My lovely chum Michelle had a bonfire party in her garden a couple of weeks ago and it was so much fun. She has commandeered the communal garden behind her flat and made it like a little grotto. It was festooned with tea lights, had a cosy little shed and even a chemical toilet! It was like a festival in her very own back yard. We had:
Michelle and Tony made traditional bonfire party type fodder – a hearty and fabulous stew, blackened sausages on the barbecue (just the way I like ‘em), crispy baked potatoes and something I don’t think I have ever had before – Parkin. Oh yummy, yummy, delicious! So I had a go at making one for fireworks night at Mr R’s 13th floor flat with an amazing view over a vast part of London. It seems to be a traditional cake for this time of year.
OK, I admit, this is not my Parkin – my Parkin photos were pants and besides, I am hoping the parkin pickin person who posted this parkin pic won’t mind because they have a WHOLE BLOG about Parkin – Iheartparkin – I know Lauren over at The Past on a Plate will like this – she likes Parkin too!
I have translated Wendy’s measurements from Imperial to Metric using Delora Jones’ fabulous book Measurements for Cooking. If you are a food blogger who does a lot of recipe translating (from American cups to metric or pounds and ounces to metric for example) this should be your bible. It’s by my elbow at all times.
So here’s Wendy’s recipe:
115g / ¼ lb plain flour
225g / ½ lb medium oatmeal
115g / ¼ lb brown sugar
115g / ¼ lb lard
2 teaspoons ground ginger
115g / ¼ lb golden syrup
115g / ¼ lb black treac;e
1 teaspoon mixed spice
1 teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
285ml / ½ pint milk
Put syrup, treacle, lard and milk into a pan and warm it till all is melted. Mix all dry ingredients, then pour into hollow in the middle all that has been melted. Add egg last.
Put in greased meat tin with greased paper and cook in a moderate oven, 40 minutes. Keep for several days before serving.
I baked mine at 160 degrees (I have a fan oven).
I think I may have use the wrong kind of oats as Delora notes: “Oatmeal… refers to whole oat rains (groats) that have been cut into pieces – it does not refer to rolled oats or instant oatmeal. Hmm – I think my oatmeal was bought when I was attempting to be healthy a while ago and eat porridge in the mornings. Fact is, I don’t like porridge.
I haven’t tried the Parkin yet as me and Mr R were so full of the mulled wine, “13th Floor Hot Dogs” and baked potatoes topped with my guilty pleasure STAGG CHILI
that we didn’t have room for Parkin. Still Wendy advises (as do many others) to keep it for a while to mature so I will report back.
Being up on the 13th floor watching Diwali and Guy Fawkes Night fireworks going off in a million different pockets of London was amazing. What a great spot to be in – on the balcony of a flat looking over Hampstead Heath right the way across to the South Bank – to see London at its best. Lovely.
What the heck is a Parkin – I have never, not once heard of it and I feel I have missed out. IT HAS LARD IN IT???
Susie, once I have Michelle’s recipe I will send it to you. And YES, LARD!
I had a go at Parkin this year and I was a little disappointed. I tried using a recipe from around 1920. I’ve come to the conclusion we like more sugar now. Definitely needs golden syrup mine only had treacle. It came out a bit worthy. How fab to see so much of London on such a lit up night. GG
Yes, to be honest GG I think Wendy’s was a little lacking in something. It certainly wasn’t as moist as the one my chum Michelle made – I have begged her for the recipe…
What, no bonfire?
Always a great way to get rid of rubbish.
This year I got rid of a couch and an old bed!
I know its not very environmentally friendly but saves some space in a land fill site somewhere.
Good idea John – ha ha! JX
You like canned chili? Then you might love “Frito Pie”, a Texas tradition.
Heat up your chili.
Pour some Fritos into a bowl. http://www.fritolay.com/our-snacks/fritos-original-corn-chips.html
Pour the hot chili over the Fritos.
Top with grated cheddar (and onions if you like, and jalapeno pepper slices if you like).
Must love sodium.
I want this for my dinner – it sounds UTTERLY DELICIOUS. And yes, I do love sodium! I cannot believe I have never thought of this before.