Thursday, October 31, 2013

Samhain or Hallowe'en

Today is Samhain, a Celtic festival celebrating the end of summer and the harvest and the start of winter. This festival falls on the eve of All Saints day which is followed by All Souls day when people are supposed to remember their dead. This has now emerged into Hallowe'en, and a commercial opportunity, the shops are full of imported rubbish, and supermarkets full of lovely edible Pumpkins. The idea of Trick or Treating goes back many centuries. Children would go from house to house asking for a penny or a candle, they would light their way with a Jack O' lantern, normally made from a Swede or an Mangel Wurzel. At the end of harvest it was a time of plenty and food was stored, Swedes were widely grown and clamped for winter food, Mangel Wurzels were grown for over wintering animal feed. Pumpkins were unknown when we were kids, end of season woody Marrows were often used being of no use for food, or Swedes with the inside careful removed  to that it could be cooked and not wasted.
We grew Pumpkins this year from plants donated to us but we would not dream of wasting such a fruit that has so many uses. So far I have only used one, to make Pumpkin pie, but they can be used to make fantastic soup, added to breads, cakes, stir fries. The internet throws up over five hundred recipes for Pumpkins, and they store very well. Most of the ones on sale in the supermarkets will have been imported, what a waste of the farmers time and energy to cut silly faces in them and to throw away the flesh. Makes no sense to us to waste food, especially food that has been imported for a celebration that many people neither know or care about the origin.  


  1. Happy Samhain! Enjoy the restorative effects of the darkness...Imbolc is only round the corner...and then it all starts again.

  2. Happy Samhain to you Bridget, a time for reflection, to remember those who have passed, a time to plan for next year and to have time for yourself.