Halloween Trivia

Trick or treating comes from the Middle-Age practice of the poor dressing up in costumes and going around door to door during Hallowmas begging for food or money in exchange for prayers. The food given was often a Soul Cake, which was a small round cake which represented a soul being freed from Purgatory when the cake was eaten.

The tradition of adding pranks into the Halloween mix started to turn ugly in the 1930’s and a movement began to substitute practical jokes for kids going door to door collecting candy.

Happy Halloween

Trick or Treat!

  • Orange and black are Halloween colors because orange is associated with Fall.  The color black is associated with darkness and death.
  • Halloween candy sales average about 2 billion dollars annually in the United States.
  • Chocolate candy bars top the list as the most popular candy for trick-or-treaters with Snickers as Number 1.
  • Candy corn was first made in the 1880s, and it was only more March through November.
  • Over 93% of children will go trick-or-treating. Approximately 84% of trick-or-treaters say candy and gum are their favorites with chocolate candy preferred by 50% and non-chocolate by 24%.
  • Kids’ least favorite items to get in their trick-or-treat bags are fruit and salty snacks like chips and pretzels.
  • Tootsie Rolls were the first wrapped penny candy in America.
  • Candy corn was invented in the 1880s by George Renninger of the Wunderies Candy Company.
    National Candy Corn Day is on October 30th.
  • There are 25 colors of M&Ms, the most popular candy sold in the U.S.
  • It takes an average of 252 licks to get to the center of a Tootsie Pop.
  • San  Francisco is the number one U.S. city for trick-or-treating
  • In 1955, UNICEF (United Nations Children Fund) for Halloween program began.  The original idea started in 1950 in Philadelphia, when a Sunday School class had the idea of collecting money for needy children when trick-or-treating.  They sent the money they made, about $17, to UNICEF which was inspired by the idea and started a trick-or-treat program in 1955.
  • A study from the National Retail Federation shows Americans spent over $300 million on pet costumes last year!

Halloween is also know by other names:

All Hallows Eve
Samhain
All Hallowtide
The Feast of the Dead
The Day of the Dead

  • The tradition of bobbing for apples originated from the Roman harvest festival that honors Pomona, the goddess of fruit trees.
  • Jack o’ Lanterns originated in Ireland where people placed candles in hollowed-out turnips to keep away spirits and ghosts on the Samhain holiday.
  • Pumpkins also come in white, blue and green.
  • There are no words in the dictionary that rhyme with orange, the color of pumpkin.
  • The ancient Celts thought that spirits and ghosts roamed the countryside on Halloween night. They began wearing masks and costumes to avoid being recognized as human.
  • Halloween was brought to North America by immigrants from Europe who would celebrate the harvest around a bonfire, share ghost stories, sing, dance and tell fortunes.
  • Halloween is the 2nd most commercially successful holiday, with Christmas being the first.
  • Halloween also is recognized as the 3rd biggest party day after New Year’s and Super Bowl Sunday.
  • The fear of Halloween is known as Samhainopobia.

Monster Trivia & Folklore

  • Signs of a werewolf are a unibrow, hair palms, tattoos, and a long middle finger.Werewolf in the light of a full moon
  • Vampires are mythical beings who defy death by sucking the blood of humans.
  • In 1962, The Count Dracula Society was founded by Dr. Donald A. Reed.
  • Dracula means “Devil’s son.”  Bram Stoker’s creation “Dracula” was based on the life of Prince Vlad Tepes (1431-1476). He was also called Vlad the Impaler since he had a bad habit of impaling his victims on stakes. The name “Dracula” is Romanian for Devil’s Son.  Vlad Draculas father was a knight of the Order of the Draco (or dragon), so Dracula also translates as “the son of Draco.”
  • To this day, there are vampire clubs and societies with people claiming to be real vampires.
  • There really are so-called vampire bats, but they’re not from Transylvania. They live in Central and South America and feed on the blood of cattle, horses and birds.
  • According to legend, you can kill a vampire by cremate it, pound a stake through its heart or bury it at a crossroads.  Sunlight is also said to kill them. Different countries have different ideas of how to destroy vampires.  Garlic and crosses only keep vampires away.
  • Allegedly, “Revenge falls upon whoever opens the coffin of a mummy.”
  • The country most associated with mummies is Egypt.
  • Zombies often wear chains for they are slaves; slaves of their evil masters who have brought them to life using magic.
  • Two areas of the world particularly associated with the zombie myth are Africa and Haiti, a country on the island of Hispaniola.
  • Many people still believe that gargoyles were created by medieval architects and stone carvers to ward off evil spirits.

Witches

  • The word “witch” comes from the Old English wicce, meaning “wise woman.” In fact, wiccan were highly respected people at one time. According to popular belief, witches held one of their two main meetings, or sabbats, on Halloween night.
  • In the Middle Ages, many people believed that witches avoided detection by turning themselves into cats.
  • Black cats were once believed to be witch’s familiars who protected their powers.

Creepy Tidbits

  • If you see a spider on Halloween, it is the spirit of a loved on watching over you.
  • Worldwide, bats are vital natural enemies of night-flying insects.
  • The common little brown bat of North America has the longest life span for a mammal it’s size, with a life span averaging 32 years.
  • In about 1 in 4 autopsies, a major disease is discovered that was previously undetected.
  • In Medieval times, a spider was rolled in butter and used as a cure for diseases such as leprosy and the plague.
  • The famous magician, Harry Houdini, died on Halloween, 1926 in Detroit, MI.

The next full moon on Halloween night will be October 31, 2020.

haunted house, owl, spider and jack-o-lanterns

Happy Hallowe’en!

The owl is a popular Halloween image. In Medieval Europe, owls were thought to be witches, and to hear an owl’s call meant someone was about to die.

Halloween is Oct. 31 – the last day of the Celtic calendar. It actually was a pagan holiday honoring the dead.

Trick-or-treating evolved from the ancient Celtic tradition of putting out treats and food to placate spirits who roamed the streets at Samhain, a sacred festival that marked the end of the Celtic calendar year.

Halloween is correctly spelt as Hallowe’en.

Halloween is one of the oldest celebrations in the world, dating back over 2000 years to the time of the Celts who lived in Britain.

According to Irish legend, Jack O’Lanterns are named after a stingy man named Jack who, because he tricked the devil several times, was forbidden entrance into both heaven and hell. He was condemned to wander the Earth, waving his lantern to lead people away from their paths.

Halloween was originally a Celtic holiday celebrated on October 31.

Halloween was brought to North America by immigrants from Europe who would celebrate the harvest around a bonfire, share ghost stories, sing, dance and tell fortunes.

Obsolete Rituals focused on the Future and Love

But what about the Halloween traditions and beliefs that today’s trick-or-treaters have forgotten all about? Many of these obsolete rituals focused on the future instead of the past and the living instead of the dead. In particular, many had to do with helping young women identify their future husbands and reassuring them that they would someday—with luck, by next Halloween—be married.

  • In 18th-century Ireland, a matchmaking cook might bury a ring in her mashed potatoes on Halloween night, hoping to bring true love to the diner who found it.
  • In Scotland, fortune-tellers recommended that an eligible young woman name a hazelnut for each of her suitors and then toss the nuts into the fireplace. The nut that burned to ashes rather than popping or exploding, the story went, represented the girl’s future husband. (In some versions of this legend, confusingly, the opposite was true: The nut that burned away symbolized a love that would not last.)
  • Another tale had it that if a young woman ate a sugary concoction made out of walnuts, hazelnuts and nutmeg before bed on Halloween night she would dream about her future husband.
  • Young women tossed apple-peels over their shoulders, hoping that the peels would fall on the floor in the shape of their future husbands’ initials; tried to learn about their futures by peering at egg yolks floating in a bowl of water; and stood in front of mirrors in darkened rooms, holding candles and looking over their shoulders for their husbands’ faces.
  • Other rituals were more competitive. At some Halloween parties, the first guest to find a burr on a chestnut-hunt would be the first to marry; at others, the first successful apple-bobber would be the first down the aisle.
  • Bobbying for apples is a fertility rite, or a marriage divination and dates back to the Celtics. Unmarried people would try to bite into an apple floating in water or hanging from a string. The first person to bite into the apple would be the next one to marry.

bobbing for applesPumpkin Facts

  • Pumpkins are a member of the gourd family, which includes cucumbers, honeydew melons, cantaloupe, watermelons and zucchini. These plants are native to Central America and Mexico, but now grow on six continents.
  • The largest pumpkin pie ever baked was in 2005 and weighed 2,020 pounds.
  • Pumpkins have been grown in North America for five thousand years. They are indigenous to the western hemisphere.
  • In 1584, after French explorer Jacques Cartier explored the St. Lawrence region of North America, he reported finding “gros melons.” The name was translated into English as “pompions,” which has since evolved into the modern “pumpkin.”
  • Pumpkins are low in calories, fat, and sodium and high in fiber. They are good sources of Vitamin A, Vitamin B, potassium, protein, and iron.
  • The heaviest pumpkin weighed 1,810 lb 8 oz and was presented by Chris Stevens at the Stillwater Harvest Fest in Stillwater, Minnesota, in October 2010.
  • Pumpkin seeds should be planted between the last week of May and the middle of June. They take between 90 and 120 days to grow and are picked in October when they are bright orange in color. Their seeds can be saved to grow new pumpkins the next year.
  • The largest pumpkin ever measured was grown by Norm Craven, who broke the world record in 1993 with a 836 lb. pumpkin.
  • Stephen Clarke holds the record for the world’s fastest pumpkin carving time: 24.03 seconds, smashing his previous record of 54.72 seconds. The rules of the competition state that the pumpkin must weigh less than 24 pounds and be carved in a traditional way, which requires at least eyes, nose, ears, and a mouth.

Popcorn Month – Rocky Road Popcorn Clusters

October is Popcorn Month.  Click HERE to learn more!

 

Rocky Road Popcorn Clusters

By Jessy Yancey

Recipe Created By: The Popcorn Board

Rocky Road Popcorn Clusters

Photo by Farm Flavor, The Popcorn Board

Ingredients:

  • 6 ounces semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 1 teaspoon vegetable oil
  • 4 cups popped popcorn
  • 1½ cups miniature marshmallows
  • ¾ cup walnuts, chopped

Instructions:

  • Place chocolate chips in a small microwave-safe bowl. Heat in microwave on high for 1 minute, until melted. Stir in oil.
  • Place popcorn, marshmallows and walnuts in large bowl. Pour chocolate over mixture, tossing to coat.
  • Drop mixture by tablespoonful onto wax paper-lined jellyroll pan.
  • Refrigerate until firm, about 2 hours or overnight.
  • For a pretty presentation, drop the chilled clusters into paper baking cups.

Candy Bar Cheesecake Brownies Recipe

Yield: 24 Servings/2 Dozen

Candy Bar Cheesecake Brownies

Photo by Taste of Home©

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup butter, cubed
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1/3 cup baking cocoa
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 4 large eggs
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup chopped assorted miniature candy bars (about 18)

 

TOPPING:

  • 1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese, softened
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 cup chopped assorted miniature candy bars (about 10)

 

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350°. Grease a 13×9-in. baking pan. In a microwave, melt butter in a large microwave-safe bowl. Stir in sugar, cocoa and vanilla. Add eggs, one at a time, whisking to blend after each addition. Add flour and salt; stir just until combined. Stir in 1 cup candy bars.
  2. Spread into prepared pan. In a large bowl, beat cream cheese and sugar until smooth. Beat in vanilla. Add egg; beat on low speed just until blended. Drop by tablespoonfuls over batter. Cut through batter with a knife to swirl. Sprinkle with 1/2 cup candy bars.
  3. Bake 30-35 minutes or until filling in center is almost set. Cool 1 hour in pan on a wire rack. Refrigerate at least 2 hours. Cut into bars.

 

Nutritional Facts
1 brownie: 282 calories, 14g fat (8g saturated fat), 71mg cholesterol, 233mg sodium, 36g carbohydrate (25g sugars, 1g fiber), 4g protein.
Originally published as Candy Bar Cheesecake Brownies in Halloween Bookazine 2015 2015, p92

 

Chocolate Cheesecake Factory-Inspired Cheesecake

Yield: 10 servings

Chocolate Cheesecake Factory-Inspired Cheesecake

Photo by Recipe4Living

Ingredients:
Cake:

  • 1 C graham cracker crumbs
  • 2 1/2 Tbs softened butter
  • 1 1/2 Tbs plus 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1 1/2 Tbs plus 1 C Baking Cocoa
  • 2 1/2 lbs cream cheese, softened
  • Zest from 1 lemon
  • Zest from 1 orange
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 3 Tbs all-purpose flour
  • 5 eggs
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 1/2 C sour cream

Topping:

  • 1 C Chocolate Chips

 

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 375º.
  2. Butter the bottom of a large springform pan. To make the cake crust, mix cracker crumbs, butter, one and a half tablespoons of baking cocoa and one and a half tablespoons of sugar in a large bowl. Press the mixture onto the bottom of the pans and bake in the oven until browned to make crust. After pan cools, butter its sides.
  3. Lower oven temperature to 350º.
  4. To make cake filling, combine cream cheese, 1 and a half cups of sugar, the remaining cocoa, zests, and vanilla extract in a bowl, beating with a mixer until it becomes light and creamy. Thicken by mixing in flour, and then mixing in eggs and additional egg yolks. Finally, mix in sour cream until filling is smooth, then pour over the crust in the pan.
  5. Bake in oven for 1 1/2 hours. Then let cake cool and refrigerate overnight.
  6. Before serving, soften 1 C of chocolate chips in microwave, then ladle over cheesecake.

 

 

Chocolate Sour Cream with Fudgy Frosting

Yield: 16 Servings

Ingredients:

  • 2 eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup shortening
  • 1 1/4 cups sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 3 ounces bittersweet chocolate, melted and cooled
  • 1 8-ounce carton dairy sour cream
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 recipe Fudgy Frosting

Directions:

  1. Let eggs stand at room temperature 30 minutes. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease and flour two 9-inch round cake pans. Set aside.
  2. In small bowl combine flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. In large bowl beat shortening and sugar on medium speed until combined. Beat in eggs and vanilla until combined. Beat in melted chocolate and sour cream. Alternately add flour mixture and milk; beat on low after each addition just until combined. Divide batter evenly between the prepared pans. Using a small offset spatula or rubber spatula, smooth the top of batter in each pan.
  3. Bake 25 minutes or until tops spring back when lightly touched. Cool cake layers in pans on wire racks for 10 minutes. Using a small metal spatula, loosen sides of each cake layer. Place a wire rack on top of one pan; carefully invert pan with rack. Lift pan off cake layer. Repeat with the remaining cake layer. Cool cake layers on wire racks about 2 hours or until completely cool.
  4. Prepare Fudgy Frosting. Place one layer flat side down on plate. Spread top with 1 cup frosting. Stack second layer flat side down. Spread the top and sides with the remaining frosting. Makes 16 servings.

Fudgy Frosting
Ingredients:

  • 1 12-ounce package semisweet chocolate pieces
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1 8-ounce carton sour cream
  • 4 1/2 cups (1 lb.) sifted powdered sugar

Directions:
In large pan over low heat melt and stir semisweet chocolate pieces and butter. Cool 10 minutes. Stir in sour cream. Stir in powdered sugar; stir until smooth. Makes 4 cups.
Nutrition Facts (Chocolate Sour Cream Cake with Fudgy Frosting)
Per serving: 555 kcal cal., 27 g fat (14 g sat. fat, 2 g polyunsaturated fat, 9 g monounsatured fat), 56 mg chol., 201 mg sodium, 77 g carb., 2 g fiber, 63 g sugar, 4 g pro. Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet

Firecracker Cupcakes in a Jar recipe (Vegan Option)

by MEALS FULL OF COLOR

Yield: 10 to 12 Cupcakes

Ingredients:

  • 1 box of white cake mix (this needs to either be a basic homemade vegan white cake mix or a box mix that is vegan)
  • 1 bottle of red food coloring (make sure the dye is a plant based dye if you are unsure you can always contact the manufacturer to get info on their product.)
  • 1 bottle of blue coloring
  • 2 containers of white frosting (you need to use a vegan frosting here is a recipe for a basic vegan frosting if you have trouble finding one)
  • 10 – 12 small jars with lids, washed and dried
  • Red white and blue sprinkles (again make sure the sprinkles you use are 100% vegan. I honestly have no idea which store bought sprinkles are safe and I ended up ordering some online)
  • cupcake pan
  • cupcake liners

 

Directions:

  1. Prepare the cake batter as directed on the box. Once mixed separate the batter into two separate bowls trying to get equal amounts of the batter into each bowl.
  2. In one bowl add the red food coloring and in the second bowl add the blue. Each brand of food coloring seems to vary as far as coloring so use the amount of food coloring you feel necessary to achieve the desired shades of red and blue.
  3. Once both batters are colored line the cupcake pan with the cupcake liners and fill with the two cake batters (make solid color cakes do not mix the colors) and bake as directed on the package. (Try to bake equal parts of both red and blue cupcakes.)
  4. Once the cupcakes are done baking set on the counter and allow to cool completely.
  5. Once cool remove the cupcakes from the pan and remove the cup cake liner. Slice each cupcake in half (so you have a top and a bottom). Do this for the all of the remaining cupcakes.
  6. In a jar add one of the cupcake bottoms to the jar (you can do all red, all blue or alternate between the two colors) add some of the frosting and then add the top of the cupcake. Top it off with more frosting and sprinkles. Repeat this method for all of the remaining.

 

Click here for the Vegan Option for Fluffy Buttercream Frosting.

Click here for a Basic Vegan Chocolate Cupcake Recipe.

Happy National Oreo® Cookie Day!

Oreo cookie in milk

March 6 is National Oreo Cookie Day!

Be ready to celebrate and have your glass of milk handy as it is National Oreo® Cookie Day. This day is recognized, across the nation, each year on March 6th.

The Oreo® sandwich cookie is made up of two disks containing a sweet cream filling and is loved by millions. Since its introduction, the Oreo® cookie has become the best selling cookie in the United States.

The National Biscuit Company (today known as Nabisco) first developed and produced the “Oreo Biscuit” in 1912 at its Chelsea factory in New York City. Today, that block on which the factory was located is known as “Oreo Way”.

Fun Facts

  • The name “Oreo” was first trademarked on March 14, 1912.
  • The first Oreo® cookies in the United States sold for 25 cents a pound in clear glass topped novelty cans.
  • In 1912, the Oreo Biscuit was renamed to “Oreo Sandwich”.
  • In 1948, the Oreo Sandwich was renamed to “Oreo Creme Sandwich”.
  • William A. Turnier, the man who designed the Oreo cookie

    William A. Turnier, the man who designed the Oreo cookie. (Photo courtesy of the Turnier family as published in Indyweek, Aug. 24, 2011)

    William A. Turnier developed the modern-day Oreo design in 1952 to include the Nabisco logo.

  • Nabisco’s principal food scientist, Sam Procello, developed the modern Oreo cookie filling.
  • In the 1978 Clint Eastwood film Every Which Way But Loose and its 1980 sequel Any Which Way You Can, Philo Beddoe’s mother – Ma, played by Ruth Gordon – is involved in a long running battle with Clyde the Orangutan who continually hides her Oreos® from her
  • In the 1998 movie Rounders, the main antagonist Teddy KGB (played by John Malkovich), is well known for his love for Oreo® cookies, which he regularly eats even during poker games. Eventually, this habit would prove to be his downfall as protagonist Michael McDermott (Matt Damon) figures out a tell and decisively beats him.
  • In the 2012 animated movie Wreck it Ralph, Oreo® cookies serve as royal guards in King Candy’s castle.
  • The DC Comics character, Martian Manhunter has been shown to have a well known love for Oreo® cookies.
  • The 2014 film Transformers: Age Of Extinction features an Oreo-themed Transformer that was destroyed by the Autobots in the KSI factory.
Oreo Cookie Birthday Pie

Oreo Cookie Birthday Pie

 Oreo® Birthday Ice Cream Pie

Yield: 10 Servings

Ingredients:

  • 20 OREO Cookies, divided
  • 1 container (1-1/2 qt.) BREYERS® Cookies & Cream with OREO® Ice Cream, softened
  • 1 cup thawed COOL WHIP Whipped Topping
  • 2 tsp. multi-colored sprinkles

Instructions:

  1. Chop 6 cookies; set aside. Cover bottom of 9-inch pie plate with remaining cookies.
  2. Spoon ice cream into pie plate; freeze 3 hours or until firm.
  3. Sprinkle chopped cookies around edge of pie just before serving. Garnish with COOL WHIP and sprinkles.

Recipe Tips:

Make Ahead
Pie can be stored, tightly covered, in freezer up to 1 week before topping with chopped cookies and garnishes as directed.

Nutrition Information
Nutrition per serving:
Calories 290, Total fat 11 g, Saturated fat 6 g, Cholesterol 5 mg, Sodium 180 mg, Carbohydrate 44 g, Dietary fiber 1 g, Sugars 27 g, Protein 3 g, Vitamin A 6 %DV, Vitamin C 0 %DV, Calcium 6 %DV,Iron 6 %D

For more Oreo® Cookie Recipes, go to Oreo.com