Project Food Blog

Halloween afternoon tea

As Halloween fell on a Saturday, we decided to have an afternoon party before we took the kids trick or treating. We spent Friday decorating the kitchen with frogs, spiders and other Halloween detritus, then headed out to the shops to pick up some carving pumpkins. Jasmine and Libby picked the biggest two left in the store – and as soon as I picked them up, I knew why no-one else had chosen them. They were far too heavy to carry, so we persuaded Scarlett to get out of her buggy, and arranged the pumpkins one on top of the other, to look like a Pumpkin baby! We wrapped 'her' in a blanket and walked back up Battersea Rise, getting some very strange looks on the way…

Back home, we carved these two beasts, together with a beautiful little pumpkin that came in my Abel & Cole box, then arranged them in the garden with candles in for a Halloween Eve vibe.

Saturday morning and we got the rest of the Halloween party food together for our 2.30pm start, including the Witches' Brew. Scarlett (2) and Jasmine (5) both had two friends coming over, so we planned some crafts and games that would amuse both age groups. Although in reality we catered more for the 5-6 year old girls, as the two little boys were more than happy kicking balls around the garden and playing with gravel, while the girls got on to the serious business of 'paint-facing', making spells and pinning the tail on the pony.

I got all of the ingredients for spell making together in the garden on low tables to kick the party off. I dressed as a witch and had glass vases full of water and food colouring. The little witches had to ask me for the various potions (venomous blue, blood red, vampire purple and squashed frog green), then add glitter, and any herbs and leaves they could find from around the garden.

They also loved making leaf monsters – we collected lots of different coloured leaves, then they each laid on pieces of paper and drew round each other. They then stuck the leaves on and had life sized monsters which could then be cut out and hung on the washing line or pinned on the wall.

The goriest game was 'a witch in my fridge'. I said that I had lots of different parts of a dead witch in my fridge, and could they guess the body part. This really appealed to the macabre nature of the 5 and 6 year olds! I put the following foods into covered tubs, then asked them to close their eyes, put their fingers into each tub and try and guess which part of the body they were touching.

Peeled grapes – eyeballs
Slice of ham in clingfilm - skin
Knobbly carrots – fingers
Tomato pur̩e Рblood
Carrot tops, slightly dried out – hair
Cold noodles in oil - intestines.

After more fun and games and a ghoulish themed tea, we headed out to trick or treat. There was a group of 10 kids and six adults, and we visited about a dozen houses. The kids are still talking about the devil – one man answered the door in a huge red devil mask and they all screeeeeeeamed. The best one by far was a flat at the top of a converted church. Lit pumpkins led up to the door. When the kids knocked, the door swung open but they couldn't see anyone. Then a huge wolf leapt round the door, roaring. It was actually a tiny woman on all fours, wearing a wolf head mask, but it was genuinely scary and their favourite door by far. Howl!

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