A good old-fashioned Hallowe’en

October 29, 2018 6:07 am Published by Leave your thoughts

At NGF, we like naturally good food – and we like naturally good festivals, too! The commercial tat of Hallowe’en simply isn’t for us: instead, we’ll be celebrating a festival full of darkness and light – with just a hint of spookiness – and with plenty of seasonally appropriate food and drink.

Here’s just what you need for a good old-fashioned Hallowe’en!

You need a pumpkin!

Pumpkins are one of the very best things about this misty, cosy, nights-drawing-in time of year. But make sure you choose a proper pumpkin. The pappy kind that fill the discount baskets in the supermarkets may carve well, but there’s virtually no flesh inside them and their health benefits are limited. For real nutrition (beta-carotene, vitamin C, vitamin E, potassium, antioxidants and fibre), you need to buy (or grow) a firm, smaller, properly ripened pumpkin.

Once you’ve got your perfect pumpkin, scoop it out, make a soup, pie or bake with the contents – and then let the kids loose on the shell.

Serve your pumpkin with some other hearty autumn food: sausages and jacket potatoes, fried onions, toffee apples (or baked apples with raisins and syrup), home-made toffee, home-made popcorn, and a warming ginger punch or apple cider. You’re celebrating the very end of the harvest, so natural food is a natural choice.

You need a candle!

Samhain – the Gaelic festival on which many of our old-fashioned Halloween traditions are based – sees the turning of the year from autumn to winter. It’s a move further from the light and into the darkness. So turn out the lights and light a candle: embrace the change in the season!

You need to bring nature home!

If you like old-fashioned Christmases, with real trees and plenty of holly and mistletoe strewn around the house, then do the same for Hallowe’en: gather up twigs from the woods and decorate them with orange and yellow paper twists and flowers. String colourful autumn leaves across the room like paper chains. Make bats out of black paper and dangle them from threads on the ceiling.

Fun and games

An old-fashioned Halloween party should be a chance to remember just how much fun you can have in the dark winter months. The ideal party might have just a hint of spookiness – a few slightly-shivery ghost stories and songs, a game of blind man’s bluff or hide and seek in the dark, and perhaps the old favourite of sticking fingers into weird and wonderful substances (could it be jelly?). There’s bobbing for apples, too (or its modern equivalent, eating doughnuts from a string with your hands behind your back).

But whatever you do, keep it natural. The uneasiness many people feel at modern-day Halloween celebrations – all zombies and lurid horror – can be kept firmly at bay in a celebration that recognises the darkness of the season, but refuses to be defeated by it.

Naturally Good Reads v2

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This post was written by Yzanne

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