There is a child in every one of us who is still a trick-or-treater looking for a brightly-lit front porch. – Robert Brault
Halloween Spirit Lives On
Growing up, I was never really into the whole “Halloween Spirit,” such as dressing up in costumes, or trick or treating. I was also a scaredy cat and stayed away from horror films.
Halloween in my country is often overlooked by All Souls Day, when we visit the graves of our loved ones. Families will literally camp out in cemeteries and spend the entire day there often times eating, having fun, praying and reminiscing. It’s a bit weird from an outsider’s point of view, but I guess people have different ways of paying respect to the souls of their loved ones.
Having spent a couple of years in the US, I’ve been exposed to this whole Halloween Spirit. I can’t believe I missed out all these years on all the candy, costumes, horror stories, (the drinking) — all the fun! I have come to realize that it can still be fun even if you’re older :)
Since Halloween is approaching, I decided to post a recipe that somehow has a “Halloween Spirit” to it.
I present to you, my Carrot Rice Jack-O-Lanterns!
All You Need is a Bit of Love and Patience
This recipe is really fun and not too difficult to make. However, it does require a bit of love and patience!
The first parts, such as making the carrot rice and rolling them into balls are very easy. However, once you get to the actual decorating-the-jack-o-lantern-face part, it could get a bit tricky. Mostly because the pieces are so tiny and sometimes, they don’t stick to the rice that well.
However, all you need is a bit of love and patience, and you will definitely get the hang of it!
It helps to make the pieces in batches so you can make them relatively the same size, and you can also poke little holes on the rice balls gently to push the pieces in if they are not sticking that well.
Are you ready to make these adorable Carrot Rice Jack O’Lanterns?
Let’s Make Carrot Rice-Jack-O-Lanterns!
The steps below are the simplified version. A more detailed recipe can be viewed afterwards.
First, get 3 cups of carrot juice, preferably fresh carrot juice using a juicer.
Make carrot rice by bringing 3 cups of carrot juice, 1 1/2 cups of short grain rice and seasonings to a boil. Simmer on low heat and cover it for about 10 to 15 minutes. Turn off heat and fluff the rice.
Roll the cooked carrot rice into golf-sized balls. Dampen your hands with water to ease stickiness.
Decorate the balls by cutting 3 small triangles of figs or black olives or seaweed for the eyes and nose, and a ragged rectangular strip for the mouth. Cut small strips of green olives or green bell pepper for the stem. Press gently on rice balls to stick.
Smile and take a picture of your lovely creation.
I hope you enjoy making these Carrot Rice Jack-O-Lanterns as much as I did!
Happy cooking and happy (early) Halloween :)
- 3 cups of carrot juice (if you're using a juicer, it's about 6 carrots)
- 1 1/2 cups of short grain rice
- Salt and pepper to taste (or 1 tablespoon of chicken or vegetable bouillon granules)
- 2-4 pitted green olives (or 1/4 green bell pepper)
- 3 to 5 dried figs (or 5 to 7 pitted black olives or some dried seaweed)
- Wash rice about 2 to 3 times in cold water. First, put your rice in a bowl/pot, soak the rice in cold water, swish it around with your hand until the water becomes cloudy and slowly pour out the cloudy water, making sure not to let the rice fall out. Repeat the process 2 or 3 times.
- Combine rice, carrot juice, salt and pepper in a pot and bring to a boil. When it is boiling, bring heat to lowest setting and cover the pot. Simmer rice for about 10 to 15 minutes until rice is soft and cooked. Turn off heat and fluff rice with a spoon. Set aside to cool.
- When rice is cool to touch, wet your hands to prevent sticking and roll the rice into golf-sized balls.
- To make the eyes and nose, cut three triangular shapes using either dried figs, black olives or dried seaweed. Make three for each ball.
- To make the mouth, using either dried figs, black olives or dried seaweed, cut a short rectangular strip and make it a bit ragged to resemble a Jack-O-Lantern smile. Make one for each ball.
- To make the stem, cut out short strips of the green olives or green bell pepper. Make one for each ball.
- Gently stick the pieces in each ball. If not sticking, use a small knife or toothpick to slightly poke holes on the ball then push the pieces in.
- Smile and take a picture of your lovely creation!
- Eat as a side dish or as a snack.
- Feel free to put some filling inside the rice balls like shredded chicken or salmon, spinach, raisins and whatever you want to give it that little extra something.