For Samhain, Halloween, All Saints’ Day and All Souls’ Day
A few more Halloween traditions that I wrote about last year for you at the link below, Jolene. Fid you know that the Scots also called this Nut Crack Night. Couples would whisper the name of their loved one represented by individual nuts—one for each of them— toss the nuts into the fire together, and then watch how they burn. If the nuts burn quietly together, then all is well. If they crack and burst? Well, I’ll leave that up to you to decide what that might mean. 😉
Thank you for the lovely article, with the links, illustrations and of course the soul cakes. Thank you also for mentioning Samhain. So many of the old festivities were absorbed by Christianity, it is good to remember the nature focused festivals.
I really love the historical origins of All Saints Day/Halloween. I love the idea of the veil between worlds getting thinner. I’ve never been a big Halloween celebrator though, probably because in Australia, she’s I grew up and lived most of my life until recently, it’s spring time. Everything is topsy-turvey. As an Australian, I’ve grown up longing for the lovely summer December days and the end of October, also close to my son’s birthday on the 27th, is an ‘almost summer’ time of year where the days are getting longer, the weather can jump 20 degrees Celsius up or down from one day to the next, and the wind could blow off your sunnies! So different from the literature & celebrations of the Northern Hemisphere. But globalisation has meant that kids now celebrate Halloween in Australia, trick or treating with gusto like their US counterparts, despite the upside-down seasons.
I don’t like lollies/sweets/candy. I’m
not a fan of mountains of throw-away plastic decorations. I love pumpkin but only as a savoury dish. Maybe I’ll try out the Soul Cakes though 🍪 and think about the thinning veil between the worlds of the living and the dead
Echoing others here, but I love this throwback photo and the anecdote about your days as a baker! I used to work front-of-house at a bakery and loved chatting with the bakers when I arrived, before the doors opened...it’s such a magical time of day.
Now I need to try a soul cake (had never heard of them!) 😋 and I always love hearing about your (many) past lives Jolene 🍰
Food is so uniting Jolene. Loved your photo from the way back machine.
Fascinating! It instantly made me recall the song Soul Cake by Sting and now I realise what some of it was about!!
This is wonderful, Jolene! Once again, thank you for contributing to my education! ❤️
Thank you so much, Jolene, for the shout-out - I loved your piece on In the Night Kitchen. And I'm really liking the sound of the soul cakes. The recipe seems very similar to traditional English Easter biscuits, which are studded with currants and originally flavoured with cassia oil, as it was believed this was used in embalming Jesus. Perhaps the biscuits are of the same vintage. These background stories are fascinating.
I enjoy reading about the many traditions around the world commemorating All Souls Day, Day of the Dead, etc. Too bad it’s all become so commercialized. Thanks for the lovely recipe ~ the cookies sound delicious. Great photo of your previous life in NYC!
Thank you for introducing me to the soul cake, Jolene. What a beautiful tradition. We will be trying this in our kitchen this week.
This is so wonderful & thank you for the mention!! I am adding soul cake ingredients to today's grocery list, they sound absolutely perfect for the cold front that just blew in last night.
I always learn something fascinating from you, Jolene! Just love the Peter, Paul and Mary song, but I never gave a thought to what a soul cake was. Now I think I’ll make some. Perfect with tea--as in the lovely painting you shared by Vicki Smith! Kudos on the well-deserved mention in Substack Speaks. Time Travel Kitchen is a treasure!
Soul cakes. I just love the name and the story behind it. Saving a soul one cake at a time ...that's a good reason to make these but they also look strangely tasty
All so wonderful! I am familiar with some of the Celtic history but did not know about soul cakes. Going to make some today. Does it work without the dried fruit? Can you use nuts instead? You are a treasure, Jolene!