New Castle News

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October 20, 2012

Culinary Conversation: Halloween means sweet treats

NEW CASTLE — This time of year, one holiday starts to blend into another.

We’ve all noticed how each passing year, Halloween decorations — almost as popular as ones for Christmas — appear in stores right after the Fourth of July.

I’m not aware of any particular food being associated with Halloween other than pumpkins and caramel apples but there are some devilishly-delightful names of recipes.

There’s witches brew, hobgoblin cookies, demon punch, specter sundaes and haunted hamburgers, and probably any other catchy name you can dream up. For whatever reason, too, doughnuts always seem to make an appearance around now.

Last year at Halloween, Lorrie Boyles of New Castle contributed a type of bread called Samhain Barmbrack to Culinary Conversation. I recall it is a tradition of Ireland.

As Halloween ends, we prepare for Thanksgiving and Christmas — both of which are steeped in traditions. Perhaps you’ll try something new at the holiday table this year or stick with the tried and true. Whatever the selection is, Culinary Conversation would love to hear about it. Why not share some of your favorite holiday recipes here? From now throughout the entire season, we will publish as many recipes from the community as possible.

Meanwhile, for Halloween, I happened upon a recipe for spell-breaker candy squares. They sound sweet enough to cause cavities. Caramel apples are also a favorite.

Serving a ground beef mixture in a pumpkin doubles as a centerpiece and entrée in one. The recipe calls for a smaller pumpkin — unlike the 770-pound one grown by a family member who has been planting the giant gourd-like squashes for several years now. That’s enough to make a truckload of pumpkin pies. I wonder how much whipped cream would be needed.

Beef in Costume for Halloween

  • 1 4-lb. pumpkin
  • 1 lb. lean ground beef
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • Cooking oil
  • 1⁄3 cup chopped red pepper
  • 1⁄3 cup chopped green pepper
  • 1 minced garlic clove
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1⁄4 tsp. thyme
  • 1⁄4 tsp. pepper
  • 1 71⁄2-oz. can pitted ripe olives
  • 1 8-oz. can tomato sauce
  • 2 beaten eggs

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