We like to sometimes be a bit contrary down here in Australia – doing things arse about face, to use the proper vernacular.
Whilst many friends I know that grew up in countries such as the US and Canada that actively celebrate Halloween say that it’s just not the same to celebrate it as an adult compared to the excitement of dressing up as a child and going Trick or Treating, things seem to be quite different in countries such as Australia that do not have a Halloweening culture.
I never got dressed up for Halloween as a child, nor did anyone in my neighbourhood ever go Trick or Treating. It just wasn’t something that people did, although one year we had a few kids from up the street turn up on our doorstep asking for chocolate in pretty sad attempts at costumes, and all we had to offer them was one muesli bar and a couple of apples. Luckily for us their haul before reaching our front door consisted of a couple of oranges, a banana and a fun size Mars Bar so our contribution didn’t seem so lame in comparison.
As I’ve grown older however, Halloween has turned into an excellent excuse to get dressed up and have a party, and I’ve been lucky enough to have friends do all the hard work of hosting parties over the past few years. This year was no exception, and last night saw all manner of totally freakin’ awesome costumes on display at my friends L, K and J’s house.
Our hosts were Chilean miners, and we also had the Spice Girls (some of whom were a little hairier than I remember), an amazingly believable Buck from the United States of Tara, Max from Where the Wild Things Are, Sandstorm from the Mighty Boosh, and the Doctor complete with a shiny little K-9 just to name a few. Would love to share the awesomness of everyone’s costume efforts with you but given my lack of media release forms I’ll just share my costume with you. My prize winning costume!
For those who don’t know who I am channelling, check out this YouTube video..
I had not done any Halloween baking before, so thought I’d contribute to the party by trying out a couple of the Halloween recipes that I was particularly taken by after seeing them on Not Quite Nigella. That is, the ones that I was particularly taken by that didn’t involve anything to do with spiders, or require a skull or brain mould.
Makes 32 Hallow-wieners
- 2 x 375g packets of cocktail frankfurt sausages
- 2-3 sheets of premade puff pastry, or some pizza/bread dough
- Tomato sauce, to serve
1. Preheat your oven to 190c/375F. Place a sheet of baking paper on a baking tray.
2. Slice the pastry into 5-10 mm strips (if using dough, stretch or roll it out so it’s a few mm thick then slice it into strips). Wrap each sausage with strips of pastry/dough until it is nicely clothed in ‘bandages’, making sure to leave a gap at one end for the eyes to peek out. I used roughly two strips of pastry per cocktail frankfurt.
3. Bake on prepared baking tray in oven for 15 minutes or until pastry has puffed, or dough has cooked.
(I am a bit of a dork when it comes to using unfamiliar ovens and I had some trouble baking mine – the pastry was undercooked in areas but browning too much in others so I wasn’t happy with how mine turned out, but at least you should get the picture of how they should be!).
4. Remove from oven and use a toothpick to dot mustard as eyes. Serve with bloody tomato sauce.
You could easily argue that frankfurts with tomato sauce are a disturbing enough food without adding any mummification, but they’re just such a crowd pleaser. It’s like they’re so wrong they’re right. These were no exception, and were wolfed down (ha!) pretty quickly despite my less-than-ideal baking efforts.
Recipe from Not Quite Nigella (adapted from Donna Hay)
Makes approximately 30 ghosts
- 150 mL egg whites
- 1 cup caster sugar
- 1 tsp white vinegar
- ~60 silver cachous for eyes
1. Preheat oven to 120c. With a perfectly clean mixer and beater, beat egg whites until stiff peaks form. Gradually add the caster sugar and vinegar until it becomes thick and glossy.
2. Place mixture in a plain 1.5cm nozzle fitted piping bag and pipe ghosts using a swirl action onto a baking tray lined with non stick paper. With tweezers place 2 cachous in place of eyes and bake for 25 minutes. When done, turn off the oven and leave to cool with the door ajar.
Note 1: I followed these directions, then went and did some shopping while they cooled. When I returned and checked on the meringues, I found them far too soft so I baked them for another 15 minutes and then was very happy with the results.
Note 2: Last night was also the Pride Parade in Perth, so I figured I’d best make some Pride Parader ghosties with 100s and 1000s ‘skirts’ and a Parade Leader with an entire 100s and 1000s costume.
Every little ghost was special in its own way, but a few stood out…
Enough of the poo talk. Another reason to celebrate this particular day is the very first Your Best Recipe (YBR) roundup. This is a new initiative by Nancy of Spicie Foodie and is a way of rounding up those recipes that participating bloggers feel have been their best for the month. A nice little monthly scooping of the cream off the top off a number of blogs that you may not otherwise have checked out. I’ve chosen to include my King of Ice Cream recipe in this month’s roundup, and I suggest that you check out the other creamy numbers by clicking on the pic below. Great idea Nancy!