By GWEN SISSON
When Mississippi State University Day One students set the “Dirty Worm” dessert in front of the children at the Read or Treat Carnival, there was a few initial sounds of disgust.
But it did not take long for them to discover how good the “Dirty Worm” dessert really was, as they enjoyed the excitement under the “big top” as part of the Family Centered Programs, Oktibbeha County Families First Resource Center and Project Take-A-Break “Read or Treat” event.
Over 70 parents and children participated in the community-wide event that also involved a “Book Walk” game and a “spooky” story time.
The Starkville Kiwanis Club provided every child with a free book and craft.
Elmarie Brooks of Emerson Family Center said families won door prizes and had lots of fun.
Brooks said MSU’s Day One students organized and implemented the community event.
“Our Day One group was so glad to host Read or Treat at Emerson,” said MSU student Mattie Carter. “We have worked all semester to promote literacy in families, and the event was a way to encourage it in a fun way.”
Oktibbeha County Families First Resource Center offers free classes in parenting, healthy marriage, abstinence and responsible fatherhood. Project Take-A-Break offers free child care eight hours per week to give parents an opportunity to take a break. Both are funded by Mississippi Department of Human Services.
The programs are located at Emerson Family School is located at 1504 Louisville Street. Contact them at 320-4607.
Worm Dirt Pudding Cups for Halloween
Any flavor of instant pudding (make pudding as box instructions)
1 pkg. Oreo-type cookies
Gummy worms candy
In a plastic lunch bag, add oreo cookies, zip closed, sealing out the air, then crush cookies with hands or rolling pin.
Sprinkle crushed cookies on top of pudding cups, add gummy worms to top or partially buried in cookie crumbs.
For a few additional Halloween-inspired treats:
Take the “pigs in a blanket” concept to a new level with this clever treat. Simply wrap hot dogs with strips of dough cut from refrigerator biscuits or breadsticks to simulate the look of mummy shrouds. Place them on cookie sheets. Cut small slits for eyes and place peppercorns or black mustard seeds to serve as the eyes. Bake for about 15 minutes, or until golden brown. To serve upright, place shish kabob skewers in the mummies before baking and then stick the mummies in a piece of craft foam covered in cheesecloth.
What’s scarier than dismembered digits on a plate? All it takes is a package of mozzarella string cheese, a knife and some small, thin slices of green and red bell peppers for this gross delicacy. Cut the cheese sticks in half and then use a knife to carve straight indentations to simulate the bends in the skin around the knuckles of the fingers. At the top, carve out a flattened area for the fingernail. Then place very small slices of red or green peppers to serve as the spooky fingernails. Adhere with a dab of cream cheese.
This eerie bog will make children question what is inside. Make a large bowl of green gelatin dessert and pop in different edible creepy crawlies before allowing the gelatin to set. Gummy worms, grape “eyeballs,” sour fish, pieces of fruit tape, and anything else you can think of can be added. Kids will scoop out the dessert and discover the frightening things inside.
Turn ordinary potatoes into something seemingly more sinister. Halve baking potatoes and carve each half into a skull shape, sort of like the outline of a pear. Bake until the potatoes are cooked through. Frost with sour cream. Use pieces of cheese to mimic decaying teeth. Black olives can be eyes and nose sockets of the skull.
An open-faced quesadilla can be turned into a spooky specter. Cut ghost-shaped pieces from flour tortilla shells. Sprinkle with shredded Monterey jack cheese and allow to bake in the oven until the cheese has melted and the ghosts are crisp. Spread sour cream over the cheese and then use slices of scallion for the eyes and a ring of jalapeno pepper for a mouth. Ghosts can be made gory with salsa as blood.
What if veggies could suck blood? Conduct this science experiment and enjoy eating the research afterward. Cut the ends off of stalks of celery. Place the celery in a tall glass filled half-way with tomato juice overnight. The celery should absorb the juice through the thin channels in the stalks. The next day kids can bite into the stalks and see the red streaks inside.
Top cupcakes, cookies and cakes with delicate, homemade spiderwebs. Melt white chocolate baking melts in the microwave or per the manufacturer’s instructions. Use a squeeze bottle or a small spatula to drizzle the chocolate onto a piece of waxed paper in the shape of a spiderweb. Allow the chocolate to cool and then carefully peel off the paper.
Create a shepherd’s pie-inspired dinner that’s inspired by the look of brains. Make your favorite meatloaf or hamburger recipe and place into a ramekin or even cupcake pans. Whip up a batch of homemade or instant mashed potatoes. Using a pastry bag fitted with a basic hole cake decorating tip, pipe squiggly lines of potato across the meat. Bake for around 20 minutes, until meat is thoroughly cooked and potatoes are crisp.