Sunday, December 13, 2020

Cephalopod Ornaments

On the last day of Creepmas I give you tentacles and a craft.  And a little science, because I was curious if  those appendages were truly tentacles.  It turns out that those are indeed tentacles because they only have suction cups on the ends.  When suction cups run the entire length, then it is called an arm.  So I've been using the word tentacles incorrectly pretty much my whole life.  This is a nice little run down on cephalopods from the Birch Aquarium. 

Flickr is a gold mine of  creepy illustrations.  There are a number of institutions that have made images that have no known copyright restrictions available on flickr.  Of those listed so far I have only explored The British Library  

For this project I used images from the Biodiversity Heritage Library  They are not one of the previous mentioned institutions, but most of their images are public domain.  It's just good practice to check copyrights on any image you want to use.  They have so many wonderful images of creepy crawlies, skeletons and tentacled things from the deep.  All the images I used here are available in this album.  For the backside I used the same image, altering the color to match the front image.  I believe the back image is the mouth of a squid, not belonging to any of the critters on the front.  I just like that it looks like an angry eye.  

I only have a tiny Creepmas tree so I made small ornaments using 2.5 inch cardboard rounds similar to these.  I snagged a bunch of these in various sizes from my husband when he decided to let his license expire and give up making his own fireworks.  They are really nice and sturdy, but I certainly wouldn't buy any for this if I didn't already have them.  My big thing for a while now has been to use what I already have.  Jar lids would work great for this too. 

First the images were mod podged onto the disks.  Then I added a ribbon loop for hanging.  I made a small loop, because I intend on hanging it on a small hook because my tree is small.  I used a pin to hold the ribbon since I could stick it right into the cardboard. 

I cut a length of bead trim long enough to wrap around the disk.  A zipper or ball chain would work too.  

I applied a layer of texture paste around the edge.  I have done oodles of stuff using texture paste.  There are all sorts of formulas for making texture paste, they generally include paint, glue, a thickener and/or some type of texture. I just toss in whatever I have on hand, last Creepmas I even used black pepper. 

This particular mixture was joint compound (for drywall repair), black paint, glue and dried tea from used tea bags.  For this it needs to be thick enough to trowel on without spreading, but wet enough to stick.  I have a cheap set of plastic paint knives, they're pretty flimsy but they work.  Craft sticks would work too, though I'd probably use a toothpick to do any minor adjustments.  

A layer was applied around the edge, set on parchment paper and then the bead trim was wrapped around.

After that dried I added more texture paste on the top edge of one side.  I also filled in any gaps around the side rubbing away any that I might have gotten on the top of the bead trim, so the beads weren't completely covered.  

After that dried I added texture paste along the top edge of the other side.  If you use jar lids you could really have fun adding things to the inside lip.  Tiny shells, pearl beads and sand, would play into an ocean theme.

I wanted the border a bit thicker, a bit wider and a bit more textured.  I added some more dry tea and added another layer to each side.  

I highlighted it with DecoArt metallic paints.  I start with a layer of Renaissance Brown Glaze and then added just a touch of Champane Gold.  I love working with these colors and it really makes the texture pop.  

This is my high tech method of painting.  I squeeze out a few drops of paint into the palm of the hand holding the ornament and use the index finger of my other hand to spread it into a thin layer and then lightly rub it onto the textured areas to highlight.  

This is how the edges look after highlighting.

I also made little hooks using copper wire (maybe 16 gauge) scraps from a quarantine induced electrical home improvement project.  The only tools required were a wire cutters and round nose pliers.  Each wire started out 4cm and after curling the ends the hooks are 2cm in height.

And then I realized all the ornaments would hang sideways and twisted one end to fix that.  

The only thing left was to hang it on my goofy little Creepmas tree.  

Merry Creepmas everyone!

Saturday, December 12, 2020

Zombie Christmas Cards

The kids got Christmas cards from Grandma & Grandpa.  Then their mom got this crazy idea and these awesome kids let her modify them.  I used images from this papercraft zombie nativity set.  I kind of love how they turned out, especially the zombie that looks like he's hanging ornaments on the tree.  

Friday, December 11, 2020

The Nightmares That Made Us


A friend recommend the Netflix series The Holiday Movies That Made Us.  It's only two episodes about Elf and The Nightmare Before Christmas.  I like both movies, but didn't have any clue about the making of them. They are both pretty interesting, even if the information is delivered in the campiest way possible.  

Thursday, December 10, 2020

Modern Creepmas Stories

As I said last year, I've become a real fan of listening to books while performing mindless tasks.  There are a lot of legit free sources online, many of which I have yet to take advantage of.  Mostly I use my public library, but I've also used The Project Gutenberg, that I've mentioned in previous posts.  The next three books I listened to the audio versions through my library.  

Krampus The Yule Lord by Brom 

The story seemed a bit long and drawn out at times. This might be because it was the audio version.  The narrator did a great job getting into character, but the dramatic pauses drew things out and at times spotlighted some corny dialogue which I probably would’ve breezed right past had I read it on my own.  I swear there were some lines that were pulled straight from Country songs. 

Still, I enjoyed it and I think any Creepmas enthusiasts would.   The author did a good job pulling together Norse, Pagan and Christian mythos and there’s a nice afterwards that any Creepmas fan shouldn’t skip.  

The Winter Ghosts by Kate Mosse

Modern author, but set in the past, this is one of those haunting ghost stories that leaves you feeling a little melancholy.  It's slow and sweet and tragic. 

NOS4A2 by Joe Hill

I know only a few days ago I said I'd hadn't read this.  Well technically I still haven't read it, just listened to it.  I put a hold on it through the online public library so long ago that I had forgotten all about it.  So Merry Creepmas to me, it finally came available!  And because I'm old and senile it was a total surprise!  There's defiantly some differences between this and the TV series, but both are equally as enjoyable.  And having already watched the series did not detract from my enjoyment of the novel at all.  

Horror Stories Ruin Christmas 

A Bewitching Guide To Halloween posted about this one last Creepmas. Being set in a fictional town in Wisconsin I had to check it out.  The story counts down thirteen days until Christmas, one story for each day and one story for each night, with a different NoSleep author writing each.  

It's a little bit disjointed, which is to be expected considering the format, and it's a little bit bizarre, but entertaining nonetheless.  It's available for purchase on Amazon or you can read it on reddit.  

There's a follow up story, Horror Holidays Return Serenity Falls.  It follows the same format and gets even more bizarre.  It's also available on reddit.  I wouldn't say either story is great, but this one was even less so.  

I feel like I've done an insane amount of Creepmas reading this year. 

Wednesday, December 9, 2020

Gingerdead Dark Tower

Every few years I get gingerdead amnesia and forget what a colossal mess it is.  Then about two thirds of the way into decorating gingerdead, I wonder why in the world am I doing this to myself again.  

The stages of gingerdeading are:

"Hey we should decorate gingerbread, it'll be fun!"

"Why are these stupid walls not staying together?"

"Why doesn't this stupid icing stick to anything else but me?"

"Let's put a decorative border right...ok let's put a big ugly blob of icing right here."

"That actually looks pretty good...and it just fell off.  Fine just slap on more icing and mash the decorations into."

"This just looks like crap now."

"Ugh, is there any surface that isn't covered in sugar?"

"I'm tired and sticky and I just want to be done."

"Duck it, it's good enough."

Last year I said I'd make a dark tower using the Wilton lighthouse and Oreo candy canes and that's what I did.

The Oreo candy canes taste like Tootsie Rolls.  Imagine sucking on tootsie rolls instead of chewing them.  Yeah, exactly.  Also the quality control is non-existent.  The last few inches weren't even round  and weirdly wavy.  Like the candy cane making machine hiccupped while trying to hold in a fart. Also they started to melt and get sticky in my hands while trying to break them, and I have cold, dry vampire hands.  I won't ever buy them again.  

The lighthouse worked out pretty well as a tower.  A short, pudgy tower, but still a tower that didn't require any real effort on my part.  I used the pieces meant to be an entrance to add a few more inches on top.  The very top piece I sawed a little notch out of it with a serrated knife.  It made a huge mess, but worked really well.  

I used Wilton black color mist to cover the pieces.  I put on two light coats prior to assembly (picture is after one coat) and touched up some areas after.  

The spray is really fine and creates a cloud that smells horrible and coats everything in the blast area.  I made a baking soda and water paste that did a good job scrubbing it off the countertop.  

I wouldn't use this on anything I was actually going to eat, but for gingerdead it's perfect.  

My only regret is toward the end when I got slap happy with the icing and my fingers were smeared with it, I touched a few places and that really shows up against the black.  

The decorations are pretty simple, mostly pasted on molded candy melts.  

The big green skull is one of these gummy skulls I got at the grocery store.  We didn't think they tasted very good, but that doesn't matter for this use.  The bow is a sour patch kid gummy.

The "field of roses" is chopped up red gumdrops tossed in red sugar.  My vision was to surround the dark tower, but my patience in chopping up gumdrops didn't extend that far.  Also I ran out of red icing.  Actually I had a whole other pouch of it. I was sharing the one that came with the kit the kids were using, and hadn't touched the one that came with the lighthouse.  But I was at the "Duck it, I'm done." stage by that point.  


The one thing that I really liked in all this was the marshmallow skulls. Or are they ghoul heads? Ooh mini green marshmallows would make even better ghoul heads.  I painted black gel coloring on the marshmallows with a toothpick. It doesn't take much, just a few dots with the point and then angle the toothpick to spread it out.  

I had some black licorice caramels, which I fully intended to roll flat and cut out little "bricks" to add texture to my tower. Until I started and realized what a pain in the Krampus that was going to be.  A few of the head pikes are coated with the licorice and then I realized how long that was going to take, not to mention how sticky it was.  So I colored the toothpicks with food coloring.  

I like black licorice and was hoping these would be tasty, but they had a weird aftertaste.  

And that's all I have to say about adventures in gingerdeading this year.  

Tuesday, December 8, 2020

Uncanny Tales

While searching the British Library on flickr for artwork to use in a Creepmas project, I found cover art for Uncanny Tales by Mrs Molesworth which peeked my interest.  Published in 1896, full of ghostly stories, it's a nice collection if you like curling up next to the fire on a cold winter's night. 

Available at The Project Gutenberg, if I were to rank them by favorites they would appear just as they do in the table of contents. 


The Shadow In The Moonlight being my favorite and the most suitable for a ghostly Victorian Christmas story and The Clock That Struck Thirteen being the least. 

Some of the stories are supernatural in nature while others only appear to be at first. Will Not Take Place is neither, but well written. 

The last story was just disappointing. The eerie clock failed to live up to expectations and sadly the fiercely independent headstrong female protagonist learns it's best to always listen to a man and let him take care of you. 

But overall it's a nice collection if you enjoy spending your Creepmas curled up with spooky Victorian stories.  

Monday, December 7, 2020

Bloody Christmas Cookie Knives


For these cookies I used my go to sugar cookie recipe from Joy of Baking.  I've seen way fancier knife cookies with silver blades and handle details.  I'm not that fancy and does silver even taste good?  

Curious about the taste of Wilton's silver color mist I checked out reviews on Amazon and the first question is Will this product ensure my path to Valhalla? The answers are pretty funny.  In fact most of the questions are Mad Max related. These are the things that restore my faith in humanity.  

As far as actual reviews they ranged from no taste to strong chemical taste.  I did recently use a black color mist for a gingerdead project coming up later and it smells very ethanolly.  I think I'll stick to my unrealistic naked blades.

I've always used Wilton candy melts because that's what the craft stores carry, but they were all out of red this year.  Michaels did have red in a new line Sweet Tooth Fairy and those tasted fine and worked as expected.  

My family liked the candy melt coating on the sugar cookies better than the buttercream frosting I usually use, so these knifes have probably permanently changed the way we decorate cookies forevermore.  

The chocolate handles on the other hand are up to debate.  Some people loved the dark chocolate with the sugar cookie and others didn't care for the combination of flavors.  I thought it was just ok. 

I did consider sprinkling the blood with crushed candy cane to make them even more Creepmassy but didn't want to add too many flavors at once. I'll try it with a few next time.  

Sunday, December 6, 2020

Creepmas Movies

Better Watch Out

I finally got around to watching "Better Watch Out" and it's ducking awesome.  It's a babysitter movie so the parents are only on screen for about half a second, but when the mom says,"Turn that sh*t off.", in reference to the Christmas music, I fell in love just a little bit.  

The horror/slasher genre has so many tropes that have been done to death, it's like brain candy when you find one that has some original or at least semi-original twists and turns.  If you don't know anything about this movie, keep it that way and just watch.  

"Better Watch Out" was a fun ride and the creepy Santa and elf decorations are just a bonus.  



What could be more Creepmassy than an immortal fiend that feeds off the souls of children he takes to a creation of his imagination called Christmasland?

Based on the novel by Joe Hill, which I have not read, this series checks all the right boxes for Creepmas.  The acting is great and Christmasland is horrifyingly cheerful, like a rotting corpse wrapped up in bright shiny bow.  

I would imagine it's just a tad intimidating to write horror when your dad is Stephen King, but I think Mr. Hill holds his own quite well.  

Doctor Sleep  

Speaking of King, I enjoyed both the book and the movie versions of The Shining even though they each have a different feel.   I feel the same about this sequel.   The movie is not a perfect adaptation of the book, but they rarely are, and it doesn’t mean it’s not entertaining.   Without giving too much away I personally liked visual homage to first movie that would not have been possible in the book.  

I'm almost hoping we get snowed in this winter, just to set the mood for a Shining double feature.

Unholy night

This an anthology with a wrap around story.  It's definitely not the greatest movie but I think it's worth it to watch it at least once. 

The lamest story of the bunch is about a guy meeting his girlfriend’s family for the holidays.  Who thinks doing shrooms when you're nervous about making a good first impression is a good idea?

The next story is about Drunk Dead Debbie, who is a Candyman/Mary Worth type figure.  Her last kill has to be one of the most original I've seen in a long time, as hilarious as it is disgusting.  

I've said it's not a great movie, it's probably not even a good movie, but it has it's moments.  One scene someone get's a Christmas tree thrown at them. It was so random, it made me giggle. 

There are definitely some good decorating ideas.  I want to make an intestine wreath and get an elf costume for my mannequin.  

Saturday, December 5, 2020

Victorian Ghost Stories

Every Creepmas at least one person mentions the series of Valancourt Books containing Victorian Christmas ghost stories, but I don't recall anyone giving them an actual review.  I did read some of the reviews on book sites, but they seemed more from Victorian era enthusiast, rather than Creepmas fans.  This year I decided to find out if this collection was really all that.  

My library doesn't carry these books, neither online or brick and mortar.  If I knew they were the most awesome books ever, I would buy them.  But I do so hate to buy a dud, when the best you can do is donate it, so someone else can experience disappointment at a reduced price.   

So I cheated.  Except for "The Haunted Rock: A Legend of Port Guerron Cove", I found every story for free online.  I haven't given detailed reviews so as not to give anything of the stories away, but merely an opinion of whether I enjoyed them or not and deem them suitable for Creepmas. 

One of my favorite resources for this project was  They have a vast selection, some in multiple formats if you prefer kindle or audio.  

The stories contained in the first volume of the Valancourt books are as follows: 

1. "The Tapestried Chamber" by Sir Walter Scott
2. "The Old Nurse's Story," by Elizabeth Gaskell
3. "Horror: A True Tale," by John Berwood Harwick
4. "Bring Me a Light!" by Anonymous
5. "Old Hooker's Ghost," by Anonymous
6. "The Ghost's Summons," by Ada Buisson
7. "Jack Layford's Friend," by Anonymous
8. "How Peter Parley Laid a Ghost," by Anyonymous
9. "A Mysterious Visitor," by Ellen Wood
10. "The Haunted Rock," by W.W. Fenn
11. "The Lady's Walk," by Margaret Oliphant
12. "The Captain of the Pole-Star," by Arthur Conan Doyle
13. "The Doll's Ghost," by F. Marion Crawford

The Tapestried Chamber by Walter Scott - This was a good story, but not great.  It would have needed to build suspense and flesh out the scary bits to be truly effective. Although I could see where a great orator could give the illusion of both with the material at hand.

The Old Nurse's Story by Elizabeth Gaskell - I really liked this one, both the plot of the story and the nurse's delivery of it are well done.  There's one little plot point I would have liked addressed, but it can easily be overlooked.   Overall I would consider this a perfect Creepmas tale.

I also read her other stories in the collection Curious, If True: Strange Tales and enjoyed them all. Some have a supernatural element and some are merely the evil that men do, but all are worth reading.

Horror: A True Tale by John Berwick Harwood - The format of this is visually atrocious, it could really benefit from being broken up into smaller paragraphs. There's an audio version on youtube. Otherwise I really enjoyed the story, well written and very suspenseful.  The build up was fantastic, sadly the ending was a bit of a letdown.  I think if it was a slightly different story it would have been excellent, but I don't want to give anything away. 

Bring Me A Light! by Jane Margaret Hooper - Proper ghost story, with proper ghosts doing proper haunting.  There's a quite tragic event that led to the hauntings, but the overall story isn't scary.  I still enjoyed it very much.

Old Hooker's Ghost or Christmas Gambols at Huntingfield Hall - As a story, it was a pleasant read, even though entirely predictable. As a Creepmas story, it was disappointing.

The Ghost's Summons by Ada Buisson - I found this one to be rather meh.   Sorry Ada.

Jack Layford's Friend - Warning Spoiler Alert.  But not much of one, it's pretty apparent early on what's going on in the story.  But even though the surprises aren't all that surprising, it could have been a rather enjoyable Christmas mystery. What ruined it for me was the introduction of the villainess, who is described as a "n-word" who has "...managed to get some of the dye out of her hands and face."  Even without the racism, her character is immediately diminished because her looks aren't pleasing to a male guest. I assume the author was trying to convey the man's intuition that something is off about her, but using dark skin and homeliness to foreshadow evil intent is an antiquated trope that has not aged well.

How Peter Parley Laid a Ghost  - This one too was a mystery rather than a ghost story.  Not scary in the least, more of a cautionary tale about foolishness.

A Mysterious Visitor by Ellen Henry Wood - Not a Christmastime story, but a proper old-fashioned ghost story.

The Lady's Walk by Margaret Oliphant - At around 200 pages it's much longer than any of the other stories.   There is a ghost, but it's a friendly spirit and this story is more about the living.  It's not a Creepmas story if you are looking for scares, but a very enjoyable read if you appreciate a good haunting.

The Captain of the Pole-Star by Arthur Conan Doyle - I'm disappointed to have to say I found this to be a very blah ghost story.  I felt more uneasiness for the crew concerning the weather conditions of their voyage.

On the plus side it reminded me of how much I do like Coleridge's "The Rime of the Ancient Mariner". For a treat here it is read by Ian McKellen  or the brilliant rendition by Iron Maiden.  In 8th grade I snuck out to see Maiden in concert, got grounded forever, and didn't learn my lesson because I would make the same choice all over again. Then in high school when we read "The Rime of the Ancient Mariner" my English teacher also had us listen to Maiden's version.  For that and other reasons, he was pretty much the coolest English teacher ever.  But I digress...

The Doll's Ghost by F. Marion Crawford - The crux of this story was terrifying, but I do wonder if it would have been less so if I wasn't a parent.   As it was, my heart was in my throat until the end.  Although I would consider this an excellent story, I still wouldn't choose it for Creepmas.

In summary, I enjoyed most of the stories. Very few of them were scary, but at least half were good ghost stories. Of the scarier ones, none were on par with the eerie, spine tingling I enjoy from stories such as Smee.

I gather the Valancourt books also give a short intro about each author and when the stories were originally published, so I missed out on that, but even with that addition I think overall I would have been disappointed if I had purchased this one for my collection.

I'd love to hear other opinions if anyone has read these. I'm especially curious to find out what "The Haunted Rock" was all about.

Friday, December 4, 2020

Festive Zombie Fingers & Elf Puree Bark

I tried two new recipes using dehydrated elf puree (matcha powder).  Matcha is powdered green tea.  It has a lovely color, which is why I started playing with it.  It also has a distinct, what I would call grassy flavor, which is starting to grow on me.  The feedback I've received has been all over the place.  Some people love it, some hate it, some say it's edible, but definitely not their favorite.  

First up, my favorite of the two, zombie fingers.  Yet another recipe where I'm using silicone molds from Michaels that are no longer available. Hopefully these will be back next fall.  Now that I'm older and wiser, I don't buy molds unless I absolutely love them and when I do, I buy four so I can make a whole batch of whatever at the same time.

I love the colors of these fingers, the green matcha with the red and white (Could that be blood and bone?), is absolutely lovely.  I liked the flavor of these cookies. I thought they were so much better than the ones I made last year.  There's enough sweet to balance the green tea, but they're not too sweet. 

The recipe for Match Cookies with Cranberries & White Chocolate is from U Try It.  These cookies are made by rolling the dough into a log, chilling, then slicing into individual cookies.  Since I was pressing it into molds, I chopped up the dried cranberries and white chocolate into small pieces before adding them to the dough.  The dough was stiff enough to work with without chilling, but I did chill the filled molds on a cookie sheet for 10 minutes before baking. 

Since this was the first time trying this recipe I only made half and that was enough to fill two molds (16 fingers) all the way to the top.  I was surprised how much they expanded while baking since there is no leavening in the recipe.  They didn't overflow or anything but next time I will probably fill them a little less and maybe make 20 fingers.  Anytime you use a mold or muffin tin and don't fill all the cavities you should fill the empty ones with water.   

The second recipe for Pistachio Matcha Dark Chocolate Bark is from The Delicious Life.  Some people really liked this and some thought it was just ok.  I really like the look of it, but I didn't care for the taste.  I think the white chocolate complimented the matcha powder nicely, it was actually the pistachios and chocolate I wasn't crazy about.  I love dark chocolate and I love pistachios, but I didn't like them together, which surprised me. 

I did fudge the recipe a little. They do a layer of chocolate and pistachios, then dollop and swirl white chocolate and white chocolate mixed with matcha on top and then sprinkle on more pistachios. 

I wanted the green matcha to be more visible so I did the layer of white chocolate with the matcha mixture first and then covered that with the mixture of pistachios and dark chocolate. 

Thursday, December 3, 2020

The Ghost of Danny, Fried Caterpillars and Bugmas

I found two Creepmassy South African Christmas traditions, but the references to them were only short blurbs in lists about weird holiday traditions.  Now it could be that no one is writing about them in English.  South Africa has 11 different official languages, which makes searching difficult even with translation tools.  But I found some Creepmas gold while I was digging, so it was worth the trip down the rabbit hole.

Alright so maybe these are legit traditions or maybe all the lists I read are repeating the same misinformation.  I would love to have someone confirm or deny, but until then, taken with a grain of salt...

The first tradition is the telling of the story of Danny the ghost.  He was a naughty little boy who ate the cookies set out for Santa and for this trespass he was beaten to death by his grandmother and now he haunts around Christmastime to discourage other would-be cookie thieves.  Again I only found references to this and none actually sited any sources. 

The second tradition is to eat Mopane worms, the caterpillars of Emperor moths for Christmas dinner.  I did find what seems to be an authentic reference and recipe at The African Gourmet.  That was the only one I found that mentioned Christmas, though there is no doubt that mopane worms are readily eaten in general, either dried as a snack or in stews as a meal.

This is a pretty good article on mopane worms.

This video shows the caterpillars being picked, the guts are then squeezed out and the skins are cooked until crispy.  A restaurant scene at the end shows the skins being cooked up with a sauce.

This video shows trying them both dried and reconstituted in a recipe.  I appreciate how she describes the flavors and textures, like you would expect someone to do when trying a new food and not being all weird about it, like I would be.  Also she mentions doing a thing she calls Bugmas...

…so of course I had to check out her channel emmymadeinjapan and Bugmas is counting down the last five days until Christmas by eating bugs.   She also changed it up and did Gutmas one year.  There's your Creepmas dinner menu all planned out.

I can't eat meat.  I don't care what animal it comes from, the smells, the textures and the flavors, they  make me gag.  I can't even eat fake meat that closely mimics the real stuff.  I'm even picky about how I prepare vegetables because of texture issues.  So people like this, that can objectively try anything, kind of amaze me. 

Funny caption picture aside, she really does take a neutral approach to trying different insects for Bugmas, no drama.  I like that she doesn't play up a gross out or shock angle, just an honest food review.

She also does a video on lutefisk and lefse which I guess are a thing here in the Midwest but I've never had them.  The lefse isn't gross, from what I understand it's like a potato crepe, but lutefisk sounds nasty.

When I was a kid, a common phrase used in conjunction with offering various foods that always looked as bad as they smelled, was "You should eat this, it'll put hair on your chest."   I'm curious now, do people say that outside the Midwest?  Is it a uniquely Wisconsin thing to say to an eight year old girl while offering her a jar of pickled* herring? Or was it just my weird family?

There was a time in my childhood that I actually enjoyed eating cheese curds dipped in horseradish, but it did not produced any chest hairs as promised.  

*Pickled things seemed very popular when I was a kid**.  I remember bars (or more correctly, taverns) always had large jars of pickled eggs and pickled pigs feet.  I never actually witnessed anyone eat the latter, but I always watched the consumption of pickle eggs with a sort of horrified fascination.  

**Yes as a kid in Wisconsin I spent a lot of time in bars, that's where everyone gathered after church and for Friday fish fry's.  

Wednesday, December 2, 2020

Peppermint Maggots

First I would like to thank whatever dark gods are responsible for me getting maggot molds.  Secondly I would like to send my condolences to anyone who doesn't have these wonderful molds.  

I really am surprised with how quickly they sold out, that they haven't been reissued.  For what it's worth they were sold at Michaels as part of their "Celebrate It" line two years ago.  There are caterpillar molds being sold on Etsy by zhiqiangdiy and CraftsMouldsStore but I have not purchased these and I have no experience with these sellers or their products.  

Not that they have to be maggot molds, any candy mold will work, it's just such a fun shape.  Which is why I've used them for frozen treats, baked treats and other candy concoctions.  

I used a recipe for peppermint patties found on  Joy of Baking is one of my favorite recipe sites.  All the recipes have been tested and I have yet to have one fail unless it was a mistake on my part.  

This recipe scared me a little, the main ingredient is powdered sugar with a little bit of butter, evaporated milk and flavoring.  It didn't seem that appetizing, but Joy of Baking hasn't let me down yet.  I would say these had a much stronger flavor than a York Peppermint Patty, but I liked it.  All I know is there's nothing quite like getting a bunch of texts from friends about how tasty your maggots are.  

I purchased the peppermint oil at Michaels and followed the recipe for the filling.  If you are using molds instead of hand dipping them, the filling doesn't have to chill as long.  I dabbed a little dark chocolate at one end of each maggot because I've seen pictures of some that look like that.  I think that might be the butt end. After that hardened I used white chocolate to coat the molds.  After the white chocolate set I pressed about 2 teaspoons into each mold and then covered them with dark chocolate and sprinkled on some crushed candy canes.  

My favorite candy canes are Bob's, which fall under Brach's now? I don't know when that happened, but Brach's has always been my favorite peppermint hard candies.  Bob's Sweet Stripes still fall under the Ferrara company, which are large soft mints that my family absolutely loves.   

Tuesday, December 1, 2020

Merry Creepmas!

It's the first day of Creepmas and in one little spot in the midwest, there are a lucky few believers who are visited by the Creepmas Creature on this holiest of holy days.  

This year called for a little extra flair, which is why there's a squid hat, wearing a Santa hat nestled on top of Krampus horns.  

My friends and neighbors have always had a good sense of humor about the yearly visits from Creepmas minions (wearing masks since 2012, before it was cool), but this year was extra special.  When you're pretty much bored to tears, having a weirdo friend is a perk.  Seriously, it was awesome making people laugh and spreading a little Creepmas joy.  

On this year's menu we had Krampus Balls, Peppermint Maggots, Elf Puree Bark, Festive Zombie Fingers, and Bloody Christmas Cookies. Recipes to follow, until then Merry Creepmas everyone.  And don't forget to checkout