Olives have always played a role in my holiday experience. As a child, I remember standing next to my mom as she opened the cans of black olives on Thanksgiving, antsy to get the first ones and toss them into my mouth before she shooed me away. Sitting at a rickety old card table that was the designated “kid table,” we’d descend upon the white bowl of olives in front of us, poking our fingers into the little holes and waving at the adults.
When I moved to Texas and we started having Thanksgiving with my husband’s family, black olives weren’t included at the dinner table, and they were sorely missed. When we started hosting Thanksgiving at our home I made sure to stock up. It turns out my kids have as much fun sticking them on their own fingers as I did as a child!
Olives are addicting. And they’re also perfect for the holidays (and not just because they are woven into the fabric of my holiday memories!). Normally, I save my olive addiction for Thanksgiving and Christmas, although I am known to buy random cans of California Ripe Olives throughout the year and eat them in one sitting. This year, though, we have *so* much going on…I thought it would be fun to break out the black olives for some Halloween fun!
Call me crazy, but one evening a few weeks ago, we decided with the neighbors that we’d host a Halloween party for our street. Perfect idea for someone who’s a terrible hostess. Right?!
I’m not fancy when it comes to parties, but I did think it would be *so* fun to do something just a little bit creative and out-of-the-norm for this one. Veggies trays are boring. Veggie trays that look like pumpkins on a dark night are fun. So, I decided I’d make just that, showcasing one of my favorite treats – California Black Olives.
Here’s what I used to make this:
- 5 cans of California Black Ripe Olives, drained (my serving tray is huge…you could probably cut that number in half with a smaller tray)
- 8 carrots, peeled and cut into little circles
- 2 broccoli bunches
- 1 zucchini, sliced, for the stem (you could also use celery or even broccoli)
- Tray or cookie sheet
- Optional: wax paper or foil to line tray
I also made some Spooooky Ghost Dip for dipping. If you want to make the dip too, you’ll also need:
- 1 16 oz. tub of sour cream
- 1 packet of ranch dip mix
- 3 black olives for the spooky ghost face
Making this was as simple as could be. I started by placing the broccoli at the bottom of the tray for my “grass.” I used carrot slices to map out the size of my pumpkin, and then just filled it in with the remaining slices. I used a slize of zucchini for the stem and surrounded the pumpkin with olives to create a nighttime effect.
We haven’t had our neighborhood Halloween party yet, but I took this to a friend’s birthday party and it was a hit (also, I learned that I am not the only one seriously loves black olives!). This was so easy to make, it will be simple to throw another one together for Halloween.
Jack even suggested using olives to make a Jack-o-Lantern face…so we might try that, too!
Olives provide texture, flavor, and variety when compared to more traditional foods. They are the perfect compliment to standard veggies or boring dips – they brighten it right up and add some serious flavor! Also? They are super fun to make food art with – and even more fun to eat! 😉
Are you an olive lover, too? What is your favorite way to eat them?