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Tags: halloween

Did you Trick or Treat this Year?

Permalink by Tikal, Categories: Parenting, Days out, Food, Drink and Eating , Tags: counting games, halloween, sweets, trick or treat

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More children than ever took to the streets this year to 'trick or treat' their neighbours and friends.  Hoards of little witches and cute devils waved buckets at neighbours front doors in the hope of some lovely, bewitched sweeties being thrown in!

Going out trick or treating has become more and more popular over the years.  It used to be something they did in America, not here in England, but it has gradually become part of our annual festivities.  According to an ASDA survey reported in the Daily Telegraph, if you are dressed as a cute witch, skeleton or vampire you are likely to get more sweets than if you are dressed as someone like Freddie Kruger. Something to bear in mind!

Here are some other tips to bear in mind for next year:

  • Wear a good costume (nothing too scary)
  • Only go to doors with a pumpkin in the window or something that says a) they are in and b) the are getting involved in Halloween and that probably means c) they have treats to give away!
  • Take a cute child with you... you'll get more sweeties that way!
  • Be polite when the door is answered... you want to make friends not annoy people!
  • Go in small groups - its more fun!
  • Make sure you don't let the children eat all the sweets at once! Count them, colour sort them, build a tower with them, see how far they stretch end to end and eat them over a long period of time... along with plenty healthy foods along the way!

Pumpkin Surprise

Permalink by Tikal, Categories: Food, Drink and Eating , Tags: curry, halloween, pasta, pumpkin, puree, seeds, soup

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Now that another Halloween has passed, the shops will be looking to offload their surplus pumpkins as quickly as possible to make way for Christmas; you may have thought that pumpkins are good for nothing but carving, but actually you can make turn them into pretty tasty treats.  Here are just a few pumpkin recipes to introduce this unusual food to your children:-

  • Toasted pumpkin seeds: Scrape out the seeds from the middle of a pumpkin, dry fry them in a heavy based frying pan for 4 to 5 minutes and eat!  For adults, add a little bit of olive oil and salt, but leave unsalted for children.
  • Pumpkin Puree: Perfect for babies!  Cut your pumpkin in half, cover each half with foil and bake in the oven for an hour.  Blend the flesh and freeze into ice cube trays.
  • Pumpkin Soup: Cook the pumpkin as above, add to a pint of chicken or vegetable stock and blend.
  • Pumpkin Pasta: Cook some pasta, dice some pumpkin and sautee it in a skillet with a lid for 3 - 5 minutes.  Toss into your cooked pasta, add a tablespoon of creme fraiche and serve.
  • Pumpkin Curry: follow any traditional chicken curry recipe substituting diced pumpkin for the meat.

We tend not to consider pumpkin as a food, rather a novelty item to adorn Halloween, but actually it's very versatile and can be used in lots of different ways!  Look out a pumpkin in the post-Halloween sales and see for yourself!

The Origins of Halloween

Permalink by Tikal, Categories: Family , Tags: halloween, trick or treat, unicef

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Like many festivals, Halloween has come together from a mix of origins, today it is widely regarded as a secular festival that exists for a bit of light hearted fun!  The festival probably originated from the Celtic festival marking the end of summer and the arrival of the darker winter months.  The association with spirits and ghosts arises because the Celts believed that the boundary between this world and the world of the dead became thinner at this time of year, allowing some spirits to escape back to the living world!

To combat the pagan festival, Pope Gregory III moved AllSaints Day from13th May to the 1st November, giving rise to the term Halloween - All Hallows Evening, the evening before All Hallows Day, or All Saints Day.  All Souls Day is celebrated on 2nd November.

Whilst it is believed that the Celts carved turnips and other vegetables as part of their celebrations, pumpkin carving has different origins, arising in America prior to the arrival of Halloween.  Pumpkins were carved in celebration of the harvest.  'Trick or Treating' also arose in America and in the 1950's, a UNICEF campaign grew out of a local initiative in Philadelphia, collecting money through trick or treating for children around the world.  UNICEF's Trick or Treat campaign continues to this day, and has raised over $120m for UNICEF activities.

Today Halloween is a great source of inspiration for themed craft and activities for children, with it's associated colours of orange and black and symbolism of pumpkins, witches, ghouls and more. Don't scare your children with spooky tales, but seek inspiration and make fun decorations with your kids!




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