Guy Fawkes’ is one of my favourite nights of the year. There is nothing like standing out in the cold, all wrapped up, with a sparkler in one hand as you watch fireworks. The smells are incredible, of bonfires, gunpowder, frost and wet leaves – I always spend the time taking deep breaths through my nose. Then of course there is the food – a flask of hot soup, a jacket potato cooked in the bonfire, bangers, toffee apples and spiced cakes. It’s a peculiarly British sort of celebration, I remember once trying to explain it to a very confused French conversation teacher (“you burn… people?!”). If you aren’t familiar with it, here is the wikipedia explanation.
When I was in Canada, I would always get very homesick around Bonfire Night, and since this is my first one since I came back to the UK, I want to make it as good as possible. Unfortunately we won’t be having fireworks, but we will definitely have a bonfire and some sparklers, I am sure of that! It’s pretty busy around here at the moment so I won’t be able to make my bonfire night food until the day of, so instead I’m going to give a few ideas of recipes to try.
This parkin by James Martin is traditionally cooked for Bonfire Night in and around Yorkshire. It is spicy and sticky, and gets better with age! Serve it with or without the stewed fruit, it’s good either way
Why not nibble on some cinder toffee as you stand by the bonfire?
Mushroom soup is good and warming when you come back inside.
If all else fails, you can’t go wrong with bangers and mash!