Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Of Sweets and Treats~~~~

Well Darklings,

Everything for the party is in place, just a few last minute things to get, decorations inside and outside are ready, the tables for the food are in place and the paper plates and such is all set out, on Friday we'll be making the frozen rings for the punch and jello molds of brains, hands, hearts and graveyard cakes.  Both Sis and I and Cousin Louise will be getting up early to make the main meals, mostly pasta dishes and salads, my brother is also bringing goodies as well and then they'll go back and get the children  and Monica after they do trick and treating in their neighborhood. 

And some of my friends are bringing pot luck goodies to help out, it will be I think more than enough,  invitations sent out and replies received.

Movies selected for the children, Hotel Transylvania is on the top of the list, plus Ghost-busters and Ghost-busters 2,   and Monster Squad.  So the house is decorated with cobwebs and spiders, fa la la la la....

And we set the clocks back one hour as well, oh that does make Halloween Night magical.

Doyle has suggested that instead of us cooking that we just get take out for the next few nights which makes so much sense to me.

And somehow he managed to secure an old hearse that has windows in it and a friend of his has rigged up a coffin inside it to look like someone is trying to get out, with sound effects.  I'm not going to ask Doyle where he found it, sometimes it's best not to know, but for me to not be surprised if it drives off at 1 a.m.   O.Kaayyy I'll accept that.

And CANDY, well I did find good deals at Target and Wal-Mart,  and the Candy Cauldron is ready to be loaded up.

So as the saying goes-----

Treat or Treat
Here we meet
Give us something good to eat.
Be it Candy
Be it Cake
Give us something good to take.

And speaking of Candy I came across this article that you Darlings might enjoy~~~

Now granted it is geared for the United States but perhaps others may find something simular

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Most Popular Halloween Candy in Each State
Rachel Bertsche
October 23, 2015

Halloween candy can be divisive — some kids love Snickers; others hoard Sweetarts. Almost everyone loves a peanut butter cup, but candy corn is a love-it-or-hate-it treat.

Product review site Influenster decided to get to the bottom of the candy debate, identifying the most popular Halloween treats by state. The survey polled more than 40,000 people from across the country. “Halloween is every American’s favorite fall holiday,” Aydin Acar, cofounder and CEO of Influenster, tells Yahoo Parenting. Because the the site focuses on customer reviews and consumer trends, Acar says, the survey was a natural fit.

Despite its controversial reputation, candy corn was the No. 1 pick in five states — Oregon, Wyoming, Texas, Tennessee, and South Carolina. No other candy won over that many states.

While Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups only won over two states —  Connecticut and Rhode Island — it was the most popular across users overall, scoring 4,348 votes. “If the U.S.A. were compared to other countries in the rest of the world, Reese’s would be our [national] candy,” Acar says. “I personally love M&M’s, so I stand by Michigan and Oklahoma.”

Of the 30 candies included in the survey, only three got votes from at least one user in each state: Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups, Kit Kats, and Butterfingers. (Hungry yet?)

Some of the statewide winners seem obvious — Hershey’s Kisses (Mississippi and Missouri), Twix (Iowa and Washington, D.C.), and Twizzlers (Kansas) — but others were unexpected. Who knew that Airheads (Alabama and Washington) and Pixy Stix (Georgia) were such a hit?

The most important lesson here: When in doubt, hand out Reese’s.

Here’s a breakdown of the most popular candy in each state:

Alabama: AirHeads
Alaska: Snickers
Arizona:  Toblerone
Arkansas: Skittles
California: Life Savers
Colorado: Milky Way
Connecticut: Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups
Delaware: 3 Musketeers
Florida: Nestlé Crunch
Georgia - Pixy Stix
Hawaii: 100 Grand Bar
Idaho: Butterfinger
Illinois: Snickers
Indiana: Reese’s Pieces
Iowa: Twix
Kansas: Twizzlers
Kentucky: Whoppers
Louisiana: Swedish Fish
Maine: Starburst
Maryland: Almond Joy
Massachusetts: Starburst
Michigan: M&M’s
Minnesota: 100 Grand Bar
Mississippi: Hershey’s Kisses
Missouri: Hershey’s Kisses
Montana: Kit Kat
Nebraska: Skittles
Nevada: Jolly Ranchers
New Hampshire: Tootsie Rolls
New Jersey: Sour Patch Kids
New Mexico: 3 Musketeers
New York: Sweetarts
North Carolina: Butterfinger
North Dakota: Sour Patch Kids
Ohio: Milky Way
Oklahoma: M&M’s
Oregon: Candy corn
Pennsylvania: Swedish Fish
Rhode Island: Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups
South Carolina: Candy corn
South Dakota: Laffy Taffy
Tennessee: Candy corn
Texas: Candy corn
Utah: Nerds
Vermont: Almond Joy
Virginia: Reese’s Pieces
Washington: AirHeads
West Virginia: Oreos
Wisconsin: Laffy Taffy
Wyoming: Candy corn
District of Columbia: Twix

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In California Lifesavers is rated as the popular candy???   Excuse me but I prefer either See's Candies or Godiva Chocolates.    And if I know California's it's probably sugar free life savers.    Anyway Darklings I thought you'd be amused by this list,  although I do have to say that Reese's Peanut Butter Cups and Kit Kat have been doing heavy advertising. 

Next is drinks for Adults for Halloween...

Later Darklings

Saturday, October 24, 2015

Of Vampires and Grave Robbers~~~~

Dear Darklings,

I have a picture I want to show you ~~~~~

Now the person who posted this "claims" that this "cage" was to prevent the dead from rising as either a vampire or a zombie.

Well the concept of zombies really didn't take a more public view until the 1920's when Seabrooks book was published.   So one would think this would be more related to the idea of vampires, and considering the bars are made from cold iron one would think so, but the reason behind the cage is far more sinister than that.

Oh yes it is to prevent the dead from rising-----with the help of the feared "Resurrectionists"!

We know them by the more mundane label as "Body Snatchers".

According to Wikipedia~~~
Resurrectionists were commonly employed by anatomists in the United Kingdom during the 18th and 19th centuries to exhume the bodies of the recently dead. Between 1506 and 1752 only a very few cadavers were available each year for anatomical research.

The supply was increased when, in an attempt to intensify the deterrent effect of the death penalty, Parliament passed the Murder Act 1752.

By allowing judges to substitute the public display of executed criminals with dissection (a fate generally viewed with horror), the new law significantly increased the number of bodies anatomists could legally access. This proved insufficient to meet the needs of the hospitals and teaching centres that opened during the 18th century.

Corpses and their component parts became a commodity, but although the practice of disinterment was hated by the general public, bodies were not legally anyone's property. The resurrectionists therefore operated in a legal grey area.

Because of the Murder Act, when anatomists would come to collect the body there would be riots, but to make it worse because a dead body was considered not anyone's property the Resurrectionists could operate in gangs and dig up anyone newly dead, but if caught in the act those persons would be dealt with being violently beaten.

People were hired to be body guards in graveyards and cemeteries, the more wealthy would bury their dead using  secure coffins, and physical barriers such as mortsafes and heavy stone slabs made extraction of corpses more difficult.

The poor resorted to having to guard the bodies of their relations at night for a week or two thus making the body too far decayed for any anatomical use.

Until Burke and Hare started their scheme of provided extremely fresh bodies for dissection yes they were very fresh having been recently murdered by Burke and Hare, which resulted in the Anatomy Act  of  1832 in which bodies of the poor in workhouses were used for dissection.

Despite the passage of the Anatomy Act for a time there still wasn't enough bodies to meet demand so the Resurrectionists still plied their trade for some years until about 1844 when the act of digging up the dead finally ended.

Although there still is in modern times some people who for reasons of their own will desecrate a grave.  

But isn't that a horrible thought to think that your dead body after death is not anyone's property, not even your own?   Makes me shiver just to think of it.

Here is another picture of other caged graves ~~~~

Technically these are called Mortsafes,   and these are in a graveyard in England.

And now I Must return to my Dark Shadows marathon binge.  Coraline and Christopher have joined me to discover why Jonathan Frid's vampire became such a hit back in the late 1960's.

Later Darklings 

Friday, October 23, 2015

Of the Poison Garden of Alnwick Castle~~~~~

Hello Darklings,

I love gardening idea's, especially for Gothic Gardening with dark flowers accented by pure white flowers or those plantings that look like bizarre growths, and decorating it with unusual garden decorations, but if there is one thing I'm very careful about is plants that are extremely dangerous to human life.

However there is one garden in England that does take that chance and I've copied an article for your reading pleasure and information about "The Poison Garden Of Alnwick Castle".

Read on my Darklings~~~~

The Poison Garden of Alnwick Castle
 By Stacy Conradt

You can’t say the people behind the Poison Garden didn’t warn you. The only way into the noxious nursery is through gates emblazoned with skulls, crossbones, and a warning: “These plants can kill.”

It’s just a small portion of the 42-acre gardens at Alnwick Castle in Alnwick, Northumberland, England—but it packs a big punch. From ricin and strychnine to coca (used to make cocaine), the Poison Garden is full of things people shouldn’t even smell, let alone touch or eat. And they’re deadly serious about the warnings: Guests have fainted from inhaling fumes as they merely walked through the garden. Many of the plants, such as the ricin, are grown in cages, to keep curious guests from getting too close. Most of the flora grown inside the gates required special government permission to grow.

The Poison Garden is the brainchild of Jane Percy, the Duchess of Northumberland, whose husband encouraged her to renovate the gardens when they moved into the castle in 1996. (We assume he was probably a little surprised when his wife began enthusiastically planting poison hemlock and belladonna.) She was inspired, in part, by the Medici poison garden in Padua, Italy.

One of Percy’s goals is to educate kids about botany and science in a way that actually interests them. "Children don't care how a plant cures," she has said. "They think that's boring. They want to know how it kills—and how agonizing the death is! ... More seriously, it is a place for visitors to learn about the dangerous side of plants. Drugs are a major concern across the country and an emotive issue. Here we offer a new avenue to get people talking about the misuse of drugs—most of which grow in nature."

If the crazy plants at Alnwick Castle seem like something straight out of Harry Potter, well, you’re not the only one who thinks so. Alnwick has been used for both interior and exterior shots of Hogwarts in the Harry Potter movies. But even Professor Snape would hesitate before making any potions with plants picked from this garden.


Well My Darklings you have been warned even Agatha Christie knew her poisons and used them in her novels such as "Sparkling Cyanide" .  But to thing that Alnwick has been used in the Harry Potter films as  a location is very interesting.   

I hope to find other interesting tid-bits for your Gothicly Bizarre information.

Later Darklings  

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Of Be Still my Happy Heart!!!~~~~!

Dear Darklings,

I am convinced that October is the month to watch every Horror Movie and every T.V. episode that deals with monsters, ghosts, vampires etc. etc. 

Now it's going up to the next level and I am so excited.

On the antenna we receive as an alternate T.V. station Decades TV which each day will show programs and talk about those events that happened on the current date but during a particular decade.   It's sort of T.V. retro viewing with a bit of history thrown in for good measure.

Where I live we get it on Ch 5.2  (no cable, no satellite)  one the weekends they will do what they call "Binge T.V." that is for 48 hours Saturday/Sunday they will show episdoes of one T.V. program, like "Love Boat" for 48 hours or "Route 66" for 48 hours.   This last weekend it was "The Rogues" with Charles Boyer, Gig Young and David Niven that ran from 1964 to 1965.

I happened to catch an espisode of it and during a commercial break they announced that this coming Saturday and Sunday on Decades T.V. the weekend Binge is ----(drum roll please)-----

                                              DARK SHADOWS!!!!

I can hardly wait!!!!   To kick off Halloween week with Dark Shadows to be followed with seeing Dracula on the Big Screen at the Alameda Theater to be followed with Seeing Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein!!!

It is enough to give this Elder Goth heart palpitations!!    I am in HEAVEN!!!   

And if that isn't enough, Doyle has laid in 3 cases of Poizin wine from Armida winery, a wonderfully rich deep dark zinfandel that reminds me of blood, but he didn't forget the white wine which is called Antidote.   Antidote is more for an aperitif or with appetizers which will work with some of my finger food.  But Poizin is far more serious but fun, and not to be wasted it is a lush, delicious and "serious" wine but in a fun package! The nose is fruit driven with fresh plum, bing cherry, spicy peppercorn and zinberry. The mouthfeel is soft with a hint of milk chocolate, sweet oak, and a long vanilla finish. The deep color and firm structure are enhanced by the addition of the Petite Sirah and the firm tannins softened by moderate oak. It has to enjoyed with caution for it is The Wine to Die for!

And my Doyle knows how to please me!

I just hope after all this excitement I can enjoy "The Day of the Dead!" 

Later Darklings!


Of Gardening ideas~~~~~

Hello Darklings!

Just a few Gardening ideas that you can do during the winter months,  The top picture is from the poison Garden in England, it is so dangerous that they have to keep it locked, and only a limited number of tours of it.

I'll try to find out more about it.  I'm not sure how they did the cement skulls, possibly a reusable mold like latex or something but it would make a wonderful border, don't you think Darklings?


Friday, October 16, 2015

Of a Barfing pumpkins and brains (it's a reciepe)~~~~

Hello Darklings,

Well I have another Halloween food idea, I ran it by my niece and nephews and they all like it, especially the younger ones.   So here it is----A Barfing pumpkin---

Barfing pumpkin dip with brains
 Barf  ---  Guacamole:
3 avocados, halved and pitted
Juice of 1 lime
2 Roma tomatoes, diced
1/4 cup red onion, chopped
1/4 cup cilantro, chopped
1 garlic clove, minced
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp chili powder

Mash avocados with the lime juice. Add the rest of the ingredients and mix thoroughly.

Brains--- Queso:
1 Tbsp. butter
1 scallion clove, chopped
2 cups cheddar cheese
2 cups Monterey Jack cheese
1/2 cup milk
1 Tbsp. corn starch
4 oz canned mild green chilies, with juice

In a pot over medium heat, melt 1 Tbsp. butter and sauté scallions. Add cheese, milk and cornstarch, and mix until melted and smooth. Add green chiles and mix until combined.

Draw eyes like this > < with eyebrows and carve a sad round mouth on a small (but not too small) pumpkin. Hollow out the inside and insert a bowl to fit in evenly. Pour queso in the bowl and top with chopped tomatoes. Put Pumpkin with Queso on one end of a large foil lined serving platter Spoon guacamole coming out of the pumpkin’s mouth. Serve with chips along side the barf and the brains !

Frankly I think both dips sound good for any occasion , you can go easy on the chili powder as well as the mild green chilies, some people don't like it too spicy.  

You can find all kinds of Halloween food and beverage ideas on the internet, the children help me a lot on ideas, but it's always wise to rotate food ideas each year, unless there is one that is an outstanding favorite that everyone loves.

My freezer and refrigerators (I have two) are going to be stuffed!!

Later Darklings