Homemade caramel apples, popcorn balls and spooks, oh my!


Orange and black decorations hang in the window, pumpkins big and small line front porches and an array of colored leaves litter the lawn.

It's Halloween time!

Halloween or All Hallows Eve is a fun day for children and young-spirited adults as well. Time to decorate the house in ghoulish décor, carve fun and clever images on our favorite fall squash, select this year's costume and cook up some holiday-inspired grub.

In my childhood home, costume parties were a yearly event, complete with a mini haunted house, telling ghost stories, apple bobbing and watching horror movies.

Amid all the festive fun, warm, hearty chili-topped hot dogs were served to balance out all the sugary treats being consumed.

Rather than the traditional store-bought candies, trick-or-treaters visiting our house were offered homemade candied popcorn balls or nutty caramel apples. Living in a small community, homemade goodies were gladly accepted and enjoyed.

Children have since been warned not to take handmade treats from anyone and popcorn balls and caramel apples have almost become a thing of the past. But Halloween classics like these cannot be forgotten!

Let's bring back the homemade treats at Halloween time, even if it's only for your friends and family. Much more interesting and healthy than a regular ol' candy bar that can be found any time of the year, homemade treats take a little more time but are well worth the trouble. Consider whipping up a batch for your little and big ghosts and goblins.

There are a quite a few recipes circulating out there for popcorn balls, the traditional made with sugar and butter, the other with marshmallows, Rice Krispies-style. I prefer the traditional, using sugar instead of corn syrup.

Melissa Davis is a local chef with a bachelor's degree in nutrition. She can be reached at jadenluna@gmail.com. More of her writing is at www.melissadavisfood.com


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