Last night, in Vermont, where I’m spending a month, we were hunkered down awaiting the approach of Hurricane Sandy.
Vermont Governor Peter Shumlin had called a state of emergency in advance of the storm and ordered in 250 extra line crews from other states and Canada to deal with possible power outages.
Utility trucks coming from Canada were backed up at the border as they made their way here. Luckily – they weren’t needed. In the end, Vermont was mostly spared.
That wasn’t the case in 2011 when the state was deluged with rain after Hurricane Irene. Flooding caused devastating and widespread damage with lengthy power outages. Roads and bridges including historic covered bridges were knocked out and destroyed and dozens of towns were left isolated. It was Vermont’s worst natural disaster since an epic flood in 1927.
This is an interesting time to be in the USA. Between the hurricane, Hallowe’en, the federal election, and American Thanksgiving – there’s a lot going on – even here in the Green Mountains of Vermont. (I was shocked to learn the population of the entire state of Vermont is only 626,000 – it really is beautiful and rural – and the apples grown here are the best I’ve ever had!)
With the worst of Hurricane Sandy over for most of us – it’s time for a bit of Hallowe’en. I’ve made these assorted bugs for years along with severed finger biscuits and pumpkin-shaped sugar cookies. Hallowe’en has lost most of its excitement for me since the days my children were young. And my culinary tastes have moved on too. But it’s a ritual for me to make these assorted chocolate bugs every Hallowe’en. I like to remember the days when I had eager, sticky chocolate-y little hands helping me put the eyes on the bugs.
Assorted Chocolate Bugs
225 grams (about 1 & 1/4 cups) semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 cup butterscotch chips
2 cups of chow mein noodles (these are the pre-cooked ready-to-eat variety – apparently they often come in a can although I buy these pre-packaged at the supermarket)
1/2 cup peanut butter
1 cup mini marshmallows
mini m&m’s for eyes
Melt the chocolate and butterscotch chips together in a double-boiler or in microwave on low power. Add peanut butter, chow mein noodles, and marshmallows – stir well. Drop mixture onto waxed paper on a cookie sheet and place ‘eyes’ on each bug. Chill!