When my South African fellow munchier suggested a Halloween theme for this month’s challenge with October being THE month when all scary stuff happens, adults get their fix on scary costumes while kids run high on sugar, the memories of the school imposing on parents to bring Halloweenie dishes for the kids when we were still living in Bangkok came flooding back.
It’s that time of the year I dreaded most because…another Halloween had meant another costume to be bought and money wasted for an outfit that was being used only for a few hours, once a year.
It also meant another night of effort to prepare a dish for the kids to bring along after my tiring long weeks, days and hours spent at work. Everything about it felt spookier than Halloween itself. Plus, making anything Halloweenie is not quite my forte.
Every year, I cracked my skull hard to come up with something easy, quick, kid-friendly and healthy. I subsequently came to a realisation that Halloween dishes while fun can be quite a pain in the arse to make.
And mind you, the school imposedthis requirement on us (over-worked) parents. That to me just took all the fun element away!
Despite all that bitching, Mommy-guilt triumphed (thank you, Evil School!); each year with sub-par attempt of scary dishes and a story to tell (click on the link below each image):
We missed out 2015. I think we were out of town and I remember that the kids were upset that they missed Halloween in school. But! I was over the moon! That means being spared yet another ordeal and minimising the death of my already not-so-many brain cells to think of yet another ghoulish goodies.
Fast forward to now, I approached Gen’s challenge with some apprehension yet fueled with a dash of unabashed bravado. I picked Silver Bullet’s brain only to be told that Halloween is not widespread and rarely celebrated in Holland. Whaaaa…t!
Then I began my research; both on Halloween in Holland and food ideas on Pinterest.
As I discovered, while it is true the Dutch is not big on the usual 31st October Halloween, they do however traditionally celebrate the autumn festival on 11th November. Kids would go door to door wearing only masks and they would sing songs at all of their neighbours for candy. This is done in conjunction with St. Martin day (the day St. Martin died) – a former Roman soldier who became a monk. He was known for his generosity and kindness.
After all that hoolabaloos and back to our Halloween challenge this month, I decided to fuse in a little Dutch traditional favourite with pannakoek (pancakes) and inject a little fun for the kids with ghostly shapes of Casper, the friendly ghost. Or something that would individually appear Casperish and/or ghostlike.
I hereby introduce you to…
Something fun, something easy, something anything! All you need is a basic pancake recipe, fruits for deco and your imagination to shape things up!
1.5 cups low fat milk (Slightly more if you prefer a thin batter like I do)
1 tspn vanilla essence (optional)
2 tbsp olive oil
Butter for frying
Some blueberries, halved for the eyes
Coco crunch cereal
Decorative sugar pen
Sift and mix all dry ingredients in a bowl
Make a well in the center and pour in milk. Mix well with the flour
Add both eggs, oil and vanilla (if using).
Whisk thoroughly until all of the lumps are dissolved. Strain batter with a strainer if you prefer to get rid of excess lumps
Heat a flat pan with some butter. When the pan is heated and butter sizzles, make your desired shapes on the hot pan using a batter dispenser (I used a plastic hot sauce bottle)
After about 10 seconds, check if the bottom turns slightly brown, then flip over to brown the other side
At this stage, place the blueberries for the eyes
Once the under side turns brown, remove from heat
Repeat till all the batter is used up
When the pancakes are slightly cooled, draw the scary mouths or use a piece of cereal for the mouths
Get creative with all the various shapes you can think of. Most importantly, have fun and be sure to capture the glisters in your children's eyes!
Grubbs n Critters http://grubbsncritters.com/
From the batter to the different forms, shapes and sizes…the smiles, the laughter and the sparkle in their eyes were enough to make my day. I’ll do it all over again.The effort was all worth it!
Believe it or not, my only taste of the pancake was the first 2 pieces I made as a test and those were all I had. The rest that you see here and more, Spud and Squirt had, to my delight devoured every single pannakoek there was. The “Boos” were the first to go for some reason. There was none left for us parents!
My final verdict: Completely out of shape and a ton of priceless, memorable fun!
As for the 11th next month, I’ll have to do a check-in of doing this Treat-no-Trick the Dutch way. Meantime, I’m gonna have to pop over to Gen over at Eat, Play, Clove to get some inspiration on all things spookie and halloweenie!
Monthly Mystery Munchies features every first Friday of the month in collaboration with Gen, Author of Eat, Play, Clove. I think I’ve got an idea for next month’s challenge and it’s going to be pretty interesting!