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Old 10-23-2013, 09:28 AM   #1
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Parkin

Decided it was time to make parkin* and treacle toffee for Bonfire Night (November 5th - probably the nearest we got to a revolution). Went to the local supermarket for oatmeal and black treacle (like molasses). Two weeks before Bonfire Night, mark you, and parkin and treacle toffee are traditional, they don't sell oatmeal at all and they had forgotten to order black treacle and had run out!

*Parkin is a cake made from (among other ingredients) ginger, oatmeal, black treacle and golden syrup. It needs to be made a week or two in advance so it can acquire the right degree of stickiness. Yum.

On bonfire night we used to have a bonfire among several neighbours. The Dads let off the fireworks and the Mums produced parkin, treacle toffee, mugs of hot home-made soup and jacket spuds with lashings of butter. When we were small, in the light of no evidence at all, we were convinced that the spuds where cooked in the bonfire! I had read about roasting marshmallows on the fire in "The Bobbsey Twins" but my Mother said it was far too dangerous.

Nowadays the amateur bonfire and fireworks are considered dangerous so most people go to community ones organised but the Scouts or the Rotary Club or some such organisation. Nowhere near as much fun.

"Remember, remember the fifth of November
Gunpowder, treason and plot.
I see no reason, why gunpowder treason
Should ever be forgot."

When I was young in the 1950s, Roman Catholic children were still not permitted to take part in bonfire parties due to the perceived sectarian nature of the celebration. (The Gunpowder Plot was a Catholic plot in 1605 to over-throw the government of the day) In fact the bonfire in winter celebrations went back much further than 1605 into the mists of time and paganism.

The Conspirators
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Old 10-23-2013, 10:29 AM   #2
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What a fun and interesting post, Mad Cook. Thanks very much. Do you happen to know where the name 'Parkin' came from?
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Old 10-23-2013, 10:35 AM   #3
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Thanks Mad Cook. I love hearing about traditions of other folks. Very interesting.
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Old 10-23-2013, 10:47 AM   #4
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I'm gonna have to try this!

I like the idea of the oatmeal.

I wonder if Parkin is where we get our gingerbread from?
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Old 10-23-2013, 03:04 PM   #5
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I love Bommy Night !!! Can you share your treacle toffee recipe please ?
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Old 10-23-2013, 06:17 PM   #6
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Not heard of this celebration. Sounds like fun. Anything with fire. We can have bonfires in our back yards again in our city, legally. If we have a fire pit.

Hope you find some treacle.
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Old 10-23-2013, 06:32 PM   #7
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I used to love Bonfire Night too. But it seems to have become less of an event these days.

Way back when I was a lass, there used to also be a tradition called "Penny for the Guy". (Named after Guy Fawkes - one of the conspirators). Kids would make up dummies of "Guy" using bits of old clothing and stuffed with rags or whatever they could find. Then they would set up on a street corner and basically beg for money!

The bonfires back then would normally also sport a "Guy" dummy on top of the pile. (Possibly not very politically correct these days as you don't see it any more but back when we were kids we just thought it was fun.)

Pity you're not local MC - I could have dropped you off a tin of black treacle!
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Old 10-24-2013, 10:51 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Whiskadoodle View Post
Not heard of this celebration. Sounds like fun. Anything with fire. We can have bonfires in our back yards again in our city, legally. If we have a fire pit.

Hope you find some treacle.
Whisk, I remember as a child, raking leaves into a pile and burning them. The smell of Autumn.
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Old 10-24-2013, 11:04 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Whiskadoodle View Post
Hope you find some treacle.
Treacle is essentially the same as Molasses. Having had both, I can say that Molasses is just a bit sweeter. But I think molasses is a good substitute.

The real trick to making Parkin in this country is finding Golden Syrup. We don't really have the equivalent in the US, although a web search indicates that World Market sells Lyle's brand. I may have to go check that out.
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Old 10-24-2013, 02:18 PM   #10
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I did a family involved project when I was in cub scouts. We had a taffy pull. A molasses taffy pull. The stuff tasted awfull to me at that age. Bonfires were always a tradition through out my scouting endevors!
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