Monday, October 20, 2014

Spice Lore


Curry was adopted from the Tamil word kari meaning 'sauce', which is usually understood to mean vegetables or meat cooked with spices with or without a gravy. According to this theory, kari was first discovered in the mid-17th century by members of the British East India trading with Tamil (Indian) merchants along the Coromandel Coast of Southeast India.

One curry legend has it that a 19th century British attempt to create a curry spice mix resulted in the invention of Worcestershire sauce. It is believed that this spice became popular in Britain because of the large number of British civil servants and military personnel associated with the British rule of the Indian subcontinent. Following World War II, it became even more common there and in America as a result of an influx of South Asian immigrants.
5 Fun Facts About Curry:
1. The word curry comes from a Tamil word kari or karil, meaning spices or sauteed vegetables.
2. The meaning changed when Portuguese traders used it for the sauces with which rice was served.
3. The first curry recipe in English appeared in Hannah Glasse’s The Art Of Cookery in 1747.
4. The British acquired Bombay in 1661 and Calcutta in 1690 opening the spice trade to a much wider market.
5. The earliest known curry was made in Mesopotamia in around 1700BC.


Wednesday, October 15, 2014


Halloween Folk Customs

Halloween hasn’t always been about costumes and Trick-or-Treating. Its history stretches far into the past where it was both a way to honor the spirits and souls of those who no longer lived. Here are examples of how it is celebrated in different countries:

Austria has Halloween traditions that are more rooted in spiritual overtones. It is common for people to leave bread near a lighted lamp to welcome the dead souls back to earth.
Superstitions abound. Crossing the path of a black cat or traveling by ship at this time will lead to bad luck for the foreseeable future. Many light candles of remembrance for loved who that have passed on.
Modern Halloween traditions began in the 1800s and are similar to those celebrated in the United States: carving pumpkins, fall festivals and trick or treating.
There is a popular Halloween festival in China called Teng Chieh. Food, water and photographs of loved ones who have died are placed on altars. These death shrines help souls find their way back to earth at this time.  
In this country chairs are used to signify those that have passed on. They are placed near fire where the living sit in them and welcome the spirits that visit on Halloween night.
In the past, children would carve pumpkins into designs of their choice and went out onto the streets with their lit pumpkins. Many also went door to door asking for money. Today candy has replaced the money.
To learn more about the history of Halloween click here.  Want vampires?