Scary stories, costumes and chilling front-porch scenes are all important supporting cast members. But Halloween is about the treats.
Break me off a piece!
Hershey and Nestle might battle it out for convenience store supremacy, but the two mega-chocolate producers work as one when it comes to Kit Kat — the fastest growing candy bar in America this past (fiscal) year. Nestle owns it. Hershey makes it.
Worst Halloween treats
The following ‘treats’ seem to make a lot of bad lists these days. And, though I understand that not everyone hands out full-size chocolate bars, I’m not inclined to disagree.
- Good & Plenty — I’ll take a lavender soda pop to go with that, sodbuster.
- Raisins — Really? Did I mistake your home for my school cafeteria?
- Mary Janes — Molasses and peanut butter. Grandma must’ve really enjoyed these.
- Necco Wafers — Colored chalk should be reserved for sidewalks.
- Smarties — Ditto on the Necco Wafers.
- Peanut Butter Saltwater Taffy — Where in the hell do people buy these horrible things?
Don’t blame me. I voted for…
Candy corn is also these days listed frequently among the least-desirables. I’m calling bull … corn!
- Candy corn manufacturers will make about 35 million pounds of the stuff this year.
- Unlike some so-called faves, candy corn has stood the test of time. It was invented in the 1880s.
- If it’s so bad, why are there candy corn Starburst? Or Oreos? Hmm?
Did you know? America’s favorite Halloween candy is chocolate. And peanut butter. Together. Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups overtook M&Ms this past year as the top seller in the U.S., and that includes millions of snack-sized bags.
Like many others, I enjoy a good urban legend. Some of my all-time favorites involve the old lady who passes out razor blade-infused apples on Halloween; or the strange neighbor (every neighborhood has one) who hands out arsenic-laced candy.
If you don’t count the Deer Park, Texas father who in the 1970s poisoned his own son with cyanide-spiked Pixy Stix, the biggest problem that arises from Halloween candy consumption is … too much at once. Still, I’ve always inspected the kids’ candy — and kept a few pieces for myself. By the way, how does one not notice razor blades in an apple?
Here’s to you, Carmen Miranda
What is Halloween without the costumes? According to the Los Angeles Times, dressing up like food is all the rage this year.
Some popular items on the dress-up buffet include the sexy pizza and sexy watermelon (with a bite taken out). One online retailer reported that their bacon costume had already sold out, with taco costume sales not far behind.
Not sure what to wear this year? Just look in the fridge.
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I remember making cream of tomato soup during a French cooking class back in the early 1990s. We cored fresh tomatoes, simmered them and added stock and cream before using an immersion blender. Fact is, it doesn’t have to be that difficult. These days I use high quality canned tomatoes for this quick and easy warmer-upper and it tastes just as good. Honest.
Cream of Tomato Soup is not only an all-star for weeknight meals, it’s totally modular. I typically cook the standard version (below), but add-ins easily take this soup in a different direction. My wife prefers to eat it with grilled cheese — Swiss on Rye. I like cheddar or American (yes, I admit it) on white or wheat. If you decide to give this soup a Tex-Mex flair, consider serving this with Monterrey Jack quesadillas. Homemade soup is Mmmm. Mmm. Better.
Cream of Tomato Soup
1 – 28 oz can crushed Tomatoes
1 TB – Dried Basil
1 tsp – Red Pepper flakes
Vegetable stock (28 oz.)
3/4 cup – Heavy Cream
In a blender, combine tomatoes, basil and red pepper flakes until smooth. Backfill empty tomato can with vegetable stock (may also use chicken or beef stock); add to tomato mixture.
Heat in a small stockpot or large sauce pan over medium for about 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add heavy cream and warm through, about 5 more minutes.
Season as desired. Serves 5.
Blend any of the following ingredients with tomatoes before heating:
- 2 – Garlic cloves (or roasted garlic cloves)
- 1 – small Onion
- 2 – Celery stalks (or 1 tsp – Celery seed)
- 2 cups – Fresh Spinach
- 1 – Chile in adobo (for a slight Tex-Mex zing)