The photo above is a great example of how Halloween lovers prepair for their spooky halloween dinner parties. This great photo was taken by Love Manor. See their great photo steam at flickr.
Always popular at Halloween
Apples: Because the holiday comes in the wake of the annual apple harvest, candy apples, caramel apples (also known as toffee apples or taffy apples) are a common Halloween treat made by rolling whole apples in a sticky sugar syrup, and sometimes rolling them in nuts or other toppings. It's also traditional to eat an apple after playing the Apple dunking game. At one time, candy apples were commonly given to children, but the practice rapidly waned in the wake of widespread rumors that some individuals were embedding items like pins and razor blades in the apples. While there is evidence of such incidents, they are quite rare and have never resulted in serious injury. Nonetheless, many parents assumed that such heinous practices were rampant; at the peak of the hysteria, some hospitals offered free x-rays of children's Halloween hauls in order to find evidence of tampering. Virtually all of the few known candy poisoning incidents involved parents who poisoned their own children's candy, while there have been occasional reports of children putting needles in their own (and other children's) candy in a mere bid for attention.
Toffee Apple: (Australia when celebrated, England, Wales and Scotland, instead of "Candy Apples") The most common "candy" is a hard coating of cooled sugar syrup, usually tinted red and sometimes flavored with cinnamon. The sugar syrup is heated to the "hard crack" stage before coating the apple to make a hard coating when the syrup cools.
Apple Cider: Apple cider is the name used especially in the United States and parts of Canada for a non-alcoholic beverage produced from apples by a process of pressing. It is more sour and cloudy than conventional apple juice, retaining the tart flavor of the apple pulp which is lost in conventional fruit juice production. Cider is frequently served in autumn, corresponding with the harvest season, and is a popular traditional beverage on Halloween and Thanksgiving, sometimes heated if the weather is especially cold.
Cider: Cider is an alcoholic beverage made from the fermented juice of apples mainly, though pears are also used; in the UK, pear cider is known as perry. In the United States and parts of Canada, where the term cider almost exclusively refers to non-alcoholic apple juice (apple cider), the phrase hard cider is used to denote the fermented version.
Roasted Sweetcorn: Roasted sweetcorn is popular cooked on the grill at any time but it is especially popular at Halloween by the fireside. This time of the year fall parties and Halloween bonfires are traditional along with roasted corn. It's popular to sit by a fire at night and tell spooky stories. While doing this the smell of individuals roasting corn is the activity that's going on in the background of the story telling. A really fun way to serve the corn is have all the corn already on long sticks that have been soaked in water so they don't burn. Let each guest roast their own corn over the fire. Usually there will be a pot of melted butter beside the fire so each guest can dip their corn in the butter before roasting.
Popcorn: Popcorn is usually served salted or sweetened. In North America, it is traditionally served salted, although a sweetened version, generally called caramel corn, is also commonly available. In the United Kingdom, ready-made popcorn is available either salted or simply sweetened with sugar, both varieties being equally popular. At Halloween it is common to find popcorn tossed in orange chocolate with candy corn added for traditional Halloween color.
Kettle corn: In the United States Kettle corn is popular at Halloween carnivals. Kettle corn is a sweet-and-salty variety of popcorn that adds granulated sugar, salt, and oil. Its flavor is not overwhelmingly sweet like that of caramel corn. The contrast between kettle corn's subtle sweetness and its salt flavoring has endeared it to many.
Pumpkin: Traditional Halloween fair consists of foods that are mainly popular in the fall season. Pumpkin soups, pumpkin cakes, roasted pumpkin seeds (pumpkin seeds), pumpkin breads and pumpkin pies are all very popular also because of the symbolism the pumpkin has for Halloween. Areas usually have pumpkins in abundance. Baking pumpkins and ornamental pumpkins both. see pumpkin recipes
Spooky Treats & mains
Witch Fingers: Witch Fingers are usually sugar cookies that's shaped, colored and baked to look like witches fingers. You find this cookie at all home parties and is a favorite of children. Almonds are used for the fingernails and the cookie is colored green, purple, chocolate or served plain. see spooky witch finger cookies.
Caldron Stews: Caldron stews are soups or stews that are cooked and served in black cast iron pots to give that eerie effect. For fun most stews are named spooky names like witches brew, Frankenstein stew etc. For example witches brew is usually cooked to be very ugly and dark. Foods that are dark in color are usually chopped and stewed together. Foods like whole turnip green leaves or collards, mushrooms, purple onions, pinto beans, black beans, green beans, hamburger meat etc. All of these foods taste great together and they all make the stew very dark, almost purple in color. Whole greens are used to give a stringie effect when its served. To make the stew have a slimmie flair, okra is added.
Frankenstein and Goblins are associated with the color green. To make Goblin Stew all you need is foods that are green in color to make the stew green. For example: string beans, green beans, peas, broccoli, zucchini, green onions etc. Cubed chicken is the perfered meat because it is easily turned green with a few drops of green food coloring. Potatoes are also required in the stew and will also absorb the green color.
Another idea for a stew is called Green Lizard Stew. It's the very same idea as the Goblin Stew except you need to make sure you add long strips of chicken in the stew so it looks like cooked lizards.
Other foods associated with the holiday:
King Cake: One custom which persists in modern-day day Ireland is the baking (or more often nowadays the purchase) of a barmbrack (Irish "báirín breac"), which is a light fruit cake into which a plain ring is placed before baking. It is said that those who get a ring will find their true love in the ensuing year. See also king cake.
Bonfire toffee (in the UK) : Bonfire toffee, or treacle toffee, is a very hard, very brittle toffee that is associated with Halloween and Guy Fawkes Night in the United Kingdom. Treacle toffee was common in sweet shops, but now it is only usually available in supermarkets in October and November. Most commonly it is found as pre-made lollies that are set in small foil pie dishes. It can also be bought in slabs, which are cracked into smaller pieces with a toffee hammer. Bonfire toffee tastes very strongly of black treacle, and cheap versions can be quite bitter in taste unlike most toffee. Its ingredients are generally: Butter or margarine, Sugar, Golden syrup, Black treacle, Vinegar. Food colourings, usually dark brown or black. This will not be required if enough treacle is used, but may be found in cheaper versions.
Soul Cake: "A Soul cake is a small round cake which is traditionally made for All Souls' Day to celebrate the dead. The cakes, often simply referred to as souls, were given out to soulers (mainly consisting of children and the poor) who would go from door to door on Hallowmas singing and saying prayers for the dead. Each cake eaten would represent a soul being freed from Purgatory. The practice of giving and eating soul cakes is often seen as the origin of modern Trick or Treating." resource: wikipedia
Barnbrack (Irish: Báirín Breac) is a yeasted bread with added sultanas and raisins. Usually sold in flattened rounds, it is often served toasted with butter along with a cup of tea in the afternoon. The dough is sweeter than sandwich bread, but not as rich as cake, and the sultanas and raisins add flavour and texture to the final product. In Ireland it is sometimes called Báirín Breac, and the term is also used as two words in its more common version. This is from the Irish word báirín - the top - and breac - dirty or speckled. It is said that the yeast used was skimmed from the top of fermenting beer and, as beer would also have been made at this time, this is probably true.
Halloween tradition: "Barnbrack is the center of an Irish Halloween custom. The Halloween Brack traditionally contained various objects baked into the bread and was used as a sort of fortune-telling game. In the barnbrack were: a pea, a stick, a piece of cloth, a small coin (originally a silver sixpence) and a ring. Each item, when received in the slice, was supposed to carry a meaning to the person concerned: the pea, the person would not marry that year; the stick, "to beat one's wife with", would have an unhappy marriage or continually be in disputes; the cloth or rag, would have bad luck or be poor; the coin, would enjoy good fortune or be rich; and the ring, would be wed within the year. Other articles added to the brack include a medallion, usually of the Virgin Mary to symbolise going into the priesthood or to the Nuns, although this tradition is not widely continued in the present day."
Commercially produced barnbracks for the Halloween market still include a toy ring.
• Colcannon (Ireland)
• "Fun-sized" or individually wrapped pieces of small candy, typically in Halloween colors of orange, and brown/black. (trick-or-treating)
• Novelty candy shaped like skulls, pumpkins, bats, worms, etc.
• Small bags of chips, pretzels and cheese corn
• Chocolates, caramels, and gum