It is Guy Fawkes Night in Great Britain tonight!
In a nutshell, Guy Fawkes Night, “is an annual commemoration observed on 5 November, primarily in Great Britain. Its history begins with the events of 5 November 1605, when Guy Fawkes, a member of the Gunpowder Plot, was arrested while guarding explosives the plotters had placed beneath the House of Lords. Celebrating the fact that King James I had survived the attempt on his life, people lit bonfires around London, and months later the introduction of the Observance of 5th November Act enforced an annual public day of thanksgiving for the plot’s failure.”
The night is commemorated by the catchy children’s rhyme:
“Remember remember the fifth of November
Gunpowder, treason and plot.
I see no reason why gunpowder, treason
Should ever be forgot…”
So what do British people do nowadays during Bonfire Night?
Well, there are the huge bonfires (preferably with a Guy Fawkes effigy within the blaze) of course. Also, fireworks are frequently incorporated, which seems odd considering that Guy Fawkes failed to blow up Parliament so there were no explosions to commemorate.
There’s traditional foods, apparently. Soup for the revelers and/or foil-wrapped potatoes are cooked on/in the bonfire, and there is also a gingerbread-like treat called Parkin (or Perkin) Cake. I’m going to make some tonight using this recipe, although I will probably cut down on the ginger so my picky little girls will eat it.
Author: Jane Lyons
- 1 cup or 100g all purpose flour
- 1 cup or 100g oats
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 2 teaspoons ground ginger powder
- 1 stick butter (100 g)
- 4 tablespoons brown sugar
- 4 tablespoons treacle (or molasses)
- 4 tablespoons golden syrup (or corn syrup or honey)
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 6 tablespoons or 3 fluid oz milk
- 1 inch piece of fresh ginger, grated
- 1 medium apple, peeled and diced (optional)
- preheat the oven to 350f. Line a square 8×8 cake pan with baking parchment.
- In a large bowl mix together the flour, oats, baking powder, ground ginger and salt.
- Add the fresh ginger and diced apple.
- In a small pan add the butter treacle, golden syrup and sugar, cook over a low heat until the butter is melted and the sugar has dissolved.
- Stir this in to the dry ingredients and mix thoroughly with a spoon then add the milk. You should then have a thick batter.
- Pour the batter in to the prepared cake pan and bake in the oven for 50-60 minute.
- Let cool in the pan for a few minutes, then transfer the cake with the baking parchment attached to a wire rack to cool completely.
- Cut in to squares and store in an airtight container for up to a week.
Have a wonderful Guy Fawkes Night everyone!