Halloween! Hey! Hey!

Hey, hey for Halloween!

Then the witches shall be seen,

Some in black and some in green,

Hey, hey for Halloween!

 

(Traditional rhyme)

 

By Family Features

Hey, hey, what are you doing for Halloween?

Are your children anticipating their annual rendezvous with jack-o’-lanterns, costumes and candy? Or are your friends looking forward to an October 31 celebration with elaborate disguises, ghoulish laughter and eerie music?

Whichever way you choose to celebrate, Hormel Foods has created spooktacular snacks for your party — a witch’s cauldron of good ‘n gooey dip, a hooty owl-shaped pizza and a help-yourself meat and cheese tray.

Fortunately for party planners, Halloween’s history is rich with these images, dating back centuries to ancient peoples struggling to understand fall’s change from light, warmth and life to darkness, cold and death.

 Black cats, evil spirits, magic and Halloween’s emphasis on death came from Samhain (pronounced sow-en), the Celts’ god of the dead. On Oct. 31, Samhain decided which spirits danced and which rested.

Skulls, skeletons and ghosts can be traced to November 1, All Saints’ Day (established in 835 A.D.), also called Hallowmas. The preceding day was All Hallows’ Eve, the source of Halloween rituals.  Bonfires — to scare off evil spirits — and parades marked the day. Night-flying creatures like bats, owls and witches on broomsticks became part of this festival of darkness, as did haunted houses.

 

Spooktacular snacks for your Halloween party. Serve up an owl-shaped pepperoni pizza, spicy Doom Dip with “bat” garnish, or a Hormel Meat and Cheese Party Tray.

Halloween came to the U.S. with British settlers. Here, the pumpkin replaced the turnip carried by Ireland’s legendary Jack o’ the lantern. Poor Jack, having lost his soul to the devil, carried a light in a hollowed-out turnip as he walked through eternity.

Thus, black dominates our Halloween table, though there’s a colorful owl (made of pizza crust). His wings are feathered with pepperoni; his eyes are pineapple rings. And there’s a witch’s cauldron of zippy chili-cheese dip (recipe follows).

The Hormel Meat and Cheese Party Tray completes the selection (featuring salami, pepperoni, cheddar and Colby-jack cheese and crackers). Just unwrap and serve. Or try these combos: Meat Only (salami and pepperoni with crackers) and a Meat and Cheese Tray with ham and turkey.

Serve with a salad, cider and “black” (chocolate) cake.

This dip’s so delicious, it will vanish like a ghost!

Doom Dip

Makes: 15 servings

1 15-ounce can Hormel Chili With Beans

1 pound pasteurized process cheese spread, such as Velveeta, cut up

1 10-ounce can diced tomatoes with green chilies

 

Mix chili, cheese and tomatoes in 2-quart microwave-safe bowl.  Microwave on high 5 minutes or until cheese is melted, stirring after 3 minutes. Transfer to cauldron, fondue pot or chafing dish. Surround with chips or crackers.

For bat garnish: Open and flatten a red or green pepper. Trace the outline of a spread-winged bat 4 to 5 inches across. Cut bat shape from the pepper. Float pepper bat atop hot dip.

For the skeleton cheese stick: Cut American cheese slice into shape of skeleton head. Cut stuffed olive in half; push each half into skeleton head as eyeballs.

Thread skeleton head on wooden skewer.

Courtesy of Family Features