Maggot Stew and Witch Fingers

Maggot Stew
3 Tablespoons olive oil
2 Tablespoons butter
2 lbs. stew meat
1 package Lipton Onion Soup mix
½ cup flour
1 large Ziploc bag
1 14-oz. can beef broth
1 soup can water—more or less depending on desired thickness
1 28-oz. can crushed or stewed tomatoes
4 medium-sized potatoes, washed and cut the same size as the stew meat
3 carrots, peeled and cut the same size as the potatoes and stew meat
1 bay leaf
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1-2 cups frozen peas, optional
1 cup orzo, cooked in water until al dente (this means literally, at or to the tooth, and means not soggy, but with a little texture)

1. Ask an adult to preheat the oven to 300 degrees. Put the olive oil in a large pan and add the butter. Turn the stove to medium high. In the large Ziploc bag put the package of onion soup mix and the flour. Add the stew meat, seal the bag and shake until all sides the stew meat are covered. Ask an adult to help you add the meat to the pan. It will be hot so this might be an adult only job. Sear the meat on all sides until it is nice and crusty, but not burned. Turn the stove down to medium low.

2. Add the beef broth and the crushed tomatoes. Fill the soup can with water and add it to the pot. Stir the bottom of the pot and try to get up any bits of meat that are stuck to the bottom of the pan.

3. Wash the potatoes and cut them into chunks about the size of the stew meat.

4. Wash and peel the carrots and cut them into chunks about the same size as the potatoes and the stew meat.

5. Add the bay leaf and dried thyme. Put the lid on and ask an adult to put the stew in the oven. Bake it for 4-6 hours.

6. About 20 minutes before you’re ready to serve the stew, bring a pot of water to boil for the orzo “maggots”. Ask an adult to add 1 cup orzo to the boiling water, return the water to a boil, and cook uncovered, for 8-10 minutes. Ask an adult to drain the pasta. Now add your “maggots” to the stew and enjoy! (Add peas if desired, while pasta is cooking.)

Serves: 10-12
Easy Witch Fingers
24 frozen rolls
24 blanched almond halves
red food coloring
coarse salt
1 egg
Parmesan cheese (for toe hair)
2 tablespoons baking soda

1. Ask an adult to preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Bring 3 quarts water to a boil in a large pan, then reduce to a simmer. Add baking soda. Lightly coat a baking sheet with cooking spray.

2. Remove four rolls from freezer and place on a plate. Cover with plastic wrap and microwave for 25 seconds. Turn rolls over and microwave again for 25 seconds. Or, take out rolls and let them unthaw at room temperature. On a lightly floured surface, or in your two hands, roll each piece until the dough forma a long finger shape that is about 3-4 inches long. Pinch the dough in two places to form knuckles. Or, to make toes, roll each piece so that it is short and fat, about 2 inches. Pinch in one place to form the knuckle. When the fingers and toes are formed, transfer them to the simmering water. Leave them in for 1 minute. This is the same technique used for making pretzels, and will keep the dough from rising too much. Using a Chinese strainer or slotted spoon, transfer the fingers to the prepared baking sheets. Repeat with the remaining dough.

3. Beat the egg with 1 tablespoon water. Brush the pretzel fingers and toes with the egg wash. Using the back tip of a sharp knife, lightly score each knuckle two or three times. Sprinkle with sea salt and Parmesan cheese for the toes. Push the almond nails into the fingers and toes, and then paint with red food coloring and a small paint brush if desired. Bake until golden brown, 12 to 15 minutes. Let cool on a wire rack. Fingers and toes are best the day they’re baked, or stored for up to 2 days at room temperature.

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