There are many things about Britain that are completely mad – morris dancing, Crufts, teachers’ work loads – but one of the weirdest has to be the fact that 400 years on, we still celebrate the failure of a plot to blow up Parliament.
The celebration of Bonfire Night was brought about by the Observance of 5th November Act 1605, which called for annual public thanksgiving. Although the act was repealed in the late 1850s, we still love a big ol’ fire and watching explosions timed to a playlist that seems to always include something by Queen (sadly, it’s rarely Fat Bottomed Girls).
It’s one of my favourite nights of the year.
It’s not just the fire and the possibility of hearing “boom!”s over Bohemian Rhapsody – it’s the abundance of glow sticks, the hiss of sparklers, and the relief of warmth flooding into your fingers when you grasp a hotdog you’ve spent 15 minutes queueing for. There’s nostalgia there too, for the bonfire parties we went to as kids, where my dad, a fire officer, would often be the one lighting fireworks before sprinting back to safety, with a trusty bucket of sand on standby and hot jacket potatoes, a Bonfire Night classic, clutched in our hands.
So what else should we be making this weekend?
- Toffee apples @ Bake
- Sticky Toffee Pudding [vegan] @ Rachel Demuths
- Parkin @ Baking the Detectives (and excellent newsletter about food and books!)
- Jerusalem Artichoke, Celeriac & Apple Soup [vegan] @ The Flexitarian
- Sticky apple treacle tart @ Proper Foodie
- Red wine hot chocolate with marshmallows and whipped cream topping and Spiced apple turnovers @ Supergolden Bakes
- Chilli con carne by Anthony Worrall Thompson (best. chilli. ever)
- Orange croquembouche @ Great British Food
- Mulled blackberry wine @ The Veg Space
Image: Phil John/Flickr