Tag Archives: Halloween

The origins of Halloween and what to do with all that pumpkin

 Haloween Pumpkin

The origins of Halloween

The origins of Halloween can be traced back to the ancient Celtic festival of Samhain.*

Until 2,000 years ago, the Celts lived across the lands we now know as Britain, Ireland and northern France. Essentially a farming and agricultural people, the Pre-Christian Celtic year was determined by the growing seasons and Samhain marked the end of summer and the harvest and the beginning of the dark cold winter. The festival symbolised the boundary between the world of the living and the world of the dead.

It was believed by the Celts that on the night of 31st October, ghosts of their dead would revisit the mortal world and large bonfires were lit in each village in order to ward off any evil spirits that may also be at large.

The night or evening of Samhain became known
as All-hallows-even then Hallow Eve, still later
Hallowe’en and then of course Halloween.

A special time of the year when many believe that the spirit world can make contact with the physical world, a night when magic is at its most potent.

Throughout Britain, Halloween has traditionally been celebrated by children’s games such as bobbing for apples in containers full of water, telling ghost stories and the carving of faces into hollowed-out vegetables such as swedes and turnips. These faces would usually be illuminated from within by a candle, the lanterns displayed on window sills to ward off any evil spirits. The current use of pumpkins is a relatively modern innovation imported from the United States.

*Halloween by Ben Johnson

Pumpkin carving fun with your children

Halloween carved pumpkinChoose your pumpkin – a large, ripe pumpkin that has smooth, even surfaces and sits comfortably without danger of rolling over is best.

Sketch your pattern on paper to suit the size and shape of your pumpkin. If you’re not artistic, use a stencil or template.

Make the lid by drawing a 125mm (5″) circle on the top. Cut out the lid with the saw/blade at an angle – leaning slightly to the outside – this will stop the lid dropping inside. Remove the lid and clean its base.

The kids can remove the inside – they love this slimy job and can easily remove all the seeds and mushy stuff. Then you can takeover scraping with a spoon or ice-cream scoop. Thin walls make carving easier, but don’t make them too thin or the pumpkin will collapse. Make the base inside flat to accommodate a candle.

Apply your pattern by copying freehand onto the clean, dry pumpkin with a marker/pen/pencil or tape your paper pattern to the pumpkin and mark the design by poking holes through the pattern.

Let’s carve – adults only if you’re using a knife! Carefully begin at the centre of your pattern and work outward – small shapes first. The kids can push out the shapes as you go. Lastly ensure the pumpkin sits stably without danger of rolling.

Light up – place a tea-light in the base. Ensure the candle is level and carefully light it. Always extinguish the candle when leaving the room.

For a carving tool, we recommend a pumpkin saw. If you’re using a knife (small and sharp) carve gently and steadily, making a few gentle strokes for each cut.

 

And what to do with all that pumpkin?

Halloween Pumkin recipes from Dairy Diary

Here are four of our favourite Halloween recipes from the Dairy Diary team:

Halloween Pumpkin Streusel Muffins

Halloween Pumpkin Gratin

Pumpkin & Ginger Risotto

Halloween Cake Pops

 

Yes, we know the Halloween Pop Cakes don’t contain pumpkin, but they are too good to miss out!

Have fun!

 

#halloween

#pumpkin

 

 

 

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3 Treats for Halloween

This week found me rifling in drawers for scarves and gloves

That’s a sure fire sign that we’re fully ensconced in autumn. And with the glorious colours and brisk walks come the autumnal events (whether we want them or not!)

There’ll soon be knocks at the door and small ghoulish figures on the doorstep hoping for something scrumptious. Rather than buying a bumper stash of sweets for trick or treaters, why not offer something homemade instead?

I know I would much rather my three eat these Dairy Diary treats rather than additive-loaded sweeties any day

 

 Trick or Treat Popcorn

This is a cheeky Russian-roulette recipe, which is sure to amuse!

Treat or Treat Popcorn

  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Per portion: Calories 149
Fat 6g of which 1g is saturated
Suitable for vegetarians

Ingredients

  • Popcorn 200g (7oz)
  • Olive oil 4 tbsp
  • Salt pinch
  • Chilli powder 1 tsp
  • Golden caster sugar 1-2 tbsp

Instructions

  1. Cook two panfuls of popcorn one after the other: For the first batch place 100g (3½oz) of popcorn, 2 tablespoons of oil, salt and chilli powder into a pan and stir thoroughly. Cover pan with a tight-fitting lid and heat gently. Shake occasionally to prevent burning, and continue heating until popping subsides.
  2. Remove from heat and leave to stand until no more popping can be heard. Stir thoroughly, taste and add a little more chilli powder if necessary.
  3. Repeat with remaining popcorn (without salt or chilli) but add sugar at the end of the cooking time when leaving pan to stand. Leave to cool slightly before popping into bowls and serving to your trick or treaters!

 

Toffee Apples from Dairy Diary 2016

And traditional toffee apples.

Trick or Treat Toffee Apples

  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Calories 195 per portion
Fat 2g (2g sat) per portion
Suitable for vegetarians

Ingredients

  • Apples 6 small
  • Granulated sugar 250g (9oz)
  • Golden syrup 2 tbsp
  • White wine vinegar 1 tbsp
  • Butter 25g (1oz)
  • Wooden lollipop sticks 6

Instructions

  1. Press a wooden stick into the stalk end of each apple.
  2. Pour 125ml (4fl oz) water into a saucepan and add sugar, golden syrup and vinegar. Stir over a low heat until sugar dissolves. Increase heat and boil rapidly for 10 minutes until a little of the mixture separates into hard brittle threads when dropped into a cup of cold water.
  3. Remove from heat and stir in butter. Stand pan in cold water to prevent it cooking further.
  4. Dip each apple into syrup and stand on a piece of baking paper. Reheat toffee gently if it becomes too sticky. Dip apples again, if desired.
  5. Eat immediately or wrap in cellophane.

 

All Soul Cakes

These biscuits were traditionally baked on All Souls’ Day or All Hallows’ Eve to commemorate the dead.

All Souls’ Day Cakes

  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Calories 180 per portion
Fat 7g (4g sat) per portion
Suitable for vegetarians
Suitable for freezing

Ingredients

  • Butter 175g (6oz)
  • Caster sugar 175g (6oz)
  • Eggs 3, beaten
  • Plain flour 475g (1lb 1oz), sifted
  • Mixed spice 2 tsp
  • Currants 110g (4oz)
  • Demerara sugar 2 tbsp

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 180°C/160°fan/Gas 4. Cream butter and caster sugar together until fluffy, then gradually beat in 2 eggs, each with a spoonful of the flour.
  2. Fold flour, spice and currants into mixture. Mix to make a soft but not sticky dough.
  3. Roll out to about 8mm (¼in) thick and use a 7cm (2¾in) diameter cutter to stamp out rounds. Mark the top of each with a cross then brush with egg and sprinkle with demerara sugar. Place on baking trays and bake for 10-15 minutes until pale gold.
  4. Transfer to a cooling rack. When cold, store cakes in an airtight container.

 

Dairy Diary 2018 now available

 

#halloween

#tripletested

THE must-do recipe for Halloween

Halloween Pumpkin Muffins

Halloween Pumpkin Streusel Muffins

Halloween is looming and my quest to find inexpensive costumes and then the inevitable sweet rationing will soon begin.

Whilst I’m not a big fan of the whole event, I do have three children so I need to enter into the spirit.

I love face painting and in
our house anything goes;
it doesn’t need to be scary.

In fact last year one of my little ones randomly chose ‘blue otter’, which baffled the neighbours!

I do love pumpkin carving. Choosing a few random sized pumpkins and carving something wacky is great fun and you can’t beat the glow of candlelight for atmosphere. (Just be careful folks, those Halloween costumes can be VERY flammable.)

And what to do with the leftover pumpkin?

Dairy Diary has the perfect recipe – it tastes SO good and it easy enough to make with the children.

 

 


Pumpkin Streusel Muffins

  • Servings: makes 12
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Calories 288 per portion
Fat 12g (7.1g sat) per portion
Suitable for vegetarians
Suitable for freezing

Ingredients

  • Butter 150g (5oz)
  • Plain flour 300g (11oz)
  • Baking powder 2 tsp
  • Ground cinnamon 1 tsp
  • Caster sugar 110g (4oz)
  • Eggs 2 large, beaten
  • Milk 200ml (7fl oz)
  • Pumpkin 275g (10oz), peeled, deseeded and grated
  • Raisins 75g (3oz)
  • Self-raising flour 50g (2oz)
  • Demerara sugar 50g (2oz)

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 190°C/170°fan/Gas 5 and place 12 muffin cases in a muffin tin. Melt 110g (4oz) butter.
  2. In a large mixing bowl sift plain flour, baking powder and cinnamon, then stir in caster sugar. Make a well in centre and pour in eggs, milk and melted butter. Stir until just combined, then fold in pumpkin and raisins. Spoon into muffin cases.
  3. In a separate bowl rub remaining butter into self-raising flour then stir in demerara sugar. Sprinkle over batter in cases then bake for 30-40 minutes until risen and golden.
  4. Leave in muffin tin for 5 minutes then cool on a wire rack. Serve warm or cold.


 

Dairy Diary 2017For lots more gorgeous recipes like this why not treat yourself to the 2017 Dairy Diary.

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#halloweenrecipe

#pumpkin

#dairydiary

Trick or Treat Popcorn

 Trick or Treat Popcorn

.

Trick or Treat Popcorn

Time 15 mins
Makes 2 large pans
Per portion: Calories 149
Fat 6g of which 1g is saturated
Suitable for vegetarians

Popcorn 200g (7oz)
Olive oil 4 tbsp
Salt pinch
Chilli powder 1 tsp
Golden caster sugar 1-2 tbsp

1 Cook two panfuls of popcorn one after the other: For the first batch place 100g (3½oz) of popcorn, 2 tablespoons of oil, salt and chilli powder into a pan and stir thoroughly. Cover pan with a tight-fitting lid and heat gently. Shake occasionally to prevent burning, and continue heating until popping subsides.

2 Remove from heat and leave to stand until no more popping can be heard. Stir thoroughly, taste and add a little more chilli powder if necessary.

3 Repeat with remaining popcorn (without salt or chilli) but add sugar at the end of the cooking time when leaving pan to stand. Leave to cool slightly before popping into bowls and serving to your trick or treaters!

A Dairy Diary recipe.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Lots more recipes on the Dairy Diary website.

A Clever Halloween Recipe. Is it a treat or is it a trick?

Halloween-dressing-up

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Is it a treat or is it a trick? 
A Clever Halloween Recipe.

Having deprived my children for the past six years (a goulish excuse to beg for Enumber-laden sweets!), I have finally succumbed to Halloween.

My fellow villagers know which residents welcome trick or treaters and, as the children all go together in one group, it’s not an evening-long intrusion. So, I have decided to allow my little ones to dress up (in cute non gory costumes of course!) and participate.

We have stocked up on goodies and I
plan to make some of this wicked popcorn –
which will give the little spooks either a
trick (one is spiced with chilli) or a treat!

I think the youngsters will love this Russian-roulette chance to giggle at their friends who choose chilli.

Don’t worry though, we’ll have glasses of water at the ready!

Have fun and stay safe everyone!

 

Trick or Treat Popcorn

Trick or Treat Popcorn

Time 15 mins
Makes 2 large pans
Per portion: Calories 149
Fat 6g of which 1g is saturated
Suitable for vegetarians

Popcorn 200g (7oz)
Olive oil 4 tbsp
Salt pinch
Chilli powder 1 tsp
Golden caster sugar 1-2 tbsp

1 Cook two panfuls of popcorn one after the other: For the first batch place 100g (3½oz) of popcorn, 2 tablespoons of oil, salt and chilli powder into a pan and stir thoroughly. Cover pan with a tight-fitting lid and heat gently. Shake occasionally to prevent burning, and continue heating until popping subsides.

2 Remove from heat and leave to stand until no more popping can be heard. Stir thoroughly, taste and add a little more chilli powder if necessary.

3 Repeat with remaining popcorn (without salt or chilli) but add sugar at the end of the cooking time when leaving pan to stand. Leave to cool slightly before popping into bowls and serving to your trick or treaters!

A Dairy Diary recipe.

Happy Halloween Recipes

Happy Halloween

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Recipes for a Happy Halloween

Stroll around any supermarket and you will be literally attacked by Halloween merchandise – it’s everywhere!

I’m not quite sure how I feel about the whole Halloween thing – especially encouraging our children to dress up in hellish costumers and knock on strangers’ doors begging for sweets. However, it can be a great excuse to get crafting.

Halloween pumpkin carving

The most obvious thing to do, of course, is pumpkin carving.  A beautifully carved pumpkin can be really quite lovely.  I don’t know if we have the talent to produce something like this but we will certainly attempt a simple version.

And in the 2014 Dairy Diary, there’s a fab Pumpkin & Ginger Risotto recipe for using up leftover pumpkin flesh. Ideal for a romantic meal for two after the children are safely tucked up in bed!

And for the little ones to make? How about this fabulous recipe for Halloween Cake Pops? They are simple to make and look so pretty (although our talented food stylist Sara, may be a little more artistic than my children!)

Halloween recipes

There are many more super seasonal recipes in the 2014 Dairy Diary and it’s only a click away!


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