I’ve always loved Halloween. Part of the joy of living in cities like San Francisco and New Orleans is they are the perfect places for adults to costume and party and enjoy All Hallows Eve.
One of my favorites is making meringues in the shape of bones. These are pretty easy and very tasty.
2 large egg whites, room temperature
1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
Preheat the oven to 170 degrees F.
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
Beat eggs on medium until frothy. Sprinkle on the cream of tartar and continue to beat until soft peaks form. Increase the speed and add in the sugar. Continue to beat until the egg whites are glossy and stiff peaks form. Add in vanilla and mix until just combined.
Pipe the meringues onto the prepared baking sheet. To form bones, place two dots connected by a long line and two additional dots.
Bake for 2 hours or until you can easily peel the meringues off the parchment paper. Turn off the oven and let cool completely inside for a couple of hours or overnight if your house isn’t too humid.
Store in an airtight container or they will become soggy.
I confess that I’m not much of a turkey fan, except in sandwiches. For that reason, I don’t cook a whole bird for Thanksgiving but rather get just the breast – either bone in or boneless. I also grill it, so that the oven is free for all the treats and trimmings that go with the meal.
Boneless turkey breast cooks faster than bone-in
My recipe is very simple:
3 lb turkey breast
3 tablespoons butter, melted
About an hour before you’re ready to start cooking, pull the turkey from the refrigerator. Soak a few wood chips before building your fire.
Rub the melted butter all over the turkey. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.
Set the coals for indirect cooking. I usually do a set up on two sides of the grill. Place a drip pan below where you are going to set the bird. Put on the upper grill and clean it with a wire brush before oiling the grate. Set your turkey down and let cook for 1 hour.
Go in and remove the drip pan if you’re making gravy. Take the turkey’s temperature – done is when the internal temperature reaches 165 degrees F. Baste with butter. Continue to cook until it reaches that safe temperature, checking every 15 minutes and basting with butter. Bone in will take longer to cook than boneless.
Remove from grill when done. Let rest for 15-20 minutes before slicing and serving.
It is All Hallows Day. While we remember loved ones who have transitioned, we might as well enjoy a cookie or three, too. Even though we made them in the shape of skulls, the recipe below isn’t for the traditional Mexican sugar skull cookies for Day of the Dead.
Instead, we made Rosemary Remembrance Cookies. Rosemary is an herb that has long been associated with memory and fidelity and is a symbol for both weddings and funerals. As Ophelia recites:
“There’s rosemary, that’s for remembrance. Pray you, love, remember.”
William Shakespeare, Hamlet, Act 4, Scene 5
The original recipe is by Callie Watts with the addition of more rosemary as regular readers know I’m mad about the rosemary!
We had fun finger painting them after they cooled
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
1 cup unsalted butter, softened
2 teaspoons vanilla
1 teaspoon almond extract
2 tablespoons chopped rosemary
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon cream of tartar
1 teaspoon salt
Heat oven to 375 degrees F.
In a large bowl, beat sugar, butter, egg, vanilla, almond extract, and rosemary until creamy. In a separate bowl, sift flour, baking soda, cream of tartar, and salt.
Fold flour mixture into sugar mixture, a 1/2 cup at a time until combined.
Beat until dough forms, refrigerate for an hour. After the rest, remove from the fridge and divide in three pieces.
Roll out one portion to 3/16 of an inch on a floured surface. Use biscuit or cookie cutters to cut out shapes and place on an ungreased cookie sheet. Repeat rolling and cutting until all the dough is used.
Bake for 7 minutes. Cool on wire racks before eating as is or using decorator icing to make designs. Store in an airtight container.
Michelle’s nephew had a Plants vs Zombies themed birthday party at her house and they left behind the brain mold. I gave it a thorough scrubbing and then tossed a can of evaporated milk in the refrigerator so the next day I could make Milk Jelly Brains! Using the milk turns the gelatin wonderfully creamy and, when you use a flavor like blackberry, it becomes a thick pinkish and very brain-like!
2 boxes of flavored gelatin
2 cups boiling water
1 12 ounce can evaporated milk, refrigerated overnight
Place gelatin into a large mixing bowl. Stir boiling water into the gelatin. Let stand on the counter to cool down a bit. You don’t want it to cool to setting; just until the water is close to room temperature. Shake the can of evaporated milk well and then pour into the gelatin. Whisk until totally combined. Pour into a lightly oiled mold. Let set for at least 4 hours or overnight.
To unmold, loosen top edge with a knife. Set the mold in warm water up to the rim for about 10 seconds. Cover with a serving plate and then invert the mold. Give it a jiggle and it should come right out.