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.