Okay so it’s not quite the 5th of November, but fireworks have been going off all weekend so I think we can be forgiven for being a teeny tiny bit early.
I recently found out that Ottery St Mary, a town in Devon, celebrate the 5th of November with something called ‘The Flaming Tar Barrels’. They soak 17 wooden barrels of various sizes in tar, set fire to them, and then take it in turns to carry the flaming barrels around the town! So whilst I enjoy a good bonfire, I’m not sure I’m quite brave enough for that!
For those of you with less of a pyromaniacal streak I recommend a tradition close to my northern heart – Parkin!
Parkin is a delicious sticky ginger cake which is traditionally served at bonfires in Yorkshire. It’s super easy to make, and perfect for a cold November evening.
225g/8oz self raising flour
110g/4oz caster sugar
1 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
200ml/7fl oz milk
110g/4oz golden syrup
Preheat the oven to 150C/300F/Gas 2. Line a 22cm/8in tin.
Sieve the flour, sugar, ginger and bicarbonate of soda into a large bowl.
In a small pan gently heat the butter and syrup until melted.
Beat the egg into the milk.
Gradually pour the butter and syrup into the flour and stir. The mixture will be thick.
Pour in the egg and milk and stir until smooth and pour into the lined tin.
Bake for about an hour or until a skewer inserted into the centre of the cake comes out clean
Recipe Credit: Courtesy of James Martin on behalf of BBC Food http://www.bbc.co.uk/food/recipes/sparklinparkin_14517