I have such happy memories of Halloween when I was young. It was a big event. We dressed up in all sorts of outfits, any old sheet with holes poked out for eyes, torn pyjama tops splashed with paint.

Wound up in old rags, we walked with arms outstretched like an ancient mummy back from the dead. Old make up transformed our faces into Dracula or Frankenstein, all good simple fun.

Lanterns were carved out of rock-hard neeps, the stubs of candles balanced in the middle made for a particular aroma of singed turnip.

Settees were pushed to the wall, the carpet rolled up and a huge half whisky barrel was set up in the middle of the floor. Filed to the rim with freezing cold water it was loaded with bobbing apples, walnuts and oranges.

The hilarity of ‘dooking’ was intoxicating. The shock of plunging your face under water, eyes and mouth wide open, supressing giggles and aiming for the largest, reddest apple was addictive.

The reality was freezing water stinging up your nostrils, chocking and gasping and the elusive apple escaping again the clutch of your chattering teeth.

The best game was the treacle scone string; tasty moist scones, strung on a rope, dripping with black sticky treacle and always a jump out of reach!



225g self-raising flour

1 tablespoon demerara sugar

1 teaspoon baking powder

Pinch of salt

½ teaspoon ground cinnamon

½ teaspoon mixed spice

50g cold butter, cut into pieces

1 tablespoon sultanas

1 generous tablespoon dark treacle

Approximately 75 ml full fat milk


Pre-heat oven 220C/Gas mark 7

Grease a non-stick baking tray.

Sieve the flour into a bowl.

Add the sugar, baking powder, salt and spices and mix.

Add the butter and using your fingers lightly rub the butter into the flour to make a crumb.

Add the sultanas and mix through.

Use a spoon dipped in boiling water to measure out the treacle into a bowl.

Add the milk and stir to dissolve the treacle.

Add the liquid into the flour mix and use a fork to blend everything together. The dough should be quite soft and sticky.

Flour a work surface and gently flatten the scone mixture, shaping it into a circle with floured hands, about 2.5 cm thick.

Use a sharp knife to cut the round into 6-8 pieces and with a spatula lift each onto the baking tray.

Bake in the middle of the oven for 10-12 minutes until well risen.

Allow to cool a little before transferring onto a wire rack.

Serve with lots of butter.