Friday, October 24, 2008

A Greener Halloween

How to Green your Halloween?

* Raid your closet and local consignment shops instead of heading to the nearest store for the cheap and easy one-use costume. My son's Frankenstein suit coast set us back 5 dollars with a little hemming by yours truly and my Mary Poppins outfit is coming together splendidly with the help of Ike's Underground on the downtown mall and the local Goodwill Thrift Store. After spending a mere $20.00, I'm feeling supercalifragalisticexpealidocious this year!

* Check the "skin deep" safety guide put out by the environmental working group at

* Avoid the vinyl teeth and masks that are made overseas and are neither recyclable nor healthy for you and your kids.

* Check out the organic lollipops at Whole Foods or be radical by giving away apples and preserve toothbrushes (Hey, at least your fellow parents from the 'hood will appreciate the gesture!)

* Take your UNICEF trick or treat donation boxes. $44 dollars provides school supplies to 20 kids. $200 dollars immunizes 550 kids against measles. Learn more at

* Make a pumpkin pie FROM SCRATCH. You heard me! Follow the recipe below from my latest favorite cookbook: Simply in Season p. Hands-on time: 5 minutes
Time to table: 60 - 90 minutes

1 sugar pie pumpkin (or any pumpkin OTHER than one for Halloween jack o' lanterns)

Set oven to 400F. Wash pumpkin well. Rub skin lightly with olive oil. Just in case, put a baking sheet on the lower rack below the pumpkin to catch any juice that might squeeze out, then put the pumpkin directly on the rack above - no need to wait for the oven to preheat. Roast for 60 - 90 minutes. The actual time will vary based on the oven's actual temperature, the moistness of the pumpkin, the variety of pumpkin. But it's done when a knife slips into the flesh like butter. Let it cool a bit before slicing open - and even then, be careful when slicing open for the steam will rush out and could definitely burn. Then beat together the following and pour into your homemade 9" pie shell and bake at 350 for 45-55 minutes.

Pumpkin Pecan Pie
*1 cup pumpkin (pureed)
*3/4 cup light corn syrup
*1 cup chopped pecans
*3 eggs beaten
*1/3 cup brown sugar
*1/4 cup butter
*1 tsp vanilla
*1/2 t salt

* Kitchen Centerpiece: Draw ghost faces (two eyes and a mouth in the shape of a letter "O") onto three Butternut Squashes of varying sizes.

Enjoy your Green Halloween!

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