Monday, October 31, 2016

Ghosts, Goblins, Eye of Newt and Writers

Ghosts, Goblins, Eye of Newt and Writers
“Eye of newt, and toe of frog,
Wool of bat, and tongue of dog,
Adder's fork, and blind-worm's sting,
Lizard's leg, and owlet's wing,—
For a charm of powerful trouble,
Like a hell-broth boil and bubble.
Double, double toil and trouble;
Fire burn, and caldron bubble.”

This line, uttered by the three ugly witches in Macbeth as they stir their boiling cauldron, is one of the most familiar phrases associated with traditional witchcraft. It is the infamous recipe for spell-casting, curse-inducing witchery. People believed in witches in Shakespeare's time, and thought of them as powerful practitioners of evil. Yet while these witches in Macbeth did possess the ability to conjure up spirits, they did not really control Macbeth but rather tricked him into acting in certain ways. Having correctly predicted he would be king, they now produce ghosts who allow him to conclude that he will not be killed by anyone. These ghosts have been called into our world by the use of the infamous recipe given above, which continues with "adder's fork and blind-worm's sting, lizard's leg and owlet's wing," and an assortment of other colorful ingredients.
So what does this have to do with writing? I could say, well it’s Shakespeare, but the point is research. Anything you write about you can research. These days you don’t need to go to a library, just go online.

As for eye of newt, it doesn’t to exist – good thing for the newts. But here’s a recipe if you want to make them.
Halloween Eye of Newt (from Allrecipes

1 tablespoon sweet pickle relish
1 tablespoon mayonnaise
1 pinch celery salt
1 tablespoon prepared yellow mustard
2 drops green food coloring, or as needed
1 (6 ounce) can sliced black olives, drained

1   Place all of the eggs into a large pot so they can rest on the bottom in a single layer. Fill with just enough cold water to cover the eggs. Bring to a boil, then cover, remove from the heat and let stand for about 15 minutes. Rinse under cold water or add some ice to the water and let the eggs cool completely. Peel and slice in half lengthwise.
2.   Remove the yolks from the eggs and place them in a bowl. Mix in the relish, mayonnaise, celery salt, mustard, and food coloring. Spoon this filling into the egg whites and place them on a serving tray. Round the top of the filling using the spoon. Place an olive slice on each yolk to create the center of the eye. Dab a tiny bit of mayonnaise in the center of the olive as a finishing touch.

Happy Halloween!


  1. I hope your evening was fun! I love Willy Shakespeare and his witches!

  2. At the local Halloween party in school the children had plastic eyeballs floating in their Hawaiian punch. They thought it was fun!

    1. Now that sounds very cool. I found a bag of "eyes" but they were a cheap gum so I wasn't sure parents would like me if I gave them out.

  3. I think I'm relieved eye of newt doesn't exist. lol

    1. Let me guess - you were worried about all those one-eyed newts running round. :)