Posted on October 23 2020
Halloween – some have been working on costumes for weeks, for others the festival is a horror. Here are a few ideas that will create a real Halloween atmosphere. – Reading time: 3 minutes
Soon it's time again: On the evening of 31 October and the night of 1 November it's Halloween. From the USA, the tradition of decorating the house and garden with pumpkins, giving sweets to children at the door and "celebrating" the spooky night with the appropriate films has spilled over to Europe and is finding many friends here too.
Where does Halloween come from?
The English name is a shortened form of "All Hallows Eve" – meaning the evening before All Saints' Day. The origins of the festival, however, lie much further back, as the Catholic Church has only taken over the already existing "Samhain-Fest" of the Celts. On Samhain night, it was believed that the gates between the world of the living and the world of the dead were open. It also celebrated the transition from the fertile summer to the quiet of the winter months. The widespread celebration was held hundreds of years before Christ – in the British Isles, but also on the European mainland. So Halloween is only "coming home" when we celebrate it "again" now in Europe.
Pumpkin is a must
No Halloween without pumpkins – the bright autumn vegetables can be transformed into lanterns with scary faces. This was already done in Ireland and is now simply part of the festivities in the USA. Of course, the rest of the decoration is then matched to the orange and rusty red of the pumpkins and supplemented with hearty black, so that the cosily shudder does not come too short.
Pumpkins can be hollowed out and then decorated with carved faces. And from the inside, many delicious autumnal dishes can be prepared.
How to carve the pumpkin decoration
In order to have a free hand when carving the pumpkin, it should be nice and big – and also ripe enough. Just like melons, the degree of ripeness can be determined by gently tapping the pumpkin. If it sounds hollow, the pumpkin is ripe and ready for carving. Before carving, the contours you want to cut out should be drawn on the pumpkin with a felt pen. Afterwards, the stem base can be cut off and the inside removed. With a narrow knife you can now cut out the shapes of the pumpkin face and then carefully press them out from the inside to the outside. The lighting can be built in" either by means of an LED light chain or a candle. However, candles or tea lights are better placed in a jar for safety reasons and to prevent the wind from blowing them out. In our blog you will also find wonderful Halloween costumes that you can make completely by yourself.
Making delicacies from pumpkin flesh
The beauty of the pumpkin is that it has a delicate taste – but is at the same time very subtle. That is why it can be cooked in many different ways. Both savoury and spicy dishes and sweet treats can be conjured up from pumpkin. The colourful vegetable goes wonderfully well with goat's cheese, but also with honey and can be perfectly rounded off with more unusual ingredients such as ginger or pimento.
The following recipes are particularly delicious:
- Pumpkin chutney sweet-sour
- Pumpkin jam
- Pumpkin pie in puff pastry with goat cheese
- Ravioli with pumpkin filling
- Pumpkin soup
These are just a few examples of the wide range of possibilities that this versatile vegetable offers. More great and vegetarian food like the creepy cucumber snake can be found in our blog. And since you can also buy already cut pumpkins, those who don't want to decorate for Halloween still don't have to do without pumpkins. Smaller varieties, especially the popular Hokkaido, are also very suitable for single households.
By the way, the idea of using everything on the pumpkin is not new – suitably shaped pumpkins have been and are used as drinking vessels all over the world. These include varieties whose insides are not necessarily tasty, but which are cultivated because of their durable skin – the so-called calabashes. The large vegetable is therefore very sustainable and has been accompanying people for quite a long time – not only on Halloween.
With this blog post we at NIKIN want to go a little bit beyond our commitment against deforestation and sustainable fashion and give our community some ideas what can be done with the Halloween symbol pumpkin. We wish you bon appétit for the cool menus! And for all those who don't like Halloween, maybe at least you can enjoy the spooky TV programme.