October 29, 2008

Trick or Treat!

Posted in Samhain, Wiccan Things tagged , , at 11:06 pm by Babs

It is that time of year again… for all of us Pagans and Wiccans… this is Samhain (pronounced “SAW-win”) which literally means “summer’s end”.  Since ancient times in England, Scotland, and Ireland, October 31st has been celebrated as a feast for the dead, and also the day that marks the new year. Mexico observes a Day of the Dead on this day, as do other world cultures.  This holiday is also known as All Hallows Eve (“hallow” means “sanctify”) ; Hallowtide; Hallowmass; Hallows; The Day of the Dead; All Soul’s Night; All Saints’ Day (both on November 1st) .  It is viewed to be the time of year when the veil between the living and the dead is the thinnest.  Modern pagans may attempt to traverse this veil by various means including meditation and astral projection.

For early Europeans, this time of the year marked the beginning of the cold, lean months to come; the flocks were brought in from the fields to live in sheds until spring.  Some animals were slaughtered, and the meat preserved to provide food for winter.  The last gathering of crops was known as “Harvest Home, ” celebrated with fairs and festivals.  In honor of that I wanted to share a festival favorite of mine…

Ultimate Caramel Apples

1 cup waterhttp://www.pepperspollywogs.com/blog/index.php/quick-tip-caramel-apples/
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup heavy cream
10-inch square piece of styrofoam
6 popsicle sticks or small wooden dowels
6 Red or Golden Delicious apples (I like Granny Smith)
3 ounces white chocolate
3 ounces semi-sweet chocolate, finely chopped
1/4 cup chopped nuts

In heavy-bottomed saucepan, combine water and sugar. Over low heat, stir mixture gently until sugar is completely dissolved. Increase heat to medium low and cook, without stirring, until mixture is a dark amber color. Remove from heat and carefully stir in heavy cream (mixture will bubble up and spatter a bit, then subside.) Set aside to cool and thicken. Cover styrofoam with waxed paper to catch caramel drippings (this will be a stand for caramel apples). Insert popsicle sticks into bottom center of apples. Dip top half of each apple into thickened caramel. Insert bottom of popsicle sticks into styrofoam, allowing apples to stand upright so caramel runs down sides of each apple. Refrigerate to harden. Meanwhile, melt white chocolate in top of double boiler above gently simmering water; stir until smooth. Transfer melted chocolate to pastry bag fitted with small writing tip. Drizzle thin, random strips of white chocolate over each caramel apple. Repeat melting and drizzling with semi-sweet chocolate. Sprinkle with chopped nuts.

No tricks here… just treats!

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