Halloween. It’s my favorite holiday of the year. And while I could certainly delve into the cultural significance of this holiday – there is a lot actually – I think that’s the subject of another blog. Nope, I’m going to focus on my favorite things about this holiday. For various reasons, I seem to be the go-to girl for Halloween parties. Okay, it’s because I proudly profess my love of this holiday all year round. I’m the kind of girl whose wardrobe contains mostly black items, who wears skull and crossbones earrings in March, and whose everyday glassware boasts a mélange of Halloween themes. I’m always overjoyed when stores start to carry Halloween themed items, because this is the one time of year that I can shop for my everyday home decorations. I’ve got a skull cookie jar that I picked up this year, and my salad tongs are plastic skeleton arms. But if you aren’t like me, it’s possible that you don’t have all this stuff ready for the holiday season. Never fear! Your Halloween party can still go off without a hitch. It’s not about what you have, it’s about the feeling you can create. Adult Halloween parties have really stepped up their game. The days of treat bags and screaming children have given way to elegant table settings and cleverly staged foods. Take one look at Pinterest and you’ll see the awesome party pictures that put anything I could ever do to shame.
I’ve failed spectacularly at some things from Pinterest in the past. So allow me to give you a few tips and tricks to help you have the best adult Halloween party ever!!
Do send out invitations. Your invitations help set the theme for your party. They are also something tangible that your friends can stick up on their refrigerators to remind them that you want to see them. Sure it’s easy to create an event on Facebook and just invite all your friends, but there’s something special about hand writing an invitation. If you’re planning an elegant dinner party, choose more sophisticated invitations.
I don’t know how many of you have black dinnerware, but that’s one piece of your elegant dinner party that’s essential for Halloween. White table linen will offset the black tableware. If you’re going for a gothic Halloween theme, you might choose a lace tablecloth and a satin table runner. Of course, no Halloween party is complete without a few strategically placed spiders, rats , and candles. Skulls are also a staple of the Halloween party, but as with anything, you can overdo it. Unless you’re going for kitschy, less is more.
The crowning gory (and that might be the best typo that ever happened in the history of typos)…er, GLORY of your Halloween party should be the desserts. You can come up with something on your own, or you could go with what’s easier and use a brain mold to make some gelatin brains! Don’t make the rookie mistake and just use red gelatin, though. For a more authentic looking dessert, use a flavor you wouldn’t normally use - like peach or watermelon or peach AND watermelon. Those flavors with pale colors make the grey color of real brains easier to replicate. I’m going to give a shout out to notyourmommascookie.com for doing all the leg work on this one.
What you’ll need:
1 brains mold
2 boxes of gelatin
1 12 oz. can of Fat Free evaporated milk
1 ¾ Cup boiling water
¾ Cup cold water (refrigerator temp, so REALLY cold)
Black food coloring
Grease your brains mold. (I can’t stress this enough. One time, in a mishap completely unrelated to gelatin brains, my grandmother lost a whole ring of gelatin down the sink.)
Mix the boxes of gelatin with the boiling water in a large bowl, stir to make sure all the gelatin dissolves.
Add your refrigerated water and stir in. Then stir in your evaporated milk.
Add your black food coloring, by the drop. Remember elementary school art class; you can only add color, you can never take it away. So make sure you thoroughly whisk the color through before you add any more.
Once you achieve the color you want, pour your brain liquid into your brain mold and chill until the center is set, or overnight.
PRO TIP: Unless you want to end up like my grandma and feel the tragedy of losing your hard work down the garbage disposal, don’t try to release your gelatin mold over the sink. Even if it’s stuck in there really good, resist the urge! You can always fill one side of your sink with hot water and gently place the brains mold in there with the plastic side down for a minute to melt the top part of the gelatin that is stuck to the mold.
Posted: Thursday, October 15, 2015