I hope you enjoyed last Friday’s post on Halloween… The shops and online stores are now full of fancy costumes and decorations for Halloween it is a big business… I would love to go somewhere like Salem for Halloween where would you love to go???
Salem, Essex County, Massachusetts is famous for its witch trials of 1692… It is both a residential and tourist destination everything about Salem screams witches and witchcraft…Police cars are adorned with witch logos, a public elementary school is known as Witchcraft Heights, the Salem High School athletic teams are named the Witches, and Gallows Hill — originally believed to be the site of numerous public hangings — is currently used as a playing field for various sports.
Tourists know Salem as a mix of important historical sites and a vibrant downtown that has more than 60 restaurants, cafes, and coffee shops. In 2012, the Retailers Association of Massachusetts chose Salem for their inaugural “Best Shopping District” award.
I would not only want to go for the shopping but the history …Has anyone been to Salem? Does it have that sort of spooky atmosphere or is it just like a regular place?
Did you know?
London Town is known as the most haunted capital in the world?
Highgate Cemetery is one of the spookiest burial places and has featured in many films over the years…The Abominable Dr Phibes, From Beyond The Grave and Taste the Blood Of Dracula, it is also said that Fantastic Beasts was filmed there…
Tower of London with its resident ghosts of Anne Boleyn, The white lady and the poor Princes in the tower…
London Dungeons where you can experience the horror of the Demon Barber himself otherwise know as Sweeney Todd or the infamous Jack the Ripper…I took my boys there when they were little and neither of them would eat there as they said it was dirty it isn’t it is just very authentic and they were having none of it especially food…
Bethnal Green Tube Station used as a bomb shelter in the war and it often was overcrowded and many people died there. Staff say that when the station is closed they can hear running and screams…
Trick or treating was something as kids that we were not allowed to do or a penny for the guy our parents deemed it as being akin to begging…
But trick or treating, or ” guising” (from disguising) was a tradition which began in the Middle Ages, children and sometimes poor adults would dress up and go door to door during Halloween begging for food or money in exchange for songs or prayers which were mainly said for the dead. This tradition was called ” souling” and the children “soulers”
It wasn’t until the 1920s and 1930s that trick or treating had a revival with a lull during WW2 because of the sugar rations and now it is big business and very commercial.
In Britain however, Halloween was slow to take off and many householders turned off their lights and pretended to not be at home… and I am sure many still do that….lol
I still think that we lack behind other countries as regards Halloween…
Now for a recipe…
Thai Pumpkin Soup:
This lovely soup would look equally at home in your hollowed out Halloween pumpkin shell and add a bit of Thai spice to your table. If you have little pumpkins it would look beautiful served as individual portions.
- 400 gm pumpkin peeled and diced into 2 cm cubes
- 1 tsp white peppercorn
- 2 coriander roots
- 2 stalks of lemongrass very finely sliced
- 3 small shallots diced
- 1 tsp fermented shrimp paste…You will be able to purchase this from most Asian stores or online.
- 300 ml of prawn stock….I always keep my prawn heads and bits in the freezer until I have enough to make some stock.
- 700 ml coconut cream
- 1 tbsp freshly squeezed lime juice
- 2 tbsp roasted chilli paste
- 2 tbsp fish sauce
- 1 tsp coconut sugar
- 16 prawns /shrimp, peeled and deveined or crab meat
- A handful of fresh Thai basil leaves save some for garnish
- 2 tbsp coconut oil to stir-fry
Firstly pound the peppercorns and the coriander root into a smooth paste. Then in a large saucepan, over a medium heat stir-fry the peppercorn/coriander root paste, pumpkin, lemongrass, onions and shrimp paste, stirring all the time for about 3 minutes until all those lovely Thai flavours are released.
Reduce the heat to very low, cover the pan with a lid and cook very gently for about 20 minutes until pumpkin is soft, stirring occasionally.
Next, transfer the mixture to a food processor and blend with the shrimp stock until smooth. Pour back into a saucepan and add the coconut cream and bring to a slow gentle boil.
Add your seasonings, lime, fish sauce, sugar, chilli paste and stir to combine, add your prawns/ crabmeat and cook for 1-2 minutes…Now taste and adjust seasoning if required.
Remove from the heat and pour into serving bowl or bowls. Stir in the basil leaves and garnish with extra leaves.
The true Thai way is to also garnish with spring onions or garlic stems, some fried crispy garlic or chicken skin and it always looks so vibrant and you just want to dive in and drown in the lovely flavours.
I hope you have enjoyed reading this post on Halloween and if you have any Halloween recipes or tales then please share and I am happy to add to a future post and give you credit xxx
About Carol Taylor:
Enjoying life in The Land Of Smiles I am having so much fun researching, finding new, authentic recipes both Thai and International to share with you. New recipes gleaned from those who I have met on my travels or are just passing through and stopped for a while. I hope you enjoy them.
I love shopping at the local markets, finding fresh, natural ingredients, new strange fruits and vegetable ones I have never seen or cooked with. I am generally the only European person and attract much attention and I love to try what I am offered and when I smile and say Aroy or Saab as it is here in the north I am met with much smiling.
Some of my recipes may not be in line with traditional ingredients and methods of cooking but are recipes I know and have become to love and maybe if you dare to try you will too. You will always get more than just a recipe from me as I love to research and find out what other properties the ingredients I use contain to improve our health and wellbeing.
Exciting for me hence the title of my blog, Retired No One Told Me! I am having a wonderful ride and don’t want to get off, so if you wish to follow me on my adventures, then welcome! I hope you enjoy the ride also and if it encourages you to take a step into the unknown or untried, you know you want to…….Then, I will be happy!
Carol is a contributor to the Phuket Island Writers Anthology: https://www.amazon.com/Phuket-Island-Writers-Anthology-Stories-ebook/dp/B00RU5IYNS
Connect to Carol
Thank you once again for reading this post I hope you all have a great weekend 🙂 xx