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In the night by moonlight, werewolves howl at the moon
Ghosts dance across graveyard lawns to their evil tune
Imps and demons are also there to celebrate Halloween
Witches on corn stock brooms fly around the scene
Black Cats, Pointed Hats, Jack-O-Lanterns all aglow
Haunted Houses creak and crack swaying to and fro
Eye of nute, wings of bats, make up a witches brew
Be careful where you go tonight, They may be after you

Children dressed as little fiends are really kind of cute
Monsters with their bags and sacks to carry all their loot
Trick or Treat is their calling card coming to your door
Halloween is a time for fun, and maybe a whole lot more!

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Halloween Ghosts -By Brian Skinner 
Here, there, everywhere, The ghost flies about.
It's gleeful, mischievous, free of care, It almost wants to shout!
Tonight is the night, It comes but once a year.
The night to boo and fright, The children who walk by here.
For, while the children boast, and eat their candy sweet.
There's nothing sweeter to a ghost, Then to scare someone they meet!
For remember this rhyme, as you go running in flight.
It's not the kid's, nor the pumpkin's time, Halloween is the ghost's night!

In celebration of pumpkin season,
here are some tidbits about our favorite squash:

In early colonial times, pumpkins were used as an
ingredient for the crust of pies, not the filling.
Pumpkins were once recommended for removing freckles and curing snake bites.
Pumpkins range in size from less than a pound to over 1,000 pounds.
80% of the pumpkin supply in the U.S. is available in October.
Sugar pumpkins a small, sweet variety with close-grained flesh are best for cooking.

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Baked Jack-O-Lantern Stuffed with Treats

3 pounds pumpkin 1 c dried cherries
1 1/2 c apple -- Granny Smith, diced 1 c raisin -- half golden/half sweet
1/2 c pecan halves - coarsely chopped 1/2 c walnuts - coarsely chopped
1/3 c brown sugar - light brown 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon -- ground
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg -- grated 1 tablespoon lemon juice -- fresh
1 teaspoon vanilla

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Carefully cut open the top of the pumpkin as if you were making a Jack-O-Lantern. Remove the seeds and membrane and discard. Combine all the ingredients in a bowl. Stuff the pumpkin (It's OK if there's a little left over). Cook the left-over stuffing in a baking dish -- it's too good to waste.

Place the lid on the pumpkin. Place pumpkin in a 3-inch-deep baking dish and fill the dish with about 2 inches of water. The water will act as insulation. Place the baking dish in the preheated oven and bake with the lid on for 45 minutes. Carefully remove the baking dish from the oven. With a small paring knife, carve a Jack-O-Lantern face in the pumpkin.

IMPORTANT: Only carve the face through the outer skin of the pumpkin. DO NOT carve through the meat of the pumpkin into the stuffed interior. With the lid removed, place the baking dish, with the pumpkin still in the water bath, back into the oven. Bake an additional 30 minutes.

This is a very important stage. Make sure that the pumpkin doesn't over-cook and that the top doesn't collapse in the center. If this happens, the lid will not fit and the appearance of the finished product will not be dramatic. When the baking is finished, remove from the oven and place the pumpkin on a serving platter. Scoop the inside goodies out with some of the cooked pumpkin. Serve with a dollop of lemon yogurt or with a scoop of vanilla ice cream. Happy Halloween!!!

Sugar Cookie Pumpkins

1 cup butter or marg, softened 1 cup sugar
3 eggs 1 teaspoon vanilla
3 cups flour 1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1 cookie decorator (in a 4 1/2-oz. pressurized can)

In a large bowl with an electric mixer, blend together the butter and sugar. Add the eggs, vanilla, and 1 cup flour and mix well. By hand, fold the remaining flour, the baking soda, and the baking powder. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Lightly grease baking sheet.

On a lightly floured board, roll out the dough until it is 1/8 inch thick. Cut out the cookies with a pumpkin shaped cookie cutter and place them on the baking sheet. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes, until lightly browned. Remove from the oven and let cool thoroughly before decorating.

Pumpkin Cake ~ This tastes just like pumpkin!

1/2 c. sugar
1/2 c. butter
1/2 tsp. ginger
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. salt

1 egg
3/4 c. dark molasses
3/4 c. milk
2 c. flour
1 tsp. baking soda

Mix together sugar, butter, ginger, cinnamon, and salt. Add one egg and beat until fluffy. Add molasses and milk. Combine flour and basking soda and add to wet mixture. Bake in a round pan at 325 degrees F. for 35 minutes. When cooled frost with orange icing.

Drying seeds and roasting seeds are two different processes. To dry, carefully wash pumpkin seeds to remove the clinging fibrous pumpkin tissue. Pumpkin seeds can be dried in the sun, in a dehydrator 115-120o for 1 to 2 hours, or in an oven on warm for 3 to 4 hours. Stir them frequently to avoid scorching.

To roast, take dried pumpkin seeds, toss with oil
(1 teaspoon per cup of seeds) and/or salt and roast in a preheated oven at 250o for 10 to 15 minutes.

It's Halloween

It's Halloween! It's Halloween!
The moon is full and bright
And we shall see what can't be seen
On any other night.

Skeletons and ghosts and ghouls,
Grinning goblins fighting duels,
Werewolves rising from their tombs,
Witches on their magic brooms.

In masks and gowns we haunt the street
And knock on doors for trick or treat.
Tonight we are the king and queen,
For oh tonight it's Halloween!
poem by ~ Jack Prelutsky

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