Recipes to cure homesickness on Halloween

Hannah Lentz

The Halloween season has arrived and is serving up yet another reminder that you’re not home because you’re stuck in the library working on homework you don’t want to do. But have no fear! Before you go out and buy that sad bag of clearance Halloween candy, take a look at these spookily delicious recipes from my grandma (shoutout to Betty Lentz) to you.

Plain old popcorn balls are so yesterday (and so is your diet). Gone are the days of having to mold popcorn balls and just pray that they hold shape. With Betty’s “Crazy Crunch,” you’ll be the favorite roommate and, not to be forgotten, the self-appointed “snack queen” of the greater Grand Rapids area.

2 quarts of popped popcorn

1 1/3 cup pecans (or chocolate chips if that’s more your style)

2/3 cup almonds (again, can be substituted for other sweet treats if nuts aren’t your thing)

1 1/3 cup of sugar

1 cup Mazola margarine

1 tsp vanilla

1/2 cup Karo syrup

Mix popped popcorn and butter on a large cookie sheet. In a saucepan, mix sugar, margarine and syrup and bring to a boil, stirring constantly for 15 minutes. After this time, the syrup mixture should appear thick. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla. Pour the syrup mixture over the popcorn and stir. Spread out on cookie sheets to dry and serve.

This next one involves a little bit of activity on your part, I hope you’re ready. Go to the pumpkin patch, pick our your favorite pumpkin, carve it into a bunny, a funny face, T.Haas – whatever strikes your fancy. Then, take the pumpkin seeds out of the pumpkin guts and set aside to dry. These pumpkin seeds are no ordinary pumpkin seeds.

3 tbs butter

1 tsp cinnamon

1/4 tsp salt

1 1/2 cups pumpkin seeds

2 tbs white sugar

Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Mix together melted butter, cinnamon and salt in a bowl. Place pumpkin seeds in a separate bowl and pour butter mixture over seeds and stir. Spread seeds on a baking sheet and bake for 40 minutes stirring occasionally. Sprinkle sugar over seeds after removing from the over and mix until evenly coated.

Do all of these delicious recipes have you thirsty for the Halloween season? You’re in luck (only if you are also literally thirsty).

2 quarts apple cider

1/2 cup molasses

4 lemon slices

12 whole cloves

2 (2-inch) cinnamon sticks

1/4 cup lemon juice

Bring cider, molasses, lemon, cloves and cinnamon sticks to a boil over medium-high heat. Stir occasionally and then reduce heat and let simmer for 15 minutes. Remove cinnamon sticks and cloves, then stir in lemon juice. Serve in your favorite mug.