 minutes). When doughnuts are cool enough to handle but still warm, sprinkle them all over with cinnamon sugar or confectioners' sugar. I often use the old classic – confectioners’ sugar and milk glaze – just as good.)
Note: Boiled apple cider gives these apple cider donuts a rich, slightly tangy flavor. You can buy boiled cider at some gourmet and Whole Foods stores; or, alternatively, you can boil your own cider by simmering 1-1/2 cups of fresh apple cider down to 1/3 cup in about 25 minutes--it just won't be as concentrated as the commercial product.( I do this and it is great!)
Note: The original recipe came from the Yankee Magazine – really good recipe and THANK YOU!
What Do You Think?
Should Halloween be about just SCARY THINGS that go BUMP in the Night?
Yes - Scare the Devil out of me
Apple Cider and Caramel Apples
Just a Happy Face
Most people cannot carve like the artist above, but your pumpkin will still be a big hit will our kids.
Just draw a face on the pumpkin then cut. Be sure that the knife you use is sharp and your fingers are out of the way.