Be prepared for Bonfire Night, November 5th, when the stars are bright, and three little angels are dressed in white.
One with a fiddle, one with a drum And one with a pancake stuck to his bum!
The festival of Bonfire Night reminds me of a very special person in my life, my big brother Malcolm, a pyrotechnics chemist, whose career achieved lift off because of Bonfire Night.
His multi million pound business funded a lot of good causes, as well as a few money grabbing manipulators.
I had a head injury in a London traffic accident in 1983, and as part of my convalescence in a rehabilitation unit in Camden in the weeks before Bonfire Night 1983, I learned how to make Parkin, a Bonfire Night treat. This was the recipe:
Grease a deep 22cm/9in square cake tin and line with baking parchment.
Beat the egg and milk together with a fork.
Remove from heat.
Mix together the oatmeal, flour and ginger.
Stir into syrup mixture, followed by egg and milk.
Pour mixture into tin and bake for 50 mins – 1 hr until cake feels firm and crusty on top.
Cool in the tin then wrap in more parchment and foil and keep for 3-5 days before eating if you can – it’ll become softer and stickier the longer you leave it, up to 2 weeks.
More recently I discovered the joys of chickpea and coconut curry: