It always seems odd to me that people celebrate all the trappings of death, rather than remembering those who died at Halloween. The fascination with darkness is not I feel good for our souls. Halloween for me is a time to remember those that have passed to think about their lives and the effects their life had on ours. There are so many who are not here now who I miss with a deep yearning. I think of my Gran & Grandpa, my friend Ze, Auntie Bell come to mind immediately. Death is a part of life albeit a very sad part.
I don't think death is something we celebrate. However, Halloween is a holiday, a time in the liturgical calendar, a time when people like to party, or spend time remembering. It is a time for year for those of us in the western hemisphere when the harvest has been brought in, life in the natural world is starting to wither and die in a blaze of colour and glory, animals begin to hibernate as winter comes upon us. In the natural world things change and in our bodies we notice the shift in the atmosphere. This is a time to hunker down with friends, to sit around a fire share stories and live life. A time to be together.
Hallowe'en for me is a time for getting my family together, carving pumpkins, lighting sparklers and eating delicious food. It's a time for friends, for dressing up if that's what tickles your fancy and for being together. We will even have some fireworks because I LOVE LIGHT.
This Halloween I am throwing a 'Treat or Treat' party. One where there are lots of puddings and sweets. Delicious things to eat while sharing a cup of coffee or a glass of wine with friends. Food that can be eaten on the sofa and doesn't need a rigid dinner schedule. There will be children with buckets of sweeties from Marks and Spencer, lots of sparklers and puddings from the new Marks and Spencer dessert range. Its a time to treat ourselves and enjoy being together.
We'll have some traditional Irish Halloween games like ducking for apples and pin the face onto the pumpkin. We might even tell an Irish Ghost story or two.
I will make it easy for people to chose their puddings by setting everything out on a buffet table and allowing them to chose what they want. This luscious jelly with autumn fruits and plum flavours from Marks and Spencer is soft and slippery. With a bright tart and cooling flavour. I love it serve with the creamy white chocolate cheesecake.
These Marks and Spencer Ghost Crisps are crunchy and perfect for those wanting something more salty as a reprive from all the sugar.
The Marks and Spencer Sicilian cheesecake is tart and smooth. Its light pastry crust is crisp. It is a refreshing pudding to eat.
It is a very impressive finish to dinner or lovely served buffet style for people to serve themselves. The rich smooth chocolate and sweet pear that has a little bite with a make great combination.
These Marks and Spencer Melting Chocolate Domes are really spectactular and children as much as adults will love looking at them, as the hot chocolate sauce is poured over and the domes melt. Inside there’s an indulgent chocolate brownie, which sits on top of crisp feuilletine layer, and is filled with creamy milk chocolate ganache. If you need to serve any shop bought puddings make it these they are brilliant. This pudding was designed by M&S product developer Daniel Fletcher who has previously worked as a top pastry chef for both Gordon Ramsey and Jason Atherton. Its three star food in my kitchen! And I love it.
These billionaire buillio bars are really spectactular. I recommend serving several of them on a plate piled up just like gold bars from a cowboy movie. They have a glittery glittery gold sheen and embossed with the M&S logo so they look sparkly and shimmery when you bring them to the table. The chunky gold ingot is made from thick Belgian chocolate, filled with caramel mousse, a layer of gleaming salted caramel sauce and chocolate-covered shortbread pieces.
The Billionaire Buillion Bars were created by M&S product developer James Campbell who travels the globe eating in restaurants, patisseries, food markets and high-end department stores . He's looking for inspiration and ideas for bring back to the M&S test kitchen in West London. Where he turns his ideas into reality which ultimately end up on our tables. James is a former head pastry chef at London’s Michelin Oriental hotel and the Michelin-starred City Rhodes and Rhodes In The Square restaurants, and I feel a genuis.
Have a wonderful Halloween folks, celebrating life, remembering and enjoying light.
Fancy dress is optional but oh what fun.
That's it for now ...
Salt & Sparkle = Life Remarkable