How to Host a Horror-ble Party

One traditional food associated with Halloween is popcorn balls. Kids love making them because they can get their hands all sticky and they offer lots of possibilities for decorating. Find some orange cellophane you can use for wrapping. Tie with orange and black curling ribbon.

Try this recipe for popcorn balls.

  • 1/2 cup margarine
  • 2 10-oz packages white marshmallows, large
  • 20 cups popped popcorn

Stir in the popcorn until it's covered well with melted marshmallow and the mixture starts to get stringy. Let stand for five minutes. For ease of handling, smear butter on your hands and form the mixture into balls. Let cool and wrap.

Here's another recipe for popcorn balls:

  • One quart of popped corn (1/2 cup unpopped kernels), kept warm in the oven
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1/3 teaspoon vinegar

Combine the sugar, water, salt, and vinegar in a saucepan and bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Cover and cook over medium heat for about three minutes. Uncover and cook until it forms a soft ball when dropped in very cold water. Pour over warm popped corn, mixing with a wooden spoon. Raisins, nuts, chocolate chips, dried fruit, or candy corn can be added to the mixture if you like. When it's cool enough to handle, but still warm, butter hands and shape into balls.

Make a paste of powdered sugar and water and use as "glue" to attach candy pieces, nuts, or raisins for adding faces. Let cool completely, wrap with cellophane and tie with a ribbon.

Look for ways of taking "normal" foods and making them spooky Halloween foods by adding or dipping in food coloring. Peeled apple slices with the ends dipped in red food coloring become "bloody claws." Whatever drink you make, be sure it's green! Kool-Aid works well or you can add green food coloring to clear soda. Add peeled grapes (you know... eyeballs!) to the punch bowl. Use your imagination.

How about a brain salad? You can buy a jello mold from various catalogs for this or you can make your own version. Cook elbow macaroni and add food coloring to the water to make it a pinkish gray. Drain and put into a dome-shaped bowl (a stainless steel mixing bowl works well) that's been sprayed with cooking spray. Push it down well so the elbows stick together. Refrigerate and unmold just before serving. Slice it and cover with red sauce.

Instead of sugary party favors, do some "make and take" kitchen crafts. Make up sugar cookie dough and let it chill in the refrigerator. You can either have kids slice the cookies, bake, then decorate them with icings and toppings, or you could roll them out and let kids cut them out with cookie cutters. Look for cookie cutters in Halloween shapes and make enough so kids can have some for refreshments and still have goodies to take home.

More on: Halloween

Excerpted from The Complete Idiot's Guide to Crafts with Kids © 1998 by Georgene Lockwood. All rights reserved including the right of reproduction in whole or in part in any form. Used by arrangement with Alpha Books, a member of Penguin Group (USA) Inc.

To order this book visit the Idiot's Guide web site or call 1-800-253-6476.


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