Bonfire Night

21/07/2012 20:22

Gunpowder, Treason and Plot!

Its custom here in Britain to celebrate 'Bonfire night' annually on the 5th November.

We remember The Gun Powder plot, in which Guy Fawkes and several other conspirators planned to blow up the Houses of Parliment in London on the 5th November 1605.

Today we have bonfires and burn a "Guy" in celebration of him being unsuccessful in the deadly deed. The Guy (effigy) is made out of old clothes stuffed with paper or straw. During the days before Bonfire Night, children used to take their home-made guys out on the street and ask for "a penny for the Guy" for fireworks.

The Guy is a reminder of Guy Fawkes.The fireworks are a reminder of the gunpowder Guy Fawkes hid in the cellar of Parliament.

The most well-known verse is..

   Remember, remember the fifth of November,
   The gunpowder treason and plot,
   I know of no reason
    Why the gunpowder treason
    Should ever be forgot....

Read lots more about Guy Fawkes and the Gun powder plot

 Some Traditional Bonfire Night Food

I remember as a child we would have jacket potatoes which had been wrapped in foil, and then cooked on the embers of the bonfire. We also toasted marshmellows too, and had mugs of warming soup, toffee apples, bonfire toffee, and Parkin- which is a rich dark treacle cake.

This is a tasty tomato soup. Its just perfect for a chilly Autumn day.
Tastes delicious served with cheese scones.

Serves 6

1.5kg ripe tomatoes, halved
2 red onions, peeled & cut into wedges
8 cloves garlic, unpeeled - (this keeps the garlic cloves from burning & tasting bitter)
600ml vegetable stock
4 tbsp olive oil
1/2 tsp smoked paprika
Thyme sprigs
50g cream to serve

Arrange the tomatoes onto a baking tray cut side facing up. Scatter over the onions, garlic and thyme sprigs. Season and drizzle over the olive oil. Roast in oven (200C/gas 6/400F) for about 30 mins until onions are lovely and golden and the garlic is soft.

Into a large pan, squeeze out the roasted garlic. Add the onions, tomatoes and the juices, removing the thyme sprigs. Add the vegetable stock and paprika. Bring to the boil and simmer for 10 minutes. Remove from heat and whizz up using a hand blender or food processer. Stir in cream to serve .

Makes around 8

250g self-raising flour
1/2 tsp salt
50g butter
150ml milk
1tsp mustard powder
125g mature cheese,grated
Pumpkin / Sunflower seeds

Preheat oven gas 6/200C/400F and lightly grease a baking tray.
Put the flour and salt into bowl, rub in the butter until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs.
Stir in the cheese and mustard powder then stir in the milk to form a soft dough.
Turn the mixture out onto a lightly floured board and knead.
Cut into rounds using a pastry cutter, arrange the scones on to the baking tray ,
brush with a little milk  and scatter over a few pumpkin or sunflower seeds and bake for about 10 -15 mins until golden.


6 Ripe apples
550g white sugar
50g butter
2 tbsp golden syrup
2 tbsp white wine vinegar
100g toasted hazelnuts, crushed

Insert a wooden lolly stick into each apple. Melt the butter, sugar, golden syrup and vinegar with 50ml water in a heavy-based saucepan until the sugar has dissloved and the ingredients combine.
Turn up the heat and bring to the boil, don't stir. The mixture will start to darken to a golden brown around the edge of the pan after about 10 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat, and coat each apple in caramel and then roll in the nuts.
If you find the mixture starts to harden, return the pan to the heat to soften. Put the apples onto a baking tray lined with greaseproof paper and leave them to set.


350g medium oatmeal
175 self-raising flour
2 tsp ground ginger
175g soft brown sugar
175g butter
250g golden syrup
50g black treacle
2  eggs
110ml milk

 Preheat the oven to 150C/300F/Gas 2 and line a small,deep baking tray with parchment paper.
 Combine the oatmeal, flour and ginger in a large mixing bowl.
 Melt the sugar, butter, syrup and treacle in a saucepan over a low heat.
 Pour the melted ingredients into the flour with the eggs and milk and stir well.
 Then pour the mixture into the baking tray.

 Bake for about 45 minutes until golden brown, but still soft and sticky on top.
 Reduce the oven to 130C/250F/Gas 1 and bake for a further 30 minutes until firm to the touch.
 Allow to cool and cut into squares to serve.

TIP ~ You can make this a couple of days in advance, this lets the flavours develop and allows the parkin to become moist and sticky. It will keep for well over a week in a airtight container.

D. Moss