Jamie Oliver

forum: Food & Drink

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#1 Mon 01 Oct 07 3:20pm


Member since Mon 01 Oct 07

Bonfire night food


Im planning to have a small bonfire/firework party of about 8 people. Does anyone have any good recipes for yummy hot food?

Thanks smile

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#2 Mon 01 Oct 07 4:40pm


Forum champ
Occupation Retired Clergy & Computer Consultant
From Bradford, West Yorks
Member since Mon 03 Jul 06

Re: Bonfire night food

Go really traditional!

Baked potatoes - of course! (traditionally, you wouldbake them in tge embers of the bonfire - these days, wrapped in aluminium foil. Serve just with butter and salt, or some grated cheese - or any filling you like.

Pork pie & mushy peas - buy the pork pie in, and just make the mushy peas (or you could cheat and buy frozen mushy peas!) - don't forget the mint sauce.


    1lb brown sugar
    4 oz butter
    4 0z treacle
    1 tablespoon vinegar
    1 tablespoon water
    1 tablespoon milk

    Put everything except vinegar in a saucepan and bring to the boil, stirring constantly. Boil gently for 15-20 minutes, still stirring, until a drop of mixture becomes brittle when dropped into cold water.
    Remove from heat and stir in vinegar. Pour into a well-greased shallow tin. When nearly set, score deeply with a knife into bite-sized squares, or wait untl set, break up and toss in icing suggar.


Cooking time 1 to 2 hours

350g/12oz medium oatmeal
175g/6oz self-raising flour
2 tsp ground ginger
175g/6oz soft brown sugar
175g/6oz butter
250g/9fl oz golden syrup
50g/2oz black treacle
2 free-range eggs
110ml/4oz milk

1. Preheat the oven to 150C/300F/Gas 2 and line a small, deep baking tray with parchment paper. Combine the oatmeal, flour and ginger in a large mixing bowl.
2. Melt the sugar, butter, syrup and treacle in a bowl in the microwave or in a saucepan over a low heat. Pour the melted ingredients into the flour with the eggs and milk and stir well.
3. Pour the mixture into the prepared baking tray.
4. Bake for 45 minutes until golden brown, but still soft and sticky on top. Reduce the oven to 130C/250F/Gas 1 and bake for a further 30 minutes until firm to the touch.
5. Allow to cool, before tightly wrapping in cling film. Store for at least three to five days to mature.

Parkin is as closely associated with Bonfire Night as Guy Fawkes himself, but there is one place you can be sure that you would not be offered a piece of this sticky gingerbread and that is at St Peter's School in York. This is where Guy Fawkes was educated, and almost 400 years on from his most infamous exploit, his old school still feels it is not quite the thing to watch a former pupil go up in flames while you stand by cheering and eating spiced oaty cakes. Bonfire Night at St Peter's is studiously ignored. (Its also not celebrated in Farnley, the home of the Haughton-Fawkes family, which was in one of my previous parishes)

In fact, celebratory bonfires and parkin both go back well before 1605 and the Gunpowder Plot. Around this time of year, the Vikings once celebrated the Feast of Thor, the god of thunder, with bonfires and a special 'thar cake' which, like early forms of parkin, would have been baked on a stone heated by the fire. There is a similar recipe called 'tharf' made in South Yorkshire, Lancashire, and Derbyshire. The parkin biscuits still made in the border regions between England and Scotland date back to this drier dough that was rolled flat and baked in a disc or cut into shapes. It is the Yorkshire parkin, made from batter soft enough to be poured into a deep rectangular tin, that has spread nationwide. It is so popular in the West Riding of Yorkshire that in Leeds and many other places the fifth of November is called Parkin Day.

Parkin belongs to a family of economical teabreads called cut-and-come-again cakes - and not just because they were large enough to serve at more than one teatime. Such cakes were once made with little fat and no eggs so their texture depended on a high proportion of treacle. During baking this caramelised and hardened so the cake had to be kept for a few days for it to 'come again' (when the caramel softened a little to give a yielding crumby and nice sticky texture).

Dorothy Wordsworth made parkin on 6 November 1800 (we know this because she mentioned it in her diary). Hers would have been made with oatmeal - it was this and not wheat that was the common grain in the north of England and throughout Scotland. The later addition of a little wheatflour and the substitution of golden syrup for some of the black treacle makes for a lighter cake that is more to modern tastes. Ginger has always been added to a parkin, for it was once used medicinally and believed to warm the blood. But exactly when this sticky ginger cake came to be called parkin is not known. It was probably named after a Mrs Parkin (or perhaps Perkin), who must have had something of a reputation for the excellence of her cake. Perhaps it was she who invented the Yorkshire custom of baking a double batch of parkin and serving the first lot hot from the oven and smothered in apple sauce.

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#3 Tue 02 Oct 07 12:14am


Forum super champ
Occupation Chief cook and bottle washer
From Northern California
Member since Sat 10 Feb 07

Re: Bonfire night food

hot dogs and marshmallows on sticks.  Only not together!  It's great fun if you haven't had a "weenie roast" in a long time. 

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#4 Tue 02 Oct 07 12:25am


Forum champ
Occupation Why is the Rum always gone???!
From out to lunch
Member since Sat 07 Jan 06

Re: Bonfire night food

mmmm make em spyder dogs...  cut the top third and bottom third of the hotdog into quarters put the stick into the middle. the cut part of the hotdog will curl up like legs of spider ..

here is a link of a pic that shows the general idea


Last edited by Ashen (Tue 02 Oct 07 12:30am)

Only a fool argues with a skunk, a mule or a cook.  { cowboy saying}
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#5 Tue 02 Oct 07 2:09am


Forum champ
Occupation Duty Free Lancome and Fragrance sales
From Greater Vancouver
Member since Mon 23 Oct 06

Re: Bonfire night food

I like the idea that if you are eating around a bonfire and it's probably going to be dark, to have foods that are easy and you dont have to fuss about. Hotdogs/smokies or gourmet subs of sorts. By that I mean you can grill and marinate your veggies like; roasted red bell peppers/zucchini/eggplant, etc... hollow out a big round loaf of Italian or sour dough bread and layer on your marinated veggies/cold cuts/cheese if you like and top off the loaf and put it's top back on. Wrap in foil and weigh it down so all the flavours can meld together. All you have to do is cut it in wedges and wrap in napkins. Maybe have a table set up for cold salads like pasta salads, etc and small bowls so your guests can help themselves and be able to walk around or sit and have a garbage near by so all the disposibles can be thrown out and not left all over the place. That's what I would do but I am sure there are more suggestions out there. Hope you have fun!

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#6 Wed 03 Oct 07 12:08am


Forum champ
Occupation Why is the Rum always gone???!
From out to lunch
Member since Sat 07 Jan 06

Re: Bonfire night food

MMMMMMM don't forget the S'Mores!

Only a fool argues with a skunk, a mule or a cook.  { cowboy saying}
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#7 Wed 03 Oct 07 12:17am


Forum champ
From North Carolina
Member since Thu 15 Jul 04

Re: Bonfire night food

Corn on the cob can be done like the potatoes.  Salt, pepper and butter them and wrap in aluminum foil and place in the embers, also.  Corn never tastes better than this!! yummy

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#8 Wed 03 Oct 07 2:02am


Forum champ
Occupation Duty Free Lancome and Fragrance sales
From Greater Vancouver
Member since Mon 23 Oct 06

Re: Bonfire night food

Sorry, you did say "hot foods", how about making your own pizzas? You could already have the shells, small ones ready made and have bowls full of various toppings. You could easily use a grill if that's your intention. Maybe serve hot soup or stew or some sort and have a basket full of various breads. Will it be a sit down and then the bonfire or eat as you sit around the bonfire?

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#9 Wed 03 Oct 07 5:45am


Forum champ
From Sydney, Australia
Member since Tue 22 Jun 04

Re: Bonfire night food

Banger Burgers


1 lb. (450g) sausagemeat
2 dill cucumbers
8 tbsp. sweetcorn relish
3 oz. (85g) sage and onion stuffing mix
1 onion, finely chopped
3 tbsp. oil
salt and pepper
8 burger buns

Cooking Instructions:

Put the sausagemeat, sage and onion stuffing mix and chopped onion into a bowl

Mix together and season with salt and pepper

Transfer the mixture to a lightly floured board and shape into 8 burgers

Fry the burgers in the oil for about 8 minutes on each side or until burgers are cooked

Split the burger buns and place under a grill to toast lightly

Place burgers in buns, top with relish and serve

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#10 Wed 03 Oct 07 6:12am


Occupation IT Programmer
From Newcastle, Australia
Member since Tue 22 May 07

Re: Bonfire night food

I take it you want something you can cook against an open fire, not a BBQ grill?

You could cook pretty much anything that you can cook in a foil bag or on the end of a stick. Baked potatoes/pumpkin/chestnuts are all delicious when cooked in foil over fire as GeoffP stated. You could even make a loaf of bread in the fire.
Depending on the height of the flame, you could try a spit roast.

I recall Jamie once had a BBQ birthday party at his house (in Essex?) which was still being renovated (I think its the location for Jamie At Home now). He had an open flame pit which he lined with marinated fish on the ends of bamboo/cane sticks, Japanese style. They looked really good and was an interesting twist.
I've wanted to do something similar ever since but I'm in a total fire ban zone of Australia and it'll probably stay that way all through Spring and Summer.

You'll need to stick with fish that have firm flesh though otherwise the cooked fish will flake apart.

As the fire and smoke will impart a nice flavour to the fish you can keep things simple by only putting salt, pepper, lemon juice, oil, and a few herbs like basil, rosemary, or chives in the fish. Once cooked, a blob of flavoured butter will work well.

Hope the bonfire is a success!

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