Queimada: Make The Drink That Protects You From Evil Spirits

Ward off evil spirits this Halloween with the traditional Galician fiery drink of Queimada.

 

Halloween in Spain is not the consumer candy and costume-filled holiday that is usually associated with Halloween. Each region of Spain has its own customs and traditions for this holiday – which generally is a three-day event celebrating the lives of those who have passed away. In Galicia, due to the region’s Celtic roots, Halloween is more popular and celebrated. It is called Noite dos Calacús (Night of the Pumpkins) and usually celebrated with pumpkin carving, costumes, and trick or treating.

One of the Halloween highlights in Galicia is the strong alcoholic beverage of Queimada. It is made with orujo, unground coffee beans, sugar, and lemon rind or orange peels. Traditionally, the Queimada is prepared within a pumpkin and consumed after reciting a spell (esconxuro). Now, many families have a specially designed clay pot that comes with cups, to prepare the drink. Tradition calls for chanting spells while making the Queimada.

The spells ward off evil spirits that want to curse the unfortunate souls that cross their path. It is best to make the drink at night or with the lights off because the caramelised sugar produced a pretty blue flame popular with tourists and kids alike.  

Note: This drink is not for the faint of heart, drink with caution.

Need:  
Fireproof clay pot
Long wooden ladle 
¼ cup of coffee beans
4 tablespoons sugar
A bottle of oruju (or Italian Grappa)
Coffee beans
Lemon rind or orange peels
Gloves (as a precaution) 
Instructions: 
 (a little bit dangerous to make so be cautious)

Wear gloves
Place all ingredients in the clay pot
Pour some of the alcohol and put some extra sugar, wait until sugar is dissolved
Set alight
Place some of the alcohol and sugar in the ladle and drop it in the pot and repeat until spell complete

6 Unexpected Benefits of Hiking

Whether hiking the Camino or taking a stroll at a nearby nature trail, hiking is a great form of exercise and helps improve the body – both mentally and physically.

 

No wonder a life long saying to anything from having a bad day to having a stomach ache is “walk it off”!

Benefits of hiking may seem slim and simple, but there really is more to it than that. If you are interested in knowing some surprising advantages, you have come to the right place.

Read on as you may come across a benefit that might convince a friend to join you on your next hike.

1. Tones the Whole Body (Builds Muscle)

Everyone interested in a work out wants to see what sport or exercise routine does the most for your body. Look no further, hiking is the answer. Hiking is a good way to lose weight and build muscle as it engages in multiple muscle groups simultaneously. Though the amount of calories burned varies due to the amount of weight you are carrying to the incline of your hiking trail, the fact is hiking is an excellent way to lose weight and gain muscle throughout your body.

2. Reduces Many Health Risks

Hiking helps to decrease blood pressure and cholesterol which in turn lowers the risk of heart disease. Engaging in physical activity such as hiking lowers the risk of certain cancers, obesity, and helps those who suffer from mental health issues. Studies show that being in nature where there are fewer distractions, lower noise level, and lower mental stressors can have a positive effect to our mental health. Hiking is a great way to be fit in both the mind and body!

3. Can Help Your Social Life

Anyone is allowed to partake in hiking which makes it an easy and fun thing to do with others as well as solo. Hiking is free and as long as you can find a hiking trail near you, it is available wherever you are. To pass time on a hike, people resort to chatting to catch up with old friends or family members and make new friends with those who are hiking the same trail.

4. Helps Reduce Inflammation

Inflammation is the body’s attempt at healing itself when an injury occurs but often times is painful and uncomfortable. Just twenty minutes of walking, according to many small studies, reduces the immune cells that produce a protein found in the body when inflammation occurs.

5. A Time to Disconnect from Technology and Connect with Nature

We are always told to go tech-free for a it each day and to make sure to exercise each day, but sometimes it’s hard with our daily schedules. In comes hiking! Going on hikes not only is a form of exercise, but is a time to unplug and be one with nature. Being without distraction and amongst nature boosts creativity It hinders our brains from thinking negative thoughts which makes us feel happier and have an instant mood improvement. Who wouldn’t want that?

6. Increases Attention Span

According to a study, those who have ADHD and took a stroll in a park concentrated better after their walk in the park than their peers who took a stroll in an urban environment. Being outside poses less of a distraction and breathing fresh air restarts our brains so we are ready to go once we get back to our responsibilities.