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Enter at your peril!

Hear me discuss food for Halloween & Guy Fawkes with Sue Davies BBC Radio Wilts. The start point is 1.10.00/ on the slide counter.

When I was carving out  Jack O’Lanterns for Halloween earlier, I thought I’d do something tasty with the pumpkin flesh, but soon discovered it was a waste of time.

Firstly, trying to dig out enough flesh was a messy, laborious and boring task. And when I boiled it, the flesh turned into a watery, sloppy mess reminiscent of a soggy marrow. It was revolting! The only place for it was the bin.

So instead I’m giving you a family favorite using a close relative of the pumpkin – Butternut squash & basil gnocchi with garlic & parsley butter.  It’s a tasty little number as I’m sure you’ll agree. A dish you can enjoy anytime, not just at Halloween and not just for vegetarians.

If you’re expecting the odd knock at your door from children out trick or treating, you could stick with tradition and reward them with some home made toffee apples. With the apple harvest only just gone, they’re relatively cheap right now, plus easy to make. Or you could make a batch of chocolate brownies instead (see bottom of post for link to recipe). But first, here’s a quick recipe for toffee apples…

TOFFEE APPLES  N.B Be very careful working with boiling sugar!

Here’s What You Do:
1)  Line a baking tray with greaseproof paper.
2)  Wash and dry the apples then pierce the stalk end of the core with a lolly stick.
3)  Next make a sugar syrup: 250g granulated sugar and 125ml hot water. Bring to the boil, in a small heavy saucepan over high heat, stirring until the sugar dissolves. Add a pinch of cream of tartar (to stop crystals forming) and reduce to a moderate heat, gently tipping the pan back and forth until it thickens and turns a golden tea colour.Approx 10 minutes
4)  Take off the heat and roll the apples around the pan until they’re fully coated then leave to harden on the baking tray.

Chocolate brownies are popular with everyone it seems, so I make up an extra large batch, handing out some on Halloween and freezing the remainder in readiness for November 5th – Guy Fawkes Night – the following week.

At our last Guy Fawkes party, we dished out cups of warming homemade spicy tomato soup, followed by chipolatas n’chips in a cone – (for me, hand-to-mouth food is the only way to go at firework parties). If sausages aren’t your bag, try chilli in a cup – (disposable cups are ideal for this purpose), otherwise serve in a tortilla wrap for perfect firework food. See basic meat sauce recipe.

When the display came to an end and the last of the rockets disappeared, I handed round baskets of chocolate brownies to gasps of Oohs and Aahs. I’m sure it was for my brownies, but maybe it was for the fireworks!

What I do know for certain is they vaporised within seconds and this happens whenever I make them. Maybe it’s because I’m surrounded by chocoholics, or maybe it’s because they’re irresistably squidgy and fudgy. Whatever the case I urge you to try them.

2 Responses to “Halloween”

  1. Emma RB says:

    I have done 2 of your recipes this week. Fish pie on Sunday And your gnocci tonight. I did it with the pumpkin and it was lovely. We are really going to stink tomorrow though. Keep them coming I love them because they really work!!!!!xxxx

  2. Roger says:

    Found your web-site by accident. It was on the first page of Google for my keyword. Will definitely visit again.

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