Halloween is coming and we will celebrate it in our own way: we will turn off the lights, get under our blanket, put horror movies on TV, eat some nice food and a delicious dessert… So, in our new frightening article we will approach Halloween, learn the history of costumes in the USA and make yummy, chocolate brownies with walnuts, with a scary design on top.
Halloween may be a foreign holiday, but we really like the whole horror scene and this is why we will dedicate this article to it. To celebrate Halloween, Americans dress up with costumes that are mostly scary and it is customary for children to go to houses in the neighborhood, collecting treats with the classic question “trick or treat?”.
Halloween is celebrated every year on October 31st. We read that the Halloween tradition comes from the ancient Celtic festival of Samhain, during which people lit fires and disguised themselves to cast out spirits. In the 8th century Pope Gregory III designated November 1 as All Saints Day. This celebration incorporated some of the traditions of Samhain. The eve of the holiday was known as All Hallows Eve, and later Halloween. Over time, Halloween has evolved into a day of activities such as “trick or treating”, making scary pumpkins, celebrating with relatives and friends and eating treats. In fact, we found out that 1/4 of the candies bought in America a year are sold for Halloween!
In a very interesting article of the History channel we read that if we look at the uniforms that were chosen in each historical era, we will learn a lot about what people were afraid of then, but also about what is popular in entertainment and who are the presidential candidates. In America Halloween is today the main celebration of disguise, but in the early 20th century people dressed up for other occasions, such as New Year’s Eve, Easter and Valentine’s Day. Disguise events were much more popular then than they are today.
At the time, Halloween costumes were more scary and mostly handmade. The goal was not to disguise oneself as a specific figure, but to hide one’s identity in a scary way. Ghosts, witches, pumpkins, black cats and the moon were popular subjects. Makeup and disguise were done at home. At the beginning of the 20th century the only items found on the market were paper masks and children’s aprons.
Children and young people spent Halloween night making tricks, throwing flour at people or stealing neighbors’ fences. During the Great Depression, after 1933, the situation spiraled out of control with vandalism throughout the country. Thus, adults began to organize activities such as “trick or treating”, visits to “haunted” homes and theme parties to keep children out of trouble. This new habit has led to new types of costumes for children.
As long as Halloween was meant to entertain children, costumes became things kids enjoyed, such as characters from favorite movies, comics and shows. During the Great Depression the uniforms remained handmade. In the 50’s mass-produced affordable costumes began to appear, princesses, mummies, clowns, but also specific characters such as Batman or Frankenstein.
In the 70’s the costumes took on a more adult character. Then the Americans started wearing the masks of the presidents. Especially after the Watergate scandal, Nixon’s mask became the most popular Halloween costume and remained high in American tastes for quite some time.
Over the next few decades, many costumes became associated with pop culture. In the 1980s, with popular horror movies, disguises became more extreme. Then came the classic costumes of the protagonists of these films, such as Michael Myers from the legendary Halloween movie series. Also particularly popular were the Star Wars characters and the ET alien. Many of these costumes remain in the favorites to this day.
In Greece we may not celebrate Halloween, but it is for us a good opportunity to remember favorite horror movies and eat delicacies! So, we will make delicious, chocolate brownies with walnuts, to devour them in the “fright night”, ie the night of terror that we will organize.
Brownies with walnuts
Ingredients for the brownies
|Chocolate couverture||300 gr|
How to make the brownies
Melt the butter in a saucepan and set aside to cool slightly.
Beat the eggs with the sugar with a hand whisk.
Put the chopped couverture in a large bowl and onto a bain marie to melt.
Add the hot melted butter with a slow flow into the egg mixture, beating constantly.
Add the melted couverture slowly like butter, continuing to beat.
Add the whole walnuts and stir.
Fill a buttered pan with your mixture and bake in a preheated oven at 180°C for 18 minutes.
The brownies are ready!
To make the scary design, cut a stencil on a cardboard in the shape of a pumpkin, place it on a piece of brownies and sprinkle with powdered sugar on top. Remove it carefully so as not to spoil your design!