Sunday, October 30, 2011


From all of us here at the Voodoo Kitchen, we wish you a frightening and delicious Halloween.

It's A New Autumn Passage of Halloween

Here we are again this year as the summer has faded and Fall begins.
Halloween, one of the world's oldest holidays, (and one of our favorites) and is growing more popular throughout the world.

This autumn passage is a tradition, All Souls' Day, the third day of the three-day Hallowmas observance, is the most important part of the celebration for many people.

Halloween," actually began its origins from within in the Catholic Church. It comes from a perversion of All Hallows Eve. November 1, "All Hollows Day" or "All Saints Day, is a Catholic day of observance in honor of saints. But, in the 5th century BC, in Celtic Ireland, summer officially ended on October 31. The holiday was called Samhain which means "end of summer, the Celtic New year.

Let's look at some of the customs and how they may have started.

Trick for Treat

There are probably several origins to this. During Samhain, the Druids believed that the dead would play tricks and cause panic and destruction. So, the local folks would give the Druids food as they visited their homes as an "protection offering" of sorts.
There's also an Irish peasant practice going door to door to collect money, breadcake, cheese, eggs, butter, apples, in preparation for the festival of St. Columb Kill.
Additionally, there is a ninth-century European custom called souling. On November 2nd, All Souls Day, early Christians would walk from village to village begging for "soul cakes" made out of square pieces of bread with currants. The idea here was, the more soul cakes collected, the more prayers they would promise to say on behalf of the dead relatives of the "soul cake" givers. At the time, it was believed that the dead remained in limbo for a time after death, and this prayer, even by strangers, could move things along for the soul's passage to heaven.

Halloween is also known for "barnbrack", something like a fruitcake that can be bought in stores or baked at home. As the story goes, this cake, can foretell the eater's future. If a ring is found, it means that the person will soon be wed; a piece of straw means that you would have a prosperous year.

Bobbing for Apples

Some say the custom of bobbing for apples dates all the way back to pre-Christian Ireland and the festival of Samhain. It has also been associated with Pomona, the ancient Roman goddess of fruits, trees, and gardens, in whose honor a festival was supposedly held each year on November first, even though there seems to be evidence to support any of this, and it appears to stand on shaky historical ground.
We do know for certainty that the practice of bobbing for apples goes back at least a few hundred years, beginning in the British Isles and that it originally had something to do with fortune telling.
British author W. H. Davenport Adams, wrote about bobbing for apples in his 1902 book, Curiosities of Superstition:
[The apples] are thrown into a tub of water, and you endeavor to catch one in your mouth as they bob round and round in provoking fashion. When you have caught one, you peel it carefully, and pass the long strip of peel thrice, sunwise, round your head; after which you throw it over your shoulder, and it falls to the ground in the shape of the initial letter of your true love's name

The Witch's Broomstick

The name comes from the Saxon wica, meaning wise one. When setting out for a Sabbath, witches rubbed a sacred ointment onto their skin. This gave them a feeling of flying, and if they had been fasting they felt even giddier. Some witches rode on horseback, but poor witches went on foot and carried a broom or a pole to aid in vaulting over streams. In England when new witches were initiated they were often blindfolded, smeared with flying ointment and placed on a broomstick. The ointment would confuse the mind, speed up the pulse and numb the feet.
The "insane root" which Shakespeare spoke of is a member of the Mandrake (yes, just like Harry Potter) and other plants of the nightshade family. They contain alkaloids that block nerve impulses, which may lead to hallucinations. There are those who think the witches ointment may have something to do with plant species.


Irish children used to carve out potatoes or turnips and light them for their Halloween gatherings. They celebrated Jack, a shifty Irish villain so wicked that neither God nor the Devil wanted him. Rejected by both the sacred and profane, he wandered the world endlessly looking for a place to rest, his only warmth a glittering candle in a rotten turnip.
During the Irish Potato Famine (1845-50) many Irish immigrated to the Americas. These immigrants brought their traditions of Halloween and Jack o'Lanterns, but turnips were not as readily available as back home. So they replaced the turnip with, you guessed it, the pumpkin.

Halloween Mask

From the beginning people wore masks when natural disasters struck. They believed that the demons who had brought these disasters would be frightened away by the scary masks. Even after the festival of Samhain had merged with Halloween, Europeans felt uneasy during this time of the year. Food was stored preparing for the winter and their homes were warm and comfortable. The jealous, cold, envious ghosts were outside, in the neighborhoods and people who went out after dark often wore masks to keep from being recognized.

Black Cats

Here in the Voodoo Kitchen we are partial to black cats, we have five.
While the fall festival of Samhain which was celebrated by the ancient Celts of Ireland and is the ancestor of our present day Halloween, it did not however involve sorcery or devil worship.
Samhain did involve a belief that Oct 31st, which marked the changing of the season from summer to fall, and during a brief time the natural barrier between our world and the spirit world was temporarily lifted allowing spirits of the dead to return. Once back in the world many believed that the spirits of the dead would enter the bodies of people and animals and, for some reason, a myth became a belief that returning spirits were attracted to black cats.
There really was no connection between black cats and witches until the Puritans came to America.
The deeply religious Puritans who settled in the New England colonies saw the devil and evil everywhere. Because of their association with witches, black cats were also looked upon as evil and therefore, were not to be tolerated. While the poor women accused of witchcraft in seventeenth century Salem, Massachusetts and neighboring colonies, were at least given a trial before being executed, the poor black cats didn't even get a trial.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

White House Hands Out Halloween Candy, Yes Candy

We congratulate the White House for handing out White House M&Ms, and not only dried fruit.

Earlier this week, Obama joked that he had warned his wife that if she wanted to avoid a Halloween rebellion she might want to hand out more than just fruit and raisins.

"I told her the White House is going to get egged if this keeps up," he said, suggesting that she might want to add "a couple of Reese's Pieces or something.

Halloween Candy Off To A Great Start

We don't want to talk about dentists who buy back candy, or sugar content of Halloween treats, or silly healthy Halloween alternatives.
Instead we are pleased to report that Hershey raised its full-year sales target on Thursday as Halloween candy sales got off to a strong start.

"Results were slightly better than our expectations as both U.S. chocolate and non-chocolate candy categories continue to grow greater than the historical average despite macroeconomic challenges," said John Bilbrey, Hershey's chief executive.

The maker of Reese's peanut butter cups, Twizzlers and Kit Kat bars stood by its full-year profit growth goal, but raised its sales target. It now expects 2011 sales to increase about 7 percent, instead of 6 percent.

"Halloween got off to a solid start and we now anticipate higher seasonal sales for the full year," Bilbrey added.

Yes, candy is alive and well.

Couple Lost in Apple Orchard Calls 911

You may remember the couple from Danvers Massachusetts that got lost in a corn maze earlier this month, well, it's happened again.
This time it's an apple orchard, Honey Pot Hill Orchard, to be exact. (above photo)

Mark and Marcia Rosenthal of Boston, Mass., got lost while apple-picking Oct. 22, 2011, and this makes it the second time in a month, police have rescued people who called 911, who were on farm outings.

According to the farm’s owner, these two wandered away from their parked car, and as night began to fall, they became scared and feared that they wouldn’t be able to find their way back.
The Rosenthals called the Orchard, but when no one answered, they decided to call 911.

When police arrived at the orchard, they told the owners about the lost souls, and told them about the landmark where the couple would be waiting to be rescued.
Julie Martin-Sullivan, who owns the family business with her brother, said they sent workers out to pick up the

“So my brother drove out in one of our buggies to pick them up, and the gentleman was being funny and said, “So how many rescues a year?” And my brother replied, ‘Well, through 85 years of business, none.”

Martin-Sullivan said the orchard is about 200 acres, and the Rosenthals had wandered about a half-mile or three-quarters-of-a-mile from where their car was parked.
“You know, we have a hedge maze too. So we said to them after, ‘We have a hedge maze and we’re not gonna let you in..."

Thursday, October 27, 2011

"I Put A Spell On You" - Kris & Julie Alberts

 Halloween with Kris and Julie Alberts 

'I Put a Spell On You'

Banana Art Has Appeal

Japanese artist Keisuke Yamada, (above photo) is a very talented individual who has great aPEEL. Get it? A peel? A banana peel?
Forgive us, we couldn't help ourselves.

Actually, he sculpts just about everything out of bananas, using only a spoon and a toothpick.

Because bananas ripe quickly, Yamada must carve his creations within about a half-hour.

Take a look at some of his creations:

Angry Customer and the Taco Bell Bomb

Georgia police are looking for this idiot, who happens to be a Taco Bell customer, and someone who tossed a Molotov cocktail at the drive-thru window after complaining that there was not enough meat in the chalupas he had purchased.

Taco Bell manager told cops that right before the firebombing, a man called the restaurant to complain that there wasn't enough meat in his “two XL Chalupas.” The caller said that “after getting home realized that there was not enough stuffing inside of his chalupas, and demanded his order be corrected.”

When the manager said that she “could not accommodate him because the business was closing,” the man replied, “You must be one of them niggers up there.” then said, “That’s alright, I’ll just come and redecorate the place.”

Soon after the call Taco Bell employees “could smell gasoline but was unaware of where it was coming from. They then realized the fire outside of the drive thru window.”
(see photo below)

Police found the makeshift incendiary device--a “melting plastic bottle with a liquid substance still inside”--outside the Taco Bell, where a large sign beckons patrons to “Come Try The New XXL Chalupa. Bigger Is Better.”

Because the video feed from the drive-thru window was of poor quality, it will be difficult to find this guy.

The photo at the top is what Taco Bell wants us to believe the Chalupa looks like.
The photo below is reality.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Coca-Cola has this new multimillion-dollar promotion to make us aware about climate change and help protect the Canadian Arctic.

The design is part of the new partnership with WWF, the conservation group also known as the World Wildlife Fund, to create "safe areas" for polar bears.

Nicola Kettlitz, president of Coca-Cola Ltd., said the latest campaign is to help reduce the environmental impact of its business on water and the climate.

"We've done this for many years, and it's part of who we are," Kettlitz said.
"We understand that without sustainable communities, we really do not have a business. It cannot just be greenwashing, We need to do it (action to protect the environment) and then maybe say it, but to do it is an important aspect."

Coca-Cola will donate $2 million to WWF over five years as well as matching up to $1 million in donations from the public.

Kettlitz said the company chose the polar bear because some of the bear populations are being threatened by a rapidly warming Arctic.

Nearly two-thirds of all polar bears now live in Canada.

"We really hope that this is one of those issues where regardless of what you think of the causes of climate change, its realities are inescapable and nowhere is that more true than in the Arctic," said Butts, a former adviser to Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty. "We hope that this can become a catalyst for a much broader discussion."

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

The President, Chicken & Waffles

Right in the middle of the Paula Deen and Michelle Obama smack-down over food, President Obama is seen walking out of Roscoe's House of Chicken and Waffles in Los Angeles.

And what did Obama order? The No. 9 "Country Boy, which included three wings and a waffle smothered in butter and syrup.

He wasn't worried she would be mad because he ate at Roscoe's, instead, he thought she'd be upset that he would eat there without her.


Michele Obama is livid that Paula Deen is saying that the first lady pigs out on fattening foods.

As Deen was promoting her new book, “Paula Deen’s Southern Cooking bible, she said that Michelle stuffed herself on greasy french fries, fatty hot chicken wings and sugary deep-fried Snickers bars!

Apparently, “Michelle’s spitting mad,” a source said.
“She thinks Paula is trying to smear her and her family just as the 2012 presidential election race swings into gear.”

The bad blood may have began before Barack Obama was elected president in 2008, when Michelle made an appearance on Deen’s “Paula’s Party” show where we learned that fried shrimp was her family’s favorite meal.

Then in an interview after filming the program, Paula said Michelle would be serving high-fat, greasy and sugary foods in the White House if Obama won the election!

“She’s no different than the rest of us,” Paula said about Michelle in a recent interview.

Paula also said: “She probably ate more than any other guest I ever had on the show! She kept eating even during commercials. Know what (the Obamas’) favorite foods are? Hot wings. Y’know – those kinds of foods that aren’t necessarily top-of-the-list healthy foods.”
“Michelle now deeply regrets ever being on Paula’s show,” said the source. “There are a lot of digs she would have been able to brush off, but portraying her as a high-calorie gorger during her crusade for healthy eating is crossing the line.”

Gorilla mask man, with a stun gun robs taco stand

Again, there's another report of bad people doing bad things, but enough about politics.
Instead here's a report about this guy, wearing what looks like a gorilla mask, with a stun gun, robbing a taco stand in the city of La Mesa in eastern San Diego County.

The robbery took place at Aliberto's Taco Shop shortly after midnight.

One man entered the store and ordered a burrito, while the employee was busy fixing the burrito, the gorilla man came in the store and demanded money.

After clearing out the cash drawer, the two, (yes, with the burrito guy) ran out with an undisclosed amount of money.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Bird Fishing

We know bird fishing isn't anything new but it always amazes us nevertheless. For those who haven't seen bird fishing, have a look:

We've never seen anything quite like this before, just watch the following video:

Celebrity Masterchef winner Phil Vickery

MasterChef winner Phil Vickery says cooking scared him more than rugby.

Celebrity MasterChef winner Phil Vickery said that cooking on the show was scarier than anything he faced on the rugby pitch.

MasterChef judges Gregg Wallace (L) and John Torode (R)

The 19 stone,(there are 14 pounds to a stone, so, he is 266 pounds) 6ft 3in, former England rugby captain, who won the title of Celebrity Masterchef said the show’s judges Gregg Wallace and John Torode reduced him to a trembling, nervous wreck.

“Being in the MasterChef kitchen was alien to me and bloody stressful,” said Phil, 35, who was nicknamed the Raging Bull during his playing days. “It was scarier than being on a rugby pitch."

“The most terrifying exper- ience was opening those kitchen doors on the first day and seeing the serious, po-faces of John and Gregg. It was terrifying."

“They showed no emotion and told us we had just 10 minutes to get started with a random recipe. The nerves got to me and I was shaking. John had to tell me to calm down and breathe.”

How did he win? It was with a three-course menu of scallops with black pudding, crispy Parma ham and apple puree, a main of fillet of lamb with baby carrots, asparagus wrapped in mint and Parma ham and fondant potatoes, and a dessert of orange and chocolate bread and butter pudding with clotted cream.

“The pressure in a kitchen is the same as in a rugby game,” said Phil. “It’s like the fog of war. There might be chaos all around you, but you’ve got to stay focused. There’s an incredible adrenaline rush and you get into a zone.”
On winning the 2011 celebrity MasterChef title, Vickery said: "I'm absolutely gobsmacked, I can't believe it. I dreamed of winning MasterChef but literally it was just a dream."

Phil is our kind of guy, saying his favorite dish is still roast beef, veg and loads of gravy followed by a good old- fashioned trifle.
Sounds good to us...

Sunday, October 23, 2011

McDonald's Cashier Who Beat Customers Claims Self Defense

Remember the McDonald's cashier at a McDonald's was caught on video beating two unruly female customers with a metal rod a few weeks ago?

Rayon McIntosh (above photo) was put in jail for beating two crazy customers, but he says he was only trying to defend himself.

You may remember how the two wild women went behind the counter and how Mayon McIntosh took a metal bar and beat the two even after the women were helpless on the floor.

McIntosh says he only acted to protect himself.
He says the women went nuts, and he was just trying to keep things calm when they “attacked for no reason.”

As a result of trying to keep things calm, one of the women has a fractured skull.

So, the 31 year old McIntosh was arrested and charged with two counts of felony assault and criminal possession of a weapon while the two women were charged with menacing, disorderly conduct and trespassing.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

New Pumpkin Record at Half Moon Bay Pumpkin Weigh-Off

We told you about the Pumpkin festival at Half Moon Bay, and now we are pleased to announce the big winner for the biggest pumpkin.

Pumpkin grower Leonardo Urena set a new California State record with his 1,704-pound Atlantic Giant that won the 38th Annual Safeway World Championship Pumpkin Weigh-Off in Half Moon Bay, California.

Half Moon Bay saw ,two of the three biggest pumpkins in the world this year. Brant Bordsen of Marysville, CA was the runner-up at Half Moon Bay with a 1,693-pound beast.

Urena, 43, a landscaper for a Napa winery won the top prize of $11,224 ($6 per pound plus another $1,000 special prize for the biggest pumpkin from California).

Urena said it was the perfect soil, good seed from one of his previous behemoths (a 991-pounder), and the love and support of his family for his impressive victory.

The Half Moon Bay win also crowned Urena "Grower of the Year" honors from the Great Pumpkin Commonwealth (GPC) for his Top 3 pumpkins total weight of 4,948 pounds at three separate weigh-offs, best in GPC history.

1st Leonardo Urena, Napa CA 1,704 lbs. $10,224.
2nd Brant Bordsen, Marysville CA 1,693 lbs. $2,000.
3rd Tim Mathison, Napa CA 1,554 lbs. $1,500.
4th John Hawkley, Napa CA 1,548 lbs. $1,000.
5th Ron Root, Citrus Heights, CA 1,521 lbs. $ 500.
6th Thad Starr, Pleasant Hill OR 1,487 lbs. $ 500.
7th Steve Daletas, Pleasant Hill OR 1,292 lbs. $ 500.
8th Robert Globus, Walnut Grove CA 1,273 lbs. $ 500.
9th Jim Sherwood, Mulino OR 1,220 lbs. $ 500.
10th James Martin, Hayward CA 1,097 lbs. $ 500.

8 "Scary" Food Myths—Busted

We were looking around and found an interesting article on Yahoo.
It's 8 "Scary" Food Myths—Busted.
It was written by David Zinczenko with Matt Goulding.
Click on to the Myth Busted photo above and check it out.

The TMZ Pumpkin Carving Contest

Check out the TMZ pumpkin carving contest.
Click on the photo:

Friday, October 21, 2011

Man hits woman with frozen armadillo

The Dallas police are on the looking for a man because he hit a woman with a frozen armadillo.

The woman says she met this guy in a parking lot to purchase the armadillo carcass, which she planned to eat.

Then the two began fighting over the price, then he decided to hit the woman with the frozen armadillo on her leg and chest, leaving bruises on her body.

According to the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, Texas law prohibits the sale of live armadillos, but a few Texans don't care about that law, and buy the meat from strangers in parking lots.

As always, here's our reminder, make sure you throughly cook armadillo meat, making sure the meat is noninfectious (of mycobacterial leprosy).

Armadillo meat is also referred to as, “Hoover Hog” and “poor man’s pork.”


Thursday, October 20, 2011

2,000 sharks slaughtered for fins off Colombia

Around 2,000 sharks have been slaughtered for their fins in a Pacific Ocean marine sanctuary off Colombia.

Hammerhead, Galápagos and whale sharks carcasses were discovered by divers in the waters of the Malpelo preserve.

Fishing trawlers were spotted flying the Costa Rican flag, entering the zone illegally, said Sandra Bessudo, a marine biologist who is the top environmental adviser to President Juan Manuel Santos.

"When the divers dove, they started finding a large number of animals without their fins. They didn't see any alive," she said. Video shot by one diver shows the bodies of dead sharks on the ocean floor.

Costa Rica's Foreign Ministry said that it "energetically condemns" the reported finning and that Costa Rican-flagged ships would be prosecuted if they were involved.

Shark fin soup is a popular traditional and expensive Chinese delicacy.

Interestingly enough, California banned the possession, sale and distribution of imported shark fins beginning in 2013.
There are some Chinese that are calling the law racist.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Foods your pet shouldn't eat

We love our pets and we want the best for them.
We love to share our lives with them, and that's a good thing.
What's not so good are some of the foods that we should never share with them.

Here are some foods that can really make pets sick.

1. Chocolate
Chocolate stimulates the nervous system and the heart, It is poisonous to all pets, but because dogs will probably eat dangerous quantities.
Chocolate poisoning will cause, vomiting, increased thirst, restlessness, agitation, increased or irregular heartbeat, increased body temperature, tremors, seizures.

2. Grapes, Raisins
Grapes and raisins damage the kidneys.
Poisonous to: Dogs, cats. Possible effects of poisoning: Increased thirst, increased urination, lethargy, vomiting.

3. Garlic and Onions
Garlic and onions damage red blood cells, causing anemia. They are poisonous to both Cats, dogs, causing vomiting, red-colored urine, weakness, anemia.

4. Xylitol (Found in sugarless gum.)
Causes increased insulin secretion, resulting in lower blood sugar levels.
It is poisonous to dogs, causing vomiting, lethargy, lack of coordination, seizures, jaundice, diarrhea.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Fish Pedicures - Are they safe?

We realize we sometimes stray from our focus on food, and this is one of those times.

This is all about fish pedicures and how they possibly could spread HIV and hepatitis C.

People with diabetes, psoriasis or weakened immune systems are especially vulnerable, and should never undergo fish pedicures, at least that's what officials are saying.

Fish tank water contains micro-organisms and conditions could arise from bacteria being transmitted by the pedicure’s garra rufa fish, from the spa water or from one customer to another if the water is not changed.

Now, if a user is infected with a blood-borne virus like HIV or hepatitis and bleeds in the water, there is a risk the diseases could be passed on.

But in all fairness, officials are saying, "When the correct hygiene procedures are followed, the risk of infection is very low."
"However, there is still a risk of transmission of a number of infections, and this does include viruses like HIV and hepatitis."

Some locations in the US and Canada already banned fish pedicures. Sterilization of the equipment doesn't happen because it would harm the fish.

In their report, officials say these businesses must follow "strict standards of cleanliness" and ensure that water is changed after each client.

They should also check to see if customers have health conditions making them vulnerable to infection and for cuts and grazes.

Blood-borne viruses like HIV and hepatitis could be transmitted if infected clients bleed in spa water that is used again.

Christina Wright, boss of fish spa chain Appyfeet, accused officials of "scare-mongering". She said, "We worked for 18 months with the Health and Safety Executive and local authorities making sure our spas were of the highest standard."

A spokeswoman for HIV charity the Terrence Higgins Trust said: "The risk of picking up infections is minimal but people must be careful where they choose to go."

Monday, October 17, 2011

Missing Tourist Cannibal Death?

If is feared that a German tourist who disappeared on a remote tropical island was eaten by cannibals.

Stefan Ramin, from Hamburg, went missing after arriving on Nuku Hiva in French Polynesia last month

Human remains have been found in the search for missing German tourist Stefan Ramin.
Charred human remains and clothes have been found near a campfire on the island.
This discovery have fueled speculation that the 40-year-old was killed and eaten by cannibals.
Forensic experts also ,fear a missing German yachtsman was "hacked to pieces and burned" by cannibals.

The German couple had been living on a yacht and planned to spend the next few months in French waters.

Stefan Ramin pictured with girlfriend Heike Dorsch

Officers on the island are looking for a local guide named Henri Haiti, who had taken Mr Ramin on a goat hunting trip in the mountains.
He is believed to be the last person to see him alive.
After setting off on the hunt, Mr Haiti returned to tell Mr Ramin's girlfriend Heike Dorsch, 37, there had been an accident and that Mr Ramin had been injured.
At this point he lured his wife into a remote area.
Mr Haiti ten, apparently attacked her and tied her to a tree, then ran away from the scene.
Miss Dorsch managed to free herself and alert the authorities.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Pumpkin Bread

With Halloween just around the corner and all this talk about pumpkins, we are going to share with you our favorite pumpkin bread recipe.

First, here are the Ingredients:

1 (15 ounce) can pumpkin puree
4 eggs
1 cup vegetable oil
2/3 cup water
3 cups white sugar
3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger

As far as chopped walnuts go, we toss a handful into the mix, but that's us.

Now, here are the directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease and flour three 7x3 inch loaf pans.
In a large bowl, mix together pumpkin puree, eggs, oil, water and sugar until well blended. In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves and ginger. Stir the dry ingredients into the pumpkin mixture until just blended. Pour into the prepared pans.
Bake for about 50 minutes in the preheated oven. Loaves are done when toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.