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DECK THE HOLIDAY'S: 10/26/12

Friday, October 26, 2012

CANDY NOMICS INFOGRAPHIC!

   Halloween happens to be one of my favorite holidays. This week always excites me, getting ready to dress up in a costume and prance around as a cat, french girl or ballerina. Another huge perk of Halloween is Halloween candy!
   It seems the candy industry must love halloween as much or more than I do. Candy sales boom the week surrounding Halloween. The top five annual candy sales days are all in October! And all at the end of October, contributing to the $1.9 billion dollar annual Halloween candy sales.
   While I am a huge fan of the top selling candy, the candy corn, I can’t say I am too fond of any of the others on the top Halloween candy list. Chocolate just isn’t my thing, and therefore the hunt for my favorites while trick or treating will be more difficult, but definitely worth it! What Halloween candy do you like most?







10 HALLOWEEN TRADITIONS YOU MIGHT NOT KNOW ABOUT!!


   Most of us are pretty familiar with carving pumpkins and trick-or-treating, but there are plenty of other Halloween traditions out there. Some of them are from way back when, and some are just from different parts of the world. Either way, maybe you’ll find something new to add to your All Hallows Eve traditions.




1. Stingy Jack. Stingy Jack, or “Jack the Smith,” is likely the story that gave us the tradition of carving pumpkins. The tale originates in Ireland, where Stingy Jack boozed his way through villages, begging and manipulating and being basically an all-around loser. The Devil heard of Jack’s shenanigans and decided to put an end to it, but Jack tricked him a couple of times and eventually won the Devil’s assurance that he would never take Jack to Hell. Jack eventually died, but because of his sinful earthly ways, he was denied entrance to Heaven. He tried to get into Hell instead, but of course, the Devil reminded him that this was impossible. Instead, he gave Jack an ember inside of a hollowed-out turnip and made him walk the earth forever, warning people of what could happen to them. Which leads us to another tradition…






2. Carving turnips and rutabagas. Here we carve pumpkins, of course, and it’s catching on around the world. But before we carved pumpkins, the Irish were carving rutabagas, turnips and mangelwurzels thanks to our friend Stingy Jack. When the Irish came to the U.S., these vegetables weren’t nearly as common, and so they adapted the tradition to pumpkins. If you want to try your hand at carving a turnip this year, there are instructions here. It’s pretty much like carving a pumpkin, but smaller and less gooey.





postcard





 
3. If you’re dying to know who you’re going to marry someday, here’s an update on the apple stem twist we used to do as kids (or was that just me?). Unmarried women used to sit in a dark room on Halloween night and look into a mirror. Eventually, their husband’s face would appear in it. If a skull appeared instead, the woman would surely die before she could ever get married. 


4. Guising is what they call trick-or-treating in parts of Scotland and northern England. Unlike here, though, kids who go guising are expected to earn their treats with a song or a card trick, some jokes or a poem. Guising has only been confined to Halloween in relatively recent times – in 1815, one account said that “Gysarts” were allowed to come around every evening from Christmas to “Fasternse’en” (Shrove Tuesday).


5. Dumb Cake. This was an old tradition during Hop-tu-Naa, a Celtic festival you’d have to specifically go to the Isle of Man to celebrate. Kids trick-or-treat and carry turnip lanterns, but they also sing Hop-tu-Naa songs. And in the old days, they used to have their own fortune-telling traditions. On October 31, young women would bake Dumb Cake over the hearth, including some soot from the fire in with the ingredients. When it was ready, the cake was divided up and eaten in utter silence. Then each girl would apparently walk backward to bed and expect to see her husband-to-be in a dream. There was also a tradition of sweeping ash from the fire over the hearth. In the morning, a footprint in the ash that faced in toward the fireplace indicated a birth ahead. A footprint pointing toward the door meant that someone would die.




barmbrack




 
6. Barmbrack is another custom from Ireland. It’s a type of bread with raisins in it and can be served year ‘round, but at Halloween, certain objects are baked right into the bread: a pea, a stick, a coin, some cloth, and a ring. Each one carried significance, so if you got the piece with something in it, you would immediately know what your fortune was. The pea means you wouldn’t be getting married in the next year and the ring, of course, meant that you would be. The stick meant an unhappy marriage, the cloth meant bad finances ahead, and the coin meant wealth was headed your way.


7. Coelcerth was actually observed on November 1, but that’s close enough for my purposes. It was part of a tradition of Calan Gaeaf, the first day of winter in Wales. For coelcerth, a family would build a fire and write their names on stones surrounding it. If they woke up in the morning and found that a person’s stone was missing, they knew that person would die in the next year. It seems to me that this would be the perfect opportunity to freak out your siblings…


8. Allantide is a Cornish (as in Cornwall, England) festival celebrated at the same time as Halloween. One the games commonly played worked like this: a cross, laid flat, was suspended from the ceiling, and a candle would be placed at each end. Then apples were hung from the underside of the cross. The game was for children to try to get the apples with their mouths – kind of like bobbing for apples in midair. If they were too slow, the candles dripped hot wax on their faces. Ummm… fun?
9. Soul Cakes. In Britain, and in a similar tradition in Italy, children would go from door to door collecting “soul cakes” from neighbors. Each cake represented a soul, and every time a child ate a cake it was supposed to mean that they had freed someone from Purgatory. As a kid, I would have taken that super literally and would have been concerned about eating someone’s soul.






Banana_slug_at_UCSC




 
10. Floured Slugs. OK, one more weird wedding game for you. In 19th-century Ireland, women would sprinkle flour on a plate and then drop a slug on it. As the slug wriggled its way across the plate, it would leave a pattern in the flour that was supposed to show them what their husband was going to look like. I suppose it’s kind of like reading tea leaves, but I keep picturing this moment where a women sees the love of her life for the first time from across the room, rushes over to him, takes his face in her hands and passionately cries, “I saw your face in the slug flour!”

GLOW IN THE DARK CUPCAKES!

   This recipe comes from http://www.recipesnobs.com .  The kids will love these glow in the dark treats!




Ghoulishly Glowing Cupcakes


Hey Everyone!! I'm just gonna start out by saying, I am so stinking excited about this recipe! A couple of weeks ago I had a follower e-mail me about a frosting recipe that would glow in the dark. Or I should say almost glow in the dark.










Specifically she needed a cupcake recipe that could glow under a black light, but the trouble was that I couldn't find one on the internet to try, so I decided to try my hand at making one. After a couple of tries I am glad to report that I have figured it out!! Yay! And the secret ingredient that causes it to glow is...











Tonic Water!  Cool, right? The quinine in the tonic water causes it to glow under a black light for some reason. So, the challenge was to get enough if this into a frosting without making it too bitter or runny. Ugh! Turns out this was a little harder then I thought, but after trial and error I got a frosting that I loved that would actually glow, until I started adding color to it, and no matter what I did I just couldn't get the stupid frosting to glow after I added food coloring.











Then it dawned on me that if you make gelatin with tonic water the jello will glow. What I ended up doing is taking my cupcake and frosting it. Then I stuck it in the freezer to let the frosting get nice and hard. After cooling I took the cupcake and dipped the frosting into liquid gelatin.











 

After a few dips and trips back into the freezer to set, the frosting glowed!! Before you start just know that the white frosting glows the best. The green, or if you decide to do orange, will glow it just isn't as bright. Also a quick note, the darker you go with your color on the frosting the less it glows. And lastly, if you decide to make the colored frosting with the gelatin, discard any left over gelatin that you do not use for the frosting. If you want to make glow in the dark jello then use less tonic water or else it will come out way too bitter {like a 3 to 1 ratio, 3 parts water to 1 part tonic water}. Hope you all have as much fun with glowing cupcakes as me and my family have. Enjoy!!



Ingredients and Supplies

Ghoulishly Glowing Cupcakes
  • 1 black light
  • 24 prepared and cooled cupcakes


White Glow In The Dark Frosting
  • 7 cups confectioners' sugar
  • 1 cup vegetable shortening
  • 1 teaspoon clear vanilla extract
  • 5 tablespoons tonic water {diet tonic water works too}
  • mini chocolate chips morsels


Extras Needed for Green Glowing Frosting
  • Neon Food Color
  • 0.3 ounce package of either Lime or Orange Gelatin
  • 1 cup boiling water
  • 1 cup chilled tonic water


Directions

Prepare desired cupcakes and allow to cool. Begin frosting by adding confectioners' sugar, shortening, vanilla, and 3 tablespoons tonic water into a large bowl. Beat on low speed until no loss sugar is visible. Add remaining two tablespoons as needed to bring frosting to piping consistency. Mix at high speed for about a minute to allow frosting to become light and fluffy. Place half of white frosting into a separate bowl and set aside. Add neon food coloring to frosting until it reaches desired color {orange for orange gelatin, green for lime gelatin}.






 
Pipe colored frosting onto cooled cupcakes and place in the freezer for at least an hour. Meanwhile pipe white frosting on half of the cupcakes using a large round frosting tip. Add two mini chocolate chip morsels for the ghost's eyes to finish ghost cupcakes.








After lettering colored cupcakes freeze, prepare the gelatin by adding gelatin mix to 1 cup boiling water. Stir for about 2 minutes then add 1 cup chilled tonic water. Transfer to a container that will let you easily dip frosting into and place into an ice bath to cool. Keep gelatin in ice bath stirring occasionally until gelatin is cool but not yet set {about 5 to 10 minutes}.







When gelatin is cool to the touch take cupcakes out of the freezer a couple at a time. Dip into gelatin upside down, submerging the frosting but not the cake {it is ok for the gelatin to drip onto cupcake, just don't submerge it completely}. Rotate cupcakes dipping and then returning to the freezer for about a minutes to set gelatin, then re-dip. Dip 4 to 6 times for best results.







Refrigerate until a couple minutes before serving to keep gelatin set. Then place cupcakes under a black light and watch then glow.
{Make enough frosting for about 24 cupcakes}