Well, it’s that time of the year again. The leaves are falling, apples are everywhere, and your supermarket is filled with orange candy. Fall has arrived, and it has brought Halloween.
I’ll be doing several Halloween-themed posts this week since it’s a fun holiday, full of cute, gory, and/or inventive food with almost no boundaries. Compare that to the more rigid menu and color palette of the winter holidays, and you’ll see why Halloween is a favorite of mine.
I bought these lollipops in Maine in September, over a month before the holiday, since it seems like we prepare for holidays 60 days before they start here in America. They came from a candy store in Ogunquit, all five tied together in a ribbon. They’re made of flavored gumdrops.
They’re a little hard to photograph sharply because the sugar and spongy texture of the gumdrop makes everything look a little blurry. Golden summer sunlight would probably fix that problem in a minute, but we’re a little short on that for the next oh, 8 months.
The dude on the right looks like a Frankenstein at first because he is green, but when you look closer, you notice he has wee little fangs. I haven’t eaten him yet, so I don’t know what flavor he is, but the pumpkin was, naturally, orange-flavored, and the purple tarantula was grape. I loved the spider’s googly eyes.
This ghost is a little creepy to me. He looks like he is a part of an old, faded sign above a fun house in an abandoned amusement park. The person who made the lollipop did a pretty nice design, though, with the mouth, cheeks, and tongue.
This skull reminds me of Nightmare Before Christmas. I’m usually terrible at styling, so I like the autumnal potpourri around him, but the actual candy is lacking sharpness. I shot this in a cube with two direct lights shining down into it, a lamp next to it, and an overhead light in the room, and apparently the light still wasn’t enough. Sigh.
I love this picture for its misdirection. The foreground of cinnamon sticks and tiny nuts looks like the main focus, but then there’s the blurry skull in the center. It doesn’t show off the product at all – you can’t even tell the skull is edible – but from an artistic perspective, I like it a lot.
Here is a bonus shot of one of my favorite Halloween knick-knacks, a clay kitty in a pumpkin. She’s not edible, but she is adorable.
Making gumdrops is relatively easy. You just need sugar, pectin or jello, flavorings, and time.
http://www.squidoo.com/homemade-gumdrops has a jello version
http://www.wikihow.com/Make-Gum-Drops uses pectin
The pectin/gelatin firm up what is essentially colored sugar water. You can then pour the mixture into candy or chocolate molds once it has cooled and wa la! cute, soft candies for kids.