Halloween Haunts 2013: A Feast of Fear by Frazer Lee
Halloween is hungry, thirsty work. All those seasonal book signings and live readings can really take it out of you, not to mention the effort it requires to fish all of the bodies out of the moat in time for the traditional midnight game of “wake the dead.” It is an industrious time where family comes together to create costumes, to transform the house into a set from a horror movie—and to cook up a feast.
Ah yes, the feasting; for an army of the undead cannot march on an empty stomach. In fact, October truly begins in my home with the scent of the first pumpkins to enter the kitchen. By the time they leave, they have been scooped and carved into eerie jack o’lanterns. And the innards of Jack’s brainpan are put to good use.
Lost souls haunting our door are always greeted with a steaming mug of pumpkin soup. Our tried and tasted recipe sees the flesh of a large pumpkin simmered with generous amounts of butter, a couple of large onions, a little garlic (to ward off those pesky vampires) and several cans of chopped tomatoes. If serving as a main, try adding chopped potatoes too. A little all-spice and dried chillies will give the concoction a kick, along with a twist of salt and pepper to taste.
To follow, we bring out the Dead Man’s Fingers. These devilish digits are in fact sausages, adorned with “fingernails” fashioned from slices of onion and served, hot dog style, in a “finger” roll. Adding food colouring to ketchup can create a gruesome garnish, and some manufacturers now produce green ketchup especially for use as a cadaverous condiment during Halloween.
To finish, there is no substitute for a good old fashioned pumpkin pie. Everybody has a favourite recipe, but one thing is a given in our house; the pie must be served with lashings of cream and topped with roasted pumpkin seeds (preferably from the aforementioned innards of Jack’s brainpan).
And to wash it all down? Why, an eyeball cocktail of course.
Take some cava or champagne and scare it up with an ocular oddity. To make the eyeball, take a radish and peel it to reveal the white underneath. Carefully peeling to leave strands of pink skin will create a “vein” effect on the eyeball’s surface. Then, using a paring knife, cut an indentation into the radish and insert a black olive to complete the illusion (green olives look pretty icky too!). Place the eyeballs in a large ice cube tray and freeze. Drop one into each guest’s drink before serving and they’ll be sure to have a scream.
Whatever your plans this Halloween, be sure to eat, drink and be scary!
Bram Stoker Award® Finalist FRAZER LEE‘s first novel The Lamplighters is published by Samhain Horror, along with the novella “The Lucifer Glass” and his new novel The Jack in the Green. His short stories have appeared in anthologies including the acclaimed Read By Dawn series.
Also a screenwriter and director, Frazer’s screen credits include the award-winning short horror movies On Edge, Red Lines, Simone, The Stay, and the critically acclaimed horror/thriller feature film (and movie novelization) Panic Button.
Frazer resides with his family in leafy Buckinghamshire, England. When he’s not getting lost in a forest he is working on new fiction and film projects.
Official website: www.frazerlee.com