Halloween madness?

I just read a cheery article in Business Matters magazine suggesting that we as a nation spent in the region of £277 million on Halloween treats!?   That’s just the trick or treat sweets – last year across all Halloween activities, parties, films and attractions etc, the UK coughed up £30.8 billion and generated 18,000 tonnes of pumpkin waste.

In our local supermarket an entire isle was dedicated to Halloween goods on the right and Christmas stuff on the left, presumably the Easter eggs were on the end with the batteries.

Some folks suggest preventing return visits from small sugar monsters by offering them sprouts dipped in chocolate, another good Northern option hand out sweets with a bill attached.

It’s the teachers I feel sorry for trying to control herds of sugar crazed kids, high as kites one minute and then grumpy as hell the next as all that blood sugar crashes and burns.  Luckily there’s no danger of that happening here as I’ve just enjoyed my first mince pie of the year. If you can’t beat them…

Mind you I better leave room for the toffee apples and parkin.  I hadn’t appreciated the subtle difference between the traditional parkin recipes of Yorkshire and Lancashire,  black treacle for the white roses and golden syrup and extra sugar for the red.  It’s clever stuff, and much better made a few days ahead of bonfire night, I believe the secret is to bake it to be hard, then allow to magically soften in a trusty Tupperware.

The latest Bonfire night trend supermarkets are literally falling over themselves to get in on is, foot long sausages in foot long rolls clearly designed to set proceedings off with a bang-er.

It’s a world away from the equivalent delicacies of the 1970’s.  Round our way, it was a small firework display put on by the scouts, a sausage roll and a sparkler with parkin for afters, possibly toffee if you were lucky.  Halloween was a funny smelling turnip and a blunt craft knife, bobbing for apples and singing a few choruses of Gobolino the witches cat wearing an old sheet with eye holes cut in it.

It sounds quite meagre in comparison, have we been deprived I wonder?  Nah I reckon we were just as happy, probably a bit thinner with less fillings, and with costumes a good deal less flammable… but those sausages do sound good.