Samhain Kitchen Recipes 2011

Boxty, a traditional Irish dish, that when eaten on the night of Samhain has a wedding ring placed into the potatoes just before serving them. Whoever gets the ring will have their destiny decided for them, meaning marriage was not far away. Make sure everyone knows that there is a charm in this dish.

* 1 cup of mashed potatoes
* 1 cup of grated raw potatoes
* 2 cups of self-rising flour
* 1 to 1 ½ cups of milk or buttermilk
* ¼ teaspoon of salt
* ¼ to ½ cup of butter
* Sour cream, optional

Mix the mashed potatoes with the grated raw potatoes in a large bowl. Stir in the rest of the dry ingredients and 1 cup of liquid. As the batter is mixed, add small amounts of additional milk or buttermilk until the batter is loose enough to work with. Melt two tablespoons of butter over gentle heat. When the butter is melted and the pan heated, ladle small pancakes into the pan. Brown on both sides and serve hot with more butter or sour cream.

Brittany Funeral Fish Soup

A region of North Western France, Brittany is known for its simple, but wholesome foods. Easy to make this soup was served out to the guests as a meal of grounding for the living. Some would place a small amount out into a serving dish for the dead.

1 kg white fish, boned and cleaned.
2 Tbsp butter
1 large onion, peeled and chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
5 potatoes, peeled and chopped
3 bay leaves
1 sprig fresh thyme
3 Tbsp chopped fresh parsley
1 tsp sea salt
½ tsp fresh ground black pepper
Water to cover

Cut fish into bite sized pieces. Melt the butter and fry the onions and garlic until soft. Place all ingredients into a large stockpot, add water to cover and simmer, covered with a lid for 30 minutes or until potatoes are tender. Serve with crusty, French bread.

19 th Century Colcannon

For the Ancient Celts, Samhain was held for seven days each Autumn to remember the death of the Sun God and to prepare for his travel into the Otherworld. In Celtic homes, the funeral was designed after some of these Samhain rites. A wake would be held in the deceased´s home for seven days and nights. The body would be washed, wrapped in a special cloth or death shirt and set in the casket or on a platform in the center of the house. Villagers would come by and offer along with their chants, wails and prayers, offerings of food and drink. After about three days of this, the family and mourners, if all satisfied as to how everything went, moved onto the festive stage of party, feasting, games and much merriment. Gold, coins, bowls of food and glasses of ale would be placed alongside the casket and on the chest of the deceased. This usually lasted four days, then the deceased would be taken for burial. One of the dishes prepared and certainly one of my favourites is Colcannon, great for the deceased and the living! This is a simple version whereas Charms can be added , a thimble for spinsterhood, a ring for marriage, a button for bachelorhood and a coin for wealth. Make sure your guests know there are charms in the Colcannon.

½ c butter
1 large onion or leek peeled and finely chopped
2 c cooked and mashed potatoes
2 c chopped and cooked cabbage
½ c cream or milk

On a large griddle, fry the onion or leek in some of the butter. When cooked, add the potatoes, cabbage, milk, remaining butter and seasonings that have been mixed together in a large bowl. Stir well and when the mix begins to go green, turn out onto a dish. Serve hot with butter and plenty of black pepper.

Pansperima is a traditional Greek dish that consists of boiled wheat. This dish dates back to ancient Pagan times and is symbolically connected with death. Kolyva is an improved version of Pansperima and is eaten on some Saturdays throughout the year to give honour and remembrance to the dead. These days are known as " Soul Sabbaths." Kolyva consists of two pounds of wheat boiled with a good handful of dried fruit and garnished with the seeds from the pomegranate. The wheat represents everlasting life, the fruit is for joy and happiness and the pomegranate seeds are a symbol of plenty, fertility and life.

Blood & Bone Cookies
The cranberries represent the blood and the white chocolate bones. Ideal treats for the Witchlings of Halloween.

125g butter
1/2 c sugar
1 c flour
1/2 c cornflour
1/4 c chopped white chocolate
1/4 c dried cranberries

Cream butter, sugar and syrup until fluffy. Sift in flours, mix together. Stir in chocolate & cranberries. Gently knead together then place in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
Take out of fridge and knead together, don't worry if it is crumbly, it will come together. Roll dough out to a 1/4 inch thickness on a lightly floured board. Cut into shapes such as moons, bats, witches hats,tombstones, cats and so on. Place on baking tray and refrigerate for another 30 minutes.
Bake cookies at 180C for approximately 12-15 minutes or until golden, depending on cookie size. Leave to cool, these cookies can also be iced if you choose.

Samhain Cider
Double, double, toil and trouble,
Cauldron boil and cauldron bubble...

1 litre apple and orange juice
1 clove studded orange
1 clove studded apple or pear
1 inch cinnamon stick, broken
3 allspice berries
3 juniper berries
3 black peppercorns
1 litre lemonade or soda water
750 ml apple cider

Gently heat the first seven ingredients together for 13 minutes. Pour into a punch bowl, add lemonade and cider, stir in gently. Serve warm or cold.

Lollipop Ghosts
Simple to make and great treats to throw into the kids lunch boxes.
Chuppa chup lollipops
White serviettes
Marker pen

Place a serviette over a lollipop and secure around the neck with cotton to resemble a ghost. Draw on two black eyes with the marker pen. These make great Halloween treats for all ages.

Quiche of Pumpkin
This is a good stand-by quiche that can be served hot or cold.

1 ½ c wholemeal or Spelt flour, (fertility)
100g butter, (spirituality)
Salt, (protection)
¼ tsp paprika, (warmth)
Iced water, (cleansing)

Rub butter into flour, salt and paprika. Add water to make a stiff dough, knead lightly then chill for 30 minutes. Roll out to fit a 10" flan dish, pour in filling and bake at 180°C for approx 45 minutes or until filling has set.

1 Tbsp olive oil, (peace)
5 rashers bacon, finely chopped, (ancestral energies)
1 onion, finely chopped, (protection)
1 large cup of cooked, mashed pumpkin, (abundance)
1 c grated tasty cheese, (visualization)
4 eggs, beaten, (fertility)
½ c sour cream, (love)
¼ tsp nutmeg, (visions)
¼ tsp allspice, healing
pinch chilli powder, (protection)
extra grated cheeses, (visualization)

Cook bacon and onion in oil until soft. Place all ingredients into a large bowl including bacon and onion, season and mix well. Top with extra grated cheese.

The Halloween Tree
Easy treats for young and old.
Black and orange gumdrops or soft jubes
1 orange, cut in half

Place orange flat side down onto a serving dish. Skewer the lollies onto toothpicks on one end, stick the other end securely into the orange. Repeat with remaining lollies until the orange is full of "trees."

Halloween Crowdie
A large bowl of whipped cream sweetened with spiced apples and sugar has 3 charms placed into it. A coin, ring and a marble. Feasters dip their spoons into the dish and find a charm if they are lucky enough. The coin for wealth, ring for marriage and a marble for a single life. Spooning up nothing means a life path uncertain. (Make sure your guests know there are charms in the Crowdie if you are going to make it for them!)



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