Family-friendly Halloween has us under its spell

pumpkin picking, Sonny Jim

Pumpkin picking: My Sonny-Jim

Hands up if you’ve taken your child pumpkin picking this half-term?

I feel like everyone I know with a child under about 14 (and plenty without kids at all) has gone mad for this Halloween-themed past-time.

We certainly have. Sonny Jim had a blast with his little buddy Emily at Hurleys Farm Pumpkin Forest, in Battlesbridge.

We came home with three that are currently being pulled all over the house by tiny hands. And we’re likely to take another trip back before the big day on Wednesday.

But the arrival (and popularity) of pumpkin farms here (the Pumpkin Patch, in Wash Road, Basildon, is another) marks a real transition in attitudes to All Hallow’s Eve from just a generation ago.

I didn’t have my first jack o’-lantern till I was 21 (when my then-boyfriend made me one.) Admittedly, my mum is a priest, so Halloween was never really going to be a thing in our house. But I wasn’t alone in not having a childhood of carving pumpkins. Continue reading

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Recipes: Gothic grub

Gothic layer cake, #whatkatydidUK, recipe

Spookalicious: Gothic layer cake

Okay, I admit. The chance of me actually finding the time to whip up any of these is slim (read, non-existent.)

But these recipes from Dr. Oetker are just too lovely not to share…

Gothic Black Velvet Halloween Cake

Preparation time: 2 hours plus chilling, cooling and setting
Cooking time: 55 minutes (including 5 minutes to melt the chocolate)
Serves: 10 Continue reading

Halloween outfits for your little monsters

Katy Pearson, Sonny Jim, pumpkin, Look What Panda Made

Pumpkin picking: Sonny Jim in his monster leggings

Admittedly, as the daughter of a priest I probably shouldn’t get so excited about Halloween.

But I love any excuse to dress my little man up in a cute costume. And for those of you who are a bit like me in that respect, here are some of my favourite outfits for little ones this All Hallow’s Eve…

PS Here’s Sonny Jim totally rocking his monster trousers by Look What Panda Made when we went pumpkin picking in Battlesbridge, Essex, yesterday. And despite the many attempts made by him to pick up all the biggest ones, we managed to make it home with mud-free knees. So they’re totally going in the wash right now so as they’ll be dry again before all the spooky fun is over for another year… Continue reading

Recipes: Halloween delights

Strawberry ghosts, halloween, recipe, #WhatKatyDidUK

Spookalicious: Strawberry ghosts

Oooo the nights are drawing in and shadows are getting longer. All Hallow’s Eve is creeping closer so here are two recipes to really make the most of the season…

Halloween Strawberry Ghosts

Serves: makes 10
Preparation time: 20 minutes plus chilling time

You’ll need:

  • 200g White Chocolate
  • 10 Strawberries
  • Small tube of black icing

What to do: Continue reading