The time has come again for that special time of year when all the children dress up as ghouls and ghosts and knock on people's door in search of candy. "Trick or Treat", they all yell, while holding out their bags in hopes of the best candies in the neighborhood. There is something about this holiday of Halloween that brings out the kid in all of us. We all huddle around the television to watch the re-runs of old classic horror movies and conjure up costume ideas while ingesting way too many sweets. It is a time to either scare or to be scared! Where did this idea of trick-or-treating come from? Why do people dress up in costumes to scare others? This idea has to come from somewhere.
The idea of dressing up and going house-to-house in search of candy has been happening for probably 100 years or so in the United States. Other countries have also adopted this idea of Halloween, but the true history can be said to come from the Celts who celebrated the day of Samhain, October 31st. The Celts lived around 2,000 years ago from the areas now known as Ireland, the United Kingdom, and northern France. Samhain was a celebration in the belief that the dead would return to the earth on this night of October 31st. They would gather around bonfires and make sacrifices in homage to those deceased. The Celts would disguise themselves to ward off evil spirits and would leave out food to appease the dead. This could very well be the beginning of Halloween as we know it. The idea of children going to different houses asking for candy brings another factor into the history of Halloween. After many years, Christianity flourished into areas of Europe and brought them the celebration of All Soul's Day, November 2nd. This day was to commemorate all those who have passed and to pray for their souls. People would gather together and pray for the family members that have died. The poorer families would go to the richer families' homes and receive food and gifts. This was a sort of pact that would be made. The poor families would pray for the richer families' lost ones. Praying was considered a show of respect and honor of the dead. Children then began the practice of going to other houses asking for food and gifts in exchange of prayer.
The custom in the United States has becoming one of children dressing up and asking for candy. Halloween is when the purchase of candy is at its highest. The popular types of candies during Halloween are chocolates such as Reese's Peanut Butter Cups or Hershey's Chocolate Bar. Those are followed by Skittles, Twizzlers and Candy Corn. You can buy these kinds of chocolates for Halloween or you can make your own candies! Wouldn't you like to try a recipe this Halloween? It would be a special treat for all of your trick-or-treaters. Wrap each treat up in plastic and finish with pretty orange and black ribbon.
• 2 cups white sugar
• 1 cup packed brown sugar
• 1 cup corn syrup
• 1 cup evaporated milk
• 2 cups heaving whipping cream
• 1 cup butter
• 1 1/4 tsp. vanilla extract
1. Combine the different sugars, corn syrup, milk, cream and butter into a medium size pot.
2. Using a candy thermometer, keep track of the temperature while stirring occasionally. When the temperature reaches 240 degrees, remove pot from heat.
3. Stir in vanilla
4. Move mixture into a greased 12x15 pan and let cool completely.
5. When cooled, cut into small squares and wrap in wax paper for storage.