Spooky Food-Related Costumery

A friend announced on Twitter that his wife is dressing up as the $700B bailout for Halloween. Brilliant! Why can’t I be that creative?


It’s been years since I cooked up a Halloween costume. Would I dare this time 'round? Only 10 days remain until the festivities; is there enough time to concoct a get-up that’s both spooky and food related?

Here’s what I’ve scribbled down thus far:

A farmed salmon that just flew in from Chile with a bad case of jet lag -- or maybe it’s the flu?

An ear of genetically modified (GMO) corn

Here’s one to do as a team: Go as FDA-approved cloned cow twins!

Your favorite partially hydrogenated oil, aka trans fat, the fat that keeps those packaged cookies, crackers and baked goods oh so fresh for...eternity.

A peck of three-month-old salmonella-contaminated jalapeno peppers

A McDonald’s Happy Meal. Smile!

The latest daily allotment for a family of four on food stamps

A shrinking acre of U.S. farmland (to the rate of 2,880 acres per day)

A cheerleading squad for HFCS (High-Fructose Corn Syrup)

Got one to add to the list? Share your scary costume ideas in the comments area. And talk to me today at 1 ET for this week's What's Cooking.

By Kim ODonnel |  October 21, 2008; 7:00 AM ET Food Politics
Previous: Meatless Monday: Sweet on Sweet Potatoes | Next: These Onions Are Jammin'


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Not really a costume idea, but I've been meaning to ask if anyone else has seen the recent commercials touting HFCS as a "natural" product because it's derived from corn. Anyone else seen them? Talk about scary... it seems that the Food Big-Wigs are reacting to the smartening of the American Consumers who've started reading food labels.

Hmmm. That gives me an idea: maybe I'll dress up as a fish head with a Buick body... you know... "Car-Gill."

Posted by: Centre of Nowhere | October 21, 2008 8:02 AM

I'm dressing up as a nutritian label and people will have to guess what product that label came from.

Posted by: Maryland | October 21, 2008 8:46 AM

Centre, I almost snorted my coffee when I read your idea. Excellent! Maryland, you could also be one of the new COOL (Country of Origin) labels...keep'em coming!

Posted by: Kim O'Donnel | October 21, 2008 11:19 AM

Thank goodness for Meatless Mondays, otherwise there would be no recipes on this supposed cooking blog, just food politics and travel logs.

Posted by: Colorado | October 21, 2008 11:40 AM

Off Topic Question: Kim, maybe you or some of the posters can help me. I recently made a batch of chocolate chip-dried cherry cookies from a magazine. The cookies in the photo were puffy looking. My cookies turned out flat and melted all over the cookie sheet. The recipe called for 1 cup of butter/margerine. Should I have chilled the dough before baking? This happens when I make other high-butter content cookies, like plain chocolate chip cookies from the nestle wrapper recipe.

Sorry to interrupt your halloween theme.

Posted by: South of the Beltway | October 21, 2008 11:59 AM

Go as the "Freshman 15" - any college sweatshirt with a large pillow stuffed underneath. Be sure to carry a beer bottle in one hand and a fast-food bag or pizza box in the other.

And don't ask me how I know about this.

Posted by: sparkalicious | October 21, 2008 1:35 PM

Colorado, don't like it? Don't read it! Go read your crappy Daily Camera.

Posted by: Cruella | October 21, 2008 3:21 PM


It's YOUR problem. Discuss it with your analyst, rather than venting your negativity where it isn't wanted and isn't appropriate.

Posted by: David Lewiston | October 21, 2008 3:28 PM

Hey South of the Beltway...

Alton Brown did a show about cookies (chocolate chip, to be exact) where he made thin, puffy, and chewy results by altering the proportion of eggs, milk, butter and flour of the same recipe, not to mention chilling the batter for some results and not others. You can find a transcript here:


And, you can watch it on YouTube by doing a quick google search. The episode was "Three Chips for Sister Marsha."

Your problem with flat cookies may be that you will need to chill the dough prior to baking, or it could've been the age of your eggs, or... it could be any number of things. Hopefully, your flat cookies were still tasty and you won't mind changing a few variables for the next batch, and maybe the next, until you achieve the desired results. Good luck!

Posted by: Centre of Nowhere | October 21, 2008 5:25 PM

South and Centre -

Sounds to me like the most likely culprit is the butter/marg being too warm - I've wound up with really flat chocolate chippers whenever I let the butter warm up too much, either by starting with too warm butter, or leaving the batter out too long before baking. I think you can pop the bowl back in the fridge or freezer for a bit, and the problem should go away.

Posted by: Fairfax Baker | October 21, 2008 10:37 PM

Thanks to Centre and Fairfax. The cookies did taste really good, but were flat and soft. I made them exactly according to the recipe. I'll make a note to chill the dough before baking. That works for my snickerdoodles every time.

Posted by: South of the Beltway | October 22, 2008 9:09 AM

A friend dressed up in a very elaborate shrimp costume last year. It was great, but I guess she'd confess the tail was an awkward appendage for a landlubber (not to mention all of those extra limbs).

Posted by: Mark | October 22, 2008 8:28 PM

Funny ideas, but how would anyone be able to tell that you were genetically engineered corn opposed to conventionally modified corn?

Posted by: Eliza | October 22, 2008 11:56 PM

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