The Gallivanting Gourmand
Greg Duncan
Greg Duncan
is a freelance writer based in the Montreal region. He is particularly keen about good food. In his day job, Greg is the executive director of the Quebec Community Newspapers Association.

His previous columns are archived HERE.

Posted 10.27.04


Halloween Boogers on a Stick

"I saw a werewolf with a Chinese menu in his hand
Walking through the streets of Soho in the rain
He was looking for a place called Lee Ho Fook's
Going to get himself a big dish of beef chow mein
Ah-ooooo, werewolves of London" ~Warren Zevon

Is there a soul who does not have fond childhood memories of Halloween? I think perhaps many of us counted the opportunity to gobble up free candy as even more important than Christmas . Cold evening walking tours of the neighborhood allowed rare freedom on a school night while pumpkins glowed in windows and porches. I often wondered just how the tradition of carving Jack-O-lanterns began.

The Jack-O-lantern custom probably comes from Irish folklore. As the tale is told, a man named Jack, who was notorious as a drunkard and trickster, tricked Satan into climbing a tree. Jack then carved an image of a cross in the tree's trunk, trapping the devil up the tree. Jack made a deal with the devil that, if he would never tempt him again, he would promise to let him down the tree.

According to the folk tale, after Jack died, he was denied entrance to Heaven because of his evil ways, but he was also denied access to Hell because he had tricked the devil. Instead, the devil gave him a single ember to light his way through the frigid darkness. The ember was placed inside a hollowed-out turnip to keep it glowing longer.

The Irish used turnips as their "Jack's lanterns" originally. But when the immigrants came to America, they found that pumpkins were far more plentiful than turnips. So the Jack-O-Lantern in America was a hollowed-out pumpkin, lit with an ember.

There will be many parties for little goblins this coming week and you'll need to serve up some ghoulish treats. The kids will enjoy these gross-out items.

Halloween Boogers On A Stick
1 Jar Cheez Whiz
Green food coloring
25 to 30 pretzel sticks


Waxed paper
Long handled spoon

With an adults help, melt the Cheez Whiz in the microwave or on top of the stove, according to directions on the jar.
Allow the cheese to cool slightly in the jar.
Using a long handled spoon, carefully stir about three drops of green food coloring into the warm cheese, using just enough to turn the cheese a delicate snot green.

To form boogers

Dip and twist the tip of each pretzel stick into the cheese, lift out, wait twenty seconds, and then dip again. When cheese lumps reach an appealingly boogerish size, set pretzels, booger down, onto a sheet of waxed paper. Allow finished boogers on a stick to cool at room temperature for ten minutes or until cheese is firm. Gently pull boogers off waxed paper and arrange on a serving platter.

Sicko Serving Suggestion

Place a bowl of chunky red salsa in the center of the platter so that guests can turn plain boogers into bloody ones.