Emily always hated fireworks as a youngster. Even from a distance she'd cover her ears and cry. It's quite a stressful experience when you've got two other children who love everything about bonfire night - hot dogs, toffee apples, bonfire toffee, rockets, Catherine wheels, roman candles and sparklers. Not to mention parkin.....Yummm.....(licks lips).
I beg your pardon?
You don't know what parkin is? .....Oh you're not from Yorkshire - Oh I see - I thought there was something wrong with you. Ha! Ok then, well, it's a type of gingerbread....in fact let me just give you a quick recipe before I crack on, it probably won't get much better anyway.
100g (4 oz) self raising flour
Pinch of salt
2 teaspoons ground ginger
½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
½ teaspoon mixed spice
75g (3 oz) medium oatmeal
100g (4 oz) golden syrup
50g (2 oz) black treacle
100g (4 oz) butter
100g (4 oz) soft brown sugar
1 egg, beaten
2 dessertspoons milk
You'll need a 20cm (8 in) sqaure cake tin. Preheat the oven to 140 degrees C / 275F / Gas Mark 1.
Sift together the flour, salt, ginger, nutmeg and mixed spice. Mix in the oatmeal.
The golden syrup, black treacle, butter and sugar need to be melted together in a saucpan. Tip: Sit the empty pan on the scales and weigh the syrup and treacle direct in the pan - this saves a lot of sticky transferring later.
Now add the butter and sugar and gently heat just enough to allow the butter to melt, not simmer or boil.
Stir the syrup mix into the dry mix and blend. Add in the egg and milk to create a soft, almost pouring consistency. Pour the mixture into the greased tin (I use greaseproof paper in the bottom - nothing worse than a sticky bottom!).
Bake in the pre-heated oven for 75 minutes until firm in the centre.
Once cooked leave to stand for 30 minutes before turning out. Once cooled the parkin can be served straight away but if stored in an airtight container it will mature with age (unlike me) and for best flavour leave for 3 weeks.
Tip: Ignore the last part and just scoff it right down, 'cos it's gorgeous!
Not sure if this now qualifies me for Best Cookery Blog Award? Maybe not....
(Hang on the phone's ringing.)
It was my mum. Now she must have known I was talking about parkin. She was never any good at parkin, by her own admission. Apple pie, Victoria sponge, various other cakes and pastries - she could always be relied upon for Star Baker. But not parkin. She always had it sagging in the middle..........and nobody likes anything when it's sagging in the middle!
Whatever you're up to this Bonfire Night stay safe and have a great time and if you bake some parkin don't worry if you sag in the middle - all the best people do!
................Ooh, by the way, Emily now loves bonfire night - a little reminder that if you're going through a difficult season, it does change, things do get better - you're doing a great job! The best is yet to come!
Remember, remember the fifth of November
The Gunpowder treason and plot
I know of no reason why Gunpowder treason
Should ever be forgot