Got some real quick last minute party treats for you for Halloween night tonight: Two Halloween punch recipes. The first one is great for the kids. Just combine all of these:
1 envelope each unsweetened grape and orange soft drink mix, like Kool-Aid
2 cups sugar
3 quarts cold water
1 liter ginger ale
image courtesy of aboutmyarea.co.uk/
To make it really gross, float a hand on top. Fill a clean rubber glove with water and freeze it. When you’re ready to serve the punch, give the ice/hand a quick dunk in warm water and the glove will peel right off.
When the kids have gone to bed, you can spike the punch. Or use this recipe for a really disgusting-looking adult punch called Sewer Water.
Did you know the Halloween game of bobbing for apples was first used to predict marriages? Yeah. Only single people played the game, and the first one to bite into an apple floating in water would be the next to marry. Does anyone know how to do that without plunging your head into the
How does she still have dry hair? beth-anne.com
water and shoving the apple against the bottom or side of the tub so you can sink your teeth into it?
There are other marriage-related games and customs connected with apples. For instance, if a girl eats an apple while looking at a mirror on Halloween, she will see he face of her husband-to-be in the glass. It’s a somewhat complicated ritual, with the girl first cutting the apple in half into a top and bottom half, so that each cross-section shows a pentagram, or 5-pointed star. This was the
Don't try sinking your teeth into this juicy Apple Gourd…
symbol of the goddess of fertility, so the girl would throw one half of it over her left shoulder for her lover to eat. She must then walk backwards toward the mirror, but not look back at it. As she is walking, she must eat the other half of the apple while combing her hair. When she gets to the mirror, as she continues to comb her hair, she looks back over her shoulder and will see the face of her love in the mirror. Yeah. Let us know how that works for you.
…or bobbing for this raw Apple Gourd!
This link below gives some great Halloween history, too. Have fun!
With Halloween just around the corner and trick or treating in Carlisle, PA happening tonight (Thursday evening), we thought it would be fun to include a little trick or treating history for you! Trick or Treating is actually a long and honored tradition dating back thousands of years.
Well, the antecedent to it did. During times of famine, disease, and such, people often wore masks to frighten off the evil spirits they believed responsible for these disasters. Samhain (Sow-en), you may recall from an earlier post, is where our modern Halloween comes from. It celebrates the abundant harvest, and signals the end of the growing time. That also meant colder weather was approaching. Well, ghosts being cold by nature, would do their best to trick people into letting them get closer to the fires. So, people were very careful to wear masks in that season.
The custom of trick of treating began with 19th century souling. On All Souls Day,November 2nd, early Christian beggars would walk through the neighborhood, begging soul cakes. A soul cake received was a promise to pray for the dead, and so each one represented a soul released from Purgatory. Fast forward to around the 18th century, and the beggars become children and the treats become nuts, fruits, and buns. Fast forward a little more and the candy companies get into the act and thus the beginnings of what we see now.
We’ll post a recipe for Soul Cakes soon! Enjoy Trick or Treating tonight and be sure to stay safe. Here are some Trick or Treating safety tips for you.
Ohmygosh! We nearly forgot to call your attention to our October Product of the Month! She’s been on our home page and Facebook, of course, along with all our POTMs, Here’s the link to her.
As with all of our POTMs, Zelda is adorable. (Although you probably shouldn’t say that to her face. She prefers to think she’s very scary.) She started life as a martin gourd, but just look at her now! She even lights up, and she’s perfect for this Halloween…and for every other Halloween. Check her out.
We started this project on October 8th, as the first picture shows. The second picture was taken on October 15th, and you can already see that the martin gourd is probably going to dry out faster than the gooseneck. This past Monday,the 25th, the martin is starting to get good and moldy all over. It’s much lighter, too, easily picked up with a little finger hooked under the stem. (Later this winter, we’re going to try lifting it with much less resilient objects.)
10/25, the other side of martin gourd
The gooseneck shows change from the 8th, but it’s definitely going to be a longer process. It’s a little lighter, it can now be lifted easily enough with an index finger hooked under it’s neck, but it’s a stretch for a pinky.
We’ll continue to update you about once a week, less often as changes slow down further in the process/winter.
This is the last weekend of our October Open House, so be sure to come by if you’re in the area. Today and tomorrow – the 22nd and 23rd – you can still pick your own gourds for Halloween and Thanksgiving. Also, on Saturday, we are giving wagon rides and tours of our plant. There will also be another great sale and a bonfire in the evening! It’ll be accompanied by an auction and – you’ll love this – live music! Click here for all the details.
Coming up very soon, another look at the progress of the gourds we are drying and documenting for you!
Photos from our Create Your Own Jack O’Lantern event…
We start with your imagination…
…one of our artists cuts the design into your gourd
Thank you to everyone that came out to our Create Your Own Jack O’Lantern events the past two weekends! We had a great time and hope you did too. We certainly saw some fun and creative designs and look forward to choosing the finalists for our contest! One of these gourds will appear in our upcoming catalog and that winner will be announced before the auction on the last day of our Fall Open House this coming Saturday, October 23rd. We will keep you posted with the finalist photos on here or you can join our Fan Page on Facebook to stay up-to-date.
Here is the process of creating your own Jack O’Lantern in photos and a video! If you missed this one, don’t worry, we hold other events like this throughout the year !
Shawn talks you through getting started and you select a gourd to become your masterpiece! Some gourds have "lids" or you can decide to get wire handles put on your gourd to make a basket. The second and third tiers are eligible to enter into the contest.
Take a seat at one of the crafting tables
This big gourd is known around here as the "Jack Shaq." Behind the Jack Shaq is where we cut out your one-of-a-kind gourd. (We'll be going back there to show you what happens!)
Choose the side you would like the Jack O Lantern's face to be on.
We provide stencils for the mouth, nose, and eyes or you can choose to draw a design on your gourd freehand. We wanted to practice first by drawing out an idea on paper.
Time to draw it on the gourd with the white pencils that are provided.
Don't worry if you mess up, there are wipes on the tables that will take the pencil right off!
All done drawing! The "x" will be cut into a star!
One of our crafters, Steve, cutting out the drawing in the Jack Shaq!
See Steve in action cutting out the gourd!
And the finished gourd all lit up. This Jack O'Lantern will last for years and years to come...
It’s only been about a week since we first showed you the gourds and already, there is noticeable change. You may recall from earlier posts that it will take pretty much the entire winter for them to dry completely, and that they may get moldy and even smelly during that time. As you can see, the martin gourd is already showing that. It’s happening with the gooseneck gourd, too, but not as quickly, and it’s not as easy to see because of the darker coloring. You can still see some spots of discoloration on it, though, when you compare it to the earlier picture beneath the current one.
Time for another bit of Halloween history. We mentioned before that the whole idea of the Jack o’ Lantern comes from a story about a guy called Stingy Jack and a rather absurd devil. What happened was this guy Jack was having a drink with the devil. Being a stingy fellow, Jack didn’t want to pay for the drinks. So he talked the devil into turning himself into a coin to pay for them with. For some reason, the devil thought this was a good idea and did so. Small wonder that Jack did not use it to pay the tab. He put it in his pocket, which also contained a silver cross, which kept the devil from resuming his proper form. Jack agreed to release the devil only upon obtaining his promise that should Jack die in the next year, the devil would not claim his soul.
A year later, Jack again tricks this pathetic devil into climbing a tree to pick some fruit. While he is up there, Jack carves a cross in the tree so the devil cannot come down out of the tree. This time the deal is Jack will release the devil upon the devil’s promise of not claiming his soul, this time for 10 years.
Well, Jack does die within those 10 years. The devil, who apparently has quite a lot of integrity, honors his word and does not claim his soul. God, however, won’t let this guy into his place for obvious reasons. Having nowhere to go, Jack is condemned to wander the earth forever, with only a coal to light his way. He put the coal in a hollowed-out turnip. So, the term Jack o’ Lantern doesn’t actually refer to to pumpkin at all, but to the guy carrying it. But no one seems to worry about the details of myths too much. Which is a good thing, or we might be tempted to ask
why the devil was having a drink with Jack in the first place or how that bar tab ever was paid.
So, now you know. By the way, we’ve got some pretty cool Jack o’ Lanterns you might want to check out.