More Spooky Family Food
Traditional All Hallows’ Eve Supper
~ Mash O’ Nine Sorts ~
I am here! I’m back on hallowed soil ~ yes, my journey is over and I arrived safe and as sound as I will ever be! I left home in SW France yesterday at 0900 and arrived in London at 1703 ~ not bad eh? Up and across France in 8 hours, travelling in comfort and style on the TGV first and then the Eurostar. I arrived at my daughter’s flat just outside London at 1800 and to a welcome hot meal of steaming chilli with a glass of wine, she knows how to pamper her mum. Today I am planning to meet Ren, from Fabulicious Food in St Albans for lunch or tea, and then go food shopping with my daughter ~ we could be some time! But first I want to share another seasonal recipe with you, Mash O’ Nine Sorts, a GREAT family meal for this time of year and children love it too….
This is such a wonderful and traditional English recipe for Hallowe’en – All Hallow’s Eve. It was a dish traditionally served to unmarried guests with the added intrigue of a ring hidden inside. Whoever found the ring would be the next one to be married. This delicious mashed potato has nine ingredients in it ~ hence its name. Serve it as a supper dish by itself, or as an accompaniment to bangers/sausages for a comforting Autumn supper dish. For those whom may be interested, a brief history on the origins of Hallowe’en: In ancient Britain this date was the pre-Christian eve of the New Year and Celtic Harvest Festival, when the souls of the dead were thought to revisit their homes to eat and drink. People left refreshments on the table and unlocked their doors before retiring for the night, then bells were rung, fires lit to guide the returning souls back to earth and animals were brought in for the winter.
After Hallowe’en became a Christian festival, supernatural associations continued to thrive. It was believed that witches were abroad and that it was possible for certain people to perform magic and summon up spirits. Hallowe’en was once a time for making mischief – many parts of England still recognise this date as Mischief Night – when children would knock on doors demanding a treat (Trick or Treat) and people would disguise themselves as witches, ghosts, kelpies and spunkies, in order to obtain food and money from nervous householders. In certain parts of England youths still play pranks on their neighbours by hiding garden ornaments, whitewashing walls and ringing doorbells in the dead of night……..it’s all good fun!
Anyway, that’s enough superstition for now, see you later with some more seasonal recipe ideas, ramblings and random musings as well as my latest news.
Traditional Halloween Supper
~ Mash O’ Nine Sorts ~
2 lbs (900g) potatoes, peeled and diced
2 carrots, peeled and diced
1 small turnips, peeled and diced
1 large parsnips, peeled and diced
2 leeks, cleaned and chopped into thin slices, including some of the green tops
8 ounces (225g) mature farmhouse Cheddar cheese, grated
salt and freshly grated black pepper
2 tablespoons single cream
Pre-heat oven to 350ºF/180ºC.
Boil the potatoes, carrots, turnip and parsnip together until soft. Mash them thoroughly with a potato masher or hand held immersion blender, and then season with salt and pepper to taste.
Meanwhile, gently poach the leeks in a little water until they just lose their crispness, for about 5 minutes.
Add the poached leeks to the potato, carrot, turnip and parsnips, and mix in the cream.
Season well to taste, and then stir in the grated cheese, reserving some for the top; don’t forget to add the ring before you transfer the entire mixture into a greased oven-proof dish. (If you want to make this in the full traditional manner!).
Scatter the reserved cheese on top and bake until golden-brown, about 30 to 45 minutes. Serve piping hot with sausages/bangers or with salad.
P.S. Warn your guests about the ring!
This has been entered into Ren’s
And, also the wonderful new
at Working London Mummy’s blog
A Trifle Rushed says
Yum! There is nothing like great mash, is there? And you could add celeriac, or something even fancier, couldn't you? So glad you had a safe journey.
Thrifty Household says
Ooh, another variation on an old favourite of mine- mashed potatoes. I'll be giving this a go- Thank you!
I love this idea Karen. So colourful and nutritious!
Ren Behan Fabulicious Food says
Ooh what a lovely recipe, very unique, I love all the veggies in there so I will definitely be making this to go with slowly caramelised onions and good old bangers! Once again, it was super lovely to meet you yesterday, enjouy the rest of your stay! Thanks for entering it into Simple and in Season – it's perfect! x
Working london mummy says
What a lovely combination of flavours and the photos are fantastic – so atmospheric! look forward to catching up with you x
Thanks for sharing the recipe – I had never heard of it before and it sounds super comforting!
Your candles did bring a smile to my face!
BTW – I meant to tell you earlier. I voted for you on the Dorset Cereal award.
La Table De Nana says
I was brought up on mashed potatoes w/ carrots and turnip..so this sounds perfect to me..What comfort food..
I got hungry just reading this post – I love mash!
Liz @ Shortbread & Ginger
I love it! I am always so pleased to hear these little historical food tid bits you cook up 😉 How fascinating! I didnt know there were special halloween/who will you marry mashed potatoes! They sound so good too!~
Such a perfect dish for this time of year, and it would be great with so many dishes……X
Sooo good. When I was in the Brownies at Halloween we used to have mashed potatoes and a big pot of mashed 'neeps (swede). My mum made the best because she put loads of butter in it! Then we ducked for apples and tried to catch 'treacle scones' hung on strings with our hands behind our back – all very messy but fun.
Inside a British Mum's Kitchen says
Excellent recipe! I would eat this any time of the year – wonderful with the cheese and root veggie – YUM – so interesting about the ring inside!! Hope you got my address – SO looking forward to the book!
Kentish Keg-Meg says
Glad you had a safe journey. Great dish for this time.
Oh yumity yum. Loved mashed potato with things in it. We always put garlic in ours. Had some last night in fact made with our pink fleshed potatoes. Your Halloween set is such fun and is making me feel all cosy – which is good, I don't want to feel creepy.
The version of this dish is on my list to make this weekend for a Halloween post. You beat me to it! I've been putting off making it because I start feeling really lazy when I think about peeling all those vegetables! 🙂
Lya de Putti says
Just landed here via Lauren Hairston – your mash looks gorgeous, love the ring perched on top!
Best wishes from Jenny at Silver Screen Suppers and the Vincentennial Cookblog xx
I can’t wait for Halloween so I can make this. It’s my favourite holiday and my Anniversary too. I celebrate it mostly as Samhain, as its meant to be, and am always on the look-out for ideas without the christian elements. This seems to fit the bill enough, so I’ll most definitely be making it this year. Thanks for sharing, and I love how you styled the photos.
Karen Burns-Booth says
Thanks again for your lovely comments Anastasia-Camille!
We all LOVE this dish in my household, and like you, we like to experiment with non-Christian recipes, for the old pagan festivals, as an alternative now and then!