october tastebud article.
This Halloween instead of the standard bowl full of goodies, invite little ghosts and goblins in for a candy buffet! This can be set up on a large table or sideboard. Start with the centerpiece, a large branchy tree created by spray painting branches black and placing them in a vase or urn. Make sure to add some sand or rocks to the base along with Spanish moss to keep the arrangement secure. Hang cut-outs of ghosts, bats and spiders from the branches with sparkly green tulle or ribbon. I found these pre-made at a craft store or create your own with construction paper. The next important element gives the table its glow with candlelight coming from wrapped votives or cylinder vases. To create these cut a strip of orange or white vellum the height of the container and long enough to wrap each. Place this first layer around each glass and secure with tape. Cut another strip, the same size from black paper. Use three different sizes of hole punches and punch randomly all over the paper. Wrap this strip over the vellum and secure with tape. When you drop a tea light or candle into the center the light will shine through! Place these all around the table and your home instead of overhead lights. Fresh flowers can add an extra punch of color and for this occasion I chose flowers in shades of orange, green and purple. This arrangement includes gerbera daisies, lilies and roses in orange and cuttings from the garden of coleous, purple liriope and lamb’s ear. Now start adding in the candy! Use various size bowls, glasses, and old-fashioned candy jars to hold treats and place them on top of cake stands or in baskets. Provide small cellophane or brown kraft paper bags with labels for a signature sweet, treat mix. I used a combination of popcorn, candy corn and m&m’s for a sweet and salty concoction. (Find templates for festive labels on the Tastebud website. Just print these on sticker paper, cut out and place on bags.) Add in any Halloween decorations collected over the years for a really personal table and let the treat giving begin!