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A little girl in the foreground eating a worm, while other kids look on.

At the Bell's Oddities and Curiosities camps on October 16 and 17, third through fifth graders got the chance to snack on some of the entomological delicacies that would be part of the Eat-A-Bug Cook-Off.

Be spooked at the Bell

Published on October 21, 2005

Halloween just wouldn't be the same without the creepy, spooky, and bizarre--and, okay, lots of candy to keep the fear at bay, of course.

In the weeks running up to All Hallows Eve (or the day before All Saints Day), the Bell Museum of Natural History on the Twin Cities campus in Minneapolis has once again opened its "Oddities and Curiosities of Nature" collection to the public. In years past, visitors to the popular sideshow-style exhibit have awed and grimaced over a four-horned goat skull, a six-legged pig, a bowling ball-sized hairball, killer pine cones, and green chicken eggs. This year is no different. Visitors will be stopped dead in their tracks by some of those specimens and about 100 more from the Bell's scientific collections, including a 500-pound clam and a hellbender--North America's largest salamander.

Curried Crickets

3/4 cup crickets
1 tbsp melted butter
1/2 tsp dried rosemary
1 tsp curry powder
1 tsp dark brown sugar
1/4 tsp kosher salt
1/4 tsp cayenne or to taste

Combine all ingredients in saut? pan and saut? 1-2 minutes. Makes 6 snack servings.

In addition to the exhibit, the Bell is hosting special activities each weekend. Curried crickets and barbecued scorpions are on the menu this Saturday and Sunday (October 22 and 23) when student-chefs from Brown College's Le Cordon Bleu program and Hennepin Technical College pit saucepans and spices against each other in the Eat-A-Bug Cook-Off. Next weekend (October 29 and 30) "creepy crawlers" that are very much alive will rule at the museum. If you haven't seen giant millipedes before, or if you've never had a snake slither across your shoulders, then you've got to pen down that weekend on your calendar.

"Oddities and Curiosities of Nature" runs through Sunday, October 30. Museum admission is $5 for adults and $3 for children 3 through 16, students, and seniors; free for all on Sundays. For general information, call 612-624-9050 or see Bell Museum.

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