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National news

A Halloween Spooky Special

26th Oct 2020

Halloween is going to feel a little different this year. Thanks to the ongoing pandemic and uncertainty around social interaction and engagements, it’s been really hard to make any plans.

We’re never one to miss a good party, so we thought we’d look for some great ideas to still have some good old-fashioned fun, that neither the weather nor social distancing can dampen.

Games at Home

We learnt last year that Halloween games at home can be dated back to Roman times when unmarried people would compete to be the next to marry by trying to bite an apple hanging up or bobbing in water. So, why not keep it simple and go traditional?

But for fans of arts and crafts, this is definitely the right time to break out your glue gun.

Try your hand at drawing and create a game of ‘pin the tail on the werewolf’. Got some spare loo roll? Have a mummy wrapping competition. Collect some newspapers beforehand and make a Papier-mâché piñata. Or design and create your very own spooky masks. And of course, there’s a good old fashioned creepy treasure hunt with clues and goodies a plenty.

But our favourite by far is the gooey lucky dip. Cook some spaghetti and put in a large caldron (or bowl if your caldron is busy heating up eye of newt soup). Hide some sweets at the bottom and blindfold your victims. For extra messy play you can add some soup or tinned spaghetti.

Pumpkin Carving

What Halloween would be complete without a carved pumpkin or jack-o-lantern? If like us you planned ahead and grew one from seed, now’s the perfect time to pick and carve, But, for the rest of us, you can use your top up cards for your local supermarket or support local and visit a farm shop.

There are loads of great tips and techniques to carving the perfect pumpkin. You can use templates downloaded online or YouTube tutorials. But for us, there is no perfect pumpkin, the fun is in the messy play and ‘unusual, unique’ designs.

However, consider using battery powered fake candles instead of tea lights to be ultra-safe.

Trick or Treating

It’s such a shame to not be able to visit other people’s houses this year and enjoy all the hard work that so many people put into their decorations. Trick or Treating is such a huge part of Halloween that it would be very disappointing to miss it completely.

So, why not decorate your house, from instore purchases to homemade paper cut outs and costumes. There’s nothing stopping you from still enjoying the occasion. And why not take your kids Trick or Treating? But instead of knocking on doors, just give them a sweet every time you see a great looking house or pumpkin.

If you’re in tier three, why not save your daily exercise allowance for the evening and go for a late-night stroll? They’ll be fewer people around, plus you might walk off that seasonal chocolate.

Fearsome films

There’s nothing quite like cuddling up on the sofa under a family blanket watching a film. Loads of supermarkets now carry a great range of films, so if your local shops are shut, you can still use your CSSC top up cards to grab a bargain.

Plus, with our Sky Store and Chili home movie and boxset deals, you won’t even have to leave the house.

Whatever you do this weekend, whether curling up with a good book, going exploring, or celebrate all hallows eve, let CSSC help you make it a fun, safe, interesting and memorable time for you and your loved ones.


Recipe | Toffee Apples

Got a few apples left over from ‘bobbing’? Why not have a go at our toffee apple recipe . Yes, there’s loads of sugar, but it’s a great way to hide some fruit.

What you'll need

8 Granny Smith apples
400g golden caster sugar
1 tsp vinegar
4 tbsp golden syrup

Method

Step 1:

  • Place the apples in a large bowl, then cover with boiling water (you may have to do this in 2 batches). This will remove the waxy coating and help the caramel to stick.
  • Dry thoroughly and twist off any stalks. Push a wooden skewer or lolly stick into the stalk end of each apple.

Step 2:

  • Lay out a sheet of baking parchment and place the apples on this, close to your stovetop.
  • Tip the sugar into a pan along with 100ml water and set over a medium heat. Cook for 5 mins until the sugar dissolves, then stir in the vinegar and syrup.
  • Set a sugar thermometer in the pan and boil to 150C or 'hard crack' stage. If you don’t have a thermometer you can test the toffee by pouring a little into a bowl of cold water.
  • It should harden instantly and, when removed, be brittle and easy to break. If you can still squish the toffee, continue to boil it.

Step 3:

  • Working quickly and carefully, dip and twist each apple in the hot toffee until covered, let any excess drip away, then place on the baking parchment to harden.
  • You may have to heat the toffee a little if the temperature drops and it starts to feel thick and viscous. Leave the toffee to cool before eating.
  • Can be made up to 2 days in advance, stored in a dry place.

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