Seasonal Cooking with Rita Calvert~The Local Cook

I spent many years asking what was the big idea about Halloween? Now as decorations, events, costuming, food seem to go completely bonkers, I realize it’s all about the fun and escape to an scary imaginary world. In this mythical universe we create an exciting new atmosphere where with ghosts, goblins (mischievous spirits)...anything goes-at least if it’s spooky, black and orange.

I surfed a bit and found some chilling ideas, one of which is a really creepy "Edible Eyeballs" recipe created and photographed by: Impulse94 on an interesting website: www.instructables.com/member. Try it and send us a photo at Homestead Gardens!

 You will need:

  • Longan - This is an asian fruit similar to lychee. It should be available in the asian section of any big grocery store. It has the taste and texture sort of like a pear.
  • Fat-free plain yogurt
  • Blueberries (frozen or fresh)
  • Zip-top plastic quart bag (the freezer kind, they are thicker and more sturdy)
  • Frozen fruit juice - Apple/Cherry or any other red kind
  • Strainer

Instructions-click here.

Cheesy Black Widow 

Serves 12

I also found a killer spider goat-feta cheese combo on FoodandWine.com. I made it because it looked authentic and sounded scrumptious!

Sautéed shallots and feta cheese flavor this simple spread, which is a delicious hors d'oeuvre at any time of year. Here, it's formed into a spooky spider.

  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 4 very large shallots, thinly sliced (2 cups)
  • 10 ounces fresh goat cheese, softened
  • 4 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 6 ounces Greek feta cheese, at room temperature
  • Black sesame seeds and 1 piquillo pepper, for garnish
  • Six 6-inch painted twigs, for spider legs
  • Crackers, flat breads and bread sticks, for serving
  • Crackers, flat breads and bread sticks

In a medium skillet, melt the butter. Add the shallots and cook over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 8 minutes. Scrape the shallots into a food processor and let cool. Add the goat cheese, cream cheese and feta and puree until smooth. Scrape the cheese into a bowl and refrigerate until chilled, about 30 minutes.

Shape one third of the cheese mixture into a ball and roll in black sesame seeds to coat; shape the remaining two-thirds into a larger ball and coat with black sesame seeds. On a serving board, press the balls together to form the head and body of a spider. Cut the piquillo pepper into 2 small triangles and place them on the body in an hourglass shape. Serve with crackers, flat breads or bread sticks.

MAKE AHEAD The unformed cheese mixture can be refrigerated for up to 3 days.

Of course this blustery event wouldn't be complete without a beverage to prevent dehydration-The Dark and Stormy classic from FoodandWine.com:

Dark and Stormy

According to a Gosling's Rum tale, this drink was invented more than 100 years ago when members of Bermuda's Royal Naval Officer's Club added a splash of the local rum to their spicy homemade ginger beer. They described its ominous hue as "the color of a cloud only a fool or dead man would sail under."

Per serving:

  • 2 ounces dark rum, preferably Gosling's
  • 1/2 ounce fresh lime juice (optional)
  • Ice
  • 1 candied ginger slice
  • 3 ounces chilled ginger beer
  • 1 lime wheel

Fill a cocktail shaker with ice. Add the rum and lime juice and shake well. Strain into an ice-filled collins glass. Stir in the ginger beer. Skewer the ginger slice and lime wheel and garnish the cocktail.

 

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