This October Between the Lines will help you to prepare for our favourite autumn event: Halloween!
Are you in charge of a Halloween party? Perhaps you’re planning on staying in and watching some horror movies…or maybe you’re looking for treats to bribe potential tricksters! We have hundreds of recipes books from every corner of the globe, from traditional Jewish baking to contemporary Michelin Star restaurants and cheap and easy student-friendly recipes. We’ve searched them all to find the best sweet treats and spooky savouries to keep hunger demons at bay!
Many different cultures hold festivals to honour or placate the ghosts of their ancestors. Check out these links to learn about Ghost Month, Obon and Dia de Los Muertos. Halloween was popularised in America by Irish immigrants who brought traditions like pumpkin carving, trick or treating and dressing up with them in the 1800s. Many of these traditions date back to the Celtic festival Samhain (pronounced sow-enn or sow-een), which was re-branded as a Christian holiday by a twelfth century Pope. Cracking an egg in water or throwing an apple peel over your shoulder was said to reveal the first letter of your true love’s name- but since we don’t want to waste food this Halloween, we’ve compiled a list of modern American recipes (with just an added pinch of Gothic literature)
Iconic Halloween candy brands are often unavailable in the UK. Treat your guests to these recipes instead
Heston Blumenthal is famous for mixing food with science and coming up with crazy combinations! In Mary Shelleys’ Frankenstein, the young Doctor uses electricity to bring his human sculpture back to life; Dr Jekyll becomes Mr Hyde when he drinks a chemical cocktail; the vampires in Dracula feed on human blood. Heston builds a show-stopping ‘edible graveyard’ inspired by these strange ingredients in Gothic Horror Feast (BOOK ZONE 641.5 BLU). Fairy tale Feast and Chocolate Factory Feast (BOOK ZONE 641.5 BLU) are also deliciously creepy- you can read our review of Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory and other childhood nightmares here. Heston’s recipes are available on the Channel 4 website- feast on blood red tempura snails, roof tiles from a gingerbread house, or Wonka’s lickable wallpaper (Snozzberry? Whoever heard of a Snozzberry!)
Heston’s dramatic centrepieces serve as great inspiration for a Halloween feast
In England, pumpkins tend to be used for carving and then thrown away. In America, however, the stringy pulp, bright orange flesh and pale seeds are often used to make a tasty pumpkin pie! It’s wrong to assume that all American food is highly processed and full of artificial ingredients- American society is widely diverse and dishes from Italy, Mexico, China and Hawaii regularly grace American dining tables. It’s All American Food (BOOK ZONE 641.5973 ROS) by Food Network star David Rosengarten is divided into three sections: Ethnic America, Regional America, and Classic America. Inside Ethnic America you’ll find recipes for egg foo young, spätzle, meatballs, and other food popularised by migrants and their descendants. Regional America contains recipes for Southern barbecue, key lime pie and New England clam chowder; Classic America is where you’ll find the hot dogs, pancakes and mac and cheese served in every McDonald’s, Wendy’s or Waffle House. If you’re planning on having an “All-American” Halloween, check out any of David’s 400 recipes- they’re all American!
Pumpkin goes well with chocolate, pecans, marshmallow and maple syrup! Did you know that Starbucks’ famous Pumpkin Spice syrup is made with cinnamon, cloves, ginger and nutmeg?
Jamie’s America (BOOK ZONE 641.5973 OLI) accompanies Jamie Oliver on his road trip through California, Louisiana, Georgia, Wyoming, New York and Los Angeles. Po’ boys, pancakes, biscuits, Southern fried chicken, meatloaf, beignets, grits and cornbread are all included- and he doesn’t overlook the humble baked bean! Jamie campaigns for healthy, cheap and frugal food in schools and hospitals, but he hasn’t skimped on sugar this time- we like the sound of sweet potatoes with marshmallow (a Thanksgiving treat, but a great shade of luminous orange!)
Jamie’s American cookbook is divided geographically- look for recipes from Louisiana, Georgia, New York, LA, Arizona and the “Wild West”
For sweeter treats, check out Eleanor’s review of Hello, Cupcake! and learn to make pumpkins, spiders, aliens and werewolves from icing, sweets and chocolate.
Once you’ve mastered the basic American ‘flapjack’, try adding toppings (like sweets, fruit or chocolate) or fillings (cinnamon, blueberries, marshmallows!)
Brave the blog next week for more of our Halloween tips, tricks and treats.
JL_7978 (2015) #homemade #pumpkin #jackolantern #pancakes #halloween #happyhalloween #couchpotatocook Available at: https://flic.kr/p/AcFLeW (Accessed: 14th September 2016)
brenda. (2014) pie in a cake Available at: https://flic.kr/p/rncXZK (Accessed: 14th September 2016)
Miranda, M (2011) Heston Blumenthal Available at: https://flic.kr/p/aLjCL6 (Accessed: 14th September 2016)
Katz, S (2010) TED 2010 Jamie Oliver ©Suzie Katz #8364_R Available at: https://flic.kr/p/7Ya7BB (Accessed:14th September 2016)
Fanaian, J (2011) Halloween Available at: https://flic.kr/p/ap3hUJ (Accessed: 14th September 2016)