Strega Nona Entertaining: Conjuring Creative Fun

From recipes to rituals, I will kindly divine the perfect celebration for you!

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Boo Bash

Ah, Halloween. The enchanted time when all the witches, ghosties, and creatures of the night are encouraged to come out and play. It has always been a magical time of year for me personally, ever since I was a tot. I can readily tell you what I dressed up for on this beloved holiday, since I was four. (4 years: Mickey Mouse.) Halloween has enjoyed quite the resurrection, and it is the perfect occasion to throw a theme party. Since I am the original theme party gal, I can happily throw some suggestions your way to make yours unique, and anything but run of the mill. 

 

Idea #1: "White Zombie" Voodoo Party

Make it a twisted luau run amok. Musically speaking, Martin Denny is made to order for this one. Likewise, The Cramps and Oingo-Boingo are on target for this particular soiree. Mix fearsome island masks and statues with a homemade tiki bar. You can drape and tape some straw hula skirts around it for show. This is the perfect excuse to hone your bartending skills on a tasty Zombie cocktail. Throw a lei around every party goer's neck who ventures in. Hold a bongo drumming jam to ring in the witching hour and ward off the evil spirits. Cap it off with a screening of the classic, "White Zombie," starring Bela Lugosi.   

 

Idea #2: Dead Celebrities Party

Over the years I've seen an OD'd River Phoenix, Kurt Cobain toting a guitar and sporting a bullet hole in his head, and John Denver in cowboy hat post plane wreck. The key of course, would be either going with someone recently deceased and newsworthy, or someone so infamous that they are easily recognizable. One note of caution: know your guests. This is a time to push the boundaries of good taste, but not to royally tick someone off. Do your pad up like a cemetery with fake tombstones. There's a great book of amusing famous folks' epitaphs, "Engraved in Stone," by Jo Erickson that you can use for reference. 

 

Add some makeshift crosses sprouting in a bathtub of ice that you use for cold brewskis. You could even add a head and some shoes poking out at either end if you're really feeling creative. Drag out the Ouija board– always a perfect latter half of the party crowd pleaser– and hold a seance to conjure up your faves that have "broke on through to the other side." 

 

Add dry ice or rent a fog machine to further nuance the atmosphere. Even better, if you live anywhere near a graveyard, utilize it. This ideally would be one of those really old tiny ones without a fence. Take everyone on a nostalgic teenage romp for some silliness and fresh night air. 

 

For music, I'd go with horror movie soundtracks. There's quite a few good ones out there: "The Crow," The Craft," and "Donnie Darko," are but a sampling with enough variety to keep the party hopping. Signature classic cocktail: A Bloody Mary.     

 

RECIPES:

 

ZOMBIE

rom Ted Metzler

1 oz. Apricot Brandy

1 oz. light or Puerto Rican rum

1 oz. dark or Jamaican rum

1 oz. lemon juice

1 oz. lime juice

dashes of grenadine

orange juice

1 oz. 151-proof rum

 

Mix light and dark rums in a shaker with brandy. Add lemon, lime, and grenadine and strain into a highball glass filled with ice. Top glass off with o.j. but leave room to float the 151-proof rum on top. Garnish with a cherry, orange slice, and pineapple wedge. *If you want to get dramatic and can keep it safe, you can light this drink for a flaming concoction.

 

BLOODY MARY 

from American Bartending Institute

2 1/2 oz. vodka

5 oz. tomato juice

1/2 oz. lemon juice

Dash/pepper

Dash/salt

3 dashes of Worcestershire Sauce

Dash/Tabasco

Garnish w/ celery stick and a lime wedge

*For a “Bloody Maria” substitute Tequila for Vodka

 

Happy Halloween and Happy Samhain everyone!

 

 

 

"Happy Halloween" stock image by digitalart from http://www.freedigitalphotos.net/

 

 
Last modified on
Colleen DuVall has written articles, plays, short films, and a novel. Most recently, her work has been featured in her new blog, Off The Beaten Path for the Shepherd Express online (http://shepherdexpress.com/blogs-1-1-1-61.html), and the Wisconsin Life radio show for WPR. She recently adopted a little grey and white cat named Tessa, after beloved 22-year-old Bootise passed on.

Comments

  • "Kitty" Billie Simpson
    "Kitty" Billie Simpson Tuesday, 28 October 2014

    I have a seven yr old having a birthday friday..thanks for the dry ice idea

  • Colleen DuVall
    Colleen DuVall Thursday, 30 October 2014

    Sure thing! Hope they have a Happy Halloween Birthday. :)

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