Fall is here, although the leaves aren’t turning much, but all the fall and Halloween decorations are in all the yards and businesses. The fall harvest is coming along very well. With Halloween this weekend, we need to be extra careful driving and look out for trick or treaters and continue to watch out for all the big farm equipment as they finish up the harvest.

Here are few fun facts I found about Halloween. I thought you might enjoy them.

Halloween is the second largest commercial holiday in America.

Candy corn’s original name was Chicken Feed and created by the Wuuderlee Candy Company in 1880. It is one of the most popular Halloween candies. Americans purchase more than 20 million lbs. each year.

1.5 billion lbs. of pumpkin are produced in the U.S. each year, mostly used for Halloween.

Trick or treating goes back to medieval times. Young people wore masks and costumes for food and money in exchange for songs and poems.

The phrase trick or treat became popular in the 1950’s when Disney produced a cartoon called Trick or Treat featuring Donald Duck.

The name Jack-O-Lantern originated from an Irish folktale about a man named Stingy Jack who tricked the Devil over and over. When he died he walked the earth with only a carved out turnip and burning coal to light his way. Pumpkins are now used instead.

Chocolate candy is the most popular for Halloween.

The haunted house association estimates that the U.S. is home to about 1,200 haunted attractions that bring in $500 million a year.

A full moon on Halloween is very rare. The last was in 2001.

So much for that, now some recipes.

Devil’s Treats

1 12 oz. pkg. chocolate chips

1 T. butter

10 large marshmallows

1½ c. chow mein noodles

1 c. spanish peanuts

Melt chocolate and butter in top of double boiler. Stir in marshmallows. When they are nearly melted, stir in noodles and nuts. Drop by spoonfuls onto waxed paper. Chill several hours

Goblin’s Float

1 gal apple cider

2 quarts of vanilla ice cream

nutmeg

Chill cider, pour into tall glasses. Place 2 scoops of ice cream in the top of each glass and dash of nutmeg on top.

Quick and Easy Skillet Lasagna

1 lb. ground beef

1 24 oz. jar of pasta sauce

2 c. water

1 large red pepper, chopped

¼ c. Italian salad dressing

1 tsp. garlic powder

10 uncooked lasagna noodles broken into 2-in. pieces

1½ c. cottage cheese

1 c. shredded mozzarella cheese

Cook beef in skillet until no longer pink; drain stir in pasta sauce, water, red pepper, dressing and garlic powder. Bring to a boil, stir in noodles. reduce heat to medium-low, Cook noodles until tender 10 to 15 min. Stir in cottage cheese; heat through; top with cheese and cover and let stand until cheese is melted. about 5 min. Makes 6 servings

Brown sugar glazed Sweet Potatoes

4 medium sweet potatoes, peeled and cut in slices

and cooked until just tender drain

2 T. butter

2/3 c. b. sugar

¼ c. un sweetened apple juice

½ c. finely chopped peeled apples

¼ c. raisins

¼ c. brandy, optional

In a saucepan combine butter, brown sugar, apple juice and apple and raisins. Bring to a boil, stir frequently remove from heat. Stir in brandy if desired. Place sweet potatoes in 8-inch square baking dish and cover with sauce and 25 to 30 min. Basting with sauce occasionaly

Makes 6 servings

Pumpkin Cream Cheese bars

1½ c, flour

¾ c. sugar, divided ½ c. brown sugar

¾ c. cold butter cubed

1 c. oats

½ c. pecans

1 8 oz. pkg, cream cheese, softened and cubed

2 tsp. cinnamon

1 tsp. allspice

1 tsp. ground cardamon

1 15 oz, can of pumpkin

1 tsp. vanilla

3 eggs, slightly beaten

Mix flour, ¼ c. sugar and brown sugar, cut in butter until crumbly. Stir in oats and pecans. Reserve 1 cup for topping

Press remaining mixture into a greased 9 by 13 in baking pan. Bake for 15 min at 350 degrees. In a small bowl, beat cream cheese, spices and remaining sugar until smooth. Beat in pumpkin and vanilla, Add eggs; beat on low speed until just blended. Pour over warm crust; sprinkle with reserved crumb mixture. Bake for 20 to 25 min or until knife inserted in center comes out clean. Cool on wire rack. Serve or refrigerate covered, within 2 hours of baking

Makes 2 dozen bars

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