From left: Black rice, poppy seeds, Merlot-infused sea salt, black sesame seeds, black lava sea salt
At T. Rex & the Rabbit Foods, our all-time favorite holiday is Halloween. And it always has been. We used to go all out; that is until we moved to our small town where we have not had one trick-or-treater in seven years...BOO! HISS!
Anyway, we always had the “basics”: parties, tombstones, and creepy noises. But we liked to challenge our creativity. One year, Rabbit even made an unfortunately square-headed mummy with a blinking eye out of burlap, drywall mud, and old latex paint while T. Rex fashioned a cooler to a fog machine so the fog rolled along the floor instead of rising to the ceiling and setting off the smoke detector. Old closet doors became a Gothic fireplace and the bathroom was always the host to a creepy or wickedly humorous tableau. We replaced our bulbs with black or red ones. We are still the proud owners of a spider web spanning 20 feet, tons of bones, and a small skeleton that finds itself in interesting positions. Last year, as an homage to starting a food company, that skeleton became a chef roasting itself on a spit: how gruesomely funny is that?
And because we’re a food company, of course, we can’t forget Halloween food. It’s coming. Yes, there will be pumpkin-y and squash-y and maybe some apple-y things. Greenish foods. Foods that ride the line between looking too gross to eat and tasting delicious. That’s the goal—or should I say, “ghoul” (groan!): simple, tasty Halloween food that emphasizes but also plays around with traditional harvest flavors.
But if you’re more excited by creeping up your own favorite dishes, think black, red, purple, and gloppy green foods. Red cabbage, purple cauliflower, maroon-colored carrots, or purple potatoes make the basics exciting. Add squid ink to rice or pasta; the bonus is that it turns your guests’ tongues black…you know, kind of like they were poisoned! Or place a Halloween stencil over a bowl of hummus, fill it with either black sesame seeds or poppy seeds, and lift it off gently; in my opinion, hummus always looks better decorated with a skull and cross bones or a large bat! Black rice, also called “forbidden rice”, tastes delicious but looks a bit like mouse droppings. Sea salt infused with red wine adds a menacing purple-red hue to creamy sauces or desserts while black lava sea salt is beautiful against a background of roasted squash. Homemade or store-bought basil pesto makes perfect toxic waste. A garnish of jerky looks like strips of skin. Dried cayenne peppers become witch’s fingernails while dried anchos are mini-hearts sucked of blood by a vampire. And beet juice stirred into scrambled eggs becomes a horror on the plate....delicious!
All of this food:
Some gross, some not.
Some is dark black
Some looks like snot.
It may ooze blood
Like a split spleen…
Food is scary
Stay tuned, our friends!