Treats designed to keep ghosts and goblins at bay
Sure it's late. But even the worst procrastinators don't need to panic. Some of the most memorable Halloween treats can be put together in about as much time as it takes for a spirit to appear.
Here are some suggestions for quick treats from those who are in the business of coming up with helpful home hints -- Alison Boteler, author of "The Children's Party Handbook," Dian Thomas of ABC's "Home Show," and Mary Jo Plutt of Better Homes and Gardens.
* Consider non-food gifts to ease the minds of parents who fear tampering. Stop at a discount store to pick up little crayons, whistles and small toy spiders. Make little packages with colored tissue paper and tie with a curly ribbon.
* A Tootsie Roll pop can be transformed into a miniature ghost. Wrap the head of the candy in a white paper towel, use a black marking pen to draw eyes and mouth and tie with an orange ribbon.
* Consider coupons from fast-food restaurants.
* Give a gift of protein: Hand out little packages of nuts.
* Make a silly snake. Cut a 14-by-15 3/4 -inch piece of clear plastic wrap. Place 6 unwrapped oval candies along the wrap; cover them with wrap and tie a colorful ribbon between each candy; make a final tie on the open end. To make a head, cut an oval piece of paper, fold it in half and draw a funny face on the top.
Make a hole in the center of the fold and draw a long piece of ribbon through the fold; tape in place. A curled ribbon makes a great snake tongue.
Classes in holiday foods
Run out of new ideas for holiday entertaining? The Christmas/Hanukkah season will be here before you can say "Gingerbread House."
Everyone -- from individual cooking teachers to schools for professional chefs -- is offering classes that can help you garner accolades.
* Ann Grieves, a Baltimore cooking teacher, is offering two sessions she calls "Holiday Celebrations." Session I will feature traditional recipes with some new twists and will be held from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Nov. 11 and Nov. 25. Session II will include hors d'oeuvres, casseroles and suggestions for purchased accompaniments and is scheduled for 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Dec. 4 and Dec. 11.
The cost is $110 for a two-session class with payment required in advance. Cancellations are prohibited, but substitute students are permitted. For more information, call 366-2522.
* Baltimore's International Culinary College is offering a variety of holiday classes, including a repeat of last year's sell-out classes on Gingerbread Houses for the Holidays and Hot and Cold Hors d'Oeuvres for Holiday Guests. Other courses: Cooking with Apples, Holiday Food Gifts (a four-part series), Creative Dishes for Holiday Leftovers and a class on Pumpkins, Peppers and Gourds.
The courses are offered 3 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Thursday at the school, 19 S. Gay St., Baltimore. Cost is $10 to $15 each and proceeds go toward purchasing books for the college's library and for funding scholarships. For more information, call 752-1446.
* L'Acadamie de Cuisine in Bethesda is also offering a series of holiday classes, starting with Thanksgiving for a Small Gathering at 7 p.m. Tuesday ($32) to an Alternative Christmas Feast featuring roasted goose with quince and candied black walnuts at 7 p.m. Nov. 23 ($35). December classes include a Gingerbread House Workshop, Kids' Gingerbread House, Holiday Cookies and A Great Christmas Dinner.
To register and for more information, call the school at (301) 986-9490.
Oyster fete at Fells Point
Get ready for the first Fells Point Oyster festival, a two-day event of shucking, cooking and serving one of Maryland's favorite mollusks.
The event, from noon to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday at Fells Point Market Square, will feature oysters prepared in every conceivable way, including oyster fritters, along with crab, clams, pit beef and pork. Go on board visiting Chesapeake Bay workboats to see demonstrations of harvesting techniques and equipment. And learn how to shuck oysters.
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