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Have some skele-fun at these fall spots

Get out of the house to celebrate Halloween

Allison Vanderzanden | Lifestyle Editor

There are many fun activities to do come Halloween — corn mazes, pumpkin picking and carving, apple picking and enjoying the decor are just a few that anyone can get out and enjoy. Get dressed up or bundled up and explore these fun fall spots.

Fordyce Farm in Salem checks all the boxes. U-pick pumpkins are available for $0.40 per pound, and their apple orchards are also open for picking. They sell a variety of fall decorations as well, like hay bales, gourds and mums. Give their corn maze a try for an admission fee of $4.95, or wait until dusk on Friday or Saturday to brave their haunted “Dark Oregon” corn maze for $13 per person. Find Fordyce Farm at 7023 Sunnyview Road NE in Salem.

The Melon Shack at Winn Farms in Corvallis is another location with a great range of activities. Through Halloween, they sell pumpkins and squashes along with fall decor like corn stalks and hay bales. Their daytime corn maze is open every day from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., for $5 per person. Their haunted corn maze opens at 7:30 p.m. Friday through Sunday; tickets cost $14 on Fridays and Saturdays, and $10 on Sunday. The Melon Shack is located at the corner of NE Garden Avenue and Highway 20.

St. Helens hosts its annual Spirit of Halloweentown celebration through Nov. 1 if anyone is up for the two-hour road trip from Western. Explore where “Halloweentown” was filmed, take advantage of the photo ops, check out local vendors and more. Admission is free on weekdays, but tickets are being sold online for events and parking due to COVID-19. Spirit of Halloweentown is also hosting a virtual party on Oct. 31 for $2 per ticket. Find all this information and more at discovercolumbiacounty.com.

If anyone is worried about social distancing or doesn’t have time to get out and see these fall spots, there are other festive activities to supplement. Drive around nearby neighborhoods and take in the spooky decor. Host a virtual costume competition with friends online. Buy pumpkins from a local grocery store or market and carve them at home, or simply set them on the front porch.

Contact the author at avanderzanden19@mail.wou.edu

Celebrate Halloween with festive Franken-foods

Spooky snacks and sweets to prepare this Halloween

Allison Vanderzanden | Lifestyle Editor

Halloween means it’s time for treats. Candy is great, but homemade goodies allow for more creativity. Check out these appetizers and sweets to make for oneself, friends, roommates or family. 



Start to finish: 20 minutes

Yields: approximately 16 

2 cups strawberries

1 ½ cups white chocolate, melted

1 teaspoon coconut oil

¼ cup mini chocolate chips

1 cup chocolate chips, melted

Line a small baking sheet with parchment paper. In a large bowl, combine melted white chocolate and coconut oil and stir until combined. 

Dip strawberries into white chocolate, then place two mini chocolate chips on the top half of the strawberries for eyes. Place strawberries on prepared baking sheet and let harden in the refrigerator for about 10 minutes.

Place melted chocolate chips in a plastic sandwich bag and pipe mouths on the strawberries. Let cool again in the refrigerator for five minutes before serving.

Recipe from delish.com




Start to finish: 1 hour

Yields: approximately 20 

1 box of brownie mix (plus additional ingredients listed on the box)

20 Milano cookies, cut in half

2 cups crushed Oreo cookies

3 cups sugar cookie icing, green and black

20 candy pumpkins

Bake brownies as directed, and let cool completely before slicing into squares. If using homemade icing, color half the batch green and the other half black. Load each into a pastry bag with a small round tip or into a sandwich bag with a small hole cut in one corner. Frost squiggly pumpkin vines on the top of each brownie square with green icing. Crumble crushed Oreos on top of the green icing. 

Pipe letters onto the halved Milano cookies with black icing to create headstones. Adhere Milano cookie to the brownie with some black icing. Add a dab of green icing to the bottom of the candy pumpkin and place one on each brownie.

Recipe from adventuresofmel.com




Start to finish: 25 minutes

Yields: approximately 15

1 roll refrigerated soft breadsticks dough

Marinara or pizza sauce

Sliced almonds, or…

1 bell pepper

¼ cup cream cheese

Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper, and preheat the oven to the temperature indicated on the breadstick dough packaging.

Unroll the breadsticks onto a large cutting board, and using a pizza cutter, slice each breadstick to be about 3 to 4 inches long and ½-inch to 1 inch wide. Roll the dough around a bit to form a finger shape, and use the pizza cutter to press a few horizontal lines in the middle to resemble a knuckle. Transfer breadsticks to the baking sheet.

Indent the more narrow end of the breadstick for the fingernail bed. If using sliced almonds, press one into the bed before baking. If using bell peppers and cream cheese, adhere them after cooking. Bake according to package instructions or until puffy and browning at the top.

Let breadsticks cool completely on a wire rack. Now for the bell peppers: slice them into narrow triangles, add a dab of cream cheese to the tip and stick the pepper on. Serve the finished breadsticks with some marinara or pizza sauce.

Recipe from kitchentreaty.com




Start to finish: 35 minutes

Yields: 24

12 large eggs

½ cup mayonnaise

Juice of ½ lemon (about 1 ½ tablespoons)

1 ½ teaspoons Dijon mustard

Kosher salt

Black pepper

2 tablespoons paprika

4 chives, cut into small pieces

Hard boil the eggs by placing them in a single layer in a saucepan and adding enough water to cover them with 2 inches of water. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and cook covered for 1 minute. Remove from heat and let sit, still covered, for 14 minutes. Then rinse and carefully peel shells off under cool running water. Halve eggs lengthwise. Spoon out yolks into a small bowl and place whites on a serving platter. 

Using a fork, mash the yolks, then stir in mayonnaise, lemon juice and Dijon, and season with salt and pepper. Spoon mixture evenly among egg whites and smooth the tops. Carefully dust paprika to completely cover the yolk mixture. Using a knife, make ridges down the paprika-dusted yolk to look like a pumpkin. Place chive slice above yolk mixture to resemble a stem and serve.

Recipe from delish.com

Contact the author at avanderzanden19@mail.wou.edu


Dress up in pawsome matching costumes

Perfect costume pairs for pet and owner

Allison Vanderzanden | Lifestyle Editor

Halloween may look a little different in 2020. There will likely be some who venture out to trick-or-treat, but others like me will be social distancing at home. Staying in on Halloween doesn’t have to be a boring night, however, especially with the company of a furry friend. Celebrate with a pet by dressing up in matching costumes like these.

Ash Ketchum and Pikachu from “Pokémon”

Pikachu onesie — onesiemania.com, $12 to $15

Solid T-shirt — Walmart, $6

Blue vest —Amazon, $17

Red cap — Amazon, $8


Angel and devil

White dress — Goodwill, $10

Halo headband — Party City, $5

Pet devil horns — petcostumecenter.com, $3



Black bandanas — Party City, $2

Black and white striped shirt — Goodwill, $8

Black beanie — Target, $5

If searching for other costume ideas, pick a character that a pet resembles and match with them. An orange tabby could be Rajah the tiger paired with Princess Jasmine, or a small black dog could be Toto matched with Dorothy. Dress as Rapunzel and let a pet gecko or lizard be Pascal, or be Russell from “Up” with a pet golden retriever as Dug. 

Contact the author at avanderzanden19@mail.wou.edu


Happy harvest: a guide to fall crops

October brings a variety of fresh, in-season produce

Allison Vanderzanden | Lifestyle Editor

Summer may seem to offer the most variety of produce, but fall has quite the selection too. Some fruits and vegetables are nearing the end of their seasons while others are just getting ripe. Here is some of October’s seasonal produce to add to the shopping list.

Grapes of all colors are still being harvested. Stock up and make some jam if canning supplies are available, or grab some to snack on. Meanwhile, kiwi arrives at its peak in the fall in California. Get creative with kiwi by using it as a tart topping or in a salsa.

Apples and pears are two more fruits that taste best in October; use these in a cobbler, crisp or pie. Also try mixing these in-season fruits with some year-round produce — like bananas and cranberries — to create a fruit salad or delicious smoothie.

It is well known that pumpkin is in season come autumn, but other squashes, such as butternut and spaghetti squash, are available too. Each is great to include in soup recipes. Bell peppers are harvested in the fall as well; utilize their versatility to top pasta dishes, mix in stir fry or make stuffed peppers.

Brussels sprouts and beets are two more vegetables that peak in October. Though each may get their own bad rap, they can be enjoyable when prepared in a new way. Brussels sprouts can be sauteed, beets are great on salads and both taste good when roasted.

All this produce and much more are available at grocery stores, but these in-season fruits and vegetables are fresh at farmers markets as well. Check online to see if and when local farmers markets are open, and be sure to follow COVID-19 regulations by wearing a mask and maintaining social distancing.

Contact the author at avanderzanden19@mail.wou.edu

Where to get body mods for college bods

Local tattoo and piercing shops for your next piece

Allison Vanderzanden | Lifestyle Editor

I know I’m not alone in itching for a new tattoo. With body modifications, including tattoos and piercings, it’s difficult to stop at just one. Here are some tattoo and piercing shops to check out within driving distance from Western.

Independence has two tattoo studios. Main Street Tattoo is owned by artist Kevin Hamlin who primarily does traditional-style tattoos. Check out his work and contact Kevin at his Instagram @outinthestyx. 

Turquoise Studio features two artists, Kylee Halama and Hanna Martin. Their shop, according to their Facebook page, has been working to maintain privacy for clients by only allowing one artist and one customer in the studio at a time, so be sure to schedule an appointment via their individual Facebook pages, “Tattoos by Kylee” and “Hanna’s Tattoos.”

Salem boasts numerous piercing and tattoo shops, and Addictions Body Piercing and Tattoo is one that provides both body modifications. Featuring a total of four piercers and four tattoo artists, there is someone to cater to the desires of any client. Their website, www.addictionsinc.com, has much more information, including booking appointments. Immortal Ink is another shop in the heart of Salem with three different artists. Find each artist’s portfolio and contact information at the studio’s website: immortalinksalem.com.

High Priestess is a tattoo and piercing shop with locations in both Salem and Corvallis, as well as other cities in Oregon. As of Oct. 16, the Salem and Corvallis shops are only offering piercings for the time being. There are two piercers at each location, and appointments are being scheduled on each campus’ website: beststudioever.com/high-priestess.

Corvallis also offers several other studios, including Sacred Art Tattoo. This shop has three artists, and their individual work can be viewed on their website, sacredartcorvallis.com. Their site also offers multiple ways of contacting them, so pick the one that works best.

One final studio about 30 minutes from Western is DieHard Piercing and Tattoo in Albany. The shop’s owner, Jeremy “DieHard” McLain, does piercings, and three tattoo artists work at the location. Find them at diehardlife.com, check out their work, and email them to book an appointment.

Be sure to comply with the artist’s or piercer’s safety requirements related to COVID-19. Most studios are not accepting cash and do not allow guests to accompany clients.

Contact the author at avanderzanden19@mail.wou.edu

Soup-erior tomato soup recipe

Simple and savory homemade soup recipe to try at home

Allison Vanderzanden | Lifestyle Editor

Nothing beats a savory soup on a chilly evening. This easy roasted tomato soup recipe hits the spot, especially when paired with a classic grilled cheese sandwich.



Start to finish: 55 minutes

Servings: five

3 pounds Roma tomatoes

½ small onion

¼ cup olive oil

2 tablespoons minced garlic

1 teaspoon kosher salt

¼ teaspoon pepper

1 can evaporated milk

½ cup grated Parmesan cheese

3 tablespoons fresh basil

2 tablespoons tomato paste

1 teaspoon sugar

Preheat the oven to 400ºF. Halve tomatoes and place cut side up with the onion on a rimmed baking sheet. Drizzle with oil and add garlic, salt and pepper. Stir to coat well. Roast for 40 to 50 minutes, just until starting to brown.

Place in the blender and puree until smooth; leave the lid cracked slightly so the steam can escape. Add evaporated milk, cheese, basil, tomato paste and sugar. Puree until smooth once more, then taste and adjust seasoning to preference. Serve immediately and eat as is, or make a grilled cheese to dip in.


Recipe courtesy of thereciperebel.com.

Contact the author at avanderzanden19@mail.wou.edu

Contain the stain: stain removal made easy

Hacks for getting out common stains

Allison Vanderzanden | Lifestyle Editor

Stains are always a hassle to deal with, especially stubborn substances like coffee and grease. But all stains can be conquered; here are some easy tips for removing common stains.

For coffee and tea spills, start by flushing the stain out from the inside of the garment with cold water. If there is still residue after several minutes, take some liquid laundry detergent or dish soap and dilute it with water. Gently rub this mixture into the stain, let it sit for five minutes, then rinse from the back of the stain. Launder as usual.

When grease gets on fabric, grab a cloth and some dish soap. First, blot as much oil out as possible. Then, pour dish soap directly onto the stain and work it in with the cloth. Dish soap will cut through grease just as it does on dishes. Let the soap sit for a few minutes, rinse with warm water, then wash at the hottest setting the fabric can handle.

For tomato-based sauces, start by scraping off as much excess as possible. Next, soak the stain in cold water for about five minutes before using laundry detergent on a toothbrush to scrub it. Wash normally in hot water.

Sweat stains can be treated with distilled white vinegar, a common stain remover. Let the stained garment soak in a container of equal parts cold water and distilled white vinegar for about 30 minutes. If the stain doesn’t come out completely, mix some lemon juice with equal parts water. Rub this into the stain, then wash the garment as usual.

A great way to get blood out of fabric is by using hydrogen peroxide. After rinsing the stain with cold water, pour hydrogen peroxide directly on the stain. Repeat as necessary until the stain is mostly gone, then launder in cold water.

With any stained fabric, be sure to check that the stain is completely gone before tossing it into the dryer, as heat will make the stain set.

Contact the author at avanderzanden19@mail.wou.edu