What to cook for 100 hungry little monsters all intent on being devilishly bad?
Play centre chef Milton Edwards didn’t get in a load of trouble when he headed for the kitchen to bubble up an early Hallowe’en children’s party tea on Monday night.
He added a liberal pinch of imagination (and a dollop of experience as a dad of three) to his culinary skills and dished up a fabulous feast of ‘frightening food’ for the Spooktacular at the Play Arena on Little London Road.
Young guests, all dressed to chill, tried apple-bobbing, played ghost-hunting and competed in a spiders’ web race before enjoying a magic show and their spooky tea at Sheffield’s largest indoor play centre.
Worms with Orange Sickly Sauce, alias spaghetti with cheese sauce, Savoury Eyeballs (garlic dough balls with olive pupils), pumpkin and cobweb buns, bat biscuits and Blood Juice all went down a treat – and contained no nasties.
Says Milton: Hallowe’en is a time when food should be fun and exciting but that doesn’t mean it has to be bad. There are lots of ways of making Hallowe’en dishes that contain only healthy food.
“At the Play Arena chefs prepare wholesome, freshly-made versions of the foods kids love to eat. We make our own fishfingers, cut lean chicken breast into nuggets and make our own burgers and pizzas.
“We used all those tricks for Hallowe’en, then went crazy with the presentation.
“All our dishes are very easy for parents to copy at home and turn their own family Hallowe’en tea into a totally scary affair.”
Make pizza dough from a packet mix. Once you’ve added the water and kneaded, add a teaspoon of minced or pureed garlic and knead again. Allow to rest.
Knock the air out, then make into small balls and line up on a greased over tray. Halve black olives and push one very firmly into each dough ball. Brush with beaten egg white, leave to prove, then bake at 200 deg C, Gas Mark 8, for ten minutes.
Worms and sickly sauce
Boil up wholewheat spaghetti with a few drops of green food colouring in the water.
To make the sauce, melt 40g of butter into a saucepan. Add 40g of plain flour and cook on medium heat for a minute, stirring constantly. Take off the heat. Stir in 600ml of milk a bit at a time, plus a teaspoon of mustard powder to bring out the flavour of the cheese.
Put the pan back on the heat and bring to the boil. Keep stirring. Turn down the heat, stir and simmer for two minutes.
Take off the heat. Add 250g of grated mature cheddar cheese, mix, return to the heat and stir until cheese has melted, then stir in a few drops of natural orange food-colouring.
Spooky buns are easy to achieve with black icing. But buy natural food colouring and only add it one drop at a time so the icing doesn’t get too runny.
Turn healthy drinks into ‘blood juice’ by adding beetroot juice. The colour is fantastic and there is very little flavour when it’s added to apple juice or orange juice.
Use slices of coloured peppers, pineapple chunks and sausage to turn pizzas into giant monster faces. Shredded leeks make great green hair.