Bonfire Night is great fun with all the fireworks, the warmth of the bonfire and excitement of using sparklers. For kids, it can be a great experience although every year there are the odd sad story about kids not keeping safe. Plus autumn is a great time for a spot of seasonal cooking and there is plenty more on offer than just pumpkins.
Soup is definitely an ideal meal for the time of year and we always make this soup to have with hot dogs. Warming, tasty and filled with good stuff, the soup is a perfect balance to the hot dog – the naughty and the nice! Other traditional Bonfire night foods include potatoes wrapped in tin foil and cooked on the bonfire but watch your fingers when you first open them as they will be very hot.
A traditional cake associated with the event is called a Parkin Cake. This is a sticky cake that has oatmeal, ginger, treacle and syrup in it. But if this sounds too messy or too sugary, then why not steal an American autumn tradition – toffee apples.
Making toffee apples is easy and a great thing to do with the kids. Give the apples a bath in boiling hot water to remove the waxy coating before you start then remove the stalks and stick a wooden skewer or lollipop stick into it. Place the apples on a baking tray ready to be covered. In a pan mix 400g golden caster sugar with 100ml of water until it dissolves then add 4 tablespoons of golden syrup and 1 teaspoon of vinegar. Once the mixture hits hard crack stage, where it instantly hardens when hitting something cold, coat the apples by dipping them into the mixture. Leave them to cool before eating.
Keeping warm and safe
It’s important to keep little ones warm and cosy as the winter nights begin to draw in, Pom pom hats remain a fashionable trend for youngsters and when there is a bit of fur involved, they are always a winner. For the older children and ladies, then cashmere and fur trimmed wraps are warm, comfortable and very stylish. A scarf is essential for kids in cold weather but on Bonfire nights, it might be worth leaving them at home for smaller children in case they get too close to the sparklers – a roll neck top might be a better bet.
Sparklers are the main hands-on event for kids on Bonfire Night and they adore writing their names in the air or drawing patterns with them. Long matches are an essential part of a parent or grandparent’s kit for the event as these put a bit of distance between hand and sparkler so remember to pick these up ahead of the day.
If you are uncertain about setting off your own fireworks or don’t have the right kind of garden for it, then why not consider heading to a large, organised event? The atmosphere at these are events are usually great and it means that the adults can enjoy the show as much as the kids!