Sunday, October 24, 2010

Grams Made an Edible Halloween Centerpiece

One of the highlights of the fall season for Grams and Grandad is always a trip to the Valenta Family Gathering held the 4th Saturday of every October at Moravian Hall in Corn Hill, Texas. This is one of two Valenta Family reunions held in Corn Hill each year. The Valenta Family Reunion is the second Saturday of June each year and is for the entire Valenta Clan. This Fall Family Gathering is only for the descendants of Adolph and Louise Valenta, who were my husband's grandparents.

This is what real kolaches look like.
The rental for the Moravian Hall is paid from the proceeds of a silent auction. Every family is asked to bring an item for the auction. This year there were 47 items. Bidding is a good-natured competition among cousins. There are always one or two items that go for ridiculously high prices. Home-made pickles are a perennial favorite sometimes bringing as much as $35 for one jar. Yesterday home-baked pastries and home-canned goodies were the high dollar items. My brother-in-law paid something like $48 for a bukta, which is a large pastry similar to a coffee cake or danish. My other brother-in-law paid around $50 for this plate of cream cheese kolaches.

I always have trouble deciding what to take as my donation. On Friday I was still trying to choose something when I was reading one of my favorite blogs A Little Sussy. Nicole Hill Gerulat is a professional photographer who shares her photo shoots. She recently posted photos from a Halloween party that had this beautiful centerpiece. I decided to try to copy it for my donation to the silent auction. I think it came out pretty good. Here's my copy.

In case you want to make one yourself, here's what I did.

You'll need:
  • a one gallon container with straight sides (I used a gallon canister with a lid)
  • 1 bag of mini-marshmallows
  • 1 package black licorice whips
  • 4 packages of Jack-O-Lantern Peeps (I could only find one, so I improvised)
  • 1 bag candy pumpkins (they're similar to candy corn)
  • 1 carton malted milk balls
  • 4 packages of ghost Peeps
  • 2 bags candy corn
  • 3-5 decorative lollipops or other tall Halloween candy
  • about one yard of ribbon in a coordinating color.
Step-by-step directions
  1. Fill the bottom of the container about one inch deep with mini-marshmallows. 
  2. Make the licorice layer by curling the licorice around the container starting at the outside and working your way in. 
  3. Next line the container with Jack-O-Lantern Peeps then fill behind them with candy pumpkins. 
  4. The next layer is malted milk balls. I used the entire carton.
  5. Next line the container with ghost Peeps and fill behind them with candy corn all the way to the top of the canister. 
  6. Arrange the tall candies to stick out of the top.
  7. Tie the ribbon around the rim of the canister and you're done.

If I make another one I would probably replace the mini-marshmallows and with yellow and orange sour balls. Although I do like the white color of the marshmallows, I don't really like marshmallows. You can really replace any of the candies with any others, but I recommend that you stick with the orange, black, brown, yellow colors for Halloween.

I think I'm going to make a red and green one for Christmas.


  1. I love, love, love it! What a creative beautiful centerpiece! What a fun family tradition!

  2. It looks great, Debra! I'm sure Brittany and Sara will be proud. ;)


  3. OMG that is so cute. I would love it if someone sent me one. Hint, Hint. LOL Visiting from SITS and I will be back!


  4. My boys would love that centerpiece! It would not last long!