Secret Ingredient Stuffed Eggs Recipe

After finding hidden Easter eggs, discover this recipe by Taste of Home©

Yield: 1 dozen

Secret Ingredient Stuffed Eggs

Photo by Taste of Home©

 

Ingredients:

 

  • 6 hard-boiled large eggs
  • 4 tablespoons crumbled goat cheese, divided
  • 3 tablespoons finely chopped pecans, divided
  • 3 tablespoons mayonnaise
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped celery
  • 2 tablespoons mango chutney
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon pepper

 

 

Directions: 

  1. Cut eggs in half lengthwise. Remove yolks; set whites aside. In a small bowl, mash yolks. Add 3 tablespoons goat cheese, 2 tablespoons pecans, mayonnaise, celery, chutney, salt and pepper; mix well. Stuff into egg whites. Refrigerate until serving.
  2. Just before serving, sprinkle with remaining goat cheese and pecans.

 

Nutrition Facts

1 each: 94 calories, 7g fat (2g saturated fat), 110mg cholesterol, 140mg sodium, 3g carbohydrate (2g sugars, 0 fiber), 4g protein.

Originally published as Secret Ingredient Stuffed Eggs in Country Woman April/May 2010

Betty Crocker’s™ Bunny Butt Cake

Yield: 15 Servings

Ingredients:

  • 1 box Betty Crocker™ SuperMoist™ yellow or white cake mix  (Water, vegetable oil and eggs called for on cake mix box)
  • Tray or cardboard covered with wrapping paper and plastic food wrap or foil
  • 1 container Betty Crocker™ Rich & Creamy vanilla frosting or make the Buttercream Frosting recipe below
  • Red food coloring
  • 1 large marshmallow, cut in half
  • 3 cups shredded coconut
  • Green food coloring
  • 2 strawberry or cherry stretchy and tangy taffy candies (from 6-oz bag)
  • 1 roll Betty Crocker™ Fruit Roll-Ups® punch berry chewy fruit snack (from 5-oz box)
  • 3 green-colored sour candies, separated into strips
  • Construction paper

Directions:

  1. Heat oven to 325°F. Grease 1 1/2-quart ovenproof bowl (8 inches across top) with shortening; coat with flour (do not use cooking spray). Lightly grease 3 muffin cups in regular-size muffin pan.
  2. Make cake batter as directed on box. Pour cake batter in 3 muffin cups, filling two-thirds full. Pour remaining batter into 1 1/2-quart bowl.
  3. Bake cupcakes 17 to 21 minutes, bowl 47 to 53 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes. Remove cakes from muffin cups and bowl; place rounded sides up on cooling racks. Cool completely, about 1 hour. If necessary, cut off rounded tops of cakes.
  4. Spoon frosting into large bowl. Add red food color to make desired pink color. Place bowl cake on tray cut side down; spread 1/3 cup frosting over cake. Use frosting to adhere cupcakes to bowl cake for feet and bunny tail. Use toothpicks if necessary. Place marshmallow halves, cut sides down, on tops of 2 cupcakes to make heels of feet. Spread thin layer of frosting over side and top of cake to seal in crumbs. Freeze cake 30 to 45 minutes to set frosting.
  5. Spread remaining frosting over cake. Sprinkle with 2 cups of the coconut; press gently to adhere. Shake 1 cup coconut and 3 drops green food color in tightly covered jar until evenly tinted. Surround bunny with tinted coconut. Use rolling pin to press strawberry candies into 2 large rectangles. Cut 2 large ovals and 6 small circles out of candy. Press onto bottoms of bunny feet, using frosting if needed.
  6. Roll up fruit snack to make carrot shapes. Cut green sour candies in half crosswise; press into large end of each carrot to make greens on carrot. Cut ears from construction paper; wrap ends that will be inserted into cake with plastic food wrap. Insert into cake. Remove ears, plastic wrap and toothpicks before serving. Store loosely covered.

Further Instructions on how to assemble your Bunny Butt Cake, click here!

Betty Crocker™ Bunny Butt Cake

Click here for assembly instructions for the Betty Crocker™ Bunny Butt Cake (Photo by Betty Crocker™)

Expert Tips: 

  • Need to bake cake layers in batches? Just cover and refrigerate batter in the mixing bowl while the first batch is baking. An extra minute or two for baking the second batch may be needed.
  • Sprinkle chocolate cookie crumbs behind the feet and around the carrots to make it look like the bunny was digging.

Buttercream Frosting

Ingredients:

  • 4 cups powdered sugar
  • 1/2 cup butter or margarine, softened
  • 1/2 cup shortening
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla or almond extract

Directions:

  1. In large bowl, beat powdered sugar, butter and shortening with electric mixer on low speed until blended. Beat in milk and vanilla on medium speed until smooth. If necessary, stir in milk, a few drops at a time, until spreadable.
    Frosts two 13×9-inch cakes, or fills and frosts two 8- or 9-inch two-layer cakes.

Martha Stewart’s Turmeric and Lemon “Tea”

Here’s a little recipe from Martha Stewart that should soothe the throat and relax the nerves.  A cup of tea helps any situation, right?

Homemade Turmeric and Lemon Tea

Recipe photo courtesy of Aaron Dyer

Yield: 1 Quart

Ingredients:

  • 3 1/2 cups water
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric
  • 3 tablespoons honey
  • Peel (without pith) of 1 lemon
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • Pinch of cayenne

 

Directions: 

  1. Bring the ingredients to a boil in a saucepan.
  2. Remove from heat; steep, covered, until the liquid cools to room temperature.
  3. Strain and reheat to serve.

 

The brews can be stored in the refrigerator for up to a week.

 

 

Grandma K’s Turkey Gravy Recipe

Here’s a stress-free recipe that’ll impress Grandma herself! Seasonings and a shallot add wonderful flavor` to this velvety gravy, which tastes just as good the next day. —Jesse Klausmeier, Burbank, California

 

Grandma K's Turkey Gravy

Photo by Taste of Home©

Yield: 2 cups (approx. 16 servings)

Ingredients:

  • Reduced-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 shallot, finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon poultry seasoning
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper

 

Directions: 

  1. Pour drippings into a 2-cup measuring cup. Skim fat, reserving 1/4 cup. Add enough broth to the drippings to measure 2 cups.
  2. Saute shallot in reserved fat in a small saucepan. Stir in the flour, salt, onion powder, poultry seasoning and pepper until blended; cook and stir for 2 minutes or until browned (do not burn). Gradually add broth. Bring to a boil; cook and stir for 2 minutes or until thickened.

 

Originally published as Grandma’s Turkey Gravy in Simple & Delicious October/November 2012, p46

Southern Corn Bread Dressing Recipe

Southern Corn Bread Dressing

Photo by Taste of Home©

Yield: 10 Servings

Ingredients: 

  • 8 cups coarsely crumbled corn bread
  • 4 hard-boiled large eggs, chopped
  • 1 medium green pepper, finely chopped
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 2 celery ribs, finely chopped
  • Turkey giblets, finely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons poultry seasoning
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 3 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 3 cups chicken broth

 

Directions: 

  1. Preheat oven to 350°. In a large bowl, combine first 10 ingredients. In another bowl, whisk eggs and broth. Add to bread mixture; stir until moistened.
  2. Transfer to a greased 13×9-in. baking dish. Bake, uncovered, 40-45 minutes or until lightly browned and a thermometer inserted in the center reads 160°.

 

Originally published as Southern Corn Bread Dressing in Simple & Delicious October/November 2010, p51

Cranberry Brie Appetizer — Your Homebased Mom

Appetizers are my favorite part of a meal and this Cranberry Brie is at the top of the list. It’s the perfect holiday appetizer for any parties on your calendar or your own holiday meals. Many times appetizers are an overlooked part of a meal but I love to fix a couple of really good…

via Cranberry Brie Appetizer — Your Homebased Mom

Mashed Cauliflower au Gratin Recipe

Yield: 12 Servings  (3/4 cup each)

Mashed Cauliflower au Gratin

Photo by Taste of Home©

Ingredients:

  • 2 large heads cauliflower, broken into florets
  • 1-1/2 cups shredded Parmesan cheese
  • 1 cup shredded Colby-Monterey Jack cheese
  • 6 tablespoons butter, cubed
  • 3/4 teaspoon garlic salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon Montreal steak seasoning

TOPPING:

  • 1 cup (4 ounces) Italian-style panko (Japanese) bread crumbs
  • 1/4 cup butter, melted

 

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350°. Place cauliflower in a stockpot; add water to cover. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer, uncovered, 10-12 minutes or until very tender. Drain; transfer to a large bowl. Mash cauliflower; stir in cheeses, cubed butter and seasonings. Transfer to a greased 3-qt. or 13×9-in. baking dish.
  2. In a small bowl, mix bread crumbs and melted butter until evenly coated; sprinkle over cauliflower mixture. Bake, uncovered, 40-50 minutes or until heated through and topping is golden brown.

 

Freeze option: Cool unbaked casserole; cover and freeze. To use, partially thaw in refrigerator overnight. Remove from refrigerator 30 minutes before baking. Preheat oven to 350°. Bake casserole as directed, increasing time as necessary to heat through and for a thermometer inserted in center to read 165°.

Nutritional Facts
3/4 cup equals 238 calories, 17 g fat (10 g saturated fat), 41 mg cholesterol, 612 mg sodium, 14 g carbohydrate, 4 g fiber, 9 g protein.

 

Originally published as Mashed Cauliflower Au Gratin in Taste of Home October/November 2012, p79

The Raven by Edgar Allan Poe

Here’s The Simpsons’ version with a little help from James Earl JonesClick Here to Watch or read the original shown below.

 

By Edgar Allan Poe (1809-1849)

"The Raven" depicts a mysterious raven's midnight visit to a mourning narrator, as illustrated by John Tenniel (1858).

“The Raven” depicts a mysterious raven’s midnight visit to a mourning narrator, as illustrated by John Tenniel (1858).(1809–1849)\

Once upon a midnight dreary, while I pondered, weak and weary,
Over many a quaint and curious volume of forgotten lore—
While I nodded, nearly napping, suddenly there came a tapping,
As of some one gently rapping, rapping at my chamber door.
“’Tis some visitor,” I muttered, “tapping at my chamber door—
Only this and nothing more.”

Ah, distinctly I remember it was in the bleak December;
And each separate dying ember wrought its ghost upon the floor.
Eagerly I wished the morrow;—vainly I had sought to borrow
From my books surcease of sorrow—sorrow for the lost Lenore—
For the rare and radiant maiden whom the angels name Lenore—
Nameless here for evermore.

And the silken, sad, uncertain rustling of each purple curtain
Thrilled me—filled me with fantastic terrors never felt before;
So that now, to still the beating of my heart, I stood repeating
“’Tis some visitor entreating entrance at my chamber door—
Some late visiter entreating entrance at my chamber door;—
This it is and nothing more.”

Presently my soul grew stronger; hesitating then no longer,
“Sir,” said I, “or Madam, truly your forgiveness I implore;
But the fact is I was napping, and so gently you came rapping,
And so faintly you came tapping, tapping at my chamber door,
That I scarce was sure I heard you”—here I opened wide the door;—
Darkness there and nothing more.

Deep into that darkness peering, long I stood there wondering, fearing,
Doubting, dreaming dreams no mortal ever dared to dream before;
But the silence was unbroken, and the stillness gave no token,
And the only word there spoken was the whispered word, “Lenore?”
This I whispered, and an echo murmured back the word, “Lenore!”—
Merely this and nothing more.

Back into the chamber turning, all my soul within me burning,
Soon again I heard a tapping somewhat louder than before.
“Surely,” said I, “surely that is something at my window lattice;
Let me see, then, what thereat is, and this mystery explore—
Let my heart be still a moment and this mystery explore;—
’Tis the wind and nothing more!”

raven on a crossOpen here I flung the shutter, when, with many a flirt and flutter,
In there stepped a stately Raven of the saintly days of yore;
Not the least obeisance made he; not a minute stopped or stayed he;
But, with mien of lord or lady, perched above my chamber door—
Perched upon a bust of Pallas just above my chamber door—
Perched, and sat, and nothing more.

Then this ebony bird beguiling my sad fancy into smiling,
By the grave and stern decorum of the countenance it wore,
“Though thy crest be shorn and shaven, thou,” I said, “art sure no craven,
Ghastly grim and ancient Raven wandering from the Nightly shore—
Tell me what thy lordly name is on the Night’s Plutonian shore!”
Quoth the Raven “Nevermore.”

Much I marvelled this ungainly fowl to hear discourse so plainly,
Though its answer little meaning—little relevancy bore;
For we cannot help agreeing that no living human being
Ever yet was blessed with seeing bird above his chamber door—
Bird or beast upon the sculptured bust above his chamber door,
With such name as “Nevermore.”

But the Raven, sitting lonely on the placid bust, spoke only
That one word, as if his soul in that one word he did outpour.
Nothing farther then he uttered—not a feather then he fluttered—
Till I scarcely more than muttered “Other friends have flown before—
On the morrow he will leave me, as my Hopes have flown before.”
Then the bird said “Nevermore.”

Startled at the stillness broken by reply so aptly spoken,
“Doubtless,” said I, “what it utters is its only stock and store
Caught from some unhappy master whom unmerciful Disaster
Followed fast and followed faster till his songs one burden bore—
Till the dirges of his Hope that melancholy burden bore
Of ‘Never—nevermore’.”

But the Raven still beguiling all my fancy into smiling,
Straight I wheeled a cushioned seat in front of bird, and bust and door;
Then, upon the velvet sinking, I betook myself to linking
Fancy unto fancy, thinking what this ominous bird of yore—
What this grim, ungainly, ghastly, gaunt, and ominous bird of yore
Meant in croaking “Nevermore.”Quote The Raven, "Nevermore"

This I sat engaged in guessing, but no syllable expressing
To the fowl whose fiery eyes now burned into my bosom’s core;
This and more I sat divining, with my head at ease reclining
On the cushion’s velvet lining that the lamp-light gloated o’er,
But whose velvet-violet lining with the lamp-light gloating o’er,
She shall press, ah, nevermore!

Then, methought, the air grew denser, perfumed from an unseen censer
Swung by Seraphim whose foot-falls tinkled on the tufted floor.
“Wretch,” I cried, “thy God hath lent thee—by these angels he hath sent thee
Respite—respite and nepenthe from thy memories of Lenore;
Quaff, oh quaff this kind nepenthe and forget this lost Lenore!”
Quoth the Raven “Nevermore.”

“Prophet!” said I, “thing of evil!—prophet still, if bird or devil!—
Whether Tempter sent, or whether tempest tossed thee here ashore,
Desolate yet all undaunted, on this desert land enchanted—
On this home by Horror haunted—tell me truly, I implore—
Is there—is there balm in Gilead?—tell me—tell me, I implore!”
Quoth the Raven “Nevermore.”

“Prophet!” said I, “thing of evil!—prophet still, if bird or devil!
By that Heaven that bends above us—by that God we both adore—
Tell this soul with sorrow laden if, within the distant Aidenn,
It shall clasp a sainted maiden whom the angels name Lenore—
Clasp a rare and radiant maiden whom the angels name Lenore.”
Quoth the Raven “Nevermore.”

“Be that word our sign of parting, bird or fiend!” I shrieked, upstarting—
“Get thee back into the tempest and the Night’s Plutonian shore!
Leave no black plume as a token of that lie thy soul hath spoken!
Leave my loneliness unbroken!—quit the bust above my door!
Take thy beak from out my heart, and take thy form from off my door!”
Quoth the Raven “Nevermore.”Edgar Allan Poe and the Raven

And the Raven, never flitting, still is sitting, still is sitting
On the pallid bust of Pallas just above my chamber door;
And his eyes have all the seeming of a demon’s that is dreaming,
And the lamp-light o’er him streaming throws his shadow on the floor;
And my soul from out that shadow that lies floating on the floor
Shall be lifted—nevermore!

 

 

Pumpkin Spice Dip

Recipe by Diabetic Living Magazine

Pumpkin Spice Dip

Photo by Eating Well/Diabetic Living Magazine

 

Yield: 16 Servings

Ingredients:

  • 3 ounces reduced-fat cream cheese (Neufchatel), softened 
  • ¾ cup canned pumpkin (see Tip below)
  • 1 (6 ounce) container vanilla fat-free yogurt
  • 2 tablespoons packed brown sugar (see Tip)
  • 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
  • 4 apples, sliced
  • 48 honey-wheat braided pretzel twists

 

Directions:

  1. In a medium bowl beat cream cheese with an electric mixer until light and fluffy. Beat in pumpkin, yogurt, brown sugar, and pumpkin pie spice. Serve dip with apple slices and honey-wheat braided pretzel twists.

 

 

*Tips:

If you have leftover pumpkin, transfer it to an airtight container or freezer bag. Refrigerate for up to 1 week or freeze up to 3 months.

It is not recommended using a sugar substitute for this recipe.

Halloween Trivia

Trick or treating comes from the Middle-Age practice of the poor dressing up in costumes and going around door to door during Hallowmas begging for food or money in exchange for prayers. The food given was often a Soul Cake, which was a small round cake which represented a soul being freed from Purgatory when the cake was eaten.

The tradition of adding pranks into the Halloween mix started to turn ugly in the 1930’s and a movement began to substitute practical jokes for kids going door to door collecting candy.

Happy Halloween

Trick or Treat!

  • Orange and black are Halloween colors because orange is associated with Fall.  The color black is associated with darkness and death.
  • Halloween candy sales average about 2 billion dollars annually in the United States.
  • Chocolate candy bars top the list as the most popular candy for trick-or-treaters with Snickers as Number 1.
  • Candy corn was first made in the 1880s, and it was only more March through November.
  • Over 93% of children will go trick-or-treating. Approximately 84% of trick-or-treaters say candy and gum are their favorites with chocolate candy preferred by 50% and non-chocolate by 24%.
  • Kids’ least favorite items to get in their trick-or-treat bags are fruit and salty snacks like chips and pretzels.
  • Tootsie Rolls were the first wrapped penny candy in America.
  • Candy corn was invented in the 1880s by George Renninger of the Wunderies Candy Company.
    National Candy Corn Day is on October 30th.
  • There are 25 colors of M&Ms, the most popular candy sold in the U.S.
  • It takes an average of 252 licks to get to the center of a Tootsie Pop.
  • San  Francisco is the number one U.S. city for trick-or-treating
  • In 1955, UNICEF (United Nations Children Fund) for Halloween program began.  The original idea started in 1950 in Philadelphia, when a Sunday School class had the idea of collecting money for needy children when trick-or-treating.  They sent the money they made, about $17, to UNICEF which was inspired by the idea and started a trick-or-treat program in 1955.
  • A study from the National Retail Federation shows Americans spent over $300 million on pet costumes last year!

Halloween is also know by other names:

All Hallows Eve
Samhain
All Hallowtide
The Feast of the Dead
The Day of the Dead

  • The tradition of bobbing for apples originated from the Roman harvest festival that honors Pomona, the goddess of fruit trees.
  • Jack o’ Lanterns originated in Ireland where people placed candles in hollowed-out turnips to keep away spirits and ghosts on the Samhain holiday.
  • Pumpkins also come in white, blue and green.
  • There are no words in the dictionary that rhyme with orange, the color of pumpkin.
  • The ancient Celts thought that spirits and ghosts roamed the countryside on Halloween night. They began wearing masks and costumes to avoid being recognized as human.
  • Halloween was brought to North America by immigrants from Europe who would celebrate the harvest around a bonfire, share ghost stories, sing, dance and tell fortunes.
  • Halloween is the 2nd most commercially successful holiday, with Christmas being the first.
  • Halloween also is recognized as the 3rd biggest party day after New Year’s and Super Bowl Sunday.
  • The fear of Halloween is known as Samhainopobia.

Monster Trivia & Folklore

  • Signs of a werewolf are a unibrow, hair palms, tattoos, and a long middle finger.Werewolf in the light of a full moon
  • Vampires are mythical beings who defy death by sucking the blood of humans.
  • In 1962, The Count Dracula Society was founded by Dr. Donald A. Reed.
  • Dracula means “Devil’s son.”  Bram Stoker’s creation “Dracula” was based on the life of Prince Vlad Tepes (1431-1476). He was also called Vlad the Impaler since he had a bad habit of impaling his victims on stakes. The name “Dracula” is Romanian for Devil’s Son.  Vlad Draculas father was a knight of the Order of the Draco (or dragon), so Dracula also translates as “the son of Draco.”
  • To this day, there are vampire clubs and societies with people claiming to be real vampires.
  • There really are so-called vampire bats, but they’re not from Transylvania. They live in Central and South America and feed on the blood of cattle, horses and birds.
  • According to legend, you can kill a vampire by cremate it, pound a stake through its heart or bury it at a crossroads.  Sunlight is also said to kill them. Different countries have different ideas of how to destroy vampires.  Garlic and crosses only keep vampires away.
  • Allegedly, “Revenge falls upon whoever opens the coffin of a mummy.”
  • The country most associated with mummies is Egypt.
  • Zombies often wear chains for they are slaves; slaves of their evil masters who have brought them to life using magic.
  • Two areas of the world particularly associated with the zombie myth are Africa and Haiti, a country on the island of Hispaniola.
  • Many people still believe that gargoyles were created by medieval architects and stone carvers to ward off evil spirits.

Witches

  • The word “witch” comes from the Old English wicce, meaning “wise woman.” In fact, wiccan were highly respected people at one time. According to popular belief, witches held one of their two main meetings, or sabbats, on Halloween night.
  • In the Middle Ages, many people believed that witches avoided detection by turning themselves into cats.
  • Black cats were once believed to be witch’s familiars who protected their powers.

Creepy Tidbits

  • If you see a spider on Halloween, it is the spirit of a loved on watching over you.
  • Worldwide, bats are vital natural enemies of night-flying insects.
  • The common little brown bat of North America has the longest life span for a mammal it’s size, with a life span averaging 32 years.
  • In about 1 in 4 autopsies, a major disease is discovered that was previously undetected.
  • In Medieval times, a spider was rolled in butter and used as a cure for diseases such as leprosy and the plague.
  • The famous magician, Harry Houdini, died on Halloween, 1926 in Detroit, MI.

The next full moon on Halloween night will be October 31, 2020.

haunted house, owl, spider and jack-o-lanterns

Happy Hallowe’en!

The owl is a popular Halloween image. In Medieval Europe, owls were thought to be witches, and to hear an owl’s call meant someone was about to die.

Halloween is Oct. 31 – the last day of the Celtic calendar. It actually was a pagan holiday honoring the dead.

Trick-or-treating evolved from the ancient Celtic tradition of putting out treats and food to placate spirits who roamed the streets at Samhain, a sacred festival that marked the end of the Celtic calendar year.

Halloween is correctly spelt as Hallowe’en.

Halloween is one of the oldest celebrations in the world, dating back over 2000 years to the time of the Celts who lived in Britain.

According to Irish legend, Jack O’Lanterns are named after a stingy man named Jack who, because he tricked the devil several times, was forbidden entrance into both heaven and hell. He was condemned to wander the Earth, waving his lantern to lead people away from their paths.

Halloween was originally a Celtic holiday celebrated on October 31.

Halloween was brought to North America by immigrants from Europe who would celebrate the harvest around a bonfire, share ghost stories, sing, dance and tell fortunes.

Obsolete Rituals focused on the Future and Love

But what about the Halloween traditions and beliefs that today’s trick-or-treaters have forgotten all about? Many of these obsolete rituals focused on the future instead of the past and the living instead of the dead. In particular, many had to do with helping young women identify their future husbands and reassuring them that they would someday—with luck, by next Halloween—be married.

  • In 18th-century Ireland, a matchmaking cook might bury a ring in her mashed potatoes on Halloween night, hoping to bring true love to the diner who found it.
  • In Scotland, fortune-tellers recommended that an eligible young woman name a hazelnut for each of her suitors and then toss the nuts into the fireplace. The nut that burned to ashes rather than popping or exploding, the story went, represented the girl’s future husband. (In some versions of this legend, confusingly, the opposite was true: The nut that burned away symbolized a love that would not last.)
  • Another tale had it that if a young woman ate a sugary concoction made out of walnuts, hazelnuts and nutmeg before bed on Halloween night she would dream about her future husband.
  • Young women tossed apple-peels over their shoulders, hoping that the peels would fall on the floor in the shape of their future husbands’ initials; tried to learn about their futures by peering at egg yolks floating in a bowl of water; and stood in front of mirrors in darkened rooms, holding candles and looking over their shoulders for their husbands’ faces.
  • Other rituals were more competitive. At some Halloween parties, the first guest to find a burr on a chestnut-hunt would be the first to marry; at others, the first successful apple-bobber would be the first down the aisle.
  • Bobbying for apples is a fertility rite, or a marriage divination and dates back to the Celtics. Unmarried people would try to bite into an apple floating in water or hanging from a string. The first person to bite into the apple would be the next one to marry.

bobbing for applesPumpkin Facts

  • Pumpkins are a member of the gourd family, which includes cucumbers, honeydew melons, cantaloupe, watermelons and zucchini. These plants are native to Central America and Mexico, but now grow on six continents.
  • The largest pumpkin pie ever baked was in 2005 and weighed 2,020 pounds.
  • Pumpkins have been grown in North America for five thousand years. They are indigenous to the western hemisphere.
  • In 1584, after French explorer Jacques Cartier explored the St. Lawrence region of North America, he reported finding “gros melons.” The name was translated into English as “pompions,” which has since evolved into the modern “pumpkin.”
  • Pumpkins are low in calories, fat, and sodium and high in fiber. They are good sources of Vitamin A, Vitamin B, potassium, protein, and iron.
  • The heaviest pumpkin weighed 1,810 lb 8 oz and was presented by Chris Stevens at the Stillwater Harvest Fest in Stillwater, Minnesota, in October 2010.
  • Pumpkin seeds should be planted between the last week of May and the middle of June. They take between 90 and 120 days to grow and are picked in October when they are bright orange in color. Their seeds can be saved to grow new pumpkins the next year.
  • The largest pumpkin ever measured was grown by Norm Craven, who broke the world record in 1993 with a 836 lb. pumpkin.
  • Stephen Clarke holds the record for the world’s fastest pumpkin carving time: 24.03 seconds, smashing his previous record of 54.72 seconds. The rules of the competition state that the pumpkin must weigh less than 24 pounds and be carved in a traditional way, which requires at least eyes, nose, ears, and a mouth.