The Great Pumpkin Feast
What is the Great Pumpkin Feast? It has been our family's alternative to trick or treating for many years. We gather together the last Saturday in October for an afternoon of fun and outdoor games. Everyone is included, young, old and middle-aged! The group is divided into teams and everyone is put on a team, regardless of age (and no husbands and wives are ever on the same team!) Candy is the treat or prize for all of the games. Following the games is a great feast -- a prelude to Thanksgiving.

What fun we had this year as we had to make a "sock" pumpkin. (I had white sweat socks, poster paint and brushes for everyone and they had to create their own pumpkin). Each team also had a CANDY Crossword puzzle to complete; a game played with pretzel letters; a word triangle to make using the letter A (The object was to build a triangular shape starting with the single letter A.. Then each word to follow had to be one letter longer. The triangle with the most words was the winner). Each team had to act out a scene in a submarine (what a riot); and then they had to draw a funny sandwich and describe what was in it to the group. (The pictures you see of people laughing was during the descriptions of these sandwiches).

Recipes on this page:

Apple Creamy

Chile Chicken Enchiladas

Lumberjack Thumbs

Ghost Cookies

Witches' Hats

Squash Apple Canape

Yolkensteins

Candied Pumpkin

Baaked Stuffed Pumpkin

Halloween Dessert

Bread Pudding Apple Pie

More family photos can be found on my family pages..

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We had as much fun eating as we did playing games. Apple Creamy is a wonderful "warmer-upper" drink -- which everyone loved as the sun went down and it got chilly. There was a little brown mouse with beady eyes and long tail on each person's plate when they sat down at the table. The salad was a Wiggly Pumpkin jello mold and the main course was Chile Chicken Enchiladas along with several side dishes. The "bread" was on the disgusting side -- Lumberjack Fingers! -- but they went over big with the kids! The hit of the night was the desserts: a basket full of Ghost Cookies, a plate full of Witches Hats and a Pumpkin Cheesecake with Chocolate Mice on the top. (Recipes below)

Apple Creamy
Back to top 2 21-oz. cans apple pie filling
2 cups half & half
2 cups ginger ale
1 cup apple cider
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 tsp. cinnamon

In blender, blend pie filling until smooth. Combine all the ingredients in large saucepan and mix well. Simmer over low heat until mixture is steamy, but do not boil. Can be served with a dollop of whipped topping if desired.

Chile Chicken Enchiladas
2 cups diced cooked chicken
6 oz. (1 1/2cups) grated cheddar or jack cheese
1 (4.5-oz) can chopped green chiles
1 cup sour cream
1 (10-oz.) can enchilada sauce
8 (8-inch) flour tortillas
6 oz. (1 1/2 cups) grated cheddar cheese

Heat oven to 350. Spray a 9x13 dish with cooking spray. Combine chicken, jack cheese, chiles and sour cream; mix well. Spread about 2 teaspoons enchilada sauce on each tortilla. Top each with 1/2 cup chicken mixture. Roll up tortillas; arrange, seam side down in baking dish. Top with any remaining enchilada sauce. Sprinkle with cheddar cheese. Spray sheet of foil with cooking spray and cover baking dish sprayed side down. Bake at 250 for 45-60 minutes or until heated through. If desired, remove foil last 5 minutes of baking.

Lumberjack Thumbs
8 small sandwich rolls
4 hotdogs
catsup
1 radish

Use the handle of a wooden spoon to push a 2-inch long hole into the end of each sandwich roll. Don’t push through the roll! Cut each hotdog in half, then cut a notch in the uncut end for the “nail bed”. Heat the hotdog through–either steam, boil or microwave. But watch them because if they get too hot they will lose their shape. Spoon a little catsup into each roll and then push a hotdog into each roll with the notched end sticking out. Cut 8 thin slices of radish and trim them into wedges to fit on the notched end of each hotdog to make fingernails. Serve with extra catsup for dipping.

Ghost Cookies

1 lb. white candy coating, cut into chunks
1 pkg. (1 lb.) Nutter Butter cookies
Mini chocolate chips

In double boiler, melt candy coating, stirring until melted. Dip cookies into coating, covering completely. Set on wax paper to cool. While coating is still warm, place 2 mini chips on each cookie for eyes. A bag makes about 3 dozen.

Witches’ Hats
1 pkg. (4-3/4 oz) chocolate sugar ice cream cones
12 thin chocolate wafers (2-1/4 inch diameter)
1 large container of whipped topping or whipped cream
4 squares (1 oz. each) semisweet chocolate
1/2 tsp. shortening
Halloween sprinkles

Melt chocolate and shortening, stirring until smooth. Dip pointed tips of ice cream cones a third of the way into melted chocolate; roll in sprinkles. Just before serving, spoon topping into cones (making sure it is to the top). Top each with a chocolate wafer (the topping will hold the cookie on) and invert onto a serving platter. Makes 1 dozen.

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Chocolate Mice
1 (1 oz.) Squares semisweet chocolate
1/3 cup sour cream
1 cup finely crushed chocolate after cookies
1/3 cup chocolate cookie crumbs
1/3 cup confectioners sugar
24 silver/gold dragees decorating candy
1/4 cup sliced almonds
12 long red vine licorice (or roll a piece of
a caramel into a long skinny strip)

Melt chocolate and mix with sour cream. Stir in 1 cup of chocolate wafer crumbs. Mix well. Cover and refrigerate until firm. Roll by tablespoons into balls. Mold to a slight point at one end. Roll into confectioners sugar (for white mice) or in chocolate wafer crumbs (for dark mice). On each mouse, place a gold or silver dragee in appropriate spot for eyes, almond slices for ears and a licorice string for the tail. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours until firm. These are delicious, too!

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For an appetizer I cut thin slices of neck pumpkins, lightly fried them and then served them on slices of party rye bread. Among the dinner menu was a small pumpkin baked full of fresh fruit salad, candied pumpkin, yolkensteins(!), abracadabra hat rolls, bobbing head punch, a Halloween dessert and bread pudding apple pie. (Recipes included below).

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Some of the decorations included, canning jars painted orange and decorated as a pumpkin with a votive candle set in the top and 3 stackable wood boxes painted orange and cute faces painted on them. To do a get together like this takes time to plan it, but you can go as far as your imagination will take you!! It definitely is a "looked-forward- to" time of year!

SQUASH APPLE CANAPE

Cut a butternut squash below the neck, into 1/4" slices. Cut slices into a shape with a cookie cutter. (I used an apple because it was the only one that would fit the piece of squash). Saute in margarine 2 minutes on each side until lightly brown. Drain on paper towel; sprinkle lightly with salt. Toast squares of party-size pumpernickel or rye bread; spread lightly with a cheese spread (like cheese whiz) and top with squash.

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YOLKENSTEINS

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Cut a thin slice from the wide end of a hard-boiled egg so it stands upright. For the eyes: cut a thin slice from 2 green olives. Put a dab of mayonnaise on each slice and stick on egg. For nose: use a peppercorn. For hair: poke a hole in the top of the egg with a toothpick, and stick1 or 2 pieces of parsley into the hole. Note: To make the eggs easier to work with, blot them dry with a paper towel.

CANDIED PUMPKIN
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8 cups 1" cubes of fresh pumpkin
1/2 c. brown sugar
1/4 c. granulated sugar
1 1/2 Tbls. flour
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. allspice
3/4 c. orange juice
1/4 c. maple syrup
3 Tbls. butter or margarine

Heat oven to 350. Put pumpkin pieces in a single layer on a lightly greased jelly roll pan (10 x 15 x 1). In sauce pan combine sugars, flour and spices. Add orange juice, maple syrup and butter, stirring until blended. Cook over medium heat about 5 minutes stirring occasionally. Pour over pumpkin. Bake 1 hour, spooning syrup over pumpkin every 15 minutes, until pumpkin is hot and syrup is bubbly. Serves about 12.

BAKED STUFFED PUMPKIN Back to top

Click to enlarge

1 medium sugar pumpkin
6 Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored and chopped
1 c. shopped walnuts
1 (16 oz) can whole cranberry sauce
1 (20 oz.)can pineapple chunks, drained
1 c. dried fruit, cut in pieces (apricots/dates, etc.)
3/4 c. brown sugar
1 c. golden raisins
1 Tbls. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. nutmeg

Heat oven to 350. Cut out top of pumpkin and set aside. Scoop out seeds with metal spoon. In large bowl, stir together all the ingredients and mix well. Spoon the mixture into the pumpkin and replace top. Set pumpkin in a baking dish or pan. Bake for 1 - 1 1/2 hours or until pumpkin begins to soften. Stir occasionally during the baking to make sure all the apples are cooked. To serve, remove top and scrape the sides gently so some pieces of pumpkin will fall into apple mixture. Serves 10-12.

HALLOWEEN DESSERT
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3 1/2 c. chocolate cookie crumbs
3/4 c. sugar, divided
1/2 c. margarine, melted
1 (8 oz.) and 1 (4 oz) pkg. cream cheese, softened
1 (12 oz.) container whipped topping
2 c. boiling water
3 (4 oz.) boxes orange jello
1/3 c. cold water

Mix 3 cups of the cookie crumbs and 1/2 cup sugar and margarine; press firmly into bottom of 9 x 13 pan. Refrigerate.

Beat cream cheese and remaining 1/4 cup sugar until smooth. Stir in 1/2 of the whipped topping. Spoon over crust. Stir boiling water into jello until dissolved. Mix cold water and stir. Refrigerate until it starts to gel. Spoon over cream cheese layer. Refrigerate 3 hours or until firm. Spread remaining whipped topping over gelatin. Sprinkle with remaining cookie crumbs. Decorate with candy corn and pumpkins. Serves 15-18.

BREAD PUDDING APPLE PIE Back to top

3 eggs
1 c. applesauce
1/2 c. vanilla yogurt
1/2 c. white sugar
1/2 c. brown sugar
1/2 c. rolled oats
1 tsp. cinnamon
3 c. bread cubes
2 apples, peeled, cored and chopped
1/4 c. brown sugar
1/4 c. flour
2 Tbls. Butter or margarine

Heat oven to 350. Mix together first 7 ingredients. Stir in bread and apples. Pour into unbaked pie crust. In another bowl stir together 1/4 c. brown sugar, flour and butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Sprinkle on top of pie. Bake for 1 hour or until top is golden and fruit is tender.