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Sherrie Norris Lovin’ Spoonful Cooking Column: It’s Halloween — First Things First, Please!

By Sherrie Norris

Just this week, I’ve heard the first mention of a few snowflakes of the season. I’ve noticed that the Hallmark channel has begun showing Christmas movies. I’ve seen workers cutting Christmas trees from a field. And for weeks now, I’ve noticed Christmas decorations on store shelves, along with a few pilgrims as table decorations for Thanksgiving. And Halloween is still a few days away.

Something about it just doesn’t seem right, but I guess it’s a sign of the ever-changing, constantly rushing times in which we live. I like things the old-fashioned way — a slower pace and everything in order: Halloween, Thanksgiving and then Christmas, just like it appears on the calendar.

Since Halloween comes first, we’ll do some Ghost Toast before bringing out the turkey and fruitcake.

Enjoy it while you can!


Ghost Toast

Bread slices


Shredded coconut

Raisins or chocolate chips

Spread a very light coating of margarine on toast to make faces, then sprinkle on coconut. Arrange raisins or chocolate chips on toast for eyes and mouth.

Cut toast into ghost shapes before decorating, if desired.


Bat Wings

1 dozen chicken wings

1 cup soy sauce

1/3 cup honey

1 tsp. ginger, crushed and chopped

Mix together soy sauce, honey and ginger. Marinate chicken overnight. Bake in oven or grill until done.


Kool Witches Brew

1 pkt. orange Kool-Aid, unsweetened

1 pkt. grape Kool-Aid, unsweetened

2 cups sugar

3 qt. cold water

1 qt. bottle chilled Sprite, 7-UP or ginger ale


Mix Kool-Aid packets together with the sugar and water in large pitcher. Before serving, add beverage of choice. Serve over ice.

Tip – Serve the drink in a large black bowl to simulate a cauldron. Add a “frozen hand” ice cube to creep out your guests: Freeze some of the punch or Mountain Dew in a plastic food service glove and tie tightly with a bread-wrapper tie.

Or use water tinted with your choice of food coloring to make it really stand out in the punchbowl. Carefully cut iced “hand” from glove after frozen; place into punch bowl when ready to serve.


Halloween Spiders

(Recipe makes one spider, repeat process as desired.)

2 Tbs. smooth peanut butter

2 Tbs. powdered sugar

2 Tbs. graham cracker crumbs

2 Tbs. coconut



Mix peanut butter, sugar and cracker crumbs together and form into a ball. Divide ball into 2 parts to form 2 balls, 1 slightly smaller than the other. Roll balls in coconut and place smaller ball on top of larger one. The smaller ball with be the head, the larger one the abdomen. Add licorice for legs and raisins for eyes.


Spider Web Dip

1 (16 oz.) jar black bean dip

1 (12 oz.) container guacamole

¼ cup sour cream

1 cup shredded lettuce

1 cup cheddar Cheese, shredded

½ cup chopped tomato

Tortilla chips

Spread bean dip onto center of large platter, leaving 1 to 2 inches around edge of platter. Carefully cover bean dip with guacamole. Spoon sour cream into resalable plastic food bag. Snip off corner. Pipe sour cream in 4 concentric circles onto guacamole. Drag toothpick or knife through sour cream from center outward to make spider web design. Layer lettuce, cheese and tomatoes on edge of platter. Serve with tortilla chips.