Too old to wear a costume and go trick-or-treating? Dress up your table instead |

Too old to wear a costume and go trick-or-treating? Dress up your table instead

Despite my weakness for chocolate (especially dark chocolate) and the fond memories I have of carving pumpkins, my favorite part of Halloween is dressing up.Halloween gives you the chance to be something you’re not. You can costume yourself as your favorite celebrity or use the opportunity to poke fun at the politician of the day. You can dress as a superhero or a geek, go retro or futuristic, or choose a classic, like a witch or a vampire. Halloween costumes can be as simple as a white sheet for a ghost to complicated, expensive outfits complete with hair, makeup and accessories. Growing up, my costumes tended towards the latter, thanks to my mom’s creative genius.My mom was an excellent seamstress and transformed me into whatever character I could dream up. She made every single one of my costumes until I was too old to go trick-or-treating on Halloween. Some years, she made costumes for my dad and herself as well. I remember one year, she made my dad a sultan costume, and we were his harem girls. My mom crafted satin, jewel-toned parachute pants for each of us and my mom made my dad a metallic-colored turban and vest. My mom and I wore bikini-like tops, and she even made our veils, complete with jingly little coins on the ends. Yes, I’ve been everything from a ’50s girl (complete with a hand-embroidered poodle skirt and my uncle’s letter sweater from high school) to the Phantom of the Opera (satin-lined cape) to Snow White to Peter Pan (my dad was Captain Hook). I think my favorite costume was when I was Catwoman. Of course, this was back before Halle Berry took her turn in the Batman series, when Catwoman actually WORE clothing (yeah, like my mom would let a 12-year-old go out half-naked). The costume was pretty sexy, though. It was black spandex, with a black spandex hood/mask and black lace-up boots. I completed the look with blood-red lipstick. My dad threw a fit when he saw his preteen daughter looking like that. That’s probably why I liked the costume so much.Now I’m too “old” to dress up for Halloween, unless I go to a costume party or something. Besides, my costumes will never be as elaborate as when my mom made them. I’m thinking an apron and a spatula and, voila, I’m a chef. No, this year I’m going to dress up my table instead of myself, by making all sorts of Halloween treats. Witchy ice cream cones, dead man’s fingers, “ghoul”ash – the possibilities are endless.Although I wouldn’t mind being Catwoman again. …Gabrielle Devenish is the food editor at the Post Independent. Her Halloween costume will require almost no effort this year. She’s going to have a friend wearing the name tag “Chip,” accompany her. Yes, she’s the dip. Contact her at ice cream cones8 chocolate sugar ice cream cones1 tube chocolate decorating gel8 thin round chocolate wafers (214-inch diameter)1 quart ice cream, pistachio, mint or flavor of your choiceBlack shoestring licorice16 semisweet chocolate chips8 candy corn candiesRed decorating gelCoat edge of ice-cream cones with chocolate decorating gel; press chocolate wafer against gel to make brim of hat. Set aside.Drop 8 scoops of ice cream onto a waxed-paper-lined baking sheet. Cut licorice into strips for hair; press into ice cream. Add chocolate chips for eyes and candy corn for noses. Pipe red gel for mouths.Flatten scoops slightly to hold hats in place; position hats over heads. Freeze for at least 2 hours or until hats are set. Wrap each in plastic wrap after solidly frozen.Makes 8 servings.Dead man’s fingers11-ounce tube refrigerated breadstick dough 12 stick (14 cup) butter, melted2 tablespoons cinnamon sugar1 large egg, slightly beaten48 sliced, natural (with skin) almondsHeat oven to 375 degrees.Crumple 4 large pieces of foil; shape each into a 15-by-2-inch log. Place on a baking sheet.Unroll dough. Cut each of the rectangles crosswise in half, then lengthwise into 2 strips. Cut 1 end of each into a fingertip shape.Roll strips in butter and drape over foil logs; sprinkle with cinnamon sugar. Brush fingertips with beaten egg; press an almond slice “nail” on each fingertip. Bake 8 minutes until golden.Note: Breadstick dough is also good for shaping into “bones.”Makes 48 fingers.- recipes courtesy The Associated Press

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