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DECK THE HOLIDAY'S

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

BLEEDING RED VELVET TRUFFLES!!




I need to know something…how come when our kids are little and they tell us “no” we find it unacceptable.  I shouldn’t presume to think that you are the same way, so please forgive…
But, when MY children don’t want something…say lasagna for dinner, they say, “no, I don’t want that”.  Or if I ask them if they want to wear the blue shirt for school and they say, “No”… I get agitated.  I want them to say yes..to be agreeable…but when kids don’t want something they don’t hesitate to let you know.
I am sure that I was the same way as a child.
But somewhere along the way I, as I am sure many of you, turned into a “Yes” person.

Would you please bake 3,000 cookies for a school function?  Umm, sure yes.
Can you coordinate this event that is going to take you weeks and weeks and hours and hours? Sure, why not!
I need someone to practice my knife throwing skills at, can you help? Ok, I’ll be right over.

Now I should say no, no and hell no.  But I say yes.  And complain about it.

I don’t know if I am afraid to hurt people’s feelings or if I still have that desperate junior high mentality of wanting to people to like me.

I am sure there is some sciencey reason why I have turned into a yes person.  Probably some reallysmart person spent lots of money at school figuring it out…but where is he now in my time of need?
But, I mean really…I eat cotton candy,  own sparkly sneakers, and still want a My Little Pony.  I am basically a kid…why can I not say no?

So I am making a deal with myself here and now.  I am going to be more like my 6 year old…
Yep, that’s right…just you wait…
Do I want to go to your “Jewelry Party”?  Nope, I sure don’t!
Do I want to come over and help you paint?  Yeah, that’s a no.
Do I want to bake  3,000 cookies for a school function?  Well, actually I do.  I love cookies…so that will stay a yes.
But anyway, you get my drift.

So, cheers to saying “No” :)

Now, I won’t let you throw knives at my head…but how about knives in truffles?  That I will say yes to!
These truffles are super easy.  I used Bakerella’s recipe, you should too.
Crumble the cake…



And add your frosting, mix it up and form them into balls.






After they have chilled dip them into white candy bark.  Before the candy sets stick in a cute little sugar knife.  Mine are Wilton brand that I found at my local craft store, but here’s a link if you can’t find them.






Just press it in gently before the candy sets.






When they have all set I used some canned decorating frosting…






and piped on some “blood”.






Don’t worry about being exact.






What’s so fun, is that the knife doubles as a “handle”, so they are easy to eat!!  Love that!





HISTORY OF TRICK R' TREATING!












   Trick-or-treating—going from house to house in search of candy and other goodies—has been a popular Halloween tradition in the United States and other countries for an estimated 100 years. But the origins of this community-based ritual, which costumed children typically savor while their cavity-conscious parents grudgingly tag along, remain hazy. Possible forerunners to modern-day trick-or-treating have been identified in ancient Celtic festivals, early Roman Catholic holidays, medieval practices and even British politics.




Ancient Origins of Trick-or-Treating


   Halloween has its roots in the ancient, pre-Christian Celtic festival of Samhain, which was celebrated on the night of October 31. The Celts, who lived 2,000 years ago in the area that is now Ireland, the United Kingdom and northern France, believed that the dead returned to earth on Samhain. People would gather to light bonfires, offer sacrifices and pay homage to the deceased.
   During some Celtic celebrations of Samhain, villagers disguised themselves in costumes made of animal skins to drive away phantom visitors; banquet tables were prepared and edible offerings were left out to placate unwelcome spirits. In later centuries, people began dressing as ghosts, demons and other malevolent creatures, performing antics in exchange for food and drink. This custom, known as mumming, dates back to the Middle Ages and is thought to be an antecedent of trick-or-treating.














Early Christian and Medieval Roots of Trick-or-Treating


   By the ninth century, Christianity had spread into Celtic lands, where it gradually blended with and supplanted older pagan rites. In 1000 A.D. the church designated November 2 as All Souls’ Day, a time for honoring the dead. Celebrations in England resembled Celtic commemorations of Samhain, complete with bonfires and masquerades. Poor people would visit the houses of wealthier families and receive pastries called soul cakes in exchange for a promise to pray for the souls of the homeowners’ dead relatives. Known as souling, the practice was later taken up by children, who would go from door to door asking for gifts such as food, money and ale.
   In Scotland and Ireland, young people took part in a tradition called guising, dressing up in costume and accepting offerings from various households. Rather than pledging to pray for the dead, they would sing a song, recite a poem, tell a joke or perform another sort of “trick” before collecting their treat, which typically consisted of fruit, nuts or coins.















Guy Fawkes Night Celebrations


   Still another potential trick-or-treating predecessor is the British custom for children to wear masks and carry effigies while begging for pennies on Guy Fawkes Night (also known as Bonfire Night), which commemorates the foiling of the so-called Gunpowder Plot in 1605. On November 5, 1606, Fawkes was executed for his role in the Catholic-led conspiracy to blow up England's parliament building and remove King James I, a Protestant, from power. On the original Guy Fawkes Day, celebrated immediately after the famous plotter’s execution, communal bonfires, or "bone fires," were lit to burn effigies and the symbolic "bones" of the Catholic pope. By the early 19th century, children bearing effigies of Fawkes were roaming the streets on the evening of November 5th, asking for “a penny for the Guy."  



Trick-or-Treating in the United States


   Some American colonists celebrated Guy Fawkes Day, and in the mid-19th century large numbers of new immigrants, especially those fleeing Ireland’s potato famine in the 1840s, helped popularize Halloween. In the early 20th century, Irish and Scottish communities revived the Old World traditions of souling and guising in the United States. By the 1920s, however, pranks had become the Halloween activity of choice for rowdy young people, sometimes amounting to more than $100,000 in damages each year in major metropolitan areas.
   The Great Depression exacerbated the problem, with Halloween mischief often devolving into vandalism, physical assaults and sporadic acts of violence. One theory holds that it was the excessive pranks on Halloween that led to the widespread adoption of an organized, community-based trick-or-treating tradition in the 1930s. This trend was abruptly curtailed, however, with the outbreak of World War II, when children had to refrain from trick-or-treating because of sugar rationing.












   At the height of the postwar baby boom, trick-or-treating reclaimed its place among other Halloween customs, quickly becoming standard practice for millions of children in America’s cities and newly built suburbs. No longer constrained by sugar rationing, candy companies capitalized on the lucrative ritual, launching national advertising campaigns specifically aimed at Halloween. Today, Americans spend an estimated $6 billion annually on Halloween, making it the nation's second-largest commercial holiday.

HOW TO CREATE A GHOST ILLUSION!!

With a quick trip to the hardware store and some household appliances on hand, you can create a ghost like illusion as seen in Disney's Haunted Mansion and other amusement park rides.











Things You'll Need


  • Old television set
  • Plexiglass
  • Black curtains


Instructions




    • 1
      Prepare or purchase a video to use that will that will have the image you wish to project. As with other haunted houses, the popular image to have on tape to project is an individual's head that is either saying something or singing a song. If you choose to video tape yourself for this project, make sure that only your head is visible. You want the rest of your body (shoulders, chest, etc.) to be dark so they are not visible.
    • 2
      Place the video or DVD in the television or the video player that you will be using
    • 3
      Play the video on the television that you will be using.
    • 4
      Use the contrast buttons or options on your television to make the background of the video as dark as possible and the image that will be projected as bright as possible without actually blurring the image.
    • 5
      Bring the television set with the video, completely ready to play, over to the window where you wish to show the image. More than likely, this will be your front window.
    • 6
      Place the television set upside down under the window so that the screen is pointing towards the ceiling.
    • 7
      Place a table by the window. Positioned it with the head of the table is pointed towards the window, leaving a gap large enough between the window and the table to allow the television's projection to shoot straight up unobstructed. In order, you should have your window, television set, and table lined up in a row with none of these items overlapping, as this will obstruct the projection coming from the television.
    • 8
      Place a piece of plexiglass at a 45-degree angle between the window and on top of the table (the table is specifically used for resting the plexiglass). Make sure that the plexiglass is directly over the television as this will be used to show the ghost projection.
    • 9
      Place dark curtains or any other dark material behind and around the table, television and plexiglass. This will keep any outside light from coming in behind your projection and will allow you to project much brighter.
    • 10
      Turn on the television set and watch your ghost-like illusion project onto the plexiglass.
    • 11
      Adjust the contrast on the television set if needed.