Let us give you some great ideas for celebrating Bonfire Night 2022! Of course, there are bonfires that you can go to (some are listed at the end of this blog) but if you’d rather stay at home, here’s how to have a fantastic night:
- If the weather permits (or if you have cover outside) get outside and have a fire. There’s nothing like gathering around a fire with family and friends, eating and drinking and being warm and toasty. It’s a great way to boost your mood. Firepits are a great way to enjoy a fire safely as they cut down on the amount of smoke and they don’t need lots of space.
With the right accessories you can cook over a fire pit and enjoy things such as potatoes, hotdogs and burgers as well as toasting marshmallows 😊 Don’t forget the drinks too. Serve up warming mulled wine, mulled apple juice and hot chocolate (or just pop the food in the oven if you’d rather!)
Once you’ve finished cooking, the fire pit will keep you warm and toasty for the rest of the evening.
Place candles around to create a lovely atmosphere and wrap fairy lights around trees and along fences. Make sure there are cushions and blankets scattered over seats which look great, adding texture, but are also very practical if it gets chilly.
Watch the fireworks going off whilst snuggling under warm blankets and enjoy a few sparklers of your own. You can always stick these into potatoes and watch them from a distance, for safety.
- Enjoy a big family meal with a bonfire theme. Scatter lights and bonfire confetti on the table and add seasonal foliage and twigs. Use wood or hessian placemats and a table runner to add texture. Place a large pumpkin shaped casserole pot in the middle full of warming stew, curry or chilli (Aldi have some lovely ones in at the moment, or take a look at our delicious pumpkin recipe here from Halloween). Candles are great for creating the perfect atmosphere. Use red or orange candles or candle holders. See the picture below from swyfthome.com to create the perfect bonfire table.
- Try making some of the following bonfire food from last year’s Bonfire blog, these healthy delicious recipes (the hot chocolate is YUM), or bbcgoodfood.com to enjoy a festive feast:
Toffee Apples – Makes 8
- 8 Granny Smith apples
- 400g golden caster sugar
- 1 tsp vinegar
- 4 tbsp golden syrup
- Place the apples in a large bowl, then cover with boiling water (you may have to do this in 2 batches). This will remove the waxy coating and help the caramel to stick. Dry thoroughly and twist off any stalks. Push a wooden skewer or lolly stick into the stalk end of each apple.
- Place the apples on a sheet of baking paper, close to your stovetop. Tip the sugar into a pan along with 100ml water and set over a medium heat. Cook for 5 mins until the sugar dissolves, then stir in the vinegar and syrup. Set a sugar thermometer in the pan and boil to 150C or ‘hard crack’ stage. If you don’t have a thermometer, you can test the toffee by pouring a little into a bowl of cold water. It should harden instantly and, when removed, be brittle and easy to break. If you can still squish the toffee, continue to boil it.
- Working quickly and carefully, dip and twist each apple in the hot toffee until covered, let any excess drip away, then place on the baking parchment to harden. You may have to heat the toffee a little if the temperature drops and it starts to feel thick and viscous. Leave the toffee to cool before eating. Can be made up to 2 days in advance, stored in a dry place.
- Optional:One idea I saw sliced the apples before dipping them in the sauce so they’re easier to eat for little mouths!
Parkin – Makes 16 Squares
- 200g butter, plus extra for greasing
- 1 large egg
- 4 tbsp milk
- 200g golden syrup
- 85g treacle
- 85g light soft brown sugar
- 100g medium oatmeal
- 250g self-raising flour
- 1 tbsp ground ginger
- Heat the oven to 160°C/140°C fan/gas 3. Butter a deep 22cm square cake tin and line with baking parchment. Beat the egg and milk together with a fork.
- Gently melt the syrup, treacle, sugar, and butter together in a large pan until the sugar has dissolved. Remove from the heat. Mix the oatmeal, flour and ginger and stir into the syrup mixture, followed by the egg and milk.
- Pour the mixture into the tin and bake for 50 mins – 1 hr until the cake feels firm and a little crusty on top. Cool in the tin then wrap in more parchment and foil. Keep for up to five days before eating if you can – it’ll become softer and stickier the longer you leave it, up to two weeks.
Bonfire Cookies – Makes 20-22 Cookies
- 75g unsalted butter, softened
- 100g caster sugar
- 1 large egg
- 250g plain flour
- 2 tbsp cocoa powder, sifted
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1 tsp ground ginger
For the icing
- 1 large egg white
- 250g icing sugar, sifted
- ½ tsp lemon juice
- gel food colourings (we used blue, yellow and red)
- star sprinkles (optional)
- Beat the butter and sugar together with an electric whisk for 4-5 mins until light and fluffy. Beat in the egg until combined. Add the flour, cocoa powder, cinnamon, and ginger, and continue to beat until the mixture comes together into a dough. Put the dough between two pieces of baking parchment and roll out to a 6mm thickness using a rolling pin.
- Heat the oven to 200°C/180°C fan/gas 6. Remove the top layer of parchment and cut out cookies using a 6cm round or star cutter. Re-roll the offcuts and continue to cut out cookies until all the dough has been used (you should get 20-22, depending on the cutter).
- Arrange the cookies on a large baking sheet lined with baking parchment, spacing them at least 2cm apart (you may need two baking sheets). Bake for 7-10 mins until slightly golden at the edges. Leave to cool on the baking sheet for 10 mins, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
- Once cool, make the icing. Beat the egg white with an electric whisk until just starting to froth up, about 1 min. Add the icing sugar, 1 tbsp at a time, whisking continuously at a medium-high speed until combined. Add the lemon juice and whisk to stiff peaks, about 5 mins – the icing should be shiny. Add more icing sugar if needed to help it stiffen up.
- To decorate, divide the icing into bowls and colour with the gel food colourings (we left some icing white, then coloured three bowls with blue, yellow and red). Spoon the coloured icing into separate piping bags fitted with small round nozzles (or snip off the ends). Pipe lines on the biscuits to create firework-like ‘burst’ patterns or swirls. While the icing is wet, decorate with star sprinkles, if you like. Leave to set slightly, then serve. Will keep in an airtight container for up to a week.
Slow Cooker Pork Casserole – Serves 4
- 1 tbsp vegetable or rapeseed oil
- 4 pork shoulder steaks (about 750g), cut into large chunks
- 1 onion, chopped
- 1 leek, chopped
- 1 carrot, chopped
- bundle of woody herbs (bouquet garni) – we used 2 bay leaves, 3 sage leaves and 4 thyme sprigs, plus a few thyme leaves to serve
- 1 chicken stock cube
- 2 tsp Dijon mustard
- 1 tbsp cider vinegar
- 2 tsp cornflour
- 1 tbsp honey
- Heat your slow cooker. Drizzle the oil in a wide frying pan over a high heat. Season the pork, then add to the hot pan. Avoid overcrowding the meat – you may want to do this in batches. Cook until deep brown all over, then transfer to the slow cooker. Add the onion and leeks to the frying pan and cook for a few mins, until they soften. Add a splash of water and scrape any tasty bits from the bottom, then tip everything into the slow cooker. Add the carrot, herbs, stock cube, mustard and vinegar, season, then add enough water to just cover the ingredients. Stir, then set your slow cooker on low for 6-8 hrs, or high for 5-6 hrs.
- In a saucepan, mix the cornflour and honey with 1-2 tsp of liquid from the slow cooker, until you have a smooth paste. Add 100ml more liquid, bring to a simmer until thickened, then stir back into the casserole. Serve with mash or dumplings, scattered with thyme leaves.
Catherine Wheel Tod-in-the-Hole with Honey & Mustard Onions – Serves 4
- 120g plain flour
- 3 large eggs
- 275ml semi-skimmed milk
- 12 linked chipolatas or 1 large coiled Cumberland sausage
- 2 tbsp sunflower oil
- 4 rosemary or thyme sprigs, picked into smaller sprigs
- mash and veg, to serve (optional)
For the honey & mustard onions
- 1 tbsp sunflower oil
- 2 large red onions, halved and thinly sliced
- 2 tbsp plain flour
- 2 tsp English mustard powder
- 1 chicken stock cube
- 2 tbsp honey
- 2 tbsp wholegrain mustard
- Mix the flour, eggs and milk in a jug with 1/2 tsp salt, then set aside for at least 30 mins. Heat oven to 220°C/200°C fan/gas 7.
- Untwist the links between each sausage, keeping them connected. Squeeze the meat to fill in the gaps, so you have one long sausage. Coil the sausage loosely and put in a large skillet or ovenproof frying pan (ours was 25cm wide.) Pour over the oil and brown in the oven for 12-15 mins.
- Remove the pan from the oven and carefully lift out the sausage. Pour the batter into the pan, then put the sausage back on top, scatter with the herbs and return to the oven for 25-30 mins without opening the door – the Yorkshire pudding will sink if you do.
- Meanwhile, heat the oil in a frying pan and cook the onions for 10 mins or until starting to caramelise. Stir in the flour and mustard powder and crumble in the stock cube. Stir in 500ml water bit by bit until you get a smooth sauce, then add the honey and mustard and season. Bubble for 5 mins, then serve with the toad-in-the-hole and mash and veg if you like.
If you fancy getting out and about then visit some of the following Bonfire events:
- High Farm, Farrar Lane, Leeds – Saturday 5th November – 5.30pm to 9pm
Bonfire – Food will open at 5.30pm followed by the fire at 6.15pm. The event will finish at 9pm and no tickets are required.
- West Park< Leeds RUFC, The Sycamores, Bramhope, Leeds – Saturday 5th November – 6pm to 9pm
Bonfire and fireworks display
- Yeadon Cricket Club, High Street, Yeadon, Leeds – Saturday 5th November – 6pm to 9pm
The Legendary CC Bonfire and fireworks. Tickets needed.
Enjoy, have fun and have the best Bonfire night but above all, stay safe on Bonfire Night. Use long skewers if toasting marshmallows and have a bucket of water or sand to stick the used sparklers in. Keep children away from fire and, if having fireworks, designate one person to light them, making sure they do so at arm’s length and don’t return to firework that has been lit.
Caroline & Hannah xx