Letting the children have a Halloween party is a good way of heading off pleas to go trick or treating and its far safer, says Anthea Turner
Children love dressing up and Halloween parties give them the perfect excuse to become witches, wizards and ghosts for a night. They’ll not only have hours of fun helping to create their costumes, but if time is short, the supermarkets are filled with inexpensive masks, witchy wigs and costumes during October.
Turn your party room into a witches’ cavern. Decorate it with spiders made from fluffy pipe cleaners and fluffy balls from the craft shop. Replace a couple of light bulbs with orange or green ones to give the room an eerie glow. Paint faces on black balloons, attach the balloons to sticks and drape black cloth capes around them. Stand the sticks in sturdy containers around the room.
Paint a large picture of a witch’s head and mount it on a cork message board. Make sure your witch has an enormous nose. Blindfold each of the children in turn and given them a small blob of Blu-tack or Plasticine. They have to stick their ‘warts’ on the face of the witch. The child whose wart is nearest the end of the witches’ nose is the winner.
Tricks and Treats
It’s easier to put a spooky spin on party food than you might think. Why not try some of these ideas?
Make tiny round beefburgers, cook them and stick twiglets in the sides for legs. Make eyes with tiny blobs of cream cheese.
Cut glacé cherries into quarters and stick on the end of chocolate finger biscuits with a little red icing (use ready-made for ease) to make witches fingers.
Make tiny cupcakes in sweet cases and decorate with black and green icing spiders, bats and witches’ cats.
Serve pumpkin soup in hollowed-out pumpkins so they look like soup cauldrons and don’t waste the seeds. Pat them dry, lay them out on some baking parchment on a baking tray, drizzle with a little oil and salt and toast them in the (oven pre-heated 300º F 150º C), for around 30 minutes.
A perfect, healthy Halloween snack.
Get the children involved in making food as part of the entertainment. One savoury treat they will enjoy making is witches broomsticks.
1 packet of ready rolled shortcrust pastry
Two different coloured types of cheese such as Cheddar and Red Leicester.
1. Simply dust a pastry board or clean work surface with some flour and lay out the pastry sheet.
2. Cut strips of pastry 2½cm to one inch wide along the shortest width of the pastry. Do the same with the other half. 3. Make three 2cm cuts at one end of each of the strips of pastry. Spread them out slightly to make a broom shape.
4. Lay the brooms on a sheet of baking parchment on a baking tray, brush with milk and sprinkle with Red Leicester on one half of the brooms and the grated Cheddar on the other half.
5. Bake for 10–12 minutes until crisp.
6. Allow to cook on the tray for 15 minutes and then transfer to a cooling rack to get cold before serving.
I must warn you – they are scarily moorish!