Halloween must be approaching, as there were specimen cups full of what appeared to be urine in my refrigerator a day or so ago. You’re thinking Jell-O shooters for some big party. You would be disappointed. It was Jell-O, but non-alcoholized (is that a word?) because they went to work.
Work had a pumpkin decorating contest and a food contest today. I passed on the pumpkin decorating, but I’m all over the food. There are themes, you see. Prizes for the most gruesome, the spookiest and the like. How can a girl pass that up?
Last year I made a Carrie cake. You remember the Stephen King book? My Carrie consisted of a red velvet bundt cake with one of those doll sticks in the top. So the cake became her skirt. I used icing to give her a “dress,” then splattered the entire thing with food coloring and icing blood. It was quite attractive.
The year before that I did the classic “barfing pumpkin”. I carved a small pumpkin and situated him so that it appeared he was spewing spinach dip.
The specimen cups were actually intended for last year, too. But, I didn’t have Amazon Prime at the time so they arrived a few days after Halloween. So, I tucked them away in the cupboard and waited a whole year to use them.
Here is the finished product:
I also prepped this little beauty:
Looks raw, huh? I bought a skull mold (thanks, Amazon) and laid prosciutto in it, then mixed up a homemade cheese ball and added that to the mold. The husband said it looked disgusting. I was pleased. We were both hoping that people would be put off by the look of it because it’s my Mom’s cheese ball recipe and we usually only get it at Christmas time and we loooooove it. We were lucky…I came home with a good chunk of cheese ball. People truly thought it was raw and weren’t entirely convinced when I told them it was not.
Pretty creative, huh? Pinterest! Of course! Not all things I make from Pinterest are wonky looking like the cat tent (which he still loves).
I am proud to announce that both of my entries won $5 coffee cards to the little shop in our parking lot. The specimen cups won the most goulish dish and the skull won the most gruesome. There weren’t a lot of entries, but this was the first year this particular group participated in this competition, so I’m hoping I threw down the gauntlet and there will be more participants next year.
The rest of the pictures scattered throughout the post are the the pumpkin entries. The only restriction was that there was no carving allowed. Other than that, the sky was the limit. There were some really cool pumpkins. People are so creative!
This is also where I should confess that I’m not much of a Halloween person. The house is decorated, but it’s more a fall theme than a Halloween theme (think leaves and pumpkins vs ghosts and goblins). I don’t do costumes, mostly because they’re too much work. We seldom go anywhere for Halloween, though I’m sure we would consider a party were we to be invited to a party. And, we live on a dark country road so we don’t have trick-or-treaters. Actually, even when we lived in town we had few trick-or-treaters. The kids just don’t go out like they used to. This Halloween? I believe the husband is making his “famous” gunsmoke chili. I’ll probably whip up some cupcakes because I’ve stockpiled an abundance of pumpkin cupcake recipes in my “Fall” recipe folder on Pinterest (8 different recipes is telling). There will likely be hot cider…spiked with booze. And TV, though no scary movies because the husband doesn’t like scary movies. He’s cute that way.
Thinking of Halloween reminds me of a favorite story from my childhood.
We lived on The Hill. That’s pretty much what we called it. Because it was a neighborhood on a hill. As kids, we knew most everyone who lived on The Hill. Those that we didn’t know seemed to know us. The benefit of growing up in Small Town USA. Life on The Hill was good. Life on The Hill at Halloween was great. Back in the late 70’s and early 80’s (when I was trick-or-treating), you might receive the occasional homemade treat in your bag. The parents would ask where we got them from, we would say, “Oh, Mrs. So-and-So” and that was the end of the conversation.
One year, a few months before Halloween, our cat disappeared. His name? Booboo. Don’t be misled by the cutesy name. Booboo was a big, scabby tomcat. And he was mean. There was no lugging that cat around. No snuggling. If you were laying on the couch there was a chance that he might jump on your head and start beating on you. He was a thug in a cat’s body.
When Booboo disappeared we were not brokenhearted. More of a shrug and a “Life moves on” thing. In fact, I wouldn’t be surprised to hear that I began campaigning for a new cat (a nice cat) almost immediately. We’d have to ask Dad and Mom.
Halloween rolled around and off we went up and down The Hill. There was one loop on The Hill. I was not as familiar with the neighbors on the loop as I was with those on the “main drag.” But, all of kids knew which house the Mill Manager and his wife lived in. There was a large Georgia Pacific in town and he managed it. His house sat at the top of a long, dark driveway. The prize for hoofing it up that driveway? Full-sized candy bars. Serious business. We always made the trek.
We must have been old enough to trick-or-treat on our own, or we had an older kid with us, because I know that neither parent accompanied us on this Halloween. We got to the door of the Mill Manager, rang the doorbell and his wife answered. We spouted our line, she reached for the candy bowl, and a cat emerged from the entryway behind her and began winding itself around her legs. It was our old, scabby cat Booboo. He was not any more attractive than he had been when he lived with us.
We cried out, “Booboo!!!” The Mill Manager’s wife responded, “You mean Punkin’?” We said, “No!! That’s our old cat Booboo!!!” Booboo had obviously moved up in the world. She was a little flustered. Understandably so. You don’t expect trick-or-treaters to inform you that your Punkin’ is in fact a Booboo. She did the only thing she could think of…she asked if we wanted our cat back. We were quick to tell her, “No!!!” I can’t recall if we ever saw Booboo again. Probably not. We were beneath him.
Scabby, ugly, mean old cat.
Oh, there are a few specimen cups leftover, too. This weekend I’ll add a little vanilla vodka and they’ll be perfect.