(Joyce Trepus welcomes your holiday questions at 503-292-2741.)
Happy Halloween. My favorite way to entertain for this colorful holiday follows. I developed the ideas when we were living in a small apartment and my son was going to college. Money was short and so was space.
First, buy pretty paper plates, cups, napkins and plastic cutlery (try the Dollar Store). Remember a garbage bag or two. If you don't have wastebaskets, get a few large cardboard boxes at the grocery store and line with plastic bags.
Orange and black narrow ribbon can be tacked around the house and then saved for next year. White carnations can be placed in jars of colored water until the petals begin to pick up the color. Replace the colored water with clear before the guests arrive and arrange colored leaves around the base of the vases and scatter a few on the table.
Gently buff a few apples and arrange them in a bowl or basket with some nuts in their shells. For more shine, the nuts can be rubbed with walnut oil and then buffed. You will need Halloween cookie cutters, thin soft bread, slices of lunchmeat and cheese, plus butter, mayonnaise, ketchup, mustard, strips of red pimento, parsley, etc.
Add a pickle or black olive to garnish and parsley for color. Flat toothpicks will help hold pieces together. Colored construction paper looks wonderful as place mats. Be sure to pass crayons so guests can scribble and draw. Next, wrap more paper around small pots of mums using tape to hold in place. Tie with ribbons.
Now for the food. Butter bread slices on one side, place one slice, buttered side up, on a flat surface. Add mayonnaise or other condiments, top with a slice of lunchmeat. Using a sharp knife, cut Jack-O-Lantern faces into each cheese slice and place on top of meat. Cut each sandwich with a cookie cutter.
Make at least three per person and cover with a damp kitchen towel. Refrigerate until serving time. Serve with potato salad, coleslaw, chips and fresh fruit pieces or canned fruit cocktail, plus apple cider.