Wednesday, May 22, 2013
Three weeks ago, I put out a call for creative, food-loving types to come up with fun, Maine-centric Halloween dioramas made out of (what else) Halloween candy.
The response? Chocolate-covered crickets.
I take the blame because it was a last-minute idea, and we didn’t have much time to drum up any excitement. But I honestly thought if I gave people two weeks to build something and send me a photo, that would suffice.
Well, it turns out that I was wrong about nobody responding. I found out today that 13-year-old Katie McCabe, an 8th grader at Lincoln Middle School, did indeed take on the challenge and emailed me a photo of her creation. But for some reason (probably our ancient technology) nothing showed up in my inbox.
Here, for your viewing pleasure, is Katie’s version of a lobster shack. As you can see, she has turned the idea of a traditional Maine lobster shack on its head and constructed a creepy Halloween “People Shack” where lobsters sit at picnic tables and devour little people. (Hmmm, I wonder if they’re dipping them in drawn butter?)
Katie says it took her four to five hours over five days to plan, choose the candy, do the construction and so on. The lobsters are made of five red gumdrops and a red toothpick, “smooshed and sliced apart and with red twist ties stuck into the top.” they have poppyseed eyes.
Each plate of “pretend people” is Sour Patch Kids with little eyes and mouths drawn on them.
The pathway is made of Raisinets, and the grass is made of thinly-sliced spearmint gummies. The rocks, Katie explained, are unwrapped Hershey’s Kisses taped into tinfoil. The front rock wall is constructed with Hershey’s milk chocolate nuggets glued onto cardboard.
The table and shack are made of popsicle sticks, and the lobster buoys on the side of the shack are layered gumdrops suspended by twist ties. Three pretzel rods make up the entry way, and the People Shack/Come Again sign is attached with the little paper banners that come in a Hershey’s Kiss.
Great job, Katie! I hereby declare you the winner (better late than never) and will be sending a little something your way.
As for the rest of you? Start thinking now about next year...
Meredith Goad has harvested oysters on the Chesapeake Bay, eaten reindeer in Finland and sipped hot chai in the Himalayas. She writes the weekly Soup to Nuts column and enjoys a good cocktail.
Susan Axelrod's food writing career began in the kitchen; she owned a restaurant and catering business before turning to journalism more than a decade ago. To relax, she bakes, gardens and hikes with her husband and their two dogs. A newcomer to Portland, she is an online content producer for the Press Herald.
Susan can be contacted at 791-6310 or saxelrod [at] pressherald.com.
On Twitter: @susansaxelrod
Wendy Almeida and her family have a smattering of livestock and a summer garden. After 10 years of her kids being involved in 4-H, she's finally accepted the term "hobby farm" to describe her family's work at sustainable living. These days her morning starts with milking a goat before heading into the office for her day job as an assistant editor for features.
Wendy can be contacted at wea [at] mainetoday.com or on Twitter @wea1021.