So I guess I’ve been holding out on you a bit. In response to the overwhelming demand from Seattle Palate readers for more information about SUE!, I never mentioned that she has a sister. Lynn:). She gets a happy face because she is the best. Lynn:) is caring and nurturing and funny and doesn’t have a mean bone in her body. (Though she did recently flat out threaten to boycott Seattle Palate if she didn’t get a mention soon.)
Lynn:) was definitely a favorite relative when we were growing up because she lived in Florida with a screened in pool, geckos running up the walls of the house, a spiral staircase, and a boat on the dock in the back yard. Oh, and they had a parakeet that liked to sit on your head. Hello? If that doesn’t spell F-U-N I don’t know what does.
They still have the pool, boat, and spiral staircase. The parakeet “flew away to a farm,” and I suspect Lynn:) will adamantly argue that there’s never been a lizard of any sort in the house. And I still love going to visit.
I’m not sure why, but Lynn:) latched on to my cooking interest from the start. Still, she always wants to know what I’m up to in the kitchen. It’s never really impressive compared to her completely over-the-top holiday spreads. Everyone leaves stuffed and every year she insists that she’s not making so much next year! Lynn:), who are you kidding? We know next Easter will be bigger than the last.
So the first time Lynn:) came over to my new house for dinner, I knew I had to pull out all the stops. It was just after I initially ventured into the kitchen, with only one or two tried-and-true recipes under my belt. But I knew even if dinner was terrible, I’d still wow Lynn:) with dessert. (And that is no easy feat considering one year she made Dirt Cake for the kids. To this day I can vividly remember my cousin’s son shrieking “WE’RE EATING DIRT!!!!!” with his hands waving frantically over his head and a gummy worm hanging out of his mouth. She had filled flowerpots with cake and crushed oreos and gummy worms and all sorts of sugary confections. Consider this bar set very high.)
Beings that my first dinner for Lynn:) was right around Halloween, I carved jack-o-lanterns out of large navel oranges and filled with ice cream. Sure, I totally ripped the idea off from some magazine cover, but who cares – these were seriously cute.
Of course it worked. Everyone left sufficiently impressed, even though the dinner food was sufficiently unmemorable I’m sure. With Halloween right around the corner, I offer up this cute trick for you to use on your favorite aunt, or anyone else who needs some impressing. Enjoy!
Halloween Jack-o-Lanterns with Ice Cream
Click here to print this recipe.
Time to prepare: 90 minutes, including freezing
4 large navel oranges
1 Pint of your favorite ice cream
4 green or brown pipe cleaners or pieces of craft wire
Begin by slicing off the top 1” of each orange, reserving the tops.
Using a spoon or very small paring knife, scoop out the meat of the orange, leaving just the skin. If you have one, a grapefruit spoon or knife with serrated, curved edges works like a charm. (Reserve the orange meat for eating or juicing.)
Use a very small paring knife or an exact-o knife to carve jack-o-lantern faces on each orange. It’s best to not carve all the way through the orange skin, otherwise the ice cream leaks out as it melts.
Take a 6” piece of pipe cleaner and wrap it around a pencil, then remove and pull to separate the curls to resemble vines. Stick two in each orange top.
Fill each orange with ice cream and place an orange top on top. Freeze at least one half hour before serving.