Image courtesy of enchantmentsschool.blogspot.com
The weeks leading up to All Hallows’ Eve, the apple is overlooked in favor of the more popular Halloween fruit, the pumpkin. Even though it is the quintessential autumn food, it is swept under the rug for one night, despite a rich relationship with October 31st. A combination of Samhain and Victorian Halloween traditions establish the apple’s place in Halloween history.
Bobbing for apples dates back to the Roman celebration of Ponoma, the goddess of fertility. Tradition dictated that unmarried people bob for apples and the first person to bite an apple would marry next. Celts also embraced the apple as a fertility symbol due to its seed formation resembling a pentagram. However, we no longer use the game for that purpose and instead use it as a simple party game.
Apples were also a tool for those wanting to use the magic of Halloween night to predict their true love. One custom dictated that a girl must be in front of a mirror with a lighted candle. At dusk, she should brush her hair and eat an apple. While she is doing this, her lover’s face should appear in the mirror. Another legend states that you must cut an apple in half and eat one of the halves before midnight. The second half must be eaten as soon as the clock strikes midnight, or else you will not dream of your intended. if you want to find out your true love and you do not like eating the skin of an apple, there is a fortune-telling method for you. It involves peeling the apple in a single piece and tossing it over your shoulder. The peel is to reveal the first letter of your soul mate’s name (and you get to eat a peeled apple). The final way has the person cutting an apple in half to count the seeds. An even number is a sign of good luck in marriage, while an odd number is bad news. To add to the number of outcomes, a seed cut in half means a rough relationship. There are many more apple related customs, but they involve sleeping on them or naming seeds.
Even if the results are less than stellar, getting a portion of your daily fruit serving is always a positive thing. Of course, indulging in the classic fall variations of caramel and candied apples is also acceptable. It may not tell you your true love, but no one can resist the lure of the multi-purpose apple, especially when it is covered in something sweet.
Image courtesy of Family Circle
Image from Eater.com
Sticky and sweet salted caramel slides down a beautiful woman’s face in tantalizing rivulets. Sultry smoky-lidded eyes and long lashes serve as a ledge for drops of the unique sweet and stray caramel rests on pillowy pink lips. Her hands are cradling her blissed-out face and truly tell the story of her “love affair with salted caramel”. If you are finding yourself having mixed and confusing emotions about the picture, do not worry. It is a purposeful attempt to tap into a person’s lust for not only rich food, but the desire for satisfying sex. Pyschology and biology has proven that humans are unconsciously relating food with sex and vice versa. Continue reading
“Girl Scout cookies”. Once a year, those three words are able to invoke strong emotions into the hearts and souls of the American public. Whether it is dread over having to deliver an immense amount of cookies to eager customers or excitement over replenishing last year’s stockpile, the little baked goods occupy a certain place in most people’s minds. After more than fifty years in existence and several recessions along the way, Girl Scouts are still as popular as ever and have never lacked a sizable consumer base. A major part of this success is due to clever marketing over the years and revitalizing the brand by licensing other companies to provide their take on the cookies, usually by incorporating the flavors into their products. It is also important to note how things can go wrong for corporations if they are a poor fit for the image the Girl Scouts of America has cultivated over the years
The earliest documented cookie drive occurred in December 1917 with the Muskegee, Oklahoma Mistletoe troop leading the event. The idea continued during the 1920s and 1930s as Girl Scout troops baked simple sugar cookies and sold them independently. Around the mid-1930’s, commercial bakeries approached the organization about producing the cookies, but it was not until 1951 when ABC Bakery began producing shortbread, thin mint, and sandwich varieties of cookies for the scouts to sell. Presently, ABC Bakery and Little Brownie Bakers are licensed to produce the eight varieties of Girl Scout cookies that have been altered over the years to suit the demands of the American public. Despite flour shortages during World War II and the trans-fat controversy in 2005, the cookies manage to sell in huge quantities each year. Most consumers are not aware of it, but a clever advertising technique keeps them coming back for more each year. Continue reading
A few days after the Christmas media frenzy subsided, I was presented with an array of unappealing afternoon entertainment options. This led me to tune into the Food Network for a block of mindless viewing. An episode of Down Home with the Neelys was on, with the cooking couple, Pat and Gina Neely, demonstrating recipes for updating Southern classics and grilled favorites. Halfway through the thirty-minute show, Pat Neely, one of the chefs, announced that he and his wife Gina Neely were making black-eyed peas and cornbread after the commercial break. During his pitch for the dish, he placed an emphasis on the need to serve black-eyed peas and cornbread together, no matter the occasion. It was then I realized I had forgotten to complete a simple, but important task. In my family’s numerous grocery shopping trips in preparation for Christmas dinner, we had completely forgotten to buy the ingredients necessary for the New Year’s Day meal. My Virginia upbringing dictated that most of the menus at family gatherings have a heavy Southern influence. While every holiday menu for the year was varied, our New Year’s Day menu stayed constant. At the beginning of each year, we sit down and have a traditional Southern meal meant to bring good luck for the coming year. The main dish is a hearty serving of black-eyed peas paired with a slice of golden cornbread, symbolizing the luck and fortune we hoped to have in the coming here.