Double, double toil and trouble; Fire burn, and caldron bubble...Kids love the spooky side of Halloween and creating your own bubbling cauldron is a great way to give them a chilly thrill. All you need is a punch bowl, some basic ingredients and dry ice.
First marketed in 1924, dry ice has had many commercial uses. But its extremely cold temperature, (-109°F, to be exact) gave it a distinct advantage over ice made from water as a cooling agent for shipping cross-country via railroad. And because it sublimates when it melts (being the solid form of carbon dioxide), it doesn't leave any messy clean up.
But of course, it's the turning straight to gas vapors that have us excited for this time of year. This sublimation straight to gas puts the All-Hallow's-Eve-fog in your haunted-spook-alley décor. When added to your favorite punch bowl, it's sure to make even that old headless horseman do a double take. Best of all, it’s easy to find. Check online for nearby ice suppliers, most of which also carry dry ice. Just remember to treat it with the utmost care. Use an oven mitt, towel or tongs to protect your hands and use dry ice in a well-ventilated area. Keep kids and pets at a safe distance.
Once you've got it ready to go, the creative fun begins. While you can insert dry ice directly into your punch bowl, we recommend one of the two safer methods:
- Place your punch bowl inside of a large pot, surround it with dry ice and watch the smoke creep out from under the punch bowl's edge.
- Place pieces of dry ice in pots hidden under the table to envelop the whole spread in a spooky mist.
When it comes to the punch itself, think about using orange soda, orange drink mix or orange sherbet for Halloween-inspired color. If you're serving grownups and want to spike it up, rum, vodka or other spirits may be added. Try floating black plastic spiders on top or draping artificial cobwebs around your punch bowl for an additional creep factor.
Whether you're serving grown-up goblins or little monsters, an eerie bowl of something yummy is a great centerpiece for the Halloween festivities. It might even become an annual tradition.
Do you have any favorite punch recipes that would suit the Halloween mood or tips for decorating with dry ice?