A pile of nice, fresh brain on a platter. A dish of bloody eyeballs on the side.
And a heaping dish of fresh intestines.
Must be Halloween in the Payson High School’s culinary arts class.
Students threw themselves into the approaching season, giving a holiday with ancient roots a new twist.
The high school culinary arts class decided to take on the challenge. With the aid of Google, they researched food from gruesome to cute. During one of their classes, they tried out their recipes on each other.
Lexi Hagler, Janine Tantimonaco and Allie Day decided to carve a brain from a watermelon.
“We wanted to do something we could do in half an hour,” said Allie.
The watermelon looks perfect for a haunted house or centerpiece — definitely brain-like. The girls used a shish kebab skewer and a paring knife to create the desired effect.
The class offered students a new angle on a celebration that started thousands of years ago to celebrate the Celtic New Year, based on the first day after the close of the summer harvest season. The festivities coincided with the onset of winter, which the Celts linked to human death.
So on that last night of summer, the Celts believed the line between the living and the dead blurred. Ghosts returned to earth. They built sacred bonfires to burn sacrifices to their deities to protect the community from the mischief returning souls played on crops. As they celebrated, the Celts would wear costumes of animal heads and skins to confuse roaming spirits.
From these ancient origins, the Romans and then Christians and English added their own traditions to form the holiday Americans celebrate today.
In the United States, that started with activities like apple bobbing involving harvest foods. Trick or treating caught on by the mid 20th century. These days, Halloween provokes some $6 billion in candy and costume sales, making it the second largest commercial holiday in the country. (http://www.history.com/topics/
For many, the holiday just doesn’t seem right without a party, but the age-old question of what to serve can stump any host.
But not the high school’s culinary students.
Shauna Eubanks, Peaches Young, Elizabeth Kringbaum and Stephanie Barwick decided to make “Frankenstein Oreos,” from Halloween Spooky recipes on idearoom.com.
“We coated the pan with shortening (Crisco) to melt the chocolate,” said Barwick.
“We melted the almond bark in the microwave,” said Kringbaum.
To make the eyes, they used mini M&M’s with cake icing to define the mouth.
Placing the double stuff Oreos on lollipop sticks, many of their classmates soon wandered around eating the green-headed Frankenstein faces.
Gabrielle Sandretto and Dominique Pennington made incredibly realistic looking eyeballs with deviled eggs.
“I’ve made deviled eggs before, but not this kind!” said Gabrielle. She carefully drew veins on the eggs to represent blood shot eyes.
Tod McCarthy, Levii Lopez, Autumn Parrish and Jennifer Bailey decided to make eyeballs out of doughnut holes.
“We found a really weird Web site and the lady fingers were gross. My sister (Parrish) gets squirmy around bloody things so we had to do something not so realistic,” said Lopez.
The group dipped the doughnut holes in melted white chocolate chips and used Lifesaver gummies with mini M&M’s to make the eyes. They too drew blood vessels on their creation.
Kacee Hart wanted to make something with intestines, so he found a recipe for slicing hot dogs and smothering them in ketchup to look extremely life-like.
He had help from Christina Reynolds, Time Pacheco and Shania Guerrero.
“We had fun surfing the Web trying to find scary stuff,” said Pacheco.
“This is gross,” said Guerrero.
Across the room, Jose Zermeno and Nick Hat worked on “Hot Dog Mummies.”
“We thought this was the most interesting one. We really liked the mummy thing,” said Zermeno.
They wrapped the hot dogs in crescent rolls, baked them, and then doused the end in red food coloring.
For a cute project, Marily Ridings and Kayla Pryor made adorable witch’s hats out of chocolate-covered cookies, Reese Peanut Butter Cups and multi-colored sprinkles.
“Most of the food made today gets eaten. We learn how to garnish in this class,” said Devon Wells, culinary arts instructor.
Frankenstein Oreo Pops
1 package double stuff Oreos
1 package almond bark
1 package milk chocolate chips
1 package mini M&M’s
1 tube red cake icing
green food coloring
Melt the almond bark in the microwave adding some shortening. Add the green food coloring after almond bark is melted.
Dip the Oreo in the melted chocolate, covering the whole cookie. Place in freezer to speed the process.
Melt the milk chocolate chips in a pan on the stove first covering the pan with shortening, such as Crisco.
When the green almond bark-covered cookie is solid enough, dip the top portion in the melted milk chocolate to make hair for Frankenstein.
Place two mini M&M’s for eyes and make a mouth from the cake icing.
Insert the lollipop stick in the bottom.
Witch’s Hat Cookies
1 package of Hershey’s Kisses
1 package of round chocolate covered cookies
1 small container of chocolate icing
red decorator’s gel icing pen
Lay one cookie on a flat cooking surface.
Unwrap a Hershey’s Kiss. Place a small amount of icing on the bottom of the Hershey’s Kiss and press it onto the center of the cookie.
Use the squeezable icing to create a ring around the kiss, like you would see around a hat. Repeat for each cookie.
Eyeball Deviled Eggs
One dozen hard boiled eggs — cooled
1/2 cup mayonnaise
2 teaspoons mustard
pinch of salt
1 (7-ounce) can sliced black olives
1 box of toothpicks
red and green food coloring
Peel the cooled eggs and slice them in half lengthwise. Scoop out the yolks into a bowl and mash them up. Mix in the mayonnaise, mustard and salt. Stir in a few drops of green food coloring.
Spoon the mixture into the center of the egg halves. Place a slice of olive on top of each half. Dip a toothpick into red food coloring and then use it to draw lines on the eggs to represent squiggly veins.
Crunchy Doughnut Eyeballs
20 glazed doughnut holes, (suggested brand — Entenmann’s)
1 cup white chocolate chips (suggested brand — Nestle’s)
2 tablespoons solid vegetable shortening (suggested brand — Crisco)
20 Lifesaver Gummies
20 mini candy-coated milk chocolate candies (suggested brand — M&M’s)
red food coloring
Line a cookie sheet with waxed paper. Cut 1/8-inch-thick slices from two opposite sides of each doughnut hole.
Working with one doughnut hole at a time, use a fork to dip into melted morsels mixture to coat. Lift coated doughnut holes from coating, shaking excess melted morsels mixture back into bowl. Place coated doughnut holes, one cut-side down, on prepared cookie sheet.
Place jellied candies on top of doughnuts. Dab chocolate candies with some of remaining melted morsels mixture and press onto jellied candies. Chill in refrigerator for 10 minutes or until coating is set.
In a small bowl, combine 2 tablespoons of remaining melted morsels mixture and two drops of red food coloring. Using toothpick, paint colored morsels mixture onto doughnut eyeballs to resemble scary veins. Chill in refrigerator until ready to serve.
Halloween Worm Sandwich Recipe
8 hot dogs
8 hot dog buns
1/4 cup ketchup
Bring a pot of water to boil.
Slice each hot dog into long, worm-like strips.
Dump hot dog strips into boiling water and cook until they begin to curl.
Return cooked hot dog worms to pan and toss with ketchup until thoroughly mixed.
Serve in hot dog buns.
Hot Dog Mummies
1 (11-ounce) can of refrigerator breadsticks
1 (12-pack) of hot dogs
For each mummy, separate one breadstick from the roll and use kitchen shears or a knife to slice it in half lengthwise to create two thinner strips.
Wrap one strip at a time snugly around the hot dog. Depending on the size of the hot dog, you may not need all of both strips. Leave about 1/2 inch of hot dog exposed for the face area and continue wrapping the top of the hot dog.
Bake the mummies on a cookie sheet at 350 degrees for 15 to 18 minutes or until the breadstick wrapping is golden brown.
Remove the mummies from the oven and cool them for 5 minutes. Add yellow mustard eyes just before serving.
Makes 12 mummies.