A soul! a soul! a soul-cake!
Please good Missis, a soul-cake!
An apple, a pear, a plum, or a cherry,
Any good thing to make us all merry.
One for Peter, two for Paul
Three for Him who made us all.

Dare I offer the unwary trick-or-treaters a Soul Cake, seasoned with allspice and saffron (I’ll use turmeric)?  (Gosh!  I could even use a little #pumpkinrescue pulp, just to round the circle.  But I didn’t.) There’s an austerity  to these biscuits that would be a contrast to the toffees I intended to set out next to a Jack-o-lantern. They taste of the past– in a category that is neither cake nor biscuit nor bread roll and so, its own thing, this Soul Cake.

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Here’s an article about  British traditions that pre-date the way we now celebrate Halloween.  Maybe trying to incorporate the older stuff is the way to salvage Halloween from kitsch and commercialism, and put some dark-spirit into it without taking the fun from the kids.  They like the kitsch, who can blame them?

Hey, here’s something from my childhood. At school we were given these boxes, which required folding and tucking which we enjoyed.  When it got dark on Halloween night,  we’d go house to house chanting in child-singsong: “Trick or Treat for UNICEF/ And candy while you’re at it!”  People would put pennies, nickles, and dimes into our boxes, which we’d shake up and down to guess how much money we’d collected.  I believe we did have a sense of pride that we were helping “needy” children, but that didn’t override our own desire for candy and sweets, orgy of which Halloween was even back in those days of the early 70s.  One year a tough kid in my neighbourhood grabbed my box, and I spent my childhood thinking of this as the time I was “mugged.”  Maybe it was! I wonder what happened to him..

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Nice to learn that Trick or Treat for UNICEF actually began in Philadelphia and continues to this day.

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