4 Ways to Do Halloween
Some pumpkins we carved earlier at presentlocker.com.
Half term is upon us and its a week of thinking Halloweeeeeeen, but here at presentlocker.com we want to celebrate Halloween ….. not so much in the commercial American way, but more in the haunted but homely house kind of vibe.
1. Buy Your Pumpkin
Buying the pumpkin or pumpkins is a big part of Halloween. So go with the kids, let them choose. You could go all out and find a pumpkin patch where you can choose or buy, a friends allotment, a side of the road purchase, a supermarket bargain, or best of all your home grown ones! Think shape, colour, pairs and size.
2. Carve Your Pumpkin
This is the fun part, but be careful, knives are dangerous so we really recommend buying the cheap pumpkin carving sets available in supermarkets. We also recommend using your fave cookie cutter to stamp out a shape, safely and easily!! Let your kids create, and help them find ideas on the internet and pinterest, loads to look at and admire there. You can also download stencils and templates which you can print and then prick out on the the pumpkin and viola you have your stencil! We love http://www.bhg.com/halloween/pumpkin-carving/printable-pumpkin-stencils/
If you don’t fancy the carving stage, they why not paint your pumpkin in white or black paints with the design of your choice. Simple patterns are effective in black and white and add a lovely Nordic edge to your Halloween. Use battery operated tea lights for added safety.
3. Pumpkin Recipe
Waste not want not. Use our pumpkin flesh to make a delicious and oh so simple soup. This one with lentils is quick and easy and a real crowd pleaser!! Serve with snacks, popcorn always works well.
These great Popcorn Holders are so retro, kids love them and they can be used time and time again. http://www.presentlocker.com/house-gifts/popcorn-holder-pair-of/
Pumpkin and Lentil Soup
1 tbsp olive oil, plus 1 tsp
2 onions, chopped
2 garlic cloves, chopped
approx 800g chopped pumpkin flesh, plus the seeds
100g split red lentils
½ small pack thyme, leaves picked, plus extra to serve
1l hot vegetable stock
pinch of salt and sugar
50g crème fraîche, plus extra to serve
Heat the oil in a large pan. Fry the onions until softened and starting to turn golden. Stir in the garlic, pumpkin flesh, lentils and thyme, then pour in the hot stock. Season, cover and simmer for 20-25 mins until the lentils and vegetables are tender.
Meanwhile, wash the pumpkin seeds. Remove any flesh still clinging to them, then dry them with kitchen paper. Heat the 1 tsp oil in a non-stick pan and fry the seeds until they start to jump and pop. Stir frequently, but cover the pan in between to keep them in it. When the seeds look nutty and toasted, add a sprinkling of salt and a pinch of sugar, and stir well.
Whizz the cooked pumpkin mixture with a hand blender or in a food processor until smooth, then add the crème fraîche and whizz again. Taste for seasoning.
Serve with a spoonful of crème fraîche, a few thyme leaves and the toasted seeds scattered on top.
4. Party Games
The traditional games are the best, played in dim glow of the carved pumpkins. Here are a couple of our faves! Think apple bobbing using the fallers from the trees in the garden and a preserving pan or old bucket works well. Fill the pan with water, chuck in a handful of apples and take it in turns to grab one with your mouth, no hands aloud. Its harder than you think!!
The flour and penny game is great too. Pack a small bowl with flour and turn out onto a tray. Place a penny coin on the centre of the dome and take it in turns to cut the flour with a sharp knife! The person whose cut causes the penny to drop has to carry out a ghostly forfeit of your choosing!!