Mummy Barrow loves Halloween

I didn’t.   But there is no escaping it, Hallowe’en is now big business over here, certainly if this recent article in the Guardian is to be believed:  Happy Halloween for retailers

It was all a bit too American for me and felt a bit like we were sending our children mixed messages where we tell them not to accept sweets from strangers but then we were accompanying them on a door to door pillage to get as many sweets as possible.   Tricks were always done with menaces (how many corner shops ban the sale of flour and eggs in the run up to October 31st?) and it was all about the treat.    Kids that we dont see from one year to the next knocking on the door to grab handfuls, with not so much as a thank you, or teenagers who have made no effort with a costume but who are out trying their luck.

Nope it was not my favourite time of the year at all.

And then my teens got older and embraced it more than they did when they were ones going out trick or treating.   They wanted to decorate the house, they wanted to carve pumpkins, wear scary costumes to scare people coming to the door.   Which meant that slowly I have come to embrace it too, and now this year I am actually looking forward to it.   A real case of “if you can’t beat them, join them” I guess.

And so for tomorrow we have stocked up on sweets (oh so many sweets), decanted them into bowls and stationed them on the stairs in readiness.  We have grabbed some decorations too as Asda have decorations from only £1, they even have a gingerbread house that Ellie spent an hour one afternoon decorating this week:

haunted house

This zombie with the glowing eyes is scaring the beejeebus out of me though


Next up was pumpkin carving and although she did hers free stylee there is some great kits you can buy that have all the scoops and carving implements you need, and even templates if you need a bit of inspiration.  The result of Ellie’s effort is the pic above.   I did see this one as well that Caity had done at work, which I also love:


Then this happened:


A severed hand in the mud.    Well sort of.   What do you think?

Should you wish to recreate this “accident” it’s very simple:

Severed hand
Prep time

Cook time

Total time


A Halloween party centre piece
Recipe type: Easy
Cuisine: Seasonal
Serves: Lots

  • 2 packs for strawberry jelly
  • One new rubber glove
  • 6 Yorkie Bars
  • 1 tbs of Golden Syrup
  • 150g of Shredded Wheat
  • 1 pack of white chocolate buttons

  1. Make jelly to manufacturers instructions and fill a new rubber glove, leave to set overnight
  2. Melt 5 of the Yorkie bars in a bowl on top of a pan of bubbling water, stirring to ensure it doesnt burn
  3. Add the golden syrup and stir
  4. Add the Shredded Wheat and ensure all are covered by chocolate
  5. Place in cake tin and leave to harden
  6. Remove chocolate/Shredded Wheat mix from tin and place on board.
  7. Blitz remaining Yorkie bar in food processor until it resembles breadcrumbs
  8. Sprinkle over chocolate/Shredded Wheat mix.
  9. Sprinkle white chocolate buttons on top to resemble stones.
  10. Cut end off rubber glove and let some of the jelly ooze out to resemble blood.
  11. Paint nails on to glove if you a lunatic like me.
  12. Place hand on top of chocolate

 Halloween Chez Barrow, done.

What are you up to?

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  • As always, excellent article, well presented (mix of photos and text), well written and correctly spelt – as far as I can see. Further it’s very timely!

    There will be a few readers – including us – cursing quietly before rushing off to Asda/Tesco/Sainsbury/
    Morrisons/Booths Limited to prepare for the tinies’ depredations. Round here we get about 4 or 5
    sets of kids always accompanied by parent, often in fancy dress and ALWAYS very polite! (well it is Cheshire after all dear) No mess, no tears and all over by about 7.30.

    Again – well done you!

  • I’m a bit of a trick or treat grump so this year we are having a fire in the garden and cooking over it. The kiddos are dressing up and the OH even got sucked into it and bought bunting and bowls from Asda. Sucker!